One of Fallout 4's biggest surprises (other than its November 2015 release date) isn't just that you can play as either a man or a woman, but that both characters are fully voiced. For producer Todd Howard, the reason why is simple: it allows the game to tell a better story.
"We know we sacrificed some great storytelling [by allowing] the player to do whatever they want," Howard mentions during a show floor presentation, referring to Fallout 3's silent protagonist. Lead designer Emil Pagliarulo continues: "If you play Fallout 3, you know, Liam Neeson is the voice of your dad, and there are some good emotional beats there, but there's only so much you can do when you're clicking on a line of dialog and there's no spoken response. So the emotional depth that we got by having a voiced protagonist has actually [made the story] way more tense than I ever expected."
Of course, recording every single line of dialog for two different protagonists for a sprawling RPG is a logistical nightmare, and it took the team nearly four years to record 13,000 lines of dialogue, from the early testing and tryouts to the final product. But for Howard, it was important that the team didn't "hold back" when it comes to providing those moments for the player. And considering that the devs are spending hundreds of hours in its world and still finding things they've never seen before, providing that much dialog is a massive undertaking.
For more announcements, including new details about Fallout 4, hop over to our hub for all of our E3 2015 coverage.