Expectations are bound to be sky-high when you have a large-scale, AAA project 25 years in the making, and Bethesda is looking to assure fans with a detailed look at its upcoming ambitious space RPG, Starfield. Following the Xbox Games Showcase, the studio gave a tantalising preview of it during the Starfield Direct, and it certainly is a lot, to the point of being overwhelming — not that it’s necessarily bad.
Hailed as a “Bethesda RPG through and through” by game director Todd Howard, Starfield is set to usher in a huge variety of playstyles when it arrives on 6 September, from stealthy assassinations to run-and-gun goodness. The gameplay trailer highlights different traits, skills, and upgrades that players can personalise to their liking, which means they can punch their way through combat, sneak around and get the jump on opponents, or talk their way out. Fancy more bombastic action? Simply dive right into the battlefield with guns a-blazing, and set off all kinds of explosives.
As previously teased, the world of Starfield will feature vast open-world exploration, tons of different environments, and spaceship combat. Expect to also cross paths with distinctly different human, alien, and robot allies, enemies, and NPCs, including dancers in tentacle suits in a sci-fi bar. Additionally, players will be able to switch between third-person and first-person, and equip a wide arsenal of ballistic, energy, and mag weapons.
With the deep dive presentation, customisation takes centrestage. Character creation boasts great detail and flexibility (to the point of being able to choose a walking style), while spaceships can be built in whatever way you want. It’s all about choice here — you can pick the combat style that best suits your personality, join factions that resonate with your outlook or personal values, recruit companions for your journey, and explore the many planets however you like. The last point, in particular, should appease to the adventurers-at-heart, for Starfield is a game about “rewarding your curiosity”.
Considering the large scope and scale of gameplay, exploration, and everything in between, the upcoming title is undeniably Bethesda’s most ambitious project to date. There’s plenty to unpack and look forward to when it releases this September, and hopefully the overwhelming massive galaxy isn’t just a show of bloated nothingness. If anything, the cinematic lighting system is certainly here to stay and impress: