Fallout 4: Bethesda Explains Why The Main Character Will Be Voiced, Talks About PS4/Xbox One Memory

Also talks about the impact of Skyrim on the game’s development.

Posted By | On 15th, Jun. 2015 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

Fallout 4

Todd Howard, Game Director of Bethesda Game Studios has explained how current gen consoles have allowed them to implement dynamic things in Fallout 4. “Well clearly you have the next gen consoles. The PC can do a lot more now. For the kind of things we do, it’s the memory actually. Consoles having a lot more memory allows us to do big dynamic things and that’s important to us,” Todd stated in an interview after the Bethesda press conference concluded.

He also explained how Skyrim has impacted the development process of Fallout 4. “One of the things we do, particularly given the success of Skyrim, is you get a lot more data on how people experience an open game, so we don’t want to give that up. We will sacrifice certain things to make it completely open and whereas in other games you can be on a quest or something, on our game we can be on every quest at once. I don’t want to spoil anything but one of the things we have spent time on is how does someone experience an open world while doing all these things and how do we tell a really strong story along with that.”

Todd also explained why Fallout 4 will feature a voiced protagonist. “If you take a look at how stories are being told and a lot of them have a voiced character so if you weren’t looking at our games before, you would expect the character to be voiced. Our main anxiety with doing a voiced character is finding the right voices. We have two great voice actors doing the male and female [characters] and they have been fabulous and also how much time they had since we did not wanted to hold back any of our writing. They have been been recording stuff for the last two years. They have each recorded over 13,000 lines of dialogue. It has come out great and it allows us to do storytelling and emotional moments that we could not quite hit before.”

Fallout 4 launches on November 10th for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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  • Dirkster_Dude

    I prefer a voiced character especially if the game will be third person. It is always odd to me when you look at the main protagonist in the game and he/she/it never talks. If it is first person you can always imagine it in your own voice, but watching someone on the screen that isn’t you that is silent is even more jarring when the don’t talk and everyone else does. So far the graphics and everything I have heard so far is a step in the right direction to me for Fallout 4.

    • Sacha Salvatore Morgese

      I’ve never understood people saying that non speaking characters help them feel part of the story. It’s always been the other way around for me!

    • Alexander Lewis-White

      For me, its because i am not American, so hearing my character speak with an American accent kind of breaks the immersion slightly. In a Fallout game this obviously doesn’t matter, but in a game like Mass Effect, Sheperd really should match your own nationality.
      Ultimately, its not a huge deal for me, as long as i can still choose what my character looks like and give him my name.

    • Guinnessmonkey

      It’s Fallout. You’re a vault dweller from the suburban United States. Of course you have an American accent.

    • Alexander Lewis-White

      Yes of course you do, and as i said, in a Fallout game it matters less. But in general, i find voiced characters to break the immersion somewhat.

    • Guinnessmonkey

      It just makes for a different form of storytelling (one I personally find is MORE suitable for Fallout than the blank slate guy who can’t talk). Instead of a story about you, it’s a story about the vault dweller; someone who doesn’t sound like you at all. You just get to make choices that determine how the story unfolds.

      Perhaps that does hurt “immersion”, but it does so by improving the actual telling of the story…

    • Alexander Lewis-White

      I guess then, it depends on what you want. I WANT the story to be about me, not the vault dweller. Me, put in this situation. That’s why i prefer silent protagonists, and i suspect that’s what the other people who don’t like the voiced approach feel as well.
      Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong to this. Those of us who prefer roleplaying are just going to have to turn the voice off if we can. I actually think some people are overreacting by saying it will ruin the game, but i think its important to make one’s view clear if they don’t like something, so the devs have an idea of the zeitgeist.

    • Guinnessmonkey

      Sure, though Fallout has pretty much always been specifically NOT about you. You’re either someone who grew up in a vault, one of their descendants (born centuries from now), etc. Here your character is someone who was born before the war, but that still puts them far in the future.

      When I play Morrowind I’m a Dark Elf (etc.) from Tamriel, not me somehow transported to Tamriel.

    • Gabriel Guedes

      I’m also an Elf in D&D, imagine how sad would it be If my Dungeon Master spoke for my character. The good thing about RPGs is that you can define who you are by your actions, when you leave a Vault, you’re nothing, but you become a character after you start making your decisions about how to play the game.

    • Jessica Heller

      where are you from? they don’t have any version in your home country???

    • Gabriel Guedes

      I disagree, the reason why you’re called the Vault Dweller is because they want you to decide your own name, that’s the first thing you do in the game. It’s suposed to be your character, that’s why they give you the freedom to be a good guy, a bad guy or simply an oportunist, and why they let you decide what to wear and how to fight (if you want to fight).

    • Gabriel Guedes

      Probably because you are not a RPG player. For me, the only voice my character should have is my own, that’s why somebody else delivering the lines completely destroys my immersion.

