Following years of fervent rumors and hypothesis, Todd Howard introduced Starfield throughout Bethesda’s E3 2018 convention. The first authentic IP developed by the prolific studio in over 25 years, Starfield is anticipated to redefine science fiction RPGs with unparalleled ambition, boasting appreciable customization choices and scale. I’m as intrigued by this recreation as any avid area opera fan. Still, this “unparalleled ambition” worries me.
Sunday’s gameplay footage ended with what Bethesda seemingly thought was a giant bang (pun supposed). Players can land wherever on any planet in any photo voltaic system of their selection or, as Howard excitedly put it, “Over 100 systems. Over 1,000 planets. All open for you to explore.” On cue, the digital camera zoomed out, revealing numerous nodes on an overwhelmingly in depth illustration of the universe. There’s a lot to do and see in Starfield, however will these experiences have depth?
This isn’t the primary time a pitch of this measurement has overtaken the trade. In 2014, No Man’s Sky confidently showcased seamless interstellar journey, discoverable alien species, and a recreation world of galactic proportions – I’m speaking greater than 18 quintillion planets! Of course, this proved to be too cumbersome of a characteristic for designers and gamers alike. The psychedelic coloration palette was spectacular, however as Matt Miller aptly put it, No Man’s Sky was “the most beautiful side mission.” Fast ahead virtually six years, and Hello Games’ astronomical journey goes sturdy with substantial content expansions.
So, what does the previous inform us concerning the future? Well, for one, I wouldn’t go as far as to name Starfield “No Man’s Skyrim.” Even although Bethesda’s pedigree is riddled with prestigious awards, I can’t assist however think about these innumerable celestial our bodies as uninspired, procedurally generated sandboxes. The Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises raised the bar for open-worlds chockful of gripping major and secondary narratives. Starfield follows within the footsteps of its predecessors with numerous thrilling, albeit standard, mechanics like crafting, base/ship/avatar customization, and unlockable expertise. I simply hope it gained’t additionally exhibit a quantity-over-quality loop.
Starfield releases in early 2023, and I can’t wait to take down trigger-happy area pirates, jog across the overgrown cityscape of New Atlantis, and dismantle enemy cruisers alongside some fiery ambiance. I’d want to maintain my escapades throughout the confines of a single photo voltaic system. Although, I’d simply take Bethesda up on its supply and see what adventures await me past Constellation’s attain, even when I wind up flying by means of an infinitely empty void.