For the past two decades, Bethesda Game Studios has delivered games that have defined the trajectory of the role-playing genre. Between The Elder Scrolls franchise’s unique variation on medieval fantasy and the post-apocalyptic future of the United States depicted with Fallout, Bethesda’s RPGs have achieved widespread acclaim and universal appeal. Naturally, all Bethesda fans are eager to know more details about the studio’s upcoming project, Starfield.
The open world RPG was originally announced at the Bethesda E3 conference in 2018. Unfortunately, official updates have been few and far between. Though it is known Starfield will be an original property distinct from Bethesda’s other works, the developers have held off on clarifying much else about the game. However, in recent months we have seen an uptick in speculation and possible leaks concerning screenshots for the game, exclusivity agreements, and even a potential release date. While much remains unclear and unknown about Starfield, there are certain aspects of it we hope are included when the game does finally release.
1. Enticing Story
Whether someone is playing The Elder Scrolls title or a Fallout title, they are expecting a story that establishes an emotional connection between the player and characters in the game. Bethesda excels in creating a unique bond that serves the purpose of tugging at the heartstrings of players when their favorite cast member faces a tragic event.
The atmosphere of Starfield will be set in a mysterious solar system – providing plenty of storyline opportunities that could keep players on their toes. Could the main character have to find resources to keep the ship functioning? Will they be required to build a brand new civilization? Along the way, relationships with ship mates or strangers the player meets will likely affect outcomes in quests.
2. Exciting Gameplay
There are no limits as to where Starfield’s moment-to-moment gameplay can go with the material at hand. It could opt for a casual approach, focusing on space exploration and mining for resources on different planets. Then again, the game could also be intense in nature, focusing on the myriad ways in which space debris and normal wear and tear can threaten the integrity of a spacecraft. Whichever path it takes, Starfield should have plenty of room to explore its setting through main and secondary content.
The possibilities for side quests in this new game are especially exciting to consider, particularly when one considers the developer’s own background. In other RPGs that make up much of Bethesda’s catalogue, each new area brings with it a large number of new side quests for the player to investigate and play out as they see fit. Their history of presenting intricate side content for the player’s enjoyment seems pertinent to understanding Starfield’s true potential.
For example, side quests could have players discovering a new planet and finding resources to set up a home base. That home base can be used for fast travel between the various planets. While some planets could be established, the player might have the ability to travel to said planets and help that civilization get stronger or potentially ward off unwanted visitors.
3. Exploring New Worlds
A game set in space has to include uncharted territory, planets ready for exploration, and scientific discoveries. Whether it’s through exploration, a part of the main story, or a side quest, Starfield should take advantage of this expansive setting and create multiple unique worlds, while allowing players to mine specific planets for resource materials.
There are numerous pop culture franchises that provide inspiration for exploring different planets, worlds and universes. In Star Wars: The Last Jedi we saw a planet which was predominantly focused on gambling, while the planet Luke Skywalker was on was a rich and beautiful environment inhabited by random creatures such as Porgs.
Having a good mix of these different planets will add depth to the solar system being created for Starfield and give a richer lore to the world and the characters that live there.
4. Never Ending Collectables
Although finding trinkets and treasures around the map isn’t usually considered a large part of gameplay in open worlds, it can be a really fun and sometimes rewarding activity.
In games like Doom, there are figures of Doom characters and data logs that help give more backstory to the environment. It is always fun to roam around a brand new area and see some type of easter egg shining in the distance. It’s even more rewarding when these items contain special lore or important game information.
Imagine exploring a destroyed building and finding a voice memo from a civilian who was trapped during the attack. The description from a person who was caught in the midst of the chaos might not pertain directly to the plotline, but would serve as an extra piece of the story that fills in some blanks.
5. Out of this World Graphics
Even though Starfield was announced before we knew about the current generation of consoles, it has been heavily rumored that the game would exclusively be released for the Xbox Series X and PC.
When it comes to the majority of Bethesda Game Studio titles, the graphics are usually first class and a bright example of how games can use the full power of a console. Todd Howard has mentioned that Starfield has been in development since 2015.
Considering that developer models for both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X were in developers hands since late 2019 or early 2020, Starfield has had a good amount of time to be tested on the newer consoles and take advantage of 4K resolution and ray tracing.
6. DLC Plans
Bethesda is never afraid to release an expansion pack for their titles! For Skyrim, they released three expansions to help expand the existing world. It wouldn’t be surprising if they did the same for Starfield.
The easiest way to expand the world of Starfield would be to add new planets. The new planets could be a larger environment where you would be assisting an already existing civilization. Maybe the downloadable content would be extensions of quests, additional side quests, or aesthetics like skins for characters.
One of the many updates featured in No Man’s Sky was the addition of a more diverse solar system, brand new creatures, new weather conditions, and a more varied universe. This might be a similar strategy Bethesda will consider when looking at expansion plans. Maybe a gambling planet could be added to include mini games that the player could wager on with game currency.
Another expansion idea would be for new creatures – enemies or allies!
7. Fun with Friends
Besides Fallout 76, the other open-world games by Bethesda haven’t featured an online system. One way co-op could be utilized in Starfield would be for home bases to feature hangout locations.
The feature could operate similarly to Animal Crossing: New Horizons in which players visit other friends’ islands, talk to their villagers, visit the stores, or steal fruit from their island that they cannot get on their own. Making home bases accessible for friends would not only help the players by expanding their own base, but also bring another element to the game where players can help each other out. Resource trading, anyone?
If multiplayer functionality does come with an expansion, it would be put to incredible use in the style of a raid. Everyone knows taking down a large boss enemy is even more fun with friends!