We got a solid 15 minutes of Starfield gameplay at Microsoft’s Xbox & Bethesda showcase last year, and today we’re getting a really in-depth look at Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years. Described as “Skyrim in space,” by game director Todd Howard, the RPG is really shaping up ahead of its debut on September 6th.
Today Bethesda decided to show us a lot more detail about Starfield, including the cities and settlements in the game, the skill trees, upgrades, and space combat. The 45-minute deep dive is a lot, and it really feels like if Bethesda can pull this off then you’ll be able to live out all your dreams of exploring space.
Starfield has more than 1,000 planets.Image: Bethesda
The main story is centered on the Constellation, the last group of space explorers. You’ll meet them in the capital city of New Atlantis, which Bethesda says is the biggest city it has ever built. That’s big in size, art, crowds, and quests. New Atlantis looks like it’s full of non-playable characters (NPCs) that are just living their lives and full dialog.
We already know there are more than 1,000 planets all open for players and these locations have a balance between reality and fun, according to Bethesda. Gravity is different on each planet, so on some you’ll feel like you’re flying which will affect gunplay and much more. When you leave a planet and head into space you’ll also have to navigate asteroid fields and you can even explore derelict ships.
Ships are fully customizable in Starfield.Image: Bethesda
Your ship is key to navigation, and you can buy ships and customize them fully with purchasable upgrades. This even extends to customizing cargo holds and living quarters, and Bethesda claims ships can be customized to be “almost anything you want.” Some of the members of the Constellation can travel together with you on your ship, and each companion has unique quest lines. You can also hire additional crew at spaceports in the game. Once you’re on a planet you’ll be able to either walk back to your ship or fast travel back.
Ships also include a power system that you can balance to make your ship faster or more prepared for weapons and shields for aerial combat. After you destroy enemy ships you can loot them, scrap them, or even board an enemy vessel. Once you’ve taken control of an enemy ship it gets added to your own fleet and it’s all yours.
Character creation is full of customization in Starfield.Image: Bethesda
Character creation is also a big part of Starfield and its skill system. The character generation system has facial morphs, makeup blemishes, scars, teeth settings, and much more. Once you’ve picked a character it’s time to rank up. Every time you level up you get a skill point to unlock skills, and ranks are unlocked through challenges. There are five different skill trees in total with four ranks per skill, so there’s a mix of customization here.
Bethesda also demonstrated its treats system, options to buff abilities or your character. You can choose treats that might include a damage buff or a way to have the same religious beliefs as enemies so you can avoid combat.
You can also setup outposts on planets and harvest resources while you’re away. Once you have resources you can craft items. That includes adding different mods to guns, like suppressors for stealthy play and explosive rounds for when you really wanna blow things up.
Starfield Shattered Space expansion.Image: Bethesda
Starfield looks massive and there’s even more to come. Bethesda teased that players might get super natural powers during its stream and even a Shattered Space story expansion for the game.
Starfield launches exclusively on Xbox Series X / S and PC on September 6th.