I’ve been waiting for Starfield since early rumors of the space sci-fi game from none other than Bethesda. Someone had to take up the baton from the likes of No Man’s Sky and Stellaris or EVE Online and create a full-blown RPG in space. Since it’s a RPG, Bethesda is arguably the best at it, and it looks like they pulled it off.
But have they?
You’ve watched Starfield Direct and the Starfield Official Gameplay Trailer a couple of times by now. I’ve done that too. And considering the increasing number of real-world leaks pre-release, I have reason enough to trim the fluff from the expectations and share a Starfield gameplay overview.
Starfield Gameplay Leaks
This is a pop Starfield news that had us worried for a bit.
Starfield’s open world and all that. Without a doubt, we are led to believe that the ‘open world’ will persist as an ‘open’ world where you can wander off almost anywhere.
This is plausible since Bethesda has already confirmed that no two players will have the same story experience on one planet. How come? Well since Starfield will take it from No Man’s Sky to procedurally generate worlds as part of the game system.
So typically, you should get to wander off on any planet without an in-game pop-up constantly asking you to get back to the LZ.
Hopefully that’s still the case for all players or else Bethesda is sure to have a PR nightmare (none so far).
The image below (sourced from X) may be fake, but I’ve shared it for context.
But beyond this, there’s been serious momentum on social of an extensive Starfield gameplay video leaked by an individual who’s currently facing charges.
None of that matters anymore. Although players are still having a hard time getting on Starfield and that’s since Early Access, currently we are just too busy enjoying the sights and all that Starfield does offer.
Starfield Gameplay Trailer: Official
That’s 2 months old and Bethesda’s done a lot more for us fans to know what we can expect in this –
I’ve watched this video n times and in case you have as well, what follows might be an interesting read at the very least.
Starfield Gameplay: Breaking it Down
We already know Starfield is going to be all about procedurally generated world maps and object interactions. The game system is designed to reflect endless permutations across the storyline.
What this really means is that although there’ll be the grind, even that’s going to vary.
The game will continue to evolve as you progress through the phases and build skills. With Starfield, you’ll essentially interact with a simulated environment as a unique character. The only string of commonality would be the tasks and missions that tie you and the game environment with a single thread.
Ain’t that something?
General Movement and Combat
Although I’m not sure whether all Starfield planets and worlds will have a weaker gravity than that of Earth, I’m sure the ones in the trailers are just that.
Otherwise, you won’t be semi-flying over deep canyons or outflanking your enemies from up top thanks to your jetpacked spacesuit.
This is a key point of interest for me as far as Starfield gameplay mechanics are concerned. And it’s great to see from the trailers that Starfield has kept this new movement mechanics simple and realistic.
Other than that, Bethesda’s Bethesda. Walking, running, taking cover, and all that is much like Skyrim and Fallout. Nothing there to talk about. But there’s no crazy jumping around and that’s a relief. Who does that?
I’ll spend more hours on shipbuilding than mindlessly roaming around any planet just to find out how much resources Bethesda’s spent on the open world.
This ship-builder UI is out of this world and light years ahead of any other title in the space exploration gaming genre, even Stellaris.
What I liked the most was the consequential design thinking behind it. In simpler words, every single aspect of your ship’s build will determine how well it fulfills its purpose. So, if you’re fitting a bigger cargo hold to run more pirate missions, you may need to cut down on crew size and the benefits that come with a larger crew.
But all that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
What’s the one single thing everyone’s waiting for with Starfield?
Dogfighting in space. And Bethesda’s got that on queue.
Space flight and combat looks as good as it can get and second only to Interstellar maybe.
And it’s not kept as simple as just point and shoot.
You need to balance between your warp, shields, weapons and engine speed based on the situation and you need to do all that in real time while in a combat scenario.
Despite steep PC requirements, Bethesda has kept things just the same in-game as in their teaser content.
So far, I see dialogues, unique character creation setups, different story endings, lots of side quests, scenario dialogs, important NPCs, and all that.
Starfield does amp up the side characters setup and expands it to a multi-layered team setup.
As the player, you are required to maintain ships and outputs. To do that, you need to maintain a team. Starfield calls this the Companions setup.
Here’s a heads-up on Starfield Companions.
There’s also the hack-and-slash gameplay for those who’d want a bit of Skyrim fun as well.
Bottomline – Starfield is through and through an RPG game from probably the best RPG studio on the planet.
Character Building System
Skyrim and Daggerfall still maintain a deep skilling and crafting system. That’s what we RPGers love, the opportunity to create unique characters.
With Starfield, the world’s big enough to accommodate the huge number of variables necessary to make the most of a huge skill tree.
This space RPG promises 5 skill trees. Each skill has 4 levels tied to completing specific missions and tasks that get harder as you level up.
Adding on to skills are backgrounds and traits.
Backgrounds determine what skills your character starts with, and how your missions and tasks pan out throughout the game.
Looking at this gameplay excerpt, the storyline is sure to have multiple entries, subplots and endings. Backgrounds will determine how players start and proceed through the game.
It also points to the future. Are we looking at the foundation of the biggest P2P gaming metaverse? Most likely. I’ll be patient about it and so should you.
Coming to another key factor to Starfield gameplay mechanics and character building – Traits.
Traits are what you add to your character as special features. You get to add a maximum of 3 traits to your character. Each trait comes with its pros and cons.
So, there’s a high chance that each character built is seemingly unique and also that there’ll be a couple of favorite Starfield character background and trait combinations we’re looking at already.
I’ll do a dedicated Starfield builds special once I run through the game a couple of times so stay tuned.
Bethesda wouldn’t miss out on crafting in Starfield so much so that you’re probably looking at Skyrim-grade crafting opportunities in it.
Strangely, they’ve kept this part of the game well under wraps with only minimal details. Most of what you see out there are excerpts from Bethesda’s Starfield Gameplay Deep Dive and their Gamescom outing.
But without a shell of doubt, the crafting system will surely be the most expansive yet from Bethesda. They’ve laid down new benchmarks with their ship-building mechanics and we will find a lot of that depth trickling down for crafting as well.
Starfield’s gameplay mechanics will set new benchmarks for the gaming industry, no matter what bugs come up on release. I can’t wait to get started with it. Stay updated on Starfield news and gameplay tips.