With the Oculus Rift ($599) set to release on March 28, the HTC Vive ($799) available next month, and the PlayStation VR ($399) launching this October, we’re about to enter a whole new realm of gaming entertainment. At the moment, it’s hard to say how the new tech is going to do once it’s finally out in the wild–mainly due to steep prices for devices that are far from consumer-friendly–but there are several promising titles that have had the community chomping at the bit. One such game is Oculus launch title EVE: Valkyrie, which stars actress Katee Sackhoff (of Battlestar Galactica, Longmire, Robot Chicken and more).
We recently got a chance to sit down and chat with Sackhoff about her role in CCP’s upcoming space shooter, VR, and more. Though we already knew she’d be portraying Rán Kavik, she elaborated a bit on the character’s backstory, how she ascended to the leader of the Valkyrie, and gave us a taste of what’s at stake.
“Okay, this is going to be interesting,” she laughed, preparing to explain the process the ex-Navy pilot had undergone. “So they basically killed a bunch of pilots and then cloned them and brought them back to life–which basically rendered them immortal.” She continued, “When she [Rán] found out the truth that they didn’t actually save her, but killed her and brought her back, she broke away and formed another group called the Valkyrie.”
Though she’s no stranger to the sci-fi genre (she played Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica), Sackhoff explained that she takes pride in making the characters she plays as different and nuanced as possible. “Rán, for example, is different from the other roles I’ve done. For starters, she’s basically dead, so, she’s incredibly tortured. I wanted you to be able to hear that in her voice.” She continued, “So I had to lead you on this emotional journey that she’s gone on with just my voice. She also talks a lot lower than anyone I’ve ever played before. My goal was to see how low I could get her voice, to make her sound sort of otherworldly.”
She also played her fair share of the game (thanks to having her own Oculus at home), to get a better understanding of how VR worked. She likened the experience to what its like working on green screen. “You’re imagining (especially when you’re an actor that works on green screen) what the world looks like because you can’t see it. It’s all in your imagination.” She continued, “When you sit down and play a VR game, it feels like you’re inside of it. For all extensive purposes, that’s what an actor is, that’s where our imagination takes us in order to put ourselves into the roles that we play.”
Being one of the first actresses to lend her voice to a VR game is exciting for her, but didn’t really sink in until she’d actually gotten a chance to experience the Oculus Rift. “I finally understand now, having played the game, and after getting my hands on the Oculus, how great the technology is. I realized it was important, especially for EVE: Valkyrie. Rán is literally your guide through the entire game, and It’s pretty awesome to say the least.”
As for whether she prefers working on film, television, or video games, Sackhoff explained that she likes to mix it up. While she likes working on films because they’re a closed-ended process, she appreciates the slow burn that is working on a television show (she’s currently the star of Netflix-exclusive Longmire).
She explained, “The pace of television is so much more conducive to what I love, which is the constant change of what’s happening on set. It’s funny, sometimes it takes three days to record a scene for a film, but with TV, we shoot a whole episode in a day. Sometimes I find myself to be incredibly impatient on a movie set, because I’m so used to television, which is so fast.”
“Then, what I love about games is that lending your voice is only one tiny piece of it. When I did motion capture for the last Call of Duty, it was so much fun. It was like doing theatre, because your movements had to be big and broad so that they could capture it with the motion capture machine and cameras. So, I sort of love it all because its all fun and different, and I don’t really like to stay in one place too much.”
EVE: Valkyrie will be available alongside the Oculus Rift on March 28, and will also be available on PlayStation VR later this year. We can’t wait to see how her role shapes the game.
Will you be checking out EVE: Valkyrie? Let us know in the comments below, or share your thoughts with me on Twitter: @Samantha_Sofka.
IMAGES: EVE: Valkyrie