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Starfield: All the New Details from The Gameplay Trailer

Xbox's Summer 2023 Showcase was filled with exciting game announcements and collaborations, but the star of the show was undoubtedly Starfield. As one of the most highly anticipated Xbox exclusives in recent memory, Starfield did not fail to impress with its comprehensive gameplay trailer showcased during the extensive Starfield Direct presentation.

Starfield holds the distinction of being Bethesda's first new IP in 25 years, and it is their most ambitious undertaking to date. The level of meticulous attention and intricate craftsmanship evident in every aspect of the game is truly remarkable, promising an immersive and awe-inspiring space exploration experience unlike any other. Today, we delve into some of the lesser-known details that might have escaped your notice. Let’s get right into it!

10. Character Creation & Explorer Watch

In line with Bethesda's reputation for immersive RPGs, Starfield incorporates a character creation system that introduces some fresh elements while retaining certain familiar aspects from the Fallout series. Alongside the ability to finely customize your character's appearance, which already boasts an impressive level of detail, players are presented with the opportunity to choose their character's background and traits.

Backgrounds in Starfield merge class systems with rich backstories, granting players three starter skills and a diverse range of options to select from, such as Chef, Bounty Hunter, or Professor. These backgrounds add depth and complexity to your character, enhancing the overall narrative experience. Traits, on the other hand, are optional but contribute an additional layer of storytelling flavor. They can offer intriguing possibilities, like having the chance to visit your parents, being revered by local inhabitants, or unlocking unique dialogue opportunities.

One fascinating feature revealed in the gameplay trailer is the HUD, which takes the form of an Explorer Watch. Reminiscent of the survival watch in Stranded Deep but significantly more advanced, this watch plays a vital role in navigation, granting access to locked areas, and providing information about planetary conditions and mission progress. Its significance is so pronounced that a collector's edition of the game even includes a wearable replica of the Explorer Watch for dedicated fans to enjoy.

9. Companions & Recruiting

In contrast to the solitary journey of Selene Vassos in Returnal, Starfield offers players the opportunity to embark on interstellar adventures accompanied by companions. It is reminiscent of the companion system seen in The Outer Worlds. Whether it's a significant character encountered during the main story, a helpful robot companion in combat, or a stranger rescued along the way, you have the option to assemble a diverse team of allies.

In Starfield, the presence of multiple outposts and the ability to pilot a ship necessitate the recruitment of crew members. This means that you can assign the various characters you encounter to different outposts or have them join you on your spacecraft. Each contributes their unique skills and abilities to your endeavors. Furthermore, the game hints at the inclusion of romance options and the potential for developing relationships with the companions you grow close to. It adds an additional layer of depth and personal connection to the gameplay experience.

8. Scanner & Base Building

Similar to the scanning mechanics in No Man's Sky, Starfield equips players with a versatile scanner capable of examining data on resources and alien species. This scanner serves multiple purposes, allowing players to gather information, complete surveying objectives for rewards, and delve into the intricate details of the game's diverse ecosystems. The scanner's user interface displays the progress of exploration for flora and fauna on a given planet, highlighting the current creature of interest in green and presenting its vital information for further analysis.

In addition to planetary exploration, Starfield introduces the ability to construct detailed outposts, rivaling the level of intricacy found in ship customization. The base-building feature adopts a top-down isometric view, distinguishing it from the camera perspective in Fallout 4. Building upon the modular system reminiscent of No Man's Sky, players have the opportunity to assemble various individual parts to create their desired structures. Moreover, the game offers ample opportunities for engaging in fantastic interior decorating, enabling players to personalize and enhance the aesthetic appeal of their outposts.

7. New Weapons & Zero Gravity Combat

The recent Starfield showcase provided an exciting glimpse into the game's combat mechanics and weaponry, specifically focusing on the intricacies of zero-gravity shootouts. Players will have the opportunity to engage enemies while floating in zero-G environments, offering a unique and dynamic combat experience that can be enjoyed from either a first-person or third-person perspective. What sets the combat apart is the incorporation of physics, where certain weapons will propel the player further into the air with each shot fired, adding an extra layer of strategy and maneuverability to battles.

The arsenal in Starfield encompasses a range of diverse weapons. Alongside the standard ballistic machine guns, players will have access to energy weapons that harness powerful beams of energy, as well as high-powered electromagnetic weapons that deliver devastating force. However, it's not just about ranged combat; melee combat plays a significant role as well. Players can engage in up-close confrontations, even against towering extraterrestrial creatures, utilizing punches and melee attacks to gain the upper hand in combat scenarios. This variety of combat options ensures that players can adapt their playstyle to suit their preferences and the challenges they encounter throughout their spacefaring adventures in Starfield.

6. Dogfighting & Ship Boarding

No expansive open-world space exploration game would be complete without exhilarating dogfights against enemy spacecraft, and Bethesda has left no stone unturned in delivering an immersive and detailed experience, as revealed in the Starfield Direct. Dogfights will be plentiful, and they come equipped with systems that add depth and a simulation-like quality to the encounters.

