Starfield Direct Overview
It was direct
Immediately following the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Starfield Direct. This will be a massive deep dive into Bethesda’s latest game, so feel free to sit back and relax as we tell you all you need to know.
Todd Howard introduces us to the Starfield Direct from Bethesda Game Studios. Bethesda has been talking for years about a space game where you can be who you are and do whatever you want as you traverse the galaxy.
Starfield is the first new universe from Bethesda in over 25 years, but it still remains a Bethesda RPG. You step into a new world and have a feeling of a new world with fresh possibilities. However, instead of exploring one world, you have a thousand.
You get to choose where you go, and with modern technology, Bethesda can now realistically simulate the worlds around you. Moons orbit the planets (and you can even travel to them), and with the use of real-time global illumination, they can light the world depending on the type of star and the planet’s atmosphere.
Bethesda utilises an all-new animation system, and you’ll be glad to know you can choose to play it in first-person or third-person. The exploration system is different from what you would normally expect from their games. You explore the area you land in, collect resources, do missions, and stumble upon unexpected surprises.
You can pick up everything, and you can see everything you own in the Data Menu.
The Data Menu is the hub for everything you do. You can check your skills, your ship, what missions you’re doing, and access your inventory. Each object has a ton of detail, so you can expect a detailed look at your weapons, spacesuits, and food. They obsess over all the details.
You can return to your ship by either walking or fast travelling. You’ll be joined by your companions and crew, who you can take with you or leave at the ship. Your companions can even say your name!
Istvan Pely was on a mission to convey the wonder of space exploration. Starfield hopes to evoke the romance of the golden age of early space exploration, which they’ve been referring to as “NASA Punk”.
“NASA Punk” is a design language where although the tech is advanced, it still looks grounded and relatable. John Gravato reveals that it is this contrast that makes the visual interest so compelling. NASA has a rigid function over style, while punk is all about style. You can see the visuals in the style of your ship.
Your ship is your home, and many of the spaces in the game have a slightly retro, analogue touch, which feels more lo-fi than sci-fi. Everything is well-worn and lived in instead of completely pristine.
Using your Star Map, you can see more details about the planet that you’re on. You can view all the info of the planet and the resources you’ve found. Using the Star Map, you can choose your landing spot, or use it to fast travel to locations you’ve already been before.
If you zoom out, you can view the planets surrounding the one you’re on and their entire solar system. The game’s scale is massive, and you can see the planets, their key locations, missions, and if there are any life forms on them. The Star Map can help you identify which planets may be barren, but will still have a number of resources for you to collect.
When you zoom even further out, you can see more systems in the part of the galaxy you’re in. By zooming out this far, you can plot your course to those that are light years away, allowing you to use your ship’s grav drive to fold space and jump to them.
To get to systems that are more distant, you’ll need to upgrade your ship. In this Direct, we plot our way to Alpha Centauri to visit New Atlantis.
Maja Jevremovic, producer of Starfield, reveals that when you land in a city like New Atlantis, you will immediately be drawn in by the vast buildings around you. Angela Browder confirms that it is the largest city that Bethesda has ever made in their history of games.
To make New Atlantis, they didn’t only focus on the size, but the amount of custom art that was used to build it. There are crowds and quests, so it is completely full of life.
Brian Chapin was the lead city designer, and their focus when designing the city was on the story. There are many small stories that allow you to see characters in their day-to-day lives. It’s also where your adventure with Constellation begins, and thus serves as something of a starter hub.
William Shen, the lead quest designer reveals that Constellation is seen as a mythical group in which most people don’t realise they exist anymore. They are some of the last true explorers in the galaxy, and they search for artefacts that appear to be calling to you.
Emil Pagliarulo reveals the unique cast of characters including Sarah Morgan, an ex-soldier who is now the leader. Matteo is a theologian. Noel is Sarah’s protege, and Walter is a successful businessman who finances Constellation. Vlad is a former pirate, and Sam Coe, the former space cowboy, and Barrett.
There are so many people to meet and adventures to uncover.
The United Colonies
New Atlantis is the first major human settlement. They value law, humanity, and view themselves as the true legacy of the people of Earth. The city of Cydonia on Mars serves as the largest mining colony.
Outside of the United Colonies is a much more wild coalition of star systems that are much more independent. This is known as Freestar Collective Space.
The capital of the Freestar Collective is Akila City, and here is a world full of space cowboys. They focus on intuition to solve what’s best for the people. As part of the Freestar Collective is Neon, which began as a fishing platform but is now known as a pleasure city where everything goes.
It’s a lawless area, and one that you should be careful of. There are a wide variety of enemies you need to worry about, as outside of the United Colonies is an area that is incredibly dangerous.
The most important story in Starfield is your character, and they show this by the level of customisation for your avatar. They compiled a collection of different age groups and ethnicities to scan and ensure that every character is unique. Any character you see is one that you could easily make yourself with Starfield’s character overhaul.
You start your character creation from a selection of 40 presets. Players can be as detailed or as fast as they want. It’s surprisingly quick, as you can morph your face, and yet there are so many details you can include.
Choose your background to decide what your skill set is. These can be surprisingly useful, and you’ll find that they may impact your story in strange ways. There are also traits that will have advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation.
These traits can even include visiting your parents, having a biggest fan, or joining a specific religion. You can remove traits too, but you can discover this on your own.
When you level up you can get a skill point to unlock or rank up skills. Ranks can be unlocked by completing challenges associated with that skill, and these become more difficult as you progress.
