In favor of a silent protagonist...

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The_Ruiner

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So the end of the new Fallout Trailer seems to imply that the main character will be voiced in this installment. I know that probably excites some people. "Silent protagonist" has become sort of a dirty word recently. But in games like Fallout and Elder Scrolls I completely prefer my character's voice to be left to my imagination. Because of the range of ethnicities and ages possibles (especially with mods), and considering just how many alts I know I'll make, it's inevitable you'll run into a look that simply does not match the default voice. I certainly ran into that in Mass Effect and Dragon Age inquisition.

The only thing that actually has me excited is the voice tracks modders will add to the game in the long run. That could actually be kinda cool...

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Phili151

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Silent protagonist is 2 words mate.

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RonGalaxy

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I honestly don't know what you mean with the different ethnicity thing. If you grew up in a place where they speak English, you'll probably speak English pretty well. Could you explain that point a little more to me?

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joetom

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#5  Edited By joetom

Silent protagonists shouldn't still exist. It's super distracting when everyone is fully voiced except you. I don't want my character to be a blank slate, I want my character to be a character. In fact, I'm kind of sick of games where your character is supposed to "anyone you want them to be" because they just end up being non characters. I'll prefer playing as Geralt over The Inquisitor or The Courier almost every time.

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Kenori

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I sort of agree with Patrick on this one: I feel like by having someone who was "silent" in the respect of YOU not being able to hear him made for interesting ideas in how your character talked. My biggest worry is Bethesda's notorious lack of voice actors. Are you going to end up talking to yourself? God I hope not.

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mikemcn

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#7  Edited By mikemcn

You can't tell someone's ethnicity by their voice. If you think you can it's all confirmation bias and even if you were quizzed on it you'd get the same number of correct answers as if you had just guessed.

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deactivated-5e49e9175da37

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@rongalaxy said:

I honestly don't know what you mean with the different ethnicity thing. If you grew up in a place where they speak English, you'll probably speak English pretty well. Could you explain that point a little more to me?

This.

The Vault Dweller would sound exactly like everyone else in Vault 13 where they grew up.

The Chosen One would sound exactly like everyone else in Arroyo where they grew up.

The Lone Wanderer would sound exactly like everyone else in Vault 101 where they grew up.

MAYBE the Courier would be different since they have a mysterious past.

I don't want my character to be a blank slate, I want my character to be a character. In fact, I'm kind of sick of games where your character is supposed to "anyone you want them to be" because they just end up being non characters. I'll prefer playing as Geralt over The Inquisitor or The Courier almost every time.

I will put my vote on the opposite. I like to play role playing games to develop characters, not to perform existing ones.

My Inquisitor was a gay dwarf who had no time for stupid Andrastians. My gf's Inquisitor was a Dalish trying to make people happy and mooning over Solas. We both ended up saving the world, but there were far fewer motherfuckers alive at the end of my game.

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Mister_V

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@joetom said:

Silent protagonists shouldn't still exist. It's super distracting when everyone is fully voiced except you. I don't want my character to be a blank slate, I want my character to be a character. In fact, I'm kind of sick of games where your character is supposed to "anyone you want them to be" because they just end up being non characters. I'll prefer playing as Geralt over The Inquisitor or The Courier almost every time.

This. 100%

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ZolRoyce

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I wonder if people are taking that part at the end to literal? I thought it was just a little throw in thing to make the trailer complete, not a full on "The main will be voiced you guys!" announcement, maybe I'm wrong.
In any case I like my Fallout mains to be mutes, I read their dialogue choices in voices I make up in my head, like reading a book.
But it wouldn't throw me if they were voiced either, I enjoyed Mass Effect after all.
Maybe a choice to disable voice and just have the normal silence? Best of both worlds? Everybody is happy?

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conmulligan

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I'm strongly in favour of voice acting in third-person RPGs because it just looks weird when your character sits there like a mannequin as other spout reams of dialogue. I've never found it to be a problem in first-person games, though, because it's much easier to fill in the blanks from that perspective. I guess I'm not opposed to it, but if it results in narrower character customisation or a fixed gender then that would be really unfortunate.

