After years of waiting, Bethesda has finally shown Starfield, and it looks both expansive and generic.
It may seem hard to call out starfield from its initial gameplay reveal, but little is revealed in the demo Xbox Bethesda Showcase released that speaks to the personality of the world. The moon the player lands on, Kreet, is a gray rocky world with a research station taken over by space pirates. It’s a setup we’ve seen in games for years – we might as well be watching a scene Mass Effect AndromedaElite Dangerous or No Man’s Sky.
The player fights through the research station shooting down enemy pirates with pistols, grenades, SMGs and a double-barreled shotgun. Again, this doesn’t feel like it will break the mold. It could be footage from Obsidian’s Outer Worlds. Bethesda has been working on this game for more than two decades, so it’s a little disappointing.
This attack on the research station takes place early in Starfield – the pirates the player kills are only level two – and Bethesda’s Todd Howard tells us that you’ll later be invited to join an organization called the Constellation, the final group of explorers in the galaxy.
The footage then jumps to the meeting of the members of Constellation in a town called New Atlantis. It’s odd that despite being a significantly better looking game than previous Bethesda games, these NPCs still look like the characters we’ve spoken to in Bethesda games since Oblivion.
Howard then walks us through character creation, where, similar to other Bethesda games, you customize your character’s appearance and answer a few questions about your background that define your starting abilities. You can also add up to three optional traits to your character to gain buffs, such as: B. Introverts, which give you more stamina when playing without party members.
As you level up in Starfield, you can unlock new skills for your character, and using those skills will level up their powers. This is an evolution of the skill systems of previous games, and while it’s a welcome evolution, I don’t think I’ll be left alone with hopes of something more exciting after all this time.
However, this is about more than just a Bethesda game in a sci-fi setting. After going through character creation and teasing a story about scouring the galaxy for vision-granting artifacts, Howard begins explaining some of the systems that surround the sci-fi story by numbers.
Not only can you craft weapons and modular upgrades for your equipment, but you can also build settlements on the various planets in Starfield and recruit characters to work in those settlements. So far so failure 4. But beyond that, you can also build starships, buy parts from different manufacturers, tweak and improve your ships’ stats, such as increasing their cargo space or engine power, or adding a range of weapons to their exterior. You can then also hire a crew to fly the ships. And of course you can steer the ships yourself.
The gameplay demo then features space combat that can be controlled from both first and third person perspectives. That’s something that’s definitely new for a Bethesda game. And considering there are 1000 worlds to explore in Starfield, it seems like spending a lot of time in the space between planets fighting pirates, so hopefully the team will get the fight right.
After all this time, it’s great to get such a comprehensive look at Starfield. But I hope in the future we can get a better sense of what Bethesda is doing that makes the game special. While it may be a huge step forward for the developer and the most ambitious RPG for this team to date, we’ve done everything this reveal has seen in Elite Dangerous and No Man’s Sky for years.
Starfield might end up being a great RPG, but for now it looks like Bethesda has fallen behind in the space race.