Starfield, announced at Bethesda’s E3 2018 presentation after being rumored for a year or two beforehand, has finally emerged from the shadows with a spiffy in-engine trailer debuting the Constellation starship Frontier and a hope-filled voice-over about “humanity’s final journey.” We even got a release date: 11/11/22. It’s quite cool, but perhaps not the information blowout that some fans anticipated.
Todd Howard does things his own way. An executive producer at Bethesda Game Studios and the director of both The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4, Howard is known as much for his quirky, instantly memetic personality as well as his stellar contributions to the industry. A sterling example of Howard’s marketing philosophy rests in the tale of Fallout 4‘s marketing campaign; there was a game destined to sell millions, but it wasn’t even announced until E3 2015. It went gold and showed up on store shelves fewer than five months later.
What am I getting at, exactly? Well, frankly, I don’t think Starfield gets that information blowout until around June of next year. That’s very Todd Howard, after all. It was a rare blip for Starfield to have been revealed at all years beforehand.
But not all hope is lost for further tantalizing details in the meantime. Speaking with The Washington Post this past week, Howard and Bethesda Managing Director Ashley Cheng let slip a few juicy morsels about our upcoming trek across the stars.
“It’s like Skyrim in space,” Howard tells The Washington Post, pretty much beating us all to the punch by pseudo-canonizing the validity of what we might otherwise have said in jest. Not to be outdone in the land of zany one-shot descriptors, Cheng soon chimed in. “For me, Starfield is the Han Solo simulator. Get in a ship, explore the galaxy, do fun stuff.”
NASA and science fiction have long been staples in Howard’s life. “[G]rowing up in the ’70s with Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica… I took a great interest in it for a long time.” Telling a Bethesda-flavored tale about the cosmos is something Howard and his associates had wanted to do since the mid-2000s, in fact — but whenever the notion seriously re-emerged, the decision was made that technology simply wasn’t where they needed it to be just yet. The vision would be compromised.
“We struggled at first at finding Starfield’s identity. We knew the style of game we wanted. But there’s so much science fiction, we didn’t have this existing franchise feel. We had to create that from scratch. What do the spaceships look like? What’s the tech level? What do people believe? What year is it really set in?”
If you’ve ever spent an awkwardly long time in an NPC’s home in an Elder Scrolls game, you’ve likely browsed every book on their shelves. Unsurprisingly, Bethesda Game Studios keeps an encyclopedic database charting humanity’s progress each decade between our contemporary world and the world as seen 300 years into the future. What advancements have been made? What achievements have enriched our chances at space travel? And it’s not just a matter of time. Histories, backstories, starship architecture, it’s all there in Bethesda’s own