Bethesda Game Studios (BGS) has released a new video from Microsoft’s fall blockbuster. Todd Howard, the game’s director, reveals several new features in it.
According to them, this game is a true RPG similar to their older creations (i.e. less like Fallout 4 and Fallout 76), so they embrace the chaos that comes from player choice. There’s more depth to character creation, and the interactions have become more profound. Howard says, “We’ve always allowed the player to create fascinating, unique characters. In this game, we’ve severely levelled up. The tech is based on real-world scanning models, similar to the photogrammetry we do in our landscapes. We’re applying the same thing to our people as well. Because it’s not just the player’s appearance and all that, we want all the personal interactions with NPCs, other characters in the game, to be as impactful as possible.”
According to Will Shen, lead mission designer, “Yeah, we sat down, and it was funny, we didn’t start with, “Let’s look back at the old Oblivion system,” but there are a couple of beats there. You have to think about, “What’s my risk here?” We didn’t want it to be a system where there was the “right” thing to say.” Howard added, “It feels like you’re having a conversation trying to persuade somebody. As far as the new system in dialogue, I think it’s one of the most successful ones we’ve had.”
There’s only about ten seconds of new gameplay in the video, but Howard stated that they have gone back to “some things we didn’t do [in older games]: the backgrounds, the traits, defining your character, all of those stats.” According to Shen, “In this one, we’ve got the United Colonies, that represents the future space republic, idealised. You also have the Freestar Collective, which is the space western fantasy. These people are out there on the frontier. We’ve got Ryujin Industries which represents corporate life. I think it has one of the best starts of any faction.”
You can also join a faction while acting against it. In the case of the Crimson Fleet, the space pirate gang, “The cool thing about them is what if you’re a good person, a good player, and you don’t want to play as the bad guy. You can side with the pirates or report back to your superiors and be like basically space cop type of thing, so let you be a good person but still play with the bad guys.” Howard did have some vital questions at the end, though: “We’re asking the big questions. Why are we all here? Where is it leading? And what’s next for humanity?”
Starfield is out on November 11 for Xbox Series and PC.