E3 2011: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has 70 voice actors, players free to explore from start

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Lead producer on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Craig Lafferty has told CVG that the Skyrim will have 70 different actors voicing all of the parts in the game, compared to just 14 for Oblivion. The variable quality of the voice acting and constantly repeated dialogue was one of the main bugbears for Oblivion players, who will be glad to hear that Skyrim's 47,000 lines will be shared between a small army. Not having to pay Patrick Stuart and Sean Bean is likely to have helped.

Speaking for CVG, Tim Clark asked Lafferty how Bethesda plan to make more convincing cities for Skyrim. He mentioned that "we had, I think, fourteen voice actors on Oblivion doing all the voices. In this one, we have seventy different actors doing all the different voices, over 47,000 lines, so we work to make that a variety there as well.

"Hand crafted" towns should make Skyrim's world more interesting to explore, which is useful, because Bethesda expect players to go off on their own. Lafferty said that the main quest could be completely ignored in favour of pure exploration.

"We're really big on 'go where you want, play where you want,'" he says. "It's really apparent when you come out at the very beginning of the game, you can follow the main quest, we want to guide the player along with it. You don't want to do the main quest, then, totally, it's one of the main things with the Elder Scrolls series, the freedom of this world."

Lafferty also confirmed that the main story will take about 30 hours to complete , but hundreds of hours can be spent exploring. We went hands-on with Skyrim today at E3 2011.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.