While playing SWTOR recently I was thinking about how the voice acting was really well done. But then I started thinking about if I really felt like I was the main character in this MMORPG or not. Was I really the hero saving the world or was I simply just moving around a character with his own thoughts and feelings around a world.
Take a look at Mass Effect, the main character Commander Shepard has his own voice, his own personality, while in a game like Skyrim, the main character doesn’t “speak”. In Skyrim you make the choices of what he is to say, but never hear him say them. While I can definitely get attached to a character like Commander Shepard, I never really feel like I am him. While in Skyrim I feel like I am the character and not just playing as someone else.
I don’t feel that this is such a straight forward answer either. You may be in the camp that thinks a true RPG experience is one where you totally immerse yourself in the character and feel like they should have your voice, and others may like the fact that their protagonist has his own voice and are happy to move him around the world.
So what are your thoughts?