Bethesda unveiled the first gameplay footage for its upcoming space RPG, Starfield, at the recent Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase. While it looks like a return to form for the studio, it goes one step further. According to the developer, Starfield will feature first-person dialogue and will not have a voiced protagonist.
When Fallout 4 launched in 2015, it received critical acclaim but one aspect that was criticised was the decision to give the main character a voice. Fans felt that this took away some of the role-playing elements associated with having a silent protagonist so that dialogue and responses can be conveyed in players’ tone and not dictated by the voice actor.
However, that will seemingly change with Starfield, as Bethesda Game Studios confirmed that its next game will not have a voice. Additionally, all dialogue will be in first-person – another issue that was addressed in Fallout 4, which featured dialogue that played out like a cutscene that bounced between the main character and NPCs.
Having no voiced protagonist is a great thing for role-playing immersion, as it allows players to project and convey their own tones in dialogue responses as opposed to all the work being done by a a voice actor who doesn’t always have the desired tone and appropriate attitude.
Obsidian Entertainment achieved something similar in its own space RPG, The Outer Worlds, which also featured first-person dialogue and no voiced main character. Bethesda might be taking a few pages out of Obsidian’s book – an ironic turn of events considering the rocky history between these studios.
Starfield was previously expected to launch on 11 November 2022, but Bethesda and Xbox chose to delay the anticipated game to early 2023 in order to give the team more time in development. The game will launch on Xbox Series X/S and PC next year and will also arrive at launch on Xbox Game Pass.