In a PlatinumGames blog published earlier this week, Astral Chain director Takahisa Taura justified the protagonist’s lack of dialogue by stating its omission would improve player immersion.
The blog, which mostly dealt with animation, partially discussed voice acting, particularly Taura’s desire to strip the protagonist of personality:
“I want players to be able to project themselves onto the player character, so they naturally feel like part of the game. So don’t give the player character any extreme expressions that might give them too much of a predefined personality.”
Following that, animation artist Takahiro Iwagami broke down how he interpreted and implemented Taura’s brief. Iwagami, by and large, created expressions that “aren’t particularly photorealistic” with a distinct “anime and manga-like feel.”
How Astral Chain will shape up without protagonist dialogue, especially with its companion-based gameplay, remains to be seen. However, given its gameplay-first design, the title likely won’t suffer too much.