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Old 01-23-2009   #1
oppar
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Niko Bellic will not be saying anything new

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Niko Bellic, anti-hero of “Grand Theft Auto IV,” appears in the game’s February expansion, “The Lost and Damned.” But when I asked Rockstar Games if Niko’s voice actor was brought back to contribute new lines, I got a sharp reply.

***

“Hell no!”

That was Rockstar Games‘ vice president of product development, Jeronimo Barrera, answering my question on Wednesday at his company’s headquarters. I wanted to know if Niko Bellic was getting any new lines from his “GTA IV” voice actor for the game’s Xbox-360 “Lost and Damned” expansion.

It’s not surprising that Niko has no new material. He may have been the main man in “GTA IV,” but he’s a bit player in this episode of an expansion.

Niko shows up in the background, whispered about by another character as a “Slavic motherf—-r.” He pops up in “Lost and Damned” in a recreation of an early “GTA IV” mission that had served as the introduction of Niko to major supporting character Playboy X. This time, the player is controlling “Lost and Damned” protagonist Johnny Klebitz. Niko’s essentially muscle along for a drug deal that, if you played “GTA IV,” you know is going to go sour.

Niko’s lines in that “Lost and Damned” mission and the unspecified number of others “GTA IV” missions that are played from a different perspective in this episode are repurposed from the original game.

That, of course, is not the reason Barrera’s answer was “Hell no” rather than “no.” The reason for that kind of response is because Niko’s voice actor, Michael Hollick, complained to The New York Times last year that his union failed to take the proper steps to get him more than $100,000 dollars for his work on a game that generated more than a half billion dollars in sales in its first two weeks and has sold a few million more copies since then. The impression Rockstar leaves is that they’re not eager for Hollick to return.

Whether gamers take Hollick’s complaint as a cause or a coincidence for Niko’s limited role in “The Lost and Damned,” the fact remains that Bellic is nowhere near the center of attention of the new episode. The main character of a “GTA” game is, of course, its city and whether Niko or Johnny takes the lead playable role, they are just another vehicle for learning the life of the metropolis they inhabit.

Niko Bellic? He’s a bit player. Rockstar’s working with a grand ensemble.
Source: MTV Multiplayer
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Old 01-23-2009   #2
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Makes perfect sense, Johnny will only see Niko at the moments when Niko saw Johnny in the original story, so of course the original dialogue will be the only dialogue you'll hear from Niko
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Old 01-23-2009   #3
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Should add a New to the title, other wise it makes Niko look like a mime.
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Old 01-23-2009   #4
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Should add a New to the title, other wise it makes Niko look like a mime.
Or a Claude.
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Old 01-23-2009   #5
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Exactly, uhh, can we able to see Niko Bellic in other missions?
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Old 01-23-2009   #6
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Probably not, considering the original story-line, we only saw Johnny like 3-4 times?
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Old 01-23-2009   #7
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Wow when I read the title I thought Hollick had died and I was like "Man that sucks".

Well I didn't expect Niko to have anything else new to say because Johnny only meets him a few times and what he heard is what he heard.
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Old 01-23-2009   #8
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yea they probably just remade the cutscenes from the missions where niko and johnny's stories pass and used the same dialogue and just made the cutscene more from johnny's point of view
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Old 01-24-2009   #9
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To be honest. although he was well played by Hollic I was never a big Niko fan so I'm glad in a way that he will not have any new lines.
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Old 01-24-2009   #10
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Originally Posted by tylerwisniewski View Post
Probably not, considering the original story-line, we only saw Johnny like 3-4 times?
We only see Johnny twice in GTA IV. Both meets were very brief so we'll most probably be hearing very little out of Niko's mouth in TLAD.
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Old 01-24-2009   #11
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I'd love it though if there were a few more cutscenes with crossovers, like we see Niko leave a building just before Johnny enters it, and the two completely miss each other, or stuff like Johnny talking to a character who phones Niko in the middle of your conversation.
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Old 01-24-2009   #12
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I wonder how the gameplay for The Museum Piece will go while playing as Johnny...
Mission prompts: "Escape the museum. Rip Niko off."
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