    • Sacha Salvatore Morgese

      If you’re talking about D&D played with your friends, sure, if you’re talking about a video game where I can’t interact with other human beings, it just kills the tension for me. I don’t feel like I am the character, I control the characters but the story is about them, not me, exactly like in a movie or a book.

    • Gabriel Guedes

      Sure, it’s your way to play, but It’s not how a RPG (Videogame or Table) is supposed to be played.

    • Sacha Salvatore Morgese

      I don’t know, man, I believe there are two different types of RPG idea and I don’t believe any of them is the right way. Talking about J-RPG, I always loved Final Fantasy more than Dragon Quest because of the characters and the story. Fallout and Skyrim are huge games, but I can’t really get involved when it comes to the story.

    • Gabriel Guedes

      Yeah, because in games like Skyrim and Fallout, the story is not very important, the great thing about those games is that you can shape what happens through your choices, and explore the world by yourself (no closed areas), without being told where to go by the developers (You don’t even have to do the Main Quest), just like a Tabletop RPG. That’s why I can’t call Final Fantasy a RPG, it’s more like an adventure game, you don’t get to play a role, you simply do what you’re told.

    • Jessica Heller

      The story was important in mass effect and that is most definitely a role playing game, despite disappointing ending. I prefer my RPG’s have voiced character. it breaks immersion for me. using my own voice does nothing for making me immersed in the game.

  • GrayTimber

    Welp, goodbye roleplaying.

    • Guinnessmonkey


  • SmarterThanAll

    I’ll take Fallout 4 with or without the voices. I’ve waited too long for this moment!

  • A Ray

    Don’t get me wrong: I love The Witcher. I loved Mass Effect. But those games are what they are and Fallout is what it is. I’ve always viewed a voiceless character with a more open-ended backstory and more extensive dialogue to fit well within the Fallout series(and The Elder Scrolls). Now, I think a voiced protagonist with cinematic dialogue worked very well for stories like Mass Effect, which are more focused and confined games. I just don’t see why we can’t have both kinds of RPGs. It seems like Bethesda saw the success of other titles and thought it needed to imitate them to compete(though I can’t imagine them being so short-sighted). I fear this means that voices and dialogue trees will be standard in RPGs from now on, with no one daring to break the mold.

    On a side note: I’ll really miss stuff like low Intelligence dialogue and really long comedic lines from NV.

    • Guinnessmonkey

      Why does everyone assume that voiced dialogue means that you won’t have special dialogue for low intelligence? It’s entirely possible that they do. Regardless, I’d rather have the voices than the gag dialogue.

  • CD

    >”really strong story”

    These things have not historically gone hand in hand.

    Also, their explanation for the voiced protagonist basically boils down to “Everyone else was doing it”.

    Gameplay looks great but I’m not optimistic about the roleplaying aspect. Which, you know, is kind of the point in a Role Playing Game.

  • george

    Voiced main characters are used because people are lazy and can’t read.

    • Guinnessmonkey

      Right? Just like how the talkies ruined movies. *eyeroll*

  • MajorMilkshake

    Still wondering who voiced the new main character. It doesn’t sound like Troy Baker, especially not in the gameplay trailer. It sounds more or less like Sam Witwer from the force unleashed and Being Human.

    • Jake

      I’d be ok with that.

  • jimbo3298

    What I’ve liked about Bethesda RPGs is the emphasis on RP, having a voiced player character hurts that.

  • Matthew Robert Fowlkes

    I personally feel more immersed when i imagine myself responding to the person i’m talking to. But that’s just me. It’s also why I ALWAYS try my hardest to play as a male character, no matter what.

  • mw2ghost

    i just want to say if you dont like him or her talking get rid of voice data im sure some one will make a mod so him or her month dont move

  • Ross Wichman

    Has everyone forgotten the old adage that less is more? That one of the true signs of inspired storytelling is leaving a little to the imagination. It seems in the eyes of the modern video game developer, the modern video game player is a simpleton, unimaginative and dull, in need of constant hand-holding and the spelling-out of things.

  • Ross Wichman

    Has everyone forgotten the old adage that less is more? That one of the true signs of inspired storytelling is leaving a little to the imagination. It seems in the eyes of the modern video game developer, the modern video game player is a simpleton, unimaginative and dull, in need of constant hand-holding and the spelling-out of things.

  • george

    Why even change the characters face anymore. Just play as the character Bethesda wants you to play. Pretty soon we wont have any voice options.

  • Rob Jones

    How hard is it to understand that it doesn’t matter how good the voice acting is if you want to use your imagination to roleplay a character who has a completely different voice or vocabulary – for instance, oh I don’t know… YOURSELF?

    I understand that Bethesda needs to increase profits by appealing to a wider audience of gamers, but is stripping out more and more RPG elements with each successive game and essentially giving the finger to their most loyal fanbase who have bought all their games since Morrowind really the best way to do it?
    Bethesda are not Bioware. People play their RPGs for different reasons and this obsession with streamlining and cutting out the details that set their own games apart is just baffling, especially when the annoying flaws that people actually DO want removed or changed are consistently spared from this ruthless content-stripping.

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