Update: A representative for Valve has confirmed to USgamer that Rhys Darby does voice the new character featured in Half-Life: Alyx's trailer (oh, and Darby's been a bit less cryptic on Twitter since yesterday). Additionally, voice actress Cissy Jones (Telltale's The Walking Dead, Firewatch) tweeted that she is involved with the title.
The original story follows.
There are certain lines of dialogue from Half-Life 2 and its episodic sequels that have been seared into my memory: Alyx's explanation of the Gravity Gun; her father Eli's warm welcome to the rebellion's underground lab; the G-Man's oddly sinister lisp as he says he's "received some interesting offers for your services." I had my ears peeled for voices new and old while watching the reveal trailer for Half-Life: Alyx, but thankfully, we can start assembling a cast list with more than just guesswork.
Valve provided PC Gamer with a few casting details for its VR-only Half-Life title, and it seems that lots of fans have correctly pegged the identity of the man voicing the unfamiliar Kiwi who features prominently in the trailer. Here's what we know about Half-Life: Alyx's cast so far:
Played by Ozioma Akagha
In her first outing as the star of a Half-Life game, Alyx Vance has a new voice actress. Taking over for Merle Dandridge in the role is Ozioma Akagha (Marvel's Runaways, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus). "When we heard Ozioma's performance we knew we'd found the right Alyx," Valve designer Greg Coomer told PC Gamer. Unlike Gordon Freeman and other previous silent Half-Life protagonists, we'll be hearing Alyx's voice throughout the game.
For what it's worth, Merle Dandridge seems happy to see that Alyx and Half-Life are back:
I love her so much. I’m so glad fans will finally have this satisfaction. Thank you @valvesoftware for bringing #AlyxVance and #HalfLife back to life. Congratulations and every success! pic.twitter.com/Iy5jXqs42T— Merle Dandridge (@MerleDandridge) November 21, 2019
Played by James Moses Black
In the case of Eli, Valve had to recast the role after Robert Guillaume's passing in 2017. James Moses Black (Logan, This Is Us) sounds enough like Guillaume that I did a double take during the trailer. It helps that he hits the line "close your eyes, honey" with the same distress Guillaume delivered it with at the end of Half-Life 2: Episode Two.
Played by Tony Todd
Tony Todd (the Candyman and Final Destination series) returns as the voice behind the Vortigaunts, the race of Xenian aliens Gordon Freeman liberated in the original Half-Life. If his lines from the trailer don't sound familiar, your ears may be tuned to listen for Louis Gosset Jr.'s rasp instead—Todd took over the role in 2007 for Half-Life 2: Episode Two.
The Combine Overwatch Dispatcher
Played by Ellen McLain
McLain's a Valve mainstay, and her role as the icy Combine dispatcher is the one you're probably the least likely to associate her with. Best known for playing GLaDOS in the Portal games, McLain's also the announcer in Team Fortress 2, which I believe makes her the only voice talent featured in all the games that shipped with The Orange Box.
Played by Mike Shapiro
The G-Man doesn't get a line in Half-Life: Alyx's trailer, but Valve confirmed to PC Gamer that Mike Shapiro is returning to the role he originated way back in 1998. While Half-Life story fanatics are surely dying to find out how the G-Man factors into Alyx's journey, I hope Shapiro also gets to reprise his other Half-Life role: Barney Calhoun, the former Black Mesa security guard who still owes Gordon a beer.
Alyx's New Companion
Kudos to everyone with an ear for New Zealand accents. I couldn't place who plays Alyx's new resistance pal while watching the trailer, but dozens of people took to Twitter to guess that it's Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords, What We Do In the Shadows). Valve hasn't confirmed a name or casting for this character, but Darby himself retweeted Valve's official announcement of the title from Monday.
Half-Life: Alyx is headed to VR platforms such as Valve Index, Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, and Oculus Quest in March 2020.