Success in a dogfight hinge on the strategic allocation of power across various systems. Players can adjust power distribution to optimize speed by allocating resources to the engine, reinforce their defenses by diverting power to shields and ballistics, or make a swift getaway using the Gravity Drive. Furthermore, there is a skill that allows for precise targeting of specific components on enemy ships, providing a tactical advantage during combat engagements.

Following a victorious dogfight, players have the opportunity to board the defeated enemy's ship and scavenge its contents, including valuable loot and potentially even the entire vessel itself. This aspect of looting and salvaging adds an additional layer of reward and progression to the gameplay, allowing players to further enhance their resources and expand their fleet.

5. Massive Star System (World-Building)

As promised, Starfield offers an expansive universe with a staggering number of over a thousand planets to explore. The level of world-building in the game surpasses that of The Outer Worlds, providing players with the opportunity to journey through a vast array of planets situated in different star systems, as depicted on the Star Map. However, it's important to note that access to certain planets may be restricted based on the player's current stats or progress.

The Star Map serves as a crucial tool for navigation and exploration. By hovering the cursor over a planet, players can access detailed information about it, including available resources, quests to undertake, the diverse flora and fauna awaiting scanning, and the overall completion status of the area. This wealth of information empowers players to make informed decisions and prioritize their exploration based on their objectives and interests.

Zooming out of the star system view on the Star Map provides players with a glimpse of neighboring star systems. This enables them to venture beyond their current location and explore the offerings of nearby star systems, uncovering new planets and embarking on fresh adventures.

4. Biomes & Creatures

The exploration of planets in Starfield goes beyond their mere representation on the Star Map's UI. In the recently revealed gameplay footage, players are treated to a glimpse of the intricate biomes found on various mysterious planets, showcasing their lush terrains and unique native alien creatures. The visuals capture the essence of these environments in great detail.

One captivating instance featured gray spider-like beings reminiscent of those seen in The Mandalorian, along with other towering insectoid creatures resembling a praying mantis. There is a planet adorned with blue foliage, where tall, furry, humped hybrid creatures with side-eyed heads frequent the landscape. Another planet reveals dinosaur-like animals roaming their habitats, evoking a sense of prehistoric wonder. The gameplay also hints at the presence of formidable predators that players will have to confront, adding an element of danger to the exploration.

The creature designs in Starfield showcase a captivating blend of inspiration, drawing influence from both the distinct species found within the Fallout universe and the beloved creatures of the Star Wars franchise. The result is a visually captivating array of beings that add depth and immersion to the game's universe.

3. Ship Customization 

One of the standout features revealed in Starfield is the extensive ship customization, which showcases remarkable depth and innovation. The level of customization available for ships in Starfield is truly impressive and potentially the best seen in a game of its kind. Players have the freedom to add and modify various components of their ships, both externally and internally, allowing for a wide range of creative possibilities.

The development team demonstrated the incredible potential for ship customization by showcasing examples of ships transformed into unique shapes inspired by animals and colossal robots. The ship-building process, akin to the outpost builder, takes place in an isometric camera view along a grid, with selected parts highlighted in green. Ship customization goes beyond just the exterior. Players can also personalize the interior of their ships, selecting desired colors for the ship's body and arranging room placements and stations according to their preferences. 

2. United Colonies & Space Civilization

Within Starfield's rich lore, hints are given of a colony war on the horizon, as suggested by the environmental storytelling encountered while passing by a memorial on New Atlantis. New Atlantis, a sprawling hub situated in the Alpha Centauri System, captivates with its breathtaking architecture and bustling atmosphere, teeming with engaging non-player characters. This vibrant settlement operates under the governance of the United Colonies faction.

The opposing faction in the game is known as the Freestar Collective, and glimpses of its environments have been shared. The faction's capital, Akila City, located in the Cheyenne system, evokes a Wild West aesthetic, complete with cowboys, saloons, and duels, transporting players to a realm reminiscent of the frontier days. Another space location associated with the Freestar Collective is Neon, featuring a hedonistic cyberpunk theme that draws parallels to the iconic Night City.

These diverse factions and their distinct settings contribute to the rich tapestry of Starfield's universe, offering players a wide range of experiences and environments to explore. The clash between the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective sets the stage for a compelling narrative backdrop, fueling the sense of conflict and intrigue that permeates the game's world.

1. Constellation Story

In Starfield, the protagonist joins the Constellation order, a group of space explorers based in New Atlantis. Their mission is to uncover enigmatic artifacts from beyond their universe. The diverse cast of companions includes leader Sarah Morgan, scientist Noelle, theologian Matteo, space cowboys, former pirates, and more, each with distinct and captivating personalities. These characters add depth and intrigue to the storyline, making players eager to explore their dialogues and unique storylines.

Conclusion

Starfield's gameplay trailer and showcase have unveiled a wealth of exciting details about this highly-anticipated space exploration game. From its expansive open-world with over a thousand planets to the intricate ship customization and engaging companions, Starfield promises a captivating and immersive experience. The game's lore, factions, and intriguing storylines, along with its visually stunning biomes and diverse alien creatures, further enhance its appeal. 

As we eagerly await its release, Starfield looks poised to deliver an unforgettable journey through the cosmos, where players can chart their own path and unravel the mysteries of the universe.

Which feature are you most excited about? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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