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Starfield's Protagonist Sparks Player Debate

Since its gameplay reveal at the 2022 Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase, early looks at "Starfield" have garnered tons of buzz for its seemingly impressive take on the space exploration genre. The details shown in the trailer wowed audiences around the world, showing off not just the title's vast scope, but also highly sought-after features such as spaceship customization, outpost building, combat, and detailed planets for gamers to peruse. One thing, however, has divided prospective buyers: the player-controlled character.

In "Starfield", Bethesda Softworks has promised an in-depth character creation suite that will enable users to create a virtual avatar that accurately reflects them. These customization options are extensive, encompassing everything from hair and gait to their background and traits. Where some people seem to have an issue, however, is that the PC won't be very talkative during their time spent traversing the galaxy and exploring the unknown. As a matter of fact, the protagonist will be completely silent throughout the entire run time of "Starfield."

Bethesda confirms Starfield protagonist will not have a voice

While many pundits have compared the gameplay in "Starfield" to space exploration entries such as "No Man's Sky," others have been quick to point out similarities to past Bethesda titles when it comes to mechanics like combat and dialogue. While the latter isn't shown in the gameplay trailer from the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase, certain shots do seem to mimic close-ups during dialogue sections. To further expand on this component, Bethesda recently took to Twitter, explaining that all dialogue choices will be in first-person and that your player character is a silent protagonist.

Though silent protagonists in video games are nothing new (even for Bethesda), many view this revelation as disappointing. In response, @LordEddy05 tweeted that the decision to not give the main character a voice will hurt players' connections with them. @SuperTuberEddie was also critical, alleging that it was simply a case of Bethesda not being able to implement the feature effectively as opposed to an artistic choice.

Others defended the decision. Popular YouTuber The Act Man applauded Bethesda for the move, saying, "Thank you so much! This is why 'KOTOR,' 'Skyrim,' 'Oblivion' and 'Dragon Age: Origins' are so immersive to me." On Reddit, the strategy was met with mostly positive responses, with user r/Spaced-Cowboy stating that a silent protagonist only adds to their expectations of a good final product.