Dishonored 2 is less than two weeks away, but those who played the first game won’t have to wait until then to hear how a returning favorite’s voice has changed. The Outsider, the mysterious being who gifts hero Corvo Attano his powers in Dishonored, is back for the sequel, albeit without his original actor. In the trailer above, Robin Lord Taylor takes the spotlight as the character, narrating the story from the "Book of Karnaca."
A very youthful-sounding Outsider talks about the complex world of Karnaca, where Empress Emily Kaldwin must travel to reclaim her right to the throne. The plot recap plays out over a storybook aesthetic, giving this trailer a more interesting look than the average Dishonored 2 preview — or that of any game, really.
The Outsider’s voice may not perk up the ears of those picking up Dishonored 2 without playing the first. Fans of the first game, however, seem to not be taking too kindly to the character’s new voice quite yet.
"No offense to the voice actor but i'm not a fan of the style of the outsiders new voice," said YouTube user aliensarerealancient in a comment.
"Somehow I don't see this voice fit this person/entity," wrote Volber. "He is supposed to be this all-knowing and all-seeing being from the abyss that grants powers for a high price, yet he sounds like a teenager."
Players grew attached to Billy Lush, who lent his pipes to the Outsider the first time around. Although the actor can be heard in the game’s E3 2015 reveal trailer, developer Arkane Studios revealed that Lush was out and Taylor was in when announcing the voice cast this past May.
The change was chalked up to scheduling difficulties, but Lush took to Reddit to refute this, telling users that he "got the axe" instead.
"My schedule was wide open," he wrote in an impromptu Ask Me Anything session over the summer. "I never got the call. I never got an explanation."
Players have fallen divided along the lines of defending Lush and embracing Taylor, as well as the other voice actors making their debuts in Dishonored 2. Even when the new Outsider had spoken just a few words, users took to community forums to debate whether dropping Lush was really worth it.
There is still a plethora of players willing to give Taylor, who’s best known for his work on Gotham, a chance to make the Outsider his own. After Lush called out Arkane for, by his account, removing him from the project without a second thought, others are defending Taylor’s work thus far. That includes Gotham fans and those who prefer a younger Outsider, as well as people who are just willing to let Arkane try something new — no matter the circumstances around removing the original actor.
Players will surely continue to weigh in well after Dishonored 2's launch. The game arrives Nov. 11 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.