Following its delay, Bethesda Game Softworks has at last shared nearly 15 minutes of extensive gameplay footage for its upcoming RPG, Starfield. Bethesda boss Todd Howard took to the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022 stage today, presenting a few trailers for the game. The first trailer brought a taste of combat and exploration, while the second was more cinematic, introducing some characters and a colony. Finally, we got a look at character and ship customization coming to Starfield.
Let’s not avoid the elephant in the room. The game looks exciting, but this early footage is still quite rough. Starfield is possibly the most ambitious game from Howard’s studio, and has a lot of parts that need to play well together. Howard stated that the game will include 100 systems and 1,000 planets to explore. It was delayed from 2022 to 2023; the iffy framerate from the combat trailer hints as to why. There’s still a lot of work needed to get Starfield to work. And considering the studio’s history of buggy games, the extra time will be fruitful no matter the final outcome.
But let’s get back to how the game looks overall. The gameplay of Starfield is akin to something you’d experience in Fallout. You can play in first person or in third, with combat that consists of guns. VATS is strictly a Fallout feature, so I imagine a greater emphasis on fast-paced action and stealth. We get a look at the UI, as well as a weapon wheel and a couple of guns.
It just works
The cinematic portion didn’t offer much gameplay for Starfield, but we get introduced to a colony and some characters. After a quick landing sequence, we get an aerial shot of the city of New Atlantis on the planet of Emison. It looks gorgeous, with tall buildings, flowing water, and trees just about everywhere. We also hear a bit about the plot of the game, involving a mysterious artifact that’s “one of many.” Finding more is the key to “unlocking their secrets.” It was more of your typical trailer, showcasing more cities, enemies, and stories.
Next, the gameplay footage shifted to customization. Character customization is a key element of all Bethesda games, and Starfield won’t be a slouch. You can choose not only your look, but also your background, which offers three starting skills. Skills are apparently like buffs in Starfield, allowing you to get more damage with certain weapons or an increased success chance during persuasion.
Starfield is copying a bit of Fallout 4‘s homework, and will let you create your own outposts. These outposts are your “home away from home,” and can produce resources to use in the game. Characters you meet in the story can be hired for outpost upkeep as well. Ship customization will likely be the cooler part of the Starfield experience. You’ll be able to put your own ship together, piece by piece, before rocketing through the sky in a test flight.
Starfield is set for a release on PC in the first half of 2023. All in all, the game is looking intriguing. I’m especially looking forward to building my own ship and taking it out into the void. Be sure to check out the gameplay footage of Starfield above, as there are a lot of other details I couldn’t get to in this post.