Bethesda’s sci-fi RPG Starfield guarantees to be an enormous, sprawling sci-fi romp—”like Skyrim in space,” artistic director Todd Howard mentioned earlier this 12 months. Nevertheless it undoubtedly will not be all motion. Howard informed an viewers on the Tokyo Sport Present earlier at the moment (by way of Nibellion on Twitter) that the sport will include greater than 150,000 traces of dialog.
By means of comparability, that is extra traces of chit-chat than Fallout 4, and greater than double the verbosity of Skyrim:
Todd Howards appeared on stream to announce that Starfield could have an entire Japanese localization (similar to Redfall) and talked about that the sport has over 150,000 traces of dialogue apparently #TGS2021 (Fallout 4 had 111,000 traces, Skyrim 60,000) pic.twitter.com/0PzvVtojyjSeptember 30, 2021
Phrase and line counts are typically held up as a quantifier of depth and complexity in “critical” RPGs. The identical 12 months that Bethesda boasted about Skyrim’s 60,000 lines, as an example, BioWare trumpeted Mass Impact 3 as having 40,000 traces of dialog, double the amount of the first game. A 12 months later, Beamdog co-founder Trent Oster mentioned Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Version has “close to a million words of dialog,” which is completely different than traces however nonetheless an terrible lot of discuss. Considerably extra lately, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt had a script of 450,000 words, Obsidian’s Tyranny claimed more than 600,000, and Disco Elysium’s narrator alone needed to discuss his manner via 350,000 words.
Not everybody buys into the “extra is best” angle to phrase counts in videogames. Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software program, who knows a thing or two about storytelling in RPGs, was vital—harshly at instances, however largely on-point—of that strategy in a few 2017 weblog posts.
“The final word purpose of writing in a sport: Have or not it’s ok that getting previous the gameplay to succeed in the writing is your purpose,” he wrote in one. “Your writing needs to be the REWARD. In case your writing is one thing the participant has to slog via to get to the sport play, there’s an excessive amount of writing.”
Nonetheless, in a really basic sense Howard’s assertion signifies that Starfield goes to be huge, and that is what hopeful Bethesda followers—myself included—actually need: A big open world (or galaxy) to discover, one hopefully attention-grabbing sufficient to maintain us engaged for, oh, a pair hundred hours or so. That is a good ask, proper?
Starfield is scheduled to launch on November 11, 2022. In case you hadn’t heard, it should have a pleasure dome the place you may get super-high on alien fish.