I think it’s fair to say that we’re all excited about the release of Starfield. In fact, some of us are downright giddy. But even though we can be sure that the game will — at the very least — be a graphical marvel and an open-world RPG, there is still so much that we don’t know about it. While Bethesda’s new game is still shrouded with mystery, we compiled 15 facts we do know about the upcoming game.
1 – Bethesda Game Studios’ First New Universe in 25 years
Since the debut of The Elder Scrolls in 1994, Bethesda Game Studios has been pushing the boundaries of RPGs, with a world that’s open for players to discover the mysteries deep within. At E3 2018, Bethesda announced Starfield, an all-new single-player role-playing game with next-generation technology. It’s their first new universe since 1994. This is a huge deal for gamers eagerly looking forward to exploring an open world like never before.
2 – Choose Your Story
Using a backstory allows you to explore the inner motivations of your character, and these motivations will influence how they respond to different situations throughout the game. You might face an opportunity to save someone’s life, but if you’re playing a character who has been betrayed in the past, you might not trust that person enough to make the leap. Or perhaps you’ll encounter a rival who is intent on destroying everything you hold dear—are you willing to do what it takes to stop them? It can be difficult facing these decisions in-game time, so planning out your responses ahead of time can make your experience smoother.
3 – Constellation
Todd Howard, game director of Starfield, has mentioned that Constellation is the space-exploring group that is a mix of Indiana Jones and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It appears that Howard is referring to a new faction in the game, similar to groups like NASA and SpaceX. The Constellation is specifically looking for answers in space. During the trailer, we can see a Constellation Spacefarer’s Guide book on the protagonist’s shelf and insignia on her shoulder, both of which signify that she is a part of the group.
4 – 150,000 lines of dialogue
It was recently stated that Starfield has over 150,000 lines of dialogue in comparison to Skyrim’s 60,000. That’s almost 2.5 times more dialogue. After the revelation, I was curious about how the number could be calculated. The main conclusion is simply that there are no specifics to go on- it could easily be a rough estimate and not a literal line count. Regardless, this is still a surprising figure given the vast differences between the games and the intended feeling of each one.
5 – More Customizable
While Fallout 4 and Skyrim allow you to choose your character’s gender and customize their appearance, they don’t give you many options for customization beyond that. A character’s background and personality are pre-determined in these games, which can be disappointing for players who want their characters to reflect their personalities and interests.
But this isn’t going to be the case with Starfield. According to Howard, “the protagonist will be customized in every way possible.” This means that there will be a wealth of ways for players to make their characters as unique as they are, in other words, the game will be more customizable than Skyrim or Fallout from the start. Players will choose their characters’ backgrounds and characteristics, with many options that will impact how some things unfold later in the game—and all of these choices will shape the plot and gameplay in exciting new ways.
6 – Multiple Factions to choose from
Howard said that the in-game factions are just one of the many tools players will have to help them express themselves. The team is “trying to create the tools so people can express themselves however they want to do it,” he explained. “It’s not like we’re saying, ‘You can form your own faction and compete against these other factions.’ It’s more like you can be whoever you want to be and play how you want to play.”
Howard emphasized that the different Starfield factions will not exist in a vacuum. He said that players have the option of joining multiple factions at once if they so choose. Players won’t be limited by their faction, either, and can travel all over the game’s worlds and interact with other players as they see fit.
7 – Responsive Companions That React To Every Situation
In an RPG like Starfield, you’ll be able to explore a massive world on your own, but there will be dozens of characters who will join you in combat or accompany you on the journey. These companions can help with your mission, or they may have their own agenda, but either way, they’ll add flavor and depth to your adventure.
“We’re looking at how we can make them feel more responsive,” says Fenstermaker. “We want to make sure they react more believably when they’re in combat with you. So if you’re playing as a healer and healing all your buddies up, we want them to behave more believably when that’s going on.”
8 – Procedurally Generated World
“Starfield will feature procedural generation technology, but not in the way gamers think. Instead, it will be used to make help ease the development of the game, where the computer will do a lot of the heavy lifting and cut down human man-hours when it comes to filling up the sky with millions of stars or a crazy number of rocks on a planet. To be clear, Starfield will NOT feature procedural generation that works similarly to No Man’s Sky or Deep Rock Galactic” (edited)
9 – New Dialogue System
Starfield’s new dialogue system, which Bethesda has been talking up for a while now, is a “conversation mini-game.” It’s not a simple matter of picking a response from a list, as in previous RPGs. Instead, Bethesda has created dialogue trees that are designed to be broken.
“It feels like you’re having a conversation where you’re actually trying to persuade somebody of something,” said Howard. “As far as new systems dialogue, I think it’s definitely one of the most successful ones that we’ve had.”
10 – Romance
Romance has been a hot-button issue among Starfield fans, some demanding that the developers include it in the game and others opposing the idea altogether. After being quiet on the subject for several years, Bethesda’s Todd Howard broke his silence, saying that there will be romance in the game, but no details have been released since then.
11 – Scanned Real World Character Models
Starfield will feature scanned real-world character models. Using the power of photogrammetry, Bethesda plans to place real-world models into their upcoming game to make them look as realistic as possible.
12- Settled Systems & Its Major Factions
The region in the Starfield solar system is called the Settled Systems. There are two major factions in the Settled Systems: the United Colonies, and the Freestar Collective. The United Colonies is an alliance of planets that joined together to form an interplanetary government, unifying their people under a single banner. Freestar Collective began as a group of independent planets that banded together under a democratic union.
Both groups have grown into powerful forces since their formation, but have clashed when their interests have diverged. These two major factions are balanced by several smaller ones like Ecliptic Expeditions, which acts as a military contractor for the United Colonies, the Crimson Fleet, a group of pirates who roam the outer reaches of space, and Spacers, who live on space stations that orbit planets.
13 – Set in the Year 2330
Starfield is set in the year 2330, in a relatively small pocket of the Milky Way, in an area that extends outward from our solar system for approximately 50 light-years. Around 20 years before the start of the game (2310), a civil war took place.
14 – NASA Punk
The idea of NASA punks—a type of cyberpunk in which technology is advanced enough for humans to explore other planets and perhaps even other star systems—isn’t exactly new. We first saw it in 2014 with The Martian and again this year with Ad Astra (though the latter was more of a psychological drama than a sci-fi action flick). And while there have been games that have explored similar themes (think Mass Effect or No Man’s Sky), they haven’t been set in an open world like Starfield will be.
15 – Creation Engine 2.0
Starfield will be the first game to use the new Creation Engine 2.0, which keeps its namesake from the old Creation Engine that Bethesda used for Skyrim, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76. This could mean even more bugs for us to navigate through—but it seems like this 2.0 version is almost an entirely different engine altogether. This could also mean that the game will have fewer bugs than Bethesda games usually have.
In the end, it’s hard to come to any solid conclusions regarding Starfield. From what we know, the game promises to offer a lot of exciting gameplay possibilities. The Starfield world is still an unknown quantity, but we can expect some great improvements to what Bethesda has delivered in the past. Whether these changes will be enough to make Starfield a truly great experience remains to be seen. We’ll just have to wait and see when the game finally comes out on November 11, 2022.