@joetom said:

I'll prefer playing as Geralt over The Inquisitor or The Courier almost every time.

I dunno, my Inquisitor felt like much more of a well-rounded character that Geralt does.

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CaLe

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What do you mean you want their voice to be left to your imagination? Do you give the character you make a voice that you made up? Do you get into character and say things you think your character would say? Sounds preposterous to me. Anyone who does that is a complete loony bin and deserves to have a character that talks so that they can't perpetrate such wanton acts of lunacy.

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Monkeyman04

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Are you sure it was the Vault dweller that was the one to talk at the end? It could have been the dog. Think about it!

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civid

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I want a D4 style Bostonian accent as an option, if that's the case I'm all onboard for a fully voiced protagonist

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The_Ruiner

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@zolroyce said:

Maybe a choice to disable voice and just have the normal silence? Best of both worlds? Everybody is happy?

choices are always good.

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pkmnfrk

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"So, what's your name? ... The strong and silent type, huh? Well, that's fine. I'm the only person in this world who will ever comment on your lack of talking."

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The_Ruiner

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#17  Edited By The_Ruiner

@cale said:

What do you mean you want their voice to be left to your imagination? Do you give the character you make a voice that you made up? Do you get into character and say things you think your character would say? Sounds preposterous to me. Anyone who does that is a complete loony bin and deserves to have a character that talks so that they can't perpetrate such wanton acts of lunacy.

You don't hear the voices of character's when you read?

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CaLe

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@the_ruiner: I hear me, my own voice in my head, because I'm not clinically insane.

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The_Ruiner

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@rongalaxy said:

I honestly don't know what you mean with the different ethnicity thing. If you grew up in a place where they speak English, you'll probably speak English pretty well. Could you explain that point a little more to me?

This.

The Vault Dweller would sound exactly like everyone else in Vault 13 where they grew up.

Butch had a completely different accent. So did James, your Liam Neeson voiced father.

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whitegreyblack

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Personally, I'm hoping for a silent protagonist and a telepathic dog. I think it would be incredible to have your canine companion narrate your entire adventure.

No Caption Provided

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Cirdain

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@cale said:

@the_ruiner: I hear me, my own voice in my head, because I'm not clinically insane.

Oh in my head I have perfect accents from around the world which is fun. I can read the bible in Grunt's voice from Mass Effect. But when speaking aloud its just my received pronunciation accent cos' I watched too much BBC news when growing up. It's great accent for interviews and romantic poetry apparently.

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derganove

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@civid said:

I want a D4 style Bostonian accent as an option, if that's the case I'm all onboard for a fully voiced protagonist

Mark Wahlberg. Gimme Mark Wahlberg.

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MeesterO

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A silent protagonist to me seems like less work for them to put in for more exciting dialog options. Like if they do get Troy Baker to voice the main character, what are the chances they have him record a full set of low intelligence dialog. Then again 3 didn't have any of that.

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derganove

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Something I think should be clarified. Are silent protagonists someone that have no voice actor, or no dialog (Gordon Freeman)?

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awesomeusername

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I realized I was tired of silent protagonists while I was playing Dishonored. They should be abandoned forever.

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august

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I'm all for silent protagonists in certain situations, Fallout is one of them.

I have a feeling our role-playing choices are going to be narrowed down to Paragon Vault Dweller and Renegade Vault Dweller.

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Teddie

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This.

The Vault Dweller would sound exactly like everyone else in Vault 13 where they grew up.

The Chosen One would sound exactly like everyone else in Arroyo where they grew up.

The Lone Wanderer would sound exactly like everyone else in Vault 101 where they grew up.

MAYBE the Courier would be different since they have a mysterious past.

I don't really understand the ethnicity thing either, but it's totally possible to design a character where the voice doesn't fit the face. I mean, I made an old-man looking dude in New Vegas and that default Yuri Lowenthal voice was ridiculous even when it was just for occasional grunting noises. Also he had a buff 20-year-old man's body but that's another matter entirely.

