Are you looking forward to Starfield? If so you’re not alone, and going by Starfield’s Steam pre-sales, Todd Howard and Bethesda will soon be diving into a big vault of money. But this long-awaited action RPG game almost had one of Fallout 4’s most unpopular features, one that would undoubtedly have tarnished your explorer’s journey ahead of the Starfield release date.
I don’t mean Fallout 4’s stolen baby, the mewling bundle of polygons the game insisted mattered to you. Instead, I’m talking about Bethesda’s questionable decision to give your post-apocalyptic protagonist a voice.
That might not sound like the end of the world, but I found it created an extra disconnect between myself and my character. It wasn’t that actors Courtney Taylor and Brian T. Delaney did a bad job, they just didn’t match the voice I had in my head. And, going by the general response to the feature, many Fallout fans felt the same.
Starfield’s protagonist has plenty to say but there’s no voice-acting involved. If you want to imagine your character as a cheesy Dan Dare character, go right ahead. Or maybe you’re the southern belle of the spaceways, it’s entirely up to you.
However, according to this Polygon interview with Starfield lead designer Emil Pagliarulo, that wasn’t always the plan. During post-production, Bethesda decided that your protagonist would be fully voiced and got an actor in to record.
However, Emil and the team decided that the actor was “too specific”, which was precisely the problem with Fallout 4. They then considered having multiple voices, to give players more choice.
Ultimately they decided to stick with text, which Pagliarulo describes as “just really freeing”. And with 200,000 lines of dialogue, they saved themselves a significant amount of money and recording time.
It was absolutely the right decision for Bethesda to make. Though if Starfield does ask me to babysit it’s going right out of the airlock, along with the Adoring Fan.
If you’re getting ready to lift off with Starfield, here’s a list of all the current Starfield planets, alongside how to get Starfield early access if you can’t wait until its global September 6 launch. We’ve also compiled all the known Starfield companions and written up a guide on which Starfield traits and Starfield background to pick.
Still looking for more? While a good Starfield wiki can be a handy source of information, our new Starfield Database goes further, offering you daily news, searchable databanks, and even interactive tools.