The landing sequence of planets is great to watch (Opens in a new tab), but in the context of video games, the thrill tends to wear off after you’ve done it more than six times or so. Because really, there really isn’t much hell going on while it’s happening: You just hang on, hold on, and hope for the best. Because of that, Todd Howard told IGN (Opens in a new tab) So while the Starfield (Opens in a new tab) It will give players a huge amount of freedom, and will not allow them to fly smoothly from orbit to surface.
“We decided early on in the project that the surface is one reality, and then when you’re in space, that’s another reality,” Howard said.
“If you really try to spend a lot of time engineering in between, like this part, you spend a lot of time [on something] This is not important to the player. So let’s make sure it’s great when it’s on the surface and great when it’s in space, and those facts look and play as well as possible.”
There are games that take down planets seamlessly, like No Man’s Sky, Elite: Dangerous, and Star Citizen, but they’re Sims. On the other hand, the most popular sci-fi RPG of the past two decades – Mass Effect – is not: you’re either on Normandy or on Earth, and the time between them is represented by a fast-paced movie. Different genres, different priorities, and Howard said the focus at Starfield is role-playing rather than simulation.
Planetary landing in No Man’s Sky.
Bethesda revealed during last week’s Xbox/Bethesda presentation that Starfield will have 100 star systems with 1,000 planets to explore, which quickly sparked a range of reactions: Some people worry that all these planets will be repetitive and boring, others hope. (Opens in a new tab) They will be, and of course there are those who don’t care (Opens in a new tab) Because they wouldn’t waste time talking to them anyway. Howard had reassuring words for people in the third demographic that they would be taken care of: Starfield would rely on procedural systems to create 1,000 worlds, but it would also have more personalized content. (Opens in a new tab) than any previous Bethesda game.
“We’ve done more craftsmanship in this game, in terms of content, than any other game we’ve done,” Howard said. “they were [at] Over 200,000 lines of dialogue, so we’re still doing a lot of manual work, and if people just want to do what they’re used to in our games, follow the main quest, do quests, you’ll see what you’d kind of expect from us. But then you have That whole other bit of, ‘Okay, I’m going to run around this planet, and it’s going to provide some gameplay, some random content, and those kinds of things.’ Kind of like Daggerfall, if you go back in time.”
Back in Daggerfall, which contained literally thousands of dungeons (Opens in a new tab) It consists of random arrangements of blocks, interspersed with a much smaller number of handcrafted locations. And it really worked: It took me longer than I care to admit that I noticed the building blocks were being reused (in my defense, this was 1996 and everything was very new), but even though it was just filler I loved smashing the towers Dungeon to fight monsters and find treasure. It was a relaxing, on-demand diversion from the main mission, and made the game world feel large and lively.
Howard acknowledged that some of those procedurally generated worlds in Starfield wouldn’t be very fun, but he said the game would ensure players could distinguish wheat from chaff.
He said, “We’re very keen on saying, ‘Here’s where the fun is, and here’s that kind of content.’ But I still say yes to the player and, ‘You want to go land on this strange planet, check it out, build an outpost, and live your life’ There, watching the sunset because you love the view of the moons there? Go for it.’ We love these things.”
Starfield, Bethesda’s first original RPG in over two decades, is currently slated for a release sometime in the first half of 2023.