Fallout 4 has been announced and, holy cow, it looks great. (You can watch the 1st trailer at that link and be sure to turn it up because, seriously, it sounds great too.)
But if you’ve played the first one, and the second one, and the (official) 3rd one and the follow-up to the (official) 3rd one, you may notice something that happens at the end of the trailer. The Protagonist (you) says “Let’s go, pal” to his trusty companion (presumably named “Dogmeat”).
Now, in previous games, you’ll recall that there was quite a bit of voiceacting on the part of the people with whom you interacted, but your responses were shown to you on the screen and you picked the one you wished to give. Whether you gave the enthusiastic agreement, the tentative agreement, the hedge, the violent disagreement, you never heard anything but the response of the person to whom you were speaking.
What this did was that it resulted in you “hearing” your own desired voice whenever you picked your response. Did your character sound like Dirty Harry? Did she sound like Kathleen Turner? Kevin Spacey? Kate Winslet? Gilbert Gottfried? It was awesome because you could play your character exactly how you wished to play him or her. It was the ultimate customization option.
The quickest comparison I could give is the difference between GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City. In GTA 3, you played as the silent protagonist Claude. He never said anything in the game which allowed some of the crazier players to pretend that Claude was only silent in the cutscenes and, once out in the world, he became a Chatty Cathy. “Give me your car!”, for example, would be one of the nice things that Claude would say. Vice City, however, had Tommy Vercetti. Tommy, by comparison, would never *EVER* shut up. He not only talked in cutscenes, he talked while running around. Not merely giving the player a short monologue aside but stuff like “I *NEED* this!” as he jacked a car at the stoplight. Worse, he’d say it in such a way that would interrupt your “Give me your car!” (or whatever it was you chose to yell).
It was no longer your voice. It was Tommy’s voice.
You were no longer telling your story. You were telling Tommy’s story.
Well, in Fallout 4, it appears that we will no longer be telling our story but telling the story of our Protagonist.
I hope it turns out to be a good story.
So… what are you playing?
(Picture is “Untitled” by our very own Will Truman. Used with permission.)