We finally got our first proper look at Starfield, Bethesda’s ambitious open-world RPG set in the vast reaches of space. It does still carry a lot of the studio’s RPG DNA, including first-person conversations with other characters. And now Bethesda has confirmed that, unlike its last single-player RPG, the protagonist in Starfield will once again be silent.
Bethesda confirmed that you’ll be a silent protagonist on its official Twitter account. This is notable because Fallout 4, the last single-player RPG from Bethesda, broke new ground by having you play as a voiced character. Fallout 76 went back to the silent trend, though that was a large multiplayer RPG.
Similar to other Bethesda RPGs like Elder Scrolls or Fallout, your protagonist in Starfield is a customizable character. The presentation at the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase even made a point to show how flexible the character creator is. And like in other Bethesda RPGs, you’ll have loads of dialogue options informed by your characteristics and other choices. But you won’t hear your created character speaking their dialogue aloud this time.
— Bethesda Game Studios (@BethesdaStudios) June 13, 2022
Fan reaction seems split. Some have expressed disappointment in the silent protagonist trope, saying it breaks immersion. Others say they prefer silence, as opposed to hearing a performance of a line you just read.
Starfield has you explore the galaxy in a ship that you can create and outfit to your liking. The trailer showed that ship breaking atmosphere to enter space and even doing combat with other ships. Bethesda Game Studios head Todd Howard noted during the presentation that there are more than 1,000 planets to explore.