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Starfield looks like the culmination of every Bethesda game

Summer Gaming Marathon Feature Image
This story is part of our Summer Gaming Marathon series.

The Xbox Games Showcase and Starfield Direct have come and gone, culminating with over 45 minutes of new gameplay footage of the upcoming spacefaring RPG, which is also Bethesda Game Studios’ first new IP in over 25 years.

Buckle up, because the new information dropped by Bethesda’s entire development team is an interstellar jump from the meager offerings we received during 2022’s Xbox Games Showcase. Almost all of Starfield’s galaxy-spanning game systems have now been shown off in much fuller detail, from extensive character customization and context-rich dialogue to gravity-defying combat, shipbuilding, and planetary exploration.

Some new tidbits include information about the locations and factions we’ll get to see in action, such as the city of Neon, which is described as a “pleasure city, where almost anything goes” that resembles Mass Effect 2’s Omega or Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City. We also got to see tons of information about how the combat and exploration systems work both in space and on foot, including interesting bits about how Starfield’s gravitational simulation makes ballistic weapons fire you backward in zero-gravity environments.

Overall, it looks like Bethesda has taken the best of its dialogue, exploration, combat, and customization systems from its past games and refined them to the nth degree while mashing them with the conventions of other spacefaring IPs like Mass Effect, Arkane’s Prey, Firefly, Stellaris, Star Wars, and even The Expanse. You can especially see the flow of Starfield’s different systems in the Lego-esque shipbuilding menu, which seemingly lets you piece a massive assortment of different ship modules together, allowing you to have more space for crewmates, fly faster, or have more maneuverability in ship-to-ship combat. They’ve also confirmed a Photo Mode as the cherry on top of everything else.

Starfield ship customization
Bethesda Softworks / Bethesda

If you don’t have the time to watch the full Direct, Bethesda also released a new gameplay trailer showing off a much quicker overview of the things we can expect from Starfield’s new universe — which is slated to have over 1,000 explorable planets spanning the “settled systems” of the Milky Way. You can see quick cuts of dinosaurs, spacefaring instruments, and astronauts roaming through caves full of massive crystalline structures, as well as some combat to give a quick feel of what we can expect when Starfield finally releases in less than three months.

Starfield is slated to release on September 6 as a day one PC and Xbox exclusive. Game Pass subscribers won’t have to pay for Starfield Standard Edition, though Bethesda may still tempt buyers with its comprehensive Starfield Constellation Edition. The latter is advertised to include a digital game download, Steelbook Display case, and Starfield Chronomark smartwatch, plus an accompanying NASA-style watch case.

Starfield Constellation Edition details
Bethesda Softworks / Bethesda

The Starfield Constellation Edition also promises up to five days of early access, a pass for the game’s first story expansion (titled Shattered Space), and some skins. Plus a digital soundtrack and art book.

Gabriel Moss
Gabriel is a freelance writer with a keen interest in gaming and technology. He has written at several sites including IGN…
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