Starfield is the first of Bethesda’s latest universes to launch and the wait for something new like this has been a long one. We haven’t been treated to anything totally fresh for 25 years but now the award-winning creators of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4 are taking to the skies and bringing us a “Skyrim in space,” experience. Starfield is due for release on November 11, 2022, coming to PC, Xbox, and will be available as part of Game Pass immediately.

The gameplay itself predictably follows the success of the magic formula created across Bethesda’s franchise of popular games. That is from what we can gather from demonstrations at the Xbox and Bethesda games showcase, but it appears Todd Howard and co held a few details back in the games cinematic trailer. The Starfield director divulged those that were not revealed in a recent interview with The Telegraph. Like Matt T.M Kim over at IGN, we are here to dish the dirt and share the news.

Gameplay perspective options

The ‘Skyrim in space’ description is apt and not just because of the narrative and picturesque starry settings. Like the Elder Scrolls and Fallout, Howard has confirmed that Starfield will support gameplay’s first- and third-person perspectives.

“We like that style of gameplay,” Howard says. “First-person for us is still our prime way of playing. So you can see the world and touch all those things.”

Alien race encounters

When Fallout 76 was launched the lack of NPC’s was not well received given that Bethesda’s worlds had been renowned for their lively encounters. Fortunately, the creator stated in the interview that fitting in with their intentions of creating a semi-realistic sci-fi platform the approach to NPC’s in Starfield will include both human and alien race characters along the way. So it will be far from a lonely first-person storyline.

We have seen a few sketches of critters for the landscape, but none of these NPC species have been described in any detail. Still, the very idea is creating a buzz.

Hardcore RPG Character Creation

Players have long been able to customize their characters in terms of backstories, appearance, and starting stats within games like Elder Scrolls and Fallout. But, Howard has hinted that Starfield will bring a little more to the table. Telling The Telegraph that Starfield is “a bit more hardcore of a role-playing game than we’ve done in the past,”. The character backgrounds might be more in-depth with bigger consequences to in-game action. 

“We’re going back to some things that we used to do in games long ago that we felt have really let players express the character they want to be.”

System boundary freedom

Howard is excited about the fewer limitations that Starfield presents to a more curious player and had a lot to say on the subject. The Starfield world has been designed to let players push and test boundaries rather than plow through the story in a linear manner following and completing straightforward instructions. There will be fewer directives, allowing you to explore the “landscape and items to find out what you can and can’t do independently. This makes it more immersive.

“We like to put you in a world where we’re not dragging you by the nose and saying you must do x, y, and z, and that it’s okay for you want to test the [game’s boundaries],” says Howard. “You know, can I read this book? Can I pick this up? Can I do this? What if I do this?.. And the game is saying ‘yes’ a lot.”

Seemingly endless hours of potential content

Howard hopes that Starrfield will feel rewarding to play regardless of whether players want to plow through the story content or explore more leisurely. He says Bethesda has put a lot of hours into making sure that there is more than initially meets the eye should players revisit the game after completion.

It is a mammoth project with lots of visual delight on offer. Howard told the telegraph without mincing his words saying; “It’s very big, yeah. People are still playing Skyrim and we have learned from that,” says Howard. “[Starfield] has got some more hooks in it for that, that we added later to a game like Skyrim… while still making sure that somebody who just wants to play it, and go through the main quests and ‘win’, or fee that they’ve accomplished something large is doable.” So no matter how you like to play you should find it a great experience whether you want to concentrate on the action or “just pass the time and go watch the sunset”.

Starfield is not an open-universe

Howard was asked if Starfield could be considered an “Open-Universe” game instead of Open-World, but the game designer was careful about setting expectations.

“I don’t want to set any crazy expectations for that. You know, we have cities and we build them like we built the cities we’ve built before. And we have lots of locations that we’re building as we’ve built before.” Starfield is a big project and will undoubtedly have plenty on offer to explore but shouldn’t be thought of as endless.