Bethesda’s Next Epic RPG Starfield Is More Than Fallout in Space
Bethesda will take to the stars, but how will they do it?
Bethesda is known for its massive, sprawling RPG series like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. While those two series remain priorities, the developer is also working on its first new IP in 25 years called Starfield. This game will send players to the vastness of space, with exploration, story, and combat at the forefront of the experience. Befitting a game on the massive scale of Starfield, Bethesda has shared plenty of information through trailers, interviews, and dev diaries that give fans plenty to look at. But when will Starfield finally launch? Here’s what we know about Starfield, Bethesda’s next RPG.
When is the Starfield Release Date?
Starfield was originally supposed to launch on November 11, 2022, but was delayed to the first half of 2023. Then, on March 8, 2023, Bethesda posted an official release date trailer that announced Starfield will officially be released on September 6, 2023. While this does give us an official date to look forward to it is also a way to announce that Starfield has been delayed yet again. Fingers crossed that there won’t be any more delays before September.
Is There a Starfield Trailer?
Yes! After years of scraping by on the initial teaser trailer from June 2018, a full trailer was released during E3 2021. You can watch it here.
The main character moves about in a ship parked on what could be the Moon or some moon-like planetary body. The female character narrates a bit of exposition, explaining how you’ve joined “Constellation,” which is an organization in charge of space exploration, it would seem. Something that you’ve found “is the key to unlocking ... everything.” But there’s no telling exactly what that means.
This trailer also gives us a slightly better grasp of the available technology. Ships don’t look much more advanced than what we have in real life, and even the robot we see is somewhat realistic.
At the end of August 2021, Bethesda published a few trailers showcasing some of the game’s locales. One focuses on New Atlantis, which Design Director Emil Pagliarulo describes as a “melting pot.”
There are also videos for Neon and Akila. These short clips hint at the game’s art direction while offering a little insight into the various cities we’ll get to explore.
In November 2021, Bethesda began releasing a series of videos called “Into the Starfield”. Each episode, of which there are three, focuses on a different aspect of the game such as its art design, music, and story.
Will Starfield Be an Xbox Exclusive?
Yes, it will be exclusive to Xbox Series X|S and PC. This was almost certain to happen after Microsoft acquired Bethesda in 2020 (although this has hit some road bumps). If Microsoft and Sony hash out a deal, the game could eventually come to PlayStation consoles after a certain period of time has passed, but for right now, Starfield is Xbox exclusive.
Will Starfield be on Xbox Game Pass?
Yes. You’ll be able to play Starfield on Game Pass the day it launches since it’s a first-party Microsoft game.
What will Starfield Gameplay Be Like?
A grand 15-minute gameplay reveal during the 2022 Xbox and Bethesda Showcase gave fans a long and luxurious look at gameplay. It will involve everything from No Man’s Sky like planet surveying and resource management to more traditional Bethesda RPG mechanics like companions and dialogue options. The trailer also covered the game’s weapon crafting, shipbuilding, and outpost construction.
Players will also be able to join factions in the game. These range from groups dedicated to exploration to corporations and space pirates. Each faction gives players a different way to play and enjoy the world of Starfield. The story takes place about 50 lightyears away from our Solar System in 2330. Two decades after a massive war between two of the in-game factions.
As far as the protagonist goes, they will be silent. Something that isn’t surprising for Bethesda RPGs, as this can let players feel more immersed in the world if they don’t need to feel like they are forced to be someone else.
A recent interview from computer scientist Lex Friedman with Todd Howard also detailed that the game will have survival mechanics, but that the intensity of aid mechanics has been dialed back as they found certain resource management restraints effectively halted player progression entirely, such as running out of fuel in the middle of space.
At E3 2019, Elon Musk — who consulted on the game — chatted up Todd Howard about Starfield. From that conversation, it was made known that Starfield space travel will feel shaky.
“Traveling in space in our game, I want to say it's like flight in the ‘40s, like it's dangerous," says Howard. This implies a very scavenger-esque outlook to spacefaring in Starfield. In the conversation, Howard and Musk also discuss idiosyncratic elements to Starfield, like collecting fuel and other things.
How Big Will Starfield Be?
Todd Howard has famously said Starfield will include 1,000 unique planets, but in order to keep the player on the right track so they don’t get lost among the stars the game will include a level gating system. Each planet will have a level associated with it that communicates to the player how difficult the planet will be. This is used to help guide players along the path of least resistance. You may still be able to explore whatever you want, but you will need to be more careful.
All of this to say, it sounds like Starfield will be absolutely massive.
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