It's not like Nolan North is going to voice everything and everyone just because they happened to grow up in the same vault. Although that would be an interesting take on it.

Gary!

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HarrySound

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@joetom: can you imagine of your hunter in Bloodborne spoke .

Some things are left un said.

Personally I don't give a flying fanny fuck what they do with Fallout as long as they make it good. I don't really like their games but they might be about to have their GTA V moment with this one.

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poobumbutt

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@joetom: Yeah, I agree. I've always thought it was a cop-out in modern games, because SO much voice work goes into these things, anyway. But I ain't no designer or publisher, so...

Still, saying something badass to a bunch of raiders trying to kill an old lady for water before blowing their arms off their bodies doesn't have the same effect when you just hit "X" and then the raider says "Well, fuck you!" and attacks. Just doesn't have the same weight as in The Witcher or the like.

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Teddie

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@poobumbutt: It also doesn't have the same weight when the camera zooms in on the person you're talking to as they stand statue-still in front of you flapping their lips with the occasional hand movement, but I don't expect giving the protagonist a voice will fix any of that. I can even see the raider's face awkwardly contorting into one of anger, not while you're telling him to suck it, but waiting patiently for you to finish your sentence before his canned animation can begin.

Sorry, I just really hate the way they handle character interactions in these games.

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Maddman60620

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I get what you're saying, a lot of times when it comes to playing an RPG with a voiced main character what breaks the immersion with that generic nolan north or Carth from KOTOR voice we all come to know and "love"... Most times I model/make a character to look like me in most games and most games voice options don't sound the way I look in game.. So I'm hoping they don't voice the main character or I'll just make a female character and hope they have the femshep voice actress...

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deactivated-5e49e9175da37

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Butch had a completely different accent. So did James, your Liam Neeson voiced father.

IIRC while you're in the Vault as a child, your dialogue options have that characteristic 50's vibe ("go soak your fat head") which would suggest that's how the Lone Wanderer sounds. Liam Neeson is this whole other can of worms on so many levels.

If we wanted to play it completely straight, in a post-apocalyptic world with very little travel or trade, especially international, the chances of hearing a diversity of accents in any one place is low. I guess they've shown new accents and dialects forming from the geographically diverse tribes and ethnic enclaves, like the Kings in New Vegas. People in the Pitt should still tell yinz to redd up the place n'at.

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Bam_Boozilled

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#34  Edited By Bam_Boozilled

Sounds like the same voice actor that played in Dying light. Nolan north or troy baker, can't remember. Either way I got sick of listening to his voice. If you run around fallout with a character with that voice it might break the game a little for me. I would prefer a non speaking character, if not that then let there be voice options.

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Theassman

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The problem with VO and, by extension, the one cut-out character in a Beth game is limitation of dialogue options. Like someone above mentioned, it will most likely lead to two possible character choices: Renegade and Paragon, which is extremely uninteresting.

That said, good VO can work in conjunction with great writing, and a great example is Witcher 3. Usually I hate RPGs where you are a pre-defined character because, again, it limits the players options. Not just from a practical "too many lines to record" standpoint but also that all the options must sort of fit into what the character would do and say, otherwise it breaks immersion. But Witcher 3 pulls it off really well because the options are almost never ME-style black/white red/blue, which keeps it really interesting. But we all know Bethesdas strong-suit is not writing, and I think they know it. I would really hate for FO to become some sort of apocalypse-mass effect, but that's just my opinion.

Also having said that, I seem to remember watching some interview with Todd Howard from GDC last year where the question about voiced PCs came up, and he seemed quite adamant in keeping the "freedom of character creation", so my money is on the vault-dweller just being used for promos and trailers etc. like the dovahkiin or whatever for Skyrim. We'll see at E3 I guess!

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Oldirtybearon

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Voiced protagonists in an RPG can be done right. Geralt is the gold standard. He has a defined personality but the dialogue malleable enough so that he can be more in line with how you see his character. If there is a voiced protagonist in Fallout 4, I hope this is the direction they go in. Witcher 3 is amazing and everyone should play it.

