Starfield, Bethesda’s upcoming sci-fi RPG, has been somewhat of a mystery to the gaming world since its initial tease back in 2018. While many expected to see the game in action during Sunday afternoon’s Xbox and Bethesda showcase, newspaper The Washington Post accidentally uploaded a trailer for the game to their website ahead of time.
Update: In the official reveal, Todd Howard says that the trailer, while cinematic, is all in-game. Better yet, the trailer ends with a release date: November 11, 2023. In it, we can see an explorer aboard a ship that is about to take off into the stars. There’s drama to it, likely because, as Bethesda has explained before, the game will have space travel—but the mechanic won’t work in some futuristic and completely safe way. That’s why the takeoff countdown and extended prep procedure in this teaser is so significant.
But wait, there’s more! The leak also included a behind-the-scenes trailer where Todd Howard waxes philosophical about humanity’s desire to explore space. There are also a variety of concept art pictures that tease the locales and characters we shall see in the game. Above all, Howard emphasizes player choice, but he doesn’t get specific about how that will play out in the game.
The Maryland-based company was purchased by Microsoft in early 2023 via an eye-popping deal worth $7.5 billion—which is why Bethesda will hold a joint show at this E3.
In the original Starfield trailer, Bethesda briefly displayed a sun rising over the horizon of a planet. The music accompanying that tidbit was sweeping, seemingly promising an exciting new adventure. Perhaps that’s justified when you consider that Starfield is Bethesda’s first original role-playing game in roughly two decades. According to a prior interview, Bethesda started conceptualizing Starfield back in 2004, though it wouldn’t dedicate a development team to the project until 2015. The teaser trailer says that the game has been 25 years in the making.
We know the game has been playable for a while, and that it will be a single-player adventure. Generally speaking, though, Bethesda has kept Starfield—and the future of many of its flagship franchises under Microsoft ownership—mostly under wraps prior to E3 2023. But hey, at least it’s been nice knowing the RPG giant’s got something other than the billionth re-release of Skyrim in the works.
According to previous reports, Starfield, along with other future Bethesda games, will be available on PC, Xbox, and Game Pass. The big question on everyone’s mind, however, is how the company’s new ownership might influence whether or not these major Bethesda franchises will see releases on competing consoles like the PS5. According to Microsoft, the company can recoup the costs of buying Bethesda without necessarily having the RPG developer’s games go multiplatform, which would be a change from how Bethesda has handled older titles. However, Microsoft says that decisions on platforms will ultimately be handled on a case-by-case basis.
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