There are five different skill trees with four ranks per skill, so you have a lot of options to choose from. One such skill is Xenosociology, which lets you control aliens. Boost Packs allow you to fly anywhere, and Neuro Strikes let you punch all of your enemies.
You can decide on your skills depending on your own personal preference. Whether you prefer stealth, talking, or running and gunning, there’s a little something for everyone.
As you know, Starfield has a massive scale regarding exploration. It balances fun with realism. Using data from NASA and other sources, they worked hard to make the planetary atmospheres and biomes more believable.
Once they uncovered the world, they could identify what makes the planet fun. You can navigate asteroid fields, explore derelict ships, and embark on space battles. It’s all about rewarding your curiosity regardless of where you are.
Your ship is similar to having another character. You can buy a ship, customise it, upgrade it, and hire a crew to ensure it stays up and running. To do this, you go to a spaceport to find a space technician.
You can find your ship and make changes to it depending on what you want to do next. It doesn’t matter if you want to do a deep dive into the ship builder mode and rebuild your ship, or if you want to quickly upgrade your individual systems. Using the ship customisation, you can change your ship depending on how you want to play the game.
The parts don’t only affect your stats, but what you do inside the ship as well. Each ship manufacturer has their own style, so your ship will always be unique. You could make your ship look like a mech, or shaped like a platypus. It’s all up to your imagination.
The members of Constellation can join your crew, and they will join you on your adventure. They will have different skills that they can bring to you, your ship, and even unique quest lines. Some friendships can also devolve into romance, and you can hire more crew at space ports.
When travelling the universe, you can find more members to join your crew. You can then station them at outposts, help out on the ship, and they can lend a hand in the field.
Go into the cockpit for yourself, and you can feel like you’re in complete control of your ship. When entering space combat, it’s not only about pushing the right triggers at the right time, it’s about carefully piloting your ship while also considering the power allocation system.
Moving your power to weapons to shields means that you’re ready to fight. You need to always be on your toes, as you can be attacked at any moment. Unlocking the Targeting Control System can help you target specific systems of your enemy ship.
When defeating an enemy, you can loot the ship from your cockpit, or you can even enter the enemy’s ship yourself and attack from the inside. Once you take control of an enemy’s ship it is yours, and you can add it to your collection of ships at any spaceport.
There are many places you can dock your ship. Go to Star Yards, or go onto intergalactic cruise ships. There’s nothing stopping you from becoming a space pirate, and you can steal anything you want, including sandwiches.
They may even offer opportunities to buy another ship, or they might generally be looking for human interaction. It’s all about getting sidetracked on different adventures, making it perfect for anyone who wants to get lost in their sidequests.
Starfield encourages you to explore in any way you want. There is a sense of awe, adventure, and fear as you battle in a massive playground.
For the Collector’s Edition of Starfield, fans can have their own Constellation Explorer’s Watch. This is the same watch as the one you get in the game which is a part of your HUD. The Constellation Explorer’s Watch will connect to your phone, and you can get notifications through it.
It comes into a snazzy case inspired by the cases from the Apollo era. It has a NATO strap, and it looks as if it comes from the Starfield universe.
With the Xbox Hardware team, they have created a limited edition controller for Xbox, with a custom headset. These are designed with your spaceship in mind.
Bethesda wanted to bring a whole new scale to their open world gameplay. You can scan the planets to get a sneak peek at what’s on the planet, allowing you to pick and choose which one you want to visit.
The planet essentially builds as the player explores. There are interesting creatures and plants. Even if your friends visit the same planet in their game, they will have a different story. It all depends on how you play the game.
You can choose to fight, or you can harvest resources, or simply explore. Using your skills, you can identify whether you can harvest resources from the native wildlife to each planet. These creatures aren’t meant to feel like monsters.
Even the lighting helps Starfield feel more cinematic. You’ll be surprised at the level of detail that has gone into the colours of each world.
Outposts are essentially your base camp. You can live in your outpost and leave your crew here. Using a Fly Cam, players can get a top-down view of the structures on the Outpost and build them in a way that feels right.
You can also harvest resources by setting up the right tools for when you’re not there. Decorate your Outpost and explore and live in it if you want to.
By adding crafting and research stations in your outpost, you can utilise any resources you find or already have in your inventory. Modify your weapons to suit your play style. Stealth players can have suppressors, and you can also have melee weapons to go toe-to-toe with your enemies.
The combat has been overhauled, so you’ll find there’s more mods for your weapons than any other game they’ve done before. Upgraded gear is only one of many factors, as you need to consider your environment.
One way to give yourself an edge is by using Boost Packs as they can help you fly around. Depending on the gravity, your weapons may be affected. You need to figure out how each weapon reacts depending on where you are. There are many different types of weapons that you can try out to find out what the perfect play style for you is.
These are only a few features that you can expect from Starfield. Everyone has a different feature that they love, including photo modes and exploration.
No doubt, there’s a lot of features that you’ll have a lot to look forward to. Do whatever you want in Starfield on a larger scale when it comes out on the 6th of September.
If you pre-order now, you’ll get access to the Old Mars Skin Pack featuring a Deep Mining Helmet and Pack and a Laser Cutter.
The Starfield Digital Premium Edition comes with five Days Early Access, the Shattered Space First Story Expansion, Constellation Skin Pack, and a Digital Soundtrack and Artbook. The Constellation Edition includes all of these, plus the Digital Game Download, Steelbook Display Case, Starfield Chronomark Watch, Watch Case, and Constellation Pack.
If you’re excited for Starfield, let us know what you’re most excited for!