Starfield Will Return to Silent Protagonists and First-Person Dialogue

Starfield Will Return to Silent Protagonists and First-Person Dialogue

Matt Lorrigan

Bethesda has confirmed that Starfield will have a silent protagonist and first-person conversations.

Titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 3 both used this system, with players picking text from a list of dialogue options, and conversations with NPCs beginning with a crash zoom on their face. However, this changed in Fallout 4, which not only gave the player character a voice, but cut between the player character and the NPC in third person, depending on who was talking.

Starfield is rolling things back, it seems, with voiced dialogue relegated to NPCs only, and conversations taking place in first person. We got a glimpse of this in the recent Starfield Gameplay Reveal, but Bethesda has  now confirmed it on Twitter.

Starfield is due to release on Xbox Series X|S and PC in the first half of 2023.

  • Good.

    Fallout 4 was widely derided for having a voiced protagonist, limiting dialogue options as a result and inhibiting the role playing side of the game.

    The RPG elements shown are really promising.
  • I’m in the opposite camp, why put all these resources into such a vast game yet leave out the ability to have a voice?

    Why is it so hard to have the ability to just change the tones of your players voice to make it the way you want?

    I never liked being mute in games cause it just takes away the full experience imo, but I also know others like being mute in games like these because they “feel” like it’s more them

    To each their own I guess, either way this game is going to be really good being a mute or not.
  • i enjoyed the voices in F4, especially when the character would 'think out loud'. they often mirrored my thoughts exactly.
  • I thought the voice acting in Fallout 4 was great - it was just crippled by the asinine decisions to make each conversation happen in third person so people walked away from every sentence.

    Or, and not saying the dialogue you actually picked. You know, the most popular mod for Fallout 4 that fixed that.
  • I think from a roleplaying perspective it's just more difficult - and infeasible - to represent and record all the options possible

    A silent protagonist allows a greater variety of responses.

    In general good voice acting enhances a less role playing game. The Witcher, as an example, was elevated by the performance but you were playing as a largely predetermined character with an existing personality.

    For games like SkyrimI wanna be able to make wild characters that behave and sound however I want them to, but it's definitely s personal preference thing.
  • I agree with many of these posts. The problem with Fallout 4 wasn't the main character's voice-acting, it was limiting your speech options to the 4 face buttons and the lack of information on what your character was actually going to say when you pressed one.

    I don't know why developers just don't give us options for these things. Options are great. Give us an option for a fully-voiced character. Give us the option to turn it off. Give us an option for a simplified dialog interface. Give us an option for an in-depth one. Everyone wins.

    At the very least, Starfield looks to fix one of my main issue from Fallout 4 - the building mechanics. Having to build things in first-person view was a pain. Giving us a bird's eye-view while building will go a long way to making it easier to use. Hopefully they address the Fallout 4-style terrible side quests while they're at it.

    I'm cautiously optimistic for this game and like what I've seen so far.
  • In my opinion that's a step back and destroys a good amount of immersion. The voice acting in FO4 was great, at least the German one. A silent protagonist simply is outdated now.
  • 2022 and no voice for the lead, lol..
  • @Dirty130 - I don't get that kind of thinking.

    It's not exactly a reflection of modernity to have a voiced protagonist, surely? Some of the reasons for and against having one have been discussed above.

    Fallout 4 as an example had high quality voiceover work, but was lagely criticised for the corresponding reduction in dialogue options. There's an inherent limit to the number of voiceover lines you can possibly record. Having it strictly text leaves the devs far greater flexibility in the options they choose as well as allowing a greater degree of role playing.

    It's hard to both have a predetermined voice and a particularly high degree of variety in appearance and personality.
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