But I think people saw with the release of the Taken King, they really bumped the level up. And it gradually got better, but I know it got a lot of knocks for it when it first came out - the story and some of the writing, not all of it, but some of it was, you know, not quite where they wanted it to be. And hopefully it will only get better. I have a 12 year old who loves Destiny so I'm well invested. I have to do well or I'll never hear the end of it.
And what new challenges has Uncharted 4 brought?
Working with Troy Baker, the biggest challenge every day [laughs] It's painful. Every day it's painful. No, he's great, everyone's been great. It's kind of the same thing, though we moved to a newer stage, which was exciting. But no, If you're not in your groove by the fourth iteration you should be looking for something else.
How close are you to finishing recording?
I know I should be done with stuff by the end of the year, and I know it's a March 2016 release. So that's pushing it for them, but we should be done soon.
Have you captured more footage this time around compared to previous games?
Yes. I think this should break some records, we've captured quite a bit. I would be guessing at the amount of cinematics, but it's well over two hours I think. Please don't have that in headlines tomorrow [laughs].
Of every character you've ever voiced, which has been your favourite?
I've always really liked the Penguin from Batman just because as gravelly as it sounds, it's actually a very very comfortable place for my voice. And then to do that odd Americanised cockney accent, which is on purpose - everybody should know it's not supposed to be perfect because Oswald Cobblepot's parents weren't British, he was just brought here and raised here. I hate when people get upset and are like "it's not proper" and I'm like "It's not supposed to be".
It came at a time when people were saying "Nolan north is always doing the same voice" and then Rocksteady came along and said "Hey we think you can do this". But that came along at a time when it was still insane to be able to do something like that there. He's kind of a caricature of a villain. It's not like David from The Last of Us, it's more of a slightly cartoony character.
Are there any voices you wish you could have done, or would like to do?
No. I should probably think about this more but the voiceover community is a small tribe. I've always loved Wolverine, I won't even audition as wolverine because Steve Blum killed Wolverine, and he always does. I think the licence plate on his car is 'Snikt'. That's not a joke, I really think so. Fred Tatasciore has always done the Hulk, and I've been very fortunate to play some pretty cool characters. Everybody always says "You should take a shot at Batman" but there have been so many voices for Batman I kind of think "ehh". And so many have been right to so many people. I also like doing the Deadpool stuff because it's complete non-sequitur ridiculous, crazy stuff.
How did you decide that your regular voice was the one for Nathan Drake?
The first audition for Nathan Drake I walked in thinking it was just a game and I was going to do my voice. And then the director and producers, Amy Hennig, Gordon Hunt, there were all these people in the room. And normally when you audition, when not from your home, you're in a stand and everyone's behind the glass. And they came in they explained the character, and then they closed the door. But they were standing there and I just go "Are you going to stay here" and they're like "Yeah, yeah feel free to move around the room and everything" and I went "What?". I had no idea what it was. I didn't know it was performance capture or anything. They said "Use this space" which was about six by six metres, not much space to use.
And for some reason I got the callback, and at the callback - I should have asked - but I didn't know it was performance capture until I got that. And oddly enough when you audition for something like that there'll be a reader, somebody who will read with you and they'll read with everybody that comes through. That day it was this girl who was a graduate student at UCLA, was Emily Rose. At one point someone finally just went "Why doesn't she do this?" because she was great.
I remember, I think I did a somersault and I rolled and I slid behind a chair, and I slid too far and I hit something and I felt like an idiot doing it, and I think that's what made Drake someone you could relate to, because I wasn't the slickest, I'm not a gymnast or anything, but I looked like that everyman, that John McClane from Die Hard. He'll get the job done but it won't be pretty and he'll laugh at himself.
Check out the video below in which Nolan talks about The Last of Us, the Uncharted recording process, and finding the vulnerability in each character he voices. Oh, and we also made him bring back the voices of some old-school characters - enjoy.