It might have been because we were both tired, yet jazzed about the countdown to the midnight launch of Gears of War 3. Or it might have been our surroundings. Either way, Carlos Ferro - the voice of Dominic Santiago - and I have been joking and giggling for most of the evening.
?This is a very interesting interview,? Carlos chuckles as we attempt to conduct an interview in the stockroom of a busy GAME store on London?s Oxford Street. After almost every sentence the sound of shuffling boxes and excited staff interrupts the voice actor and brings a massive smile to his face. ?We?re doing an interview at Waterloo Station apparently,? he jokes.
Obligatory ?Mind the Gap? jokes aside, it?s clear to see that Carlos is really happy to be in the UK. He spoke of how he lobbied for a long time to represent Epic and Gears of War 3
at the blockbuster?s official launch in the country, and that meeting fellow fans is one of the most important things for him.
He uses the term ?fellow fan? because, despite being the voice behind one of the most popular characters in the action series, he counts himself as a hardcore fan. After spending a long time working the queues outside the store, he came back in to have a quick chat before officially kicking off the game?s launch and getting stuck into a meet and greet. This is what he had to say.
SPOnG: How emotional has it been to perform as Dominic Santiago in Delta Squad's final adventure?
You know, I would say the knee-jerk reaction would be that it?s bittersweet. A little bit sad, and all that. But I?m not there yet, because I?m a fan. I wanna play the game, get through the campaign and four-play co-op. I wanna play Horde 2.0 for months. I?m a fan of the franchise. If I wasn?t Dom, I?d still be playing the game and I?d want a resolution to the story.
So... I?m not there yet. It?s probably going to sink in once I?ve finished the campaign and have played Beast and Horde for the millionth time, that I?m not telling these stories anymore. But, you know, Cliff Bleszinski said that it?s a big universe. There?s a lot of stories to be told in the Gears of War
franchise. This is the end of Delta Squad?s story, but I get excited about the possibilities of whatever?s coming next. And I?m really happy and proud to be a part of it when I was.
SPOnG: And Karen Traviss? story here is perhaps the most emotional out of all the Gears of War games. Did you feel that when picking up the script?
Yeah, and I welcome it. I welcome her attachment to the drama. It?s not ?Video Game Lite?. It?s really for people who want a reality-based story in that it?s emotional and takes place with real people. Karen Traviss did a great job with continuity, with making everything real and connected, and not cheat the fans that pay attention to the books and the comics. She?s writing the comic now, actually.
I think it?s a real testament to Epic and Microsoft to want to put together such an expansive universe that?s really interesting and still makes you want to go and chainsaw Locust.
SPOnG: Tell us about how you feel Dom has evolved as a character between the events that took place in Gears of War 2 and 3. He was looking for his wife in Gears 2 --
That didn?t work out so well.
SPOnG: That didn?t really work out, no. She was a bit crisp. Now it seems everything is a little bit more melancholy with him, he?s taking it a little more slowly and he?s matured a lot, he?s looking after plants... How would you say his evolution as a character has gone?
I like to think that Dom - at least the way I play Dom - is the emotional centre of the game. For those people that care, that don?t just want to chainsaw fools, there?s a story to follow and I think that it?s... I?m very proud of what I brought to it, because he means a lot to me. I?ve been with the guy for six years.
And I will say this - he?s not just tending plants. He?s actually making sure that humanity on that vessel eat. That people stay fed... I?ve said this loads of times, he?s not just looking after his family or his friend Marcus - at this point, he?s looking after humanity. This is it.
After Jacinto fell, it?s not been about squads anymore, it?s about the species. I think he grounds the story in reality, that it wouldn?t be pleasant. It wouldn?t be as fun as it us for us to play, to be in that situation. It?s been really cool to have somewhere to go and not just start looking for someone else or something (laughs).
SPOnG: You?re a voice actor for many other games, such as Leonardo da Vinci in Assassin?s Creed II. But you were originally a DJ, right?
Yeah! In fact, I still DJ every now and then under the moniker ?The Domfather.? I did a big party at PAX East, and I DJ whenever things fall into place perfectly if I?m on the road... it?s not really touring because with the acting work I can?t just go tour like a band. But it?s nice to spin my trance for gamers and for people that like dance music and video games.
My universes have kind of converged. I was a DJ paying my way through grad school, and I thought that I had pretty much given that up - that it was just a hobby at this point. And with all that?s happened, people wanted to hear me spin at private parties for the companies and things, and now I?ve done a couple of big conventions in Hartford, Connecticut and New York Comic Con. There?s some big events that The Domfather?s spinning the trance at, so I think it?s a bit strange for some people.
SPOnG: What?s been the most memorable moment for you as Dominic Santiago?
Maria?s scene, easily. I like to think it changed how storytelling goes down in video games. I think that there hadn?t been anything like that before, and it wasn?t really deliberate. I was just trying to do the best job I could... but it was really great to have support from Epic and Microsoft to allow me to go there, because the scene could have been done ?light.? It was really rewarding to have a feature film moment in a game I care so much about. Without a doubt, that stands out - the Number 1 Dom Moment for me.
SPOnG: Really great to chat to you Carlos, thanks.
Thanks, I appreciate it.
Gears of War 3 is available now.