Following the Xbox Games Showcase, Microsoft jumped straight into a feature all about Starfield. We’ve been watching, and digging out the points that we think are most intriguing. And so, if you missed the Starfield Direct, read on to find out the most important parts. You can, of course, also watch the presentation yourself – you’ll find the video embedded further down the page.
1. You can play in third or first person
Your preferred viewpoint will be catered for, as you can switch between third and first person view at any time.
2. “You explore differently, given Starfield’s scale”
We’re not exactly sure what that means. It seems you won’t simply be following a minimap; rather leading your own exploration and seeing what you stumble upon.
3. You can pick up whatever you like – but you’ve got a weight limit
With so much stuff to explore in Starfield, you’ll undoubtedly want to pick up whatever you like. And you can. But you have a weight limit – the bane of our open world game existence. Hopefully you can extend your weight limit as you play.
4. Your ship is your home
Don’t expect a new and shiny ship: “lo-fi” is the term used to describe your Starfield ship. Its worn, lived-in appearance will hopefully be endearing, though, and we look forward to poking our nose around it. It’ll be your home, and so you’ll become very familiar with all of its nooks and crannies. You can, of course, customise it and upgrade it over time.
5. It features the biggest city Bethesda has ever made
The heart of Starfield is the biggest city Bethesda has ever made – not just in terms of size, but also in how much stuff has been built within it. You’ll find more quests than ever here, along with more people to meet and more buildings to explore.
6. There’s an eclectic cast of characters
According to the Starfield Direct, the characters you’ll meet as you play are well and truly varied. From different backgrounds, they’ll all have their own personalities and quirks to bring to the game, making it a rich and varied experience. We’re looking forward to meeting them.
7. There’s a very deep character creator
Starting with a preset, you can be as detailed as you like when it comes to creating your character. Opt for a basic design presented to you, or mix and match just about every design tool you want to make the character of your dreams. Or someone who represents you. Or the person you want to be. Whatever.
8. The background and traits you choose for your character will affect your gameplay
During the character creation process, you’ll choose a background and some traits. You might come across a character that needs something you have a background in and, voila, you can help. If you’d made different choices, your conversation with that character would be very different.
9. You can change your traits as you play
But we don’t yet know how. It seems it’ll be built into the gameplay rather than just revisiting a menu: perhaps you’ll need to undertake some new missions to shape your character in a new way.
10. You’ll constantly be challenged to rank up your character
There are lots of different skills in the game, and every action you perform will help you level up different skills. Lockpicking, combat, exploration, stealth – everything has a skill. Try to level up everything, or just focus on the skills you’re going to want to use most.
11. There’s a very deep ship builder
For players who really like to get technical, you can deep-dive into Starfield’s ship builder tool. You can change its appearance, what you can access inside it, and how well it flies, along with more. Of course, if you don’t want to mess around with all that, you can simply buy new ships. But we reckon you’re going to be tempted to tinker around.
12. You’ll be accompanied by a full crew on your ship
Starfield isn’t a lonely experience. Your ship will be filled with a crew, each member being a companion to you with their own questlines.
13. Romance is possible
Make friendships with your crew and other people you meet out in the world – and sometimes these can blossom into more. Oh yes, romance is possible in Starfield.
14. “Spaceflight should be exciting and dangerous”
Heading into your spaceship isn’t just about getting from A to B. You’ll have to pilot your ship yourself, engage in combat, and make cool warp-speed jumps. You’re going to feel like Han Solo piloting the Millennium Falcon, basically, and we’re here for it.
15. You can board enemy vessels and take control
If you’re up to the challenge, you can board enemy vessels, take down their crew and steal their ship. Take it, and it’ll become part of your fleet.
16. You can steal… sandwiches?
One of the Bethesda team tells us, during the Starfield Direct, that she purposefully likes to go out to steal sandwiches from the ships she boards. For no reason. Other than to steal sandwiches. She then has a special place for them in her own ship’s hold. So yeah, anything goes.
17. Weapons can be modded in a multitude of ways
Want a suppressor for stealth shooting? Or would you rather have a cool melee weapon to attack toe-to-toe? Either is fine, along with just about anything else. Modding weapons is a big part of the game, and Bethesda says there’s more mods in Starfield than any of their other games.
18. You’ve got a boost pack to get around
It might not be quite a jetpack, but your boost pack allows you to get around tough environments easily. You can also use it to give you an edge in combat by moving around the battlefield quickly and easily.
19. There’s a photo mode
Starfield looks beautiful, and so of course it’s gonna need a photo mode so we can capture the beauty of the planets we explore. We haven’t seen it in full detail, but we’re imagining it’s fully-featured, just like every other tool in the game.