After getting a glimpse of Starfield at Microsoft’s Xbox and Bethesda showcase last year and a delay to 2023, we’re now getting a much closer look at Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years thanks to 15 minutes of gameplay. Starfield is naturally set in space where players will take on the role of one last group of explorers. Described as “Skyrim in space” by game director Todd Howard, the RPG will be playable in both first and third person, but primarily first person. During the early stages of the game, we arrive on the moon of Kreet, just one of over 1,000 planets that players will be able to freely fly and explore. Powered by Bethesda’s new Creation Engine 2, the first Starfield game sees a player roam freely in first and third person views, collecting resources and disturbing creatures that also feed on Starfield’s many planets.
The Kreet moon in Starfield. Image: Microsoft The game progresses to an abandoned research lab, where pirates are hiding. This is where we see the action XP progression system per kill and the weapons available in Starfield. You can even use a jet pack to propel yourself towards enemies. As with previous Bethesda games, you’ll need to pick the locks on the weapon cases found in Starfield if you’re looking for loot. The main story focuses on the Constellation, the last group of space explorers. You meet them in the capital city of New Atlantis, where you discover that this group of explorers are searching the Starfield systems for artifacts. What are these artifacts used for? That is the puzzle to solve. The systems in Starfield are full of groups that you can team up with to take on pirates.
Exploring in third person in Kreet. Image: Microsoft Bethesda is leaning heavily into character customization, with Howard revealing that the character creator is the studio’s “most flexible yet,” allowing you to customize skin tones, facial structure, hair, and plus. You will choose three traits to customize your character and the skill system will include separate unlocks and ranks. You can also use resources to craft weapon mods on top of this. You can build your own outpost for resource generation on every planet, and you can hire characters you meet to keep them running. You can also build your own spaceships, choose your crew members and fully customize the look and design of the ship. There are a variety of ship manufacturers and modules, so it seems like it can be easy to create a unique ship with different weapon systems or shields.
Space flight in Starfield. Image: Microsoft Flying around looks particularly impressive in Starfield, and suggests that many of the battles in the game won’t just be limited to planets. You can freely land and explore on every planet in the Starfield system, and Bethesda says that there are over 1,000 planets open for players to explore. It seems incredibly ambitious, even if the game seemed a bit slow at times. We still do not have an exact date for its release at the moment. Starfield was originally scheduled to release on November 11, 2022, a nod to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’s release date, but Microsoft announced a delay to the vague “first half of 2023” just weeks before its release date. Xbox. Microsoft recently listed Starfield as “early 2023” on an Xbox Game Pass registration page and all games in the showcase are expected to release within the next 12 months. So it may not take long for us to start exploring. Either way, Starfield launches exclusively on Xbox Series X/S and PC next year.