Starfield lead designer Emil Pagliarulo has revealed that developer Bethesda almost decided to give its protagonist a voice. Pagliarulo spoke about the game featuring a silent protagonist in an interview with Polygon leading up to the release of the sci-fi RPG.
According to Pagliarulo, the studio wanted to give players the most expression possible, going as far as bringing in different voice actors to find the perfect voices for the protagonist of Starfield.
“We hired an actor, we got the voice, we listened to him and we were like, ‘You know what, this guy is too specific,’” Pagliarulo said. “We realized that the only way to really do it and let the player be the person they want to be was to have an unvoiced protagonist.”
Pagliarulo goes on to speak about how AAA games have typically featured voiced protagonist, with silent protagonist often being relegated to niche or indie titles.
“There was a time in the industry where every protagonist was voiced. It was a AAA thing. We started realizing, ‘You know what, maybe that’s not the case, maybe fans will actually enjoy the game even more…’ I mean, we played with different things. There’s a big argument, if in Fallout 4 and other RPGs, players don’t like reading a line of dialogue, a player response, and then they click it and get [a different spoken line],” Pagliarulo said.
“But the problem is, then you read it, and then you click it, and you have to wait for them to say the same thing. So that’s not ideal either. So then we just arrived at, ‘What if we just go text?’ and it was just really freeing. And, I mean, we have over 200,000 lines of spoken dialogue in Starfield with no voiced protagonists. And it was not having a voiced protagonist that allowed us to create such a big world.”
It is worth noting that some of the most popular games developed and released by Bethesda—Fallout 3, and basically the entirety of The Elder Scrolls franchise—have featured silent protagonists. Fallout 4 was the odd one out, featuring voice acting for the protagonist.
Director Todd Howard recently revealed that the sci-fi RPG was in the works at Bethesda for eight years. The game is slated for release on September 6, and will be coming to PC and Xbox Series X/S. You can download the latest Starfield Trainers and cheats from WeMod.
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