Starfield Almost Had A Voiced Protagonist

The voice lines were scrapped as they took too much of the RPG elements from the game.

Story Highlights

  • In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Todd Howard confirmed that the team had initially recorded character voice lines for the Starfield protagonist, but the idea was scrapped.
  • He said having a preset voice and intonation took too much from role-playing whoever you wanted to be.
  • In the same interview, Howard also stated that Starfield would have a unique and exciting New Game+ with a twist to prompt more players to continue playing.
  • Starfield is slated to release on Xbox Series X|S and PC on September 6, 2023, and has a five-day early access starting September 1, 2023.

Speaking in a recent interview with GQ magazine, Todd Howard confirmed that the Starfield protagonist almost had a voice, but the team decided to scrap the idea as it took too much from the RPG elements. Howard also expanded on Starfield’s New Game+ mode, confirming that the game not only has it but is especially unique with an exciting twist to incentivize continued and repeat play.

Todd Howard Interview
Todd Howard Interview via GQ magazine.

It is common for role-playing games to have a silent protagonist, and that’s how most gamers prefer their character. Howard mentioned Fallout 4 as an example of their RPG game with a voiced character, and if we know one thing, it is that Fallout 4 was criticized for doing that. The voice actors did a great job, but the limited dialogue options made it unpleasant.

The team did, initially, record player character dialogue, like in Fallout 4, but eventually stripped it out – having a preset voice and intonation took too much from role-playing whoever you want to be,” says Todd Howard.

For those unaware, Fallout 4 was the first game in the series to have a voiced protagonist. Unlike a linear game, role-playing games can have hundreds of different dialogue options, and depending on what you want your character to be, the protagonist should have a different conversational tone. Although not impossible, it is incredibly difficult to capture that perfectly.

Fallout 4 Protagonist
Fallout 4 Protagonist.

Sometimes, the voiced protagonist works well, like Geralt in The Witcher, but it is often a risky move and could ruin the game’s role-playing elements. Bethesda Game Studios recorded the dialogue but could have scrapped it to avoid the same fate as Fallout 4. Not to mention, a silent protagonist can add a sense of mystery and let your imagination take hold. Aside from the voice-over, Howard confirmed another feature.

 It gives you the flexibility and options to carve out a unique identity, and even adds a unique and exciting twist on New Game+ to incentivize continued and repeat play,” says Todd Howard.

So, not only does the game have a New Game+ mode, but it could be more unique than the traditional route. Normally, games allow you to experience the content again, but with increasing difficulty and better rewards. Starfield seems to be taking things a bit differently. While we don’t know what this “unique and exciting twist” is, Howard believes it will incentivize continued and repeat play.


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Will the consequences of our actions carry over to NG+, or will it unlock additional content each time? Dead Cells took a similar approach, where in order to unveil the secrets of the malaise-infected world, players had to complete the game at least five times, with each time being more difficult and rewarding.

Starfield is slated to release on Xbox Series X|S and PC on September 6, 2023, and has a five-day early access starting from September 1, 2023. It was initially scheduled to be released on November 11, 2022, but was delayed to improve the state of the game.

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Source
GQ magazine

Ahmed Mansoor is a News Writer who has a deep passion for single-player adventure games. He loves to keep tabs on the gaming and technology industries and loves to break stories that interest his audience. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and several years of experience writing for games. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Journalism || Written 600+ News Stories.

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