That being said, silent protagonists work because they remove the barrier between avatar and player. Whenever I think of my time with Dragon Age Origins or another game with a silent protagonist (like say, Skyrim) I think of the quests and adventures in those games as happening to me and not my character. I think this is because my character doesn't speak, and the dialogue that I pick, I hear it in my own voice with my own intonations and inflections. That's a powerful thing as well, but I won't begrudge Bethesda for wanting to try something new.

I'm personally hoping for telepathic Dogmeat. A Boy and His Dog is one of my favourite movies and it's really only a matter of time before something like that creeps into Fallout.

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thomasnash

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#37  Edited By thomasnash

My main issue with moving to non-silent protagonists is that it seems to always end up meaning they drastically reduce the number of dialogue options available to your character.

Edit - beaten to it by a minute!

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HH

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The Vault Dweller would sound exactly like everyone else in Vault 13 where they grew up.

i don't think this matters really, in Bethesda games it's always been possible to ignore the opening, just play through it, then you're out, you can ignore the main q completely, and you're whoever you want, doing whatever you want.

i agree with the OP, i'm all for a silent protagonist, and i really don't like being a shepard or a geralt, someone else's - actually some committee's - idea of a character. there's no fun or play in that for me. creating odd characters is what i look to rpg's for.

i was glad there was a voice option in Inquisition initially, but i just ended up being commander shepard all over again anyway, so even that is not enough. i really hope Bethesda sticks to their guns on this.

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ASilentProtagonist

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Well, I got some bias with my love of silent protagonists if you couldn't tell by my username =P

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conmulligan

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#40  Edited By conmulligan

Way back in 2013, Kotaku got their hands on some casting documents that seems to confirm voice acting for both male and female protagonists:

Casting calls for both the male and female versions of the player character note that the player begins the game in a cryogenic sleep chamber.

Kotaku's track record with Fallout 4 has been pretty much bulletproof, so unless something's changed dramatically in the last 18 months we're in for a whole bunch of Nolan North, Troy Baker, Jennifer Hale or Laura Bailey.

Also, the fact that you begin in a cryogenic sleep chamber makes me think you'll play as the mother or father from the trailer.

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ClairvoyantVibrations

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I'm all for them trying something new. I do like voiceless protagonists in RPGs where you create kind of a blank slate character because I prefer to read the dialogue in my head and sort out a voice myself, but if it's acted well and the writing is good I don't really see too much of an issue with it.

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bornstevieboy

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Mustainium

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I usually HATE silent protagonists, but I was okay with them in Bethesda games because they did a good job of making it feel like it was "you" in the lead.

That being said, I'm totally okay with Fallout 4 adding a voice to the main character, but I really hope Baker isn't the only option

Unless he's voicing the dog...

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JRM

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I'd rather a well done, fully voiced protagonist than a silent one any day.

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SgtSphynx

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#45 SgtSphynx  Moderator

Voiced or silent, I couldn't give less of a fuck. I just hope to all that is good in this universe that the character isn't the Chosen or Destined One, I am so fucking sick of that trope. The trailer makes me think that maybe the PC doesn't fall into that trope, and if that is the case I will be happy, voice or no.

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GERALTITUDE

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#46  Edited By GERALTITUDE

I like silent protagonists.

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Hayt

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#47  Edited By Hayt

The options they give in RPGs where you are playing an with a voiced protagonist are normally extremely narrow. I come up with my nuanced character but my voice options end up being "nice", "mean" and "crazy".

Wasteland 2 let me develop 4 characters with dialogue that never felt out of character because they didn't have unfitting voice acting.

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Cowman

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@civid said:

I want a D4 style Bostonian accent as an option, if that's the case I'm all onboard for a fully voiced protagonist

I'm going to make my Fallout 4 dude just Ben Affleck from "The Town."

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@cowman said:
@civid said:

I want a D4 style Bostonian accent as an option, if that's the case I'm all onboard for a fully voiced protagonist

I'm going to make my Fallout 4 dude just Ben Affleck from "The Town."

Luckily from you the entire game's voice cast is just voices samples from The Town and Good Will Hunting.

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