One of the founding fathers of the Western RPG, with game of the year titles such as Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Oblivion and that other one you can play on the Alexa. Bethesda Game Studios (BGS) has been absent from the gaming landscape for a long while. Todd Howard and the team are returning this year for their first release in five years, eight years if you don’t include Fallout 76. This giant RPG, with over 1000 planets to explore, is just around the corner; here is everything you should know about Starfield.
Starfield At A Glance
- Release Date: 6th September 2023. Five days early with Digital Premium Edition purchase.
- Platform: Xbox, PC, Gamepass.
- Install Size: 125GB.
- Genre: Single Player Open-World (Open-Galaxy?) Sc-Fi RPG.
What’s the story of Starfield?
Taking place around the year 2330, the galaxy is recovering from a colony war between the United Colonies and Freestar Collective. You begin your journey after finding a mysterious Artefact that will bring you in contact with Constellation, the last space explorers left in the galaxy investigating these mysterious findings for the truths they hold. Is there intelligent life out there? As with any BGS game, the story belongs to you; whether you engage with the main story, complete faction quests, or create your own stories is entirely up to you.
What are the factions in Starfield?
From the Dark Brotherhood of Elder Scrolls to the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout, factions are a large part of BGS titles. Starfield is no different. We currently know of seven factions in Starfield:
- Constellation: The last space explorers.
- United Colonies: Most powerful, established military and political faction in the game.
- Freestar Collective: Described as ‘Space Western Fantasy’.
- Ryujin Industries: A large mega-corporation.
- Crimson Fleet: Classic space pirates.
- House Va’Ruun: Worshippers of the Serpent. A group of fanatical religious zealots.
Starfield Gameplay Breakdown
Starfield’s gameplay is similar to Fallout 4, with noticeable improvements in weapon variety, recoil and overall feel of the first or third-person combat. Players can take up arms with either Ballistic, energy or electromagnetic guns or take an up-close approach with melee weapons or their fists. If stealth is your style, you can sneak into a location and silently take out enemies.
Skills will play a major role in your combat efficiency, with several skills related to all combat options. Players can also mod their weapons, such as adding silencers, to improve their effectiveness for their chosen playstyle.
Dialogue and Persuasion
BGS has confirmed the return of a persuasion system similar to Elder Scroll Oblivion, where the player will take turns selecting a persuasive dialogue option that will either succeed or fail in persuading the NPC to do your bidding. The Dialogue system appears to be a return to the Skyrim and Fallout 3 days with no voiced protagonist and a full readout of your potential dialogue options. BGS has also confirmed that you can call on your companions in dialogue for them to offer their advice on the situation.
Planets and Exploration
Containing over 1000 planets, there will be plenty to explore in Starfield. Players can freely explore the galaxy, its moons, planets and other objects found in the vastness of space. Planetary exploration isn’t a walk in the park. However, they will contain hazards requiring you to have the necessary Thermal, Airborne, corrosive and radiation protection to safely explore. Luckily, you’ll have your boost pack to make exploration easier, especially on planets will low gravity.
While on planets, you can scan its fauna, flora and resources and uncover planetary traits. These discoveries can be sold for profit.
What good is a space game without ship customisation? The Starfield Direct showed 13 different customisable sections for your ship. Including a simple upgrade menu and expansive ship editor allow players to design their ship from the ground up. A ship isn’t simply for looks; however, you’ll need a good Grav Drive to reach far-away star systems, weapons and shields for space combat and more.
Crafting and Research
Players can craft Mods for their weapons, equipment and chemical enhancements, much like Fallout 4. What’s unique, however, is that many items must be researched at a Research laboratory before being created. This includes Pharmacology, Food and Drink, Outpost Development, equipment and Weaponry.
Outpost and Settlements
The settlement system from Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 returned in the way of Outposts. Outposts can be created on any planet and used to farm resources or assign Crew members and Companions for various buffs. Unlike Fallout 4, you can build an outpost anywhere, provided a structure isn’t already built.
Companions and Crew Members
Companions can join the player throughout your journey and will provide buffs from their skills, side quests and the potential for romance. You don’t have to bring companions with you if you choose, however, and you can stick to robotic friends like Vasco or even adventure completely alone.
Crew members can be hired out in the world or from Space ports to help with your ship or outpost upkeep and can be assigned to various tasks with the Crew Roster system. Crew members aren’t as expansive as companions be will still be able to provide assistance when needed.
Will Starfield have a Character Creator?
Yes, BGS has included a full character creator. You can fully customise your appearance and choose a background, traits and skills.
Every player must choose a Background. This defines your initial starting skills and background for your character, which will have unique dialogue options in some scenarios.
Traits are optional; you can include them during the character creation process. These range from religious traits, giving you unique advantages with NPC of the same religion, and faction traits, for unique benefits with those factions or simple combat enhancements. There are also more comical traits like the Adoring Fan, an NPC that will follow you and is, quite literally, your biggest fan.
Skills are separated into five different skill trees. Every time you level up, you will gain a skill point that can be spent to unlock a new skill. Once unlocked, you can level up the rank of that skill by completing specific challenges. The five skill trees are:
- Physical: Physical skills such as carry capacity, melee combat and endurance.
- Social: Dialogue, persuasion and leadership skills.
- Combat: Weapon-focused skills.
- Science: Crafting and research skills.
- Tech: Robotics, ship abilities and outpost skills.
Need more Starfield?
If you need more and have 45 minutes free, I highly recommend watching Starfield Direct. It’s almost impossible to accurately include everything in this expansive showcase of Starfield’s offerings. This game scale is massive. You really should see it for yourself.
How much will Starfield Cost?
The price varies in Australia depending on the outlet; here is a list of the major retailers and their pre-order prices:
Stay tuned on Novastream for more Starfield Coverage, including our review.
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