Bethesda and Microsoft revealed yet another look at the ambitious “Skyrim in space” RPG Starfield during the two companies’ joint presentation today. This time, it was much more than eight seconds, and featured actually gameplay.
After some preamble, Xbox boss Phil Spencer introduced a short Starfield sizzle reel before director Todd Howard took to the stage to show off the game in action. What was previewed looked like an amalgam between Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky and Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds, with the character mining rocks for resources and navigating a seemingly desolate planet. The character then gets into a combat encounter, pulling out an automatic rifle to shoot up some space-faring goons before the video cuts to the hub world.
The showcase also gave a glimpse at the character creator, which is highly customizable. You can tweak how you look, the way your character plays and develops throughout the game, and the various attributes that affect your gear. You can also adjust a ship, recruit crewmates, and blast that thing off into space to engage in dogfighting or cargo transport. Or both.
Starfield is Bethesda’s first new IP in some 25 years. Set beyond the Solar System, you play as a customizable character who’s a member of a space-exploring organization called Constellation. The game can be played in either first- or third-person, similar to other Bethesda games including The Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76. So, if you can picture either of these games in space, then, well…that’s pretty much Starfield in a nutshell.
A leak last year pointed to Starfield launching in November 2022. However, probably because of the massive amounts of work required for the game’s massive script, Bethesda announced this past May that Starfield—alongside Arkane Austin’s vampire shooter Redfall—had been delayed to “the first half” of 2023. There are now new rumors thanks to a Game Pass signup page spotted on Reddit suggesting “the first half” could mean “early 2023.” Whether these rumors hold any water remains to be seen, but according to GamesRadar, director Todd Howard said during a media briefing ahead of zombie E3 that the team is “putting the finishing touches on Starfield.”
Howard also called Starfield an “incredible opportunity” for Bethesda, speaking to the “advantage of Xbox” and the power of xCloud streaming.
“We’re working really closely with Xbox now to make [Starfield] the best experience it can be,” Howard said. “Not just on the hardware, but how people access it, and being able to bring a game like this to more people than any of our games—it really is an incredible opportunity.”
Kotaku recently spoke to 10 former Bethesda employees who detailed the toll Fallout 76's disastrous launch had on the people who worked on it, which also pulled members from Redfall and Starfield’s teams to fix the copious issues throughout development.