One of the surprising announcements from Bethesda Software's E3 reveal of Fallout 4 is that the main character will have a voice for the first time in the series. There's been some concern among the community that this will mean limited options for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC role-playing game. Game Director Todd Howard addressed that concern in an interview released Wednesday, and brought up an interesting point when it comes to playing as a male or a female.
Speaking with the Telegraph, Howard addressed the fact that this is the first Fallout title to have a fully voiced character. It's the first Bethesda Game Studios title to do so, as well. The logistics and technology required to properly voice the myriad of options and situations that players will run into have limited The Elder Scrolls games and Fallout 3 to voicing only non-player characters.
Fallout 4 presents an extra challenge, since players will have the option of creating a male or female character at the beginning of the game. Bethesda brought in voice actors Brian T. Delaney and Courtenay Taylor to fill both gender roles, and it's produced some interesting results.
"We were lucky to find two great voice actors," Howard said. "And it's interesting because she may read things or act things differently than he does. So scenes play out differently depending on whether you are playing the game as male or female."
That's in addition to there being differences in the game just from being a male or female. Howard confirmed that there are times where your gender will "be important."
In Fallout 3, the main difference was in the use of the "Lady Killer" perk for men, or "Black Widow" perk for women, that would afford combat bonuses against the opposite gender. It sounds like Fallout 4 may be going for something a little more this time around.
Taking an already large game and giving voice to two different main character options in addition to all of the NPCs creates a lot of work for Bethesda and the voice actors. This isn't going to limit the dialogue options, according to Howard though.
"A lot of games have voiced characters, but what they don't want to give up is all the dialogue options. So for us a lot of it was logistical. The voice actors have been recording for 2 years, they've each done over 13,000 lines of dialogue. So to be able to do that makes the difference; you still have choice."
By comparison, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim featured over 60,000 recorded lines for from seventy different NPC voice actors. Meanwhile, Mass Effect 3 had male and female main characters with voices and featured over 40,000 lines of dialogue between them and all the NPC characters in the game.
Fallout 4 is set for a November 10 release. Pre-orders for the Pip-Boy Edition are currently sold out.
[Images via Fallout 4]