(Pocket-lint) - Bethesda is a gaming titan with some of the most popular franchises in the world under its belt, the likes of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. Now, though, it's working on something completely new - a totally fresh science-fiction IP.
The game's called Starfield, that much we know, and you're in the perfect place to find out everything we know about the upcoming title.
Starfield trailer and release date
Bethesda unveiled Starfield at E3 in 2018 with the above teaser trailer that gives us very little to go on - it's only a minute long! That evocative name set the rumour mill going into overdrive, but there was no release date to go with it.
Now, though, we've finally got a date - at E3 2021 Bethesda opened Xbox's presentation with a longer trailer for the game and confirmed its release date as 11 November 2022. That was sadly revised in May 2022, when Bethesda delayed the game into the first half of 2023, per the statement below.
An update on Redfall and Starfield. pic.twitter.com/pqDtx26Uu6— Bethesda (@bethesda) May 12, 2022
Early rumours suggest the game may have a Collector's Edition release coming with a fully functional smartwatch in a presentation box.
What would have been a simple bit of estimation over the course of years has become more complicated when it comes to the game's likely platforms. After all, Microsoft recently completed its blockbuster purchase of Bethesda, and big-name exclusives will surely have been one major motivator behind that.
That's why it wasn't a great surprise to get confirmation that the game will be exclusive to Xbox consoles and PC when it releases - Starfield will not be appearing on the PS4 or PS5.
Returning to the good side of that information, the game will also release straight onto Xbox Game Pass, so if you're a subscriber to that service you'll be able to play it at no additional cost immediately.
Starfield story and gameplay
Even after two trailers, we still arguably know next to nothing about Starfield, with only hints given out by that pair of clips. The original teaser shows a planet before revealing a satellite that unfolds and zips through some sort of cosmic wormhole or gate.
The word "constellation" appears partially at the start, too - and it also comes back in the second trailer, this time referred to as a group of people. Todd Howard confirmed in an interview with The Telegraph that this group is key to the story, calling them a "last group of space explorers".
The group is apparently one of several factions that the player will interact with in the game - a familar concept to lovers of Bethesda's previous RPGs. We've had short vignettes from the developer about some of the settlements that you'll visit in Starfield, including New Atlantis, below, as well as Neon and Akila.
The clips are super short and only contain animated concept art, but they still give some hints about how the world of Starfield might operate, so it's well worth checking them out.
Whether this all sees us taking on the role of a spacefarer or astronaut, and the sort of story the game will tell, will both have to come out with time. Bethesda obviously specialises in open-world RPGs, so we'd also suspect that it's likely to fit into a similar mould.
We know that you'll make a custom character, though - as confirmed during a Reddit discussion, the game will let you choose your pronouns and gender, with dialogue recorded to support whatever choices you opt for, a nice inclusive touch.
The rickety nature of that satellite in the first teaser, and some older quotes from Bethesda supremo Todd Howard, make it sound like space travel will not be some easy feat in Starfield, though. Talking to Elon Musk in 2019, Howard compared it to "flight in the '40s, like it's dangerous," so we're hoping there could be some interesting mechanics on that front.
In a few of the trailers and clips released so far, you can see glimpses of a tall robot that looks like a companion for the player, and that's now been confirmed in the short trailer below.
It's called Vasco, and can accompany the player as they explore, offering more storage and even a gentle bit of protection if fighting does break out. The robot's distinctive design is impressive, and we'll be interested to see what further gameplay implications Vasco has.
Looking further back, after a good chunk of radio silence, in late 2020 a couple of images surfaced out of nowhere, purporting to be from pre-release Starfield builds. There's no proof of this, and only some similarities in the UI's design compared to the official Starfield website to back it up.
It's not much to go on, but it looks like it confirms a few details, including the ability to spacewalk in the game and the fact that it could have a third-person perspective. It also looks like it could let players choose their equipment, and their weapons, judging by the icon at the bottom left.
This was added to in April 2022 by another set of images, uploaded to Reddit, again purporting to show the game's 2018 early-development build. They're very similar and we'd suggest that a set of four-year-old images might not be the most useful for gauging what the game will look like on release.
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