The voice of Mass Effect's sexy bird man Garrus will be the voice of Avowed's sexy fish man Kai

Image of Kai taken from Avowed gameplay trailer
(Image credit: Obsidian Entertainment`)

Brandon Keener, the man behind the voice of Commander Shepard's number-one guy Garrus Vakarian in the Mass Effect series, will portray companion (and potential number-one guy) Kai in Obsidian's upcoming RPG Avowed—and his name isn't the only one you're likely to recognize.

Keener's role in Avowed first came to light last week thanks to @PoweredbyidTech on Twitter, which naturally provoked some excitement: Garrus is everyone's favorite stoic sexy bird man, after all. Obsidian essentially confirmed the casting (or at least hinted at it pretty unmistakably) a few days later:

(Image credit: PoweredbyidTech/Obsidian Entertainment (Twitter))

Now it's really official: Obsidian confirmed with PC Gamer that Keener will in fact portray Kai in Avowed, and also shared the rest of the talent behind the game's main cast of companions. Here's who you'll be meeting on your travels through the Living Lands:

  • Brandon Keener, who we've already talked about, will give life to Kai, a coastal aumaua soldier
  • Mara Junot, best known as the voice of Ikora Rey in Destiny 2, will portray Giatta, one of the ocean folk from the Vailian settlement of Fior mes Ivèrno
  • Anjali Bhimani, who portrayed Medusa in Stray Gods and Commander Natara in Starfield, is Yatzli, a hearth orlan wizard
  • Scott Whyte, whose many roles include Rathma in Diablo 4, will give voice to the boreal dwarf Marius

Kai narrated the Avowed gameplay trailer that dropped in 2023 and when word of Keener's appearance in the game first came to light, I gave it a close listen to see if I could pick out his voice. I had an unexpectedly immediate and visceral reaction when I heard him in a guest role on some US police procedural many years ago ("That's Garrus!" I shouted, literally reenacting the Pointing Rick Dalton meme, while my partner gave me The Look) and I figured I'd be able to pick him out quite easily in the Avowed video.

I did not—because, as it turns out, that wasn't Keener: Obsidian said the voice was "scratch VO," and confirmed that "Brandon is For Reals Kai."

Keener's voice as Kai can be heard in the much newer Avowed deep dive that aired after the recent Xbox Games Showcase, and yeah, there's no missing it:

Xbox Games Showcase Deep Dive | Avowed - YouTube Xbox Games Showcase Deep Dive | Avowed - YouTube
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(Some of you may now be wondering, "How do I get Kai to climb me?" but I'm afraid that's not going to be on the table.)

For the record, I haven't played Avowed yet, or even watched all the pre-release stuff, but I'm going to say that yes, this is the correct casting. I mean, come on: 

(Image credit: Obsidian Entertainment/BioWare)

One final note: The unofficial Pillars of Eternity wiki describes aumaua as "semiaquatic humanoids," so Kai isn't really a fish man in the strictest sense, but neither is Garrus really a bird. Sometimes you just have to roll with these things.

Avowed is set to come out later in 2024.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.