Starfield could be the most ambitious RPG yet by Bethesda Games Studios. While this sci-fi game is still largely shrouded in mystery, what little we know about it currently hints at a broad scope suitable for a game where players explore multiple worlds. At the Tokyo Game Show 2021, Bethesda’s Todd Howard provided a brief update on Starfield and teased how much players can expect from the game in dialogue. And that’s a good indication that developers have learned a lot from game mistakes like Fallout 4.
Now that we have a better idea of ââthe amount of dialogue in Starfield, we wonder how it should be delivered. Hopefully Bethesda Games Studios turns to their old games as Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas for inspiration rather than Fallout 4, his most recent single-player RPG.
What did Todd Howard say? During the Xbox Tokyo Game Show 2021 live stream, game director Todd Howard confirmed a Japanese localization for Starfield. Speaking of the localization process, Howard revealed how many lines of dialogue will be in the game.
âThis is our biggest translation to date,â he says. âMore than 300 actors and more than 150,000 lines of dialogue. That’s an absolutely huge amount of dialogue, especially considering that hundreds of actors will be voicing most of it. According to the gaming Twitter account Nibel, that’s more than double the amount of dialogue that was in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
While he talks specifically about the Japanese localization here, the English version of the game will likely have a comparable number of actors and dialogue, if not more. As such, Bethesda needs a good way to pack that dialogue in a way that’s true to the RPG genre.
Todd Howard revealed Starfieldthe massive narrative reach of Tokyo Game Show 2021.
How should dialogue work in Starfield? Different games all take different approaches to their dialogue systems. Some show the player everything they are going to say in a conversation, while others give the player a word or two to discern the tone of their response.
For a long time, Bethesda Game Studios titles delivered their dialogue like most classic RPGs did. You would be presented with several fully written lines of dialogue, some of which were related to your skillset, and you would be given a choice of the best answer for the situation.
Fallout 3 from Bethesda Game Studios and Fallout: New Vegas Obsidian has done this system remarkably well. This makes the game more immersive as you know what the character is going to say and make sure the undertones of your character’s lines are what you want them to be.
But over time, Bethesda Game Studios has slowly moved away from this type of dialogue system. Skyrim depended less on player choice in dialogue, and Fallout 4 ditched the classic design entirely for a terrible system where players had only four short options to choose from, all of which lacked nuance.
This aspect of Fallout 4 has been heavily criticized (and even edited by some fans), and Bethesda seems to be aware of its mistake.
âObviously the way we did some dialogue didn’t work out as well,â Howard said. GameSpot in 2016. “But I know the reasons why we tried this – to make a nice interactive conversation – but [it was] less successful than other things in the game. For us, we take this feedback, and think long term.
Fallout 76 included a more traditional dialogue system, although its impact was lessened in a multiplayer sandbox game. Starfield is Bethesda’s first major single-player RPG in over six years, so it must offer an engaging dialogue system.
Having over 150,000 lines of dialogue suggests that there will be a lot of choice for players and that we are looking to a game like Fallout: New Vegas for inspiration rather than Fallout 4 will be the key to making conversations in Starfield pleasant.
Starfield releases for PC and Xbox Series X on November 11, 2022.