Oculus exclusive Phantom: Covert Ops is on track for its June 25th release date on Rift and Quest, and today developer nDreams has announced that David Hayter, the English voice of Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid franchise will voice the game’s lead villain, Nikolai Zhurov.
If it wasn’t clear enough from the name of the game, Phantom: Covert Ops is a stealth action game. And who more fitting to play the game’s lead antagonist than the voice of stealth gaming icon Solid Snake; David Hayter has voiced Snake in more than a dozen Metal Gear games dating back to the original Metal Gear Solid (1998).
In Phantom: Covert Ops Hayter plays the role of Nikolai Zhurov, an ex-Soviet General who wants to change the outcome of the Cold War.
Phantom: Covert Ops uniquely puts the player in a tactical kayak—no, we’re not joking, and in our preview of the game we found it’s actually a quite compelling bit of VR game design. nDreams says that the game’s story and missions will unfold over the course of a single night, as the player tries to stop Zhurov from executing a dastardly plan.
As for Hayter, who voices Zhurov, this actually won’t be the first time he’s acted for a VR game; he voiced the character Dr. Kloog in Oculus’ first-party developed Farlands which was an original Rift launch title back in 2016. And if you want to get technical, he actually voiced a “VR” game back in 1999… Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions (no, this wasn’t actually a VR game, it just dealt with VR subject matter).
But Phantom is certainly the biggest VR production that Hayter has yet been part of. Speaking to Road to VR, he said that he’s a longtime gamer himself and had actually played some VR before taking on the role, including going to The VOID’s Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, an out-of-home VR attraction.
For Phantom, Hayter said nDreams sent him an Oculus Quest to try the game for himself. He found the kayak-based stealth action to be “a unique application of VR that I’ve never seen before,” and said the stealth vibe reminded him of Metal Gear.
Phantom: Covert Ops was originally set to release back in 2019, but was delayed into 2020. While the Coronavirus situation has delayed some games, luckily nDreams says that Phantom: Covert Ops is on track for its June 25th release date on Oculus Quest and Rift.
Update (April 30th, 2020 – 11:18AM PT): An earlier version of this article used the word “protagonist” rather than “antagonist,” making it sound as if the character in question was the main character rather than their opposite. This has been fixed to make it clear that Nikolai Zhurov (voiced by David Hayter) is the game’s villain, not the protagonist.