If you’re anything like me, then you’ll know that the release of Bethesda’s latest title, Starfield, is looming over the horizon. With big shoes to fill due to it being the first brand new IP that the studio have released in the last two decades, the reveal streams and trailers have showed off some promising glimpses of the world that players will be able to experience soon. Having its initial release date pushed back from November 2022 to the first half of 2023, the game saw a final delay which landed it a September 2023 release date. With just over a month away, what can players expect from this brand new sci-fi RPG?
What Is It?
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the concept, Starfield is being hyped up as Bethesda’s take on a sci-fi roleplaying game, with their previous endeavours being set in vastly different genres. Starfield promises to be an ambitious endeavour into the vast unknown, with players being able to discover, explore and fight their way across the stars in any way they see fit. It’s shaping up to be the studios most anticipated release in the last two decades, with long-time fans and new ones alike sharing in their collective hype for what they hope to be an unforgettable experience.
What Can You Expect?
So what will you be able to do? How is the game any different to previous RPGs from Bethesda and what will it do differently? Well, over the last year or so, the studio have been showing off the game at various shows and events; with each new preview revealing more interesting features. If you’re a bit late to the party or are just curious about what you can expect, here are some of the coolest features that have been confirmed to be coming with the games release in September.
Thanks to a recent Q&A hosted by Games8, the developers have confirmed some more burning questions asked by the community, with some of the best standouts being:
Players will have the ability to buy and own housing in every major city within the game world, allowing players that want to spend some time away from their chaotic space adventures the freedom to have their own little HQ whenever they want to. With nearly a thousand planets to explore, it’ll be nice to have somewhere I can store all my stuff and talk to my companions before returning to my adventures.
Perhaps, in my opinion, the best thing yet to come from the Q&A was the segment that discussed the amount of companions that will be available to the player. It’s now been revealed that there will be 20 (That’s right, 20!) unique characters that will be able to join the player on their journey, with each one having their own background, personality and style. As someone who enjoyed all the companion interaction from Fallout 4, this news was like being told I’d just won the lottery, except in reality all I’ve won is virtual companionship. (So basically the lottery.)
On top of this, it was also confirmed that players will be spending time in jail if they are caught doing any illegal activities. For those like me who have visions of being a sneaky smuggler, you’ll have to make sure that you upgrade your ship to have the necessary hardware to help you sneak your contraband past law enforcement. You could, of course, try and escape prison if you fancy yourself a jailbreaker, but I’d hazard a guess that there’ll be significant consequences should you attempt to do so.
Not too keen on the idea of being arrested and put in space jail? Fancy yourself as more of a paragon of justice? I’ve got good news for you, while traversing the galaxy you can take up arms against wrongdoers as a bounty hunter, tracking down targets and collecting on their marks by grabbing missions from bounty boards and local authority NPCs. Based off of how this worked in previous Bethesda games, I would expect that the structure of these bounties would be similar although there may be a more ‘spacey’ element in that you may be able to track targets to different planets and locations. Personally, I hope I’m able to bring targets in alive, it’d be a nice change-up compared to just killing them straight away and being given the reward.
Baldur’s Gate & Expectations
So, it’s time to talk about the rather large owlbear that’s taken up residence in the room. Baldur’s Gate 3 launched earlier this month and has proved itself as an absolute titan of an RPG, crushing records and being received with overwhelming praise from both critics and general audiences alike. While this is fantastic news for fans of the genre as well as for Larian, there are those who now look towards Starfield’s imminent release with a lens of unease.
It's undeniable. Has Baldur’s Gate set some incredibly high expectations? Without a doubt, I’d say yes, especially in the eyes of the regular consumer. Are those expectations justified? I think so, yes, it’s a fantastic game and deserves every piece of praise that it’s getting. I myself am still very excited to see what Bethesda have been cooking up, but I am a little worried at how the game will be received due to player expectation and how unfair comparisons may be circulated.
As the release date draws near for Starfield, I cannot wait to experience Bethesda’s take on a sci-fi world and I look forward to stashing counterfeit space-poker chips under the chair of my ship (Or something like that.) Starfield arrives on Xbox on September 1st for premium edition owners and September 6th for regular edition owners. See you all star-side!