Hopefully you’ve heard by now that Nicolas Cage got lost in the fog and found himself in Dead by Daylight. If not, here’s the lowdown as I can only imagine the confusion and amazement on your face right now: Nicolas Cage is the newest DBD survivor to be added to the asymmetrical horror game. Not just as a voice actor – as himself.
Announced during the Dead by Daylight 7th Anniversary broadcast, the Nic Cage collaboration sees the iconic actor team up with the likes of Leon Kennedy and Cheryl Mason in the crossover we never knew we needed. While this would be phenomenal news anyway, what’s really got us fans talking are the myriad voice lines that accompany Cage’s character into matches.
Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s no denying that there’s something very… distinct about Cage’s acting, and this has transferred perfectly across to Dead by Daylight. He’s wacky, he’s out there, he’s got a huge personality, and that shines through in the work he did in the recording booth for Behaviour – and, yes, every noise you hear is Mr. Cage himself.
“He’s got such an iconic voice and delivery that we wouldn’t do this without him,” DBD game director Mathieu Cote tells us. “In some cases, for the screams and grunts, we have used different people sometimes because these exertions can take a toll on people. In this case, Mr. Cage told us there has never been a voice soundalike for Nic Cage, and we will not have one now. He was generous enough to record every grunt, scream, and exertion you will hear.”
Yep, every scream of terror and grunt of pain is Nic Cage himself, which just makes them that much more enjoyable. But every character has screams and grunts, right? What stands Cage’s character out from the crowd is the ten minutes of actual voice lines that the actor recorded, not just for the lobby, but for the match itself. Some licensed killers, like The Mastermind and The Cenobite, have a sprinkling of voice lines already (“I CAME”), but this is the first time a survivor has had significant in-game voice lines.
While Behaviour hasn’t gone into much more detail about the process behind the recordings, the voice lines certainly sound like Cage was simply plonked in front of Dead by Daylight in the recording booth. His hilarious and distinctively Nic lines include the simple but effective “ow, ow, fucking ow!” and sound unscripted and unprompted, adding so much fun and character to the match – especially since your teammates can hear them, too.
You’ll hear one of a selection of lines at the start of every match, like, “How could this be fun for anybody? It’s certainly not fun for me.” They’re followed up by a series of quips that could trigger in chase, when downed, and even when using an item: “What am I… is this a weapon? This is a flashlight, is this meant to be a weapon? What am I meant to do, shine it in his eyes?”. This somehow completely changes the feel of the game, making it more immersive and so much more entertaining. And that’s why I – and the rest of the DBD community – want every new character to receive the same treatment going forward.
Naturally, Nic Cage was a perfect choice to be the first character given voice lines. Known for his exaggerated acting and distinctive voice, it makes sense that in bringing him on board, developers wanted to get him into the sound booth and make the most out of the experience. Naturally, then, the chance of this being implemented for characters both past and future is something we chose to ask Behavior EVP Stephen Mulrooney about during a PCGamesN exclusive interview at Develop Brighton. “Being the legendary actor he is, Nicolas Cage deserved an entrance into The Fog that matched his grandeur and we had to have him speak in his iconic voice,” Stephen tells me. “That said, we have no plans at the moment to expand this feature to existing characters and I cannot discuss what’s to come.”
The most obvious existing character to give more lines to would of course be Evil Dead’s Ashy Slashy, who is voiced by Bruce Campbell in game, but only in minimal lobby banter. Sadly, given Mulrooney’s response, it seems there are no plans to get Campbell back into the booth following Cage’s success. However, I like to think the vague “I cannot discuss what’s to come,” hopefully means the team has plans to bring more voice lines to future characters. I, for one, look forward to matches full of survivors yelling words of encouragement to each other.
Behaviour would be foolish to overlook this opportunity to give future characters this same treatment given how well received Nic Cage has been, and while they might not be planning to bring Bruce Campbell back just yet, there’s always hope. The development team are certainly good at listening to their community and making changes based on their opinions, including the new disconnect bots. So, Behaviour, if you’re reading this… some banter between Ash, Ada, and Nic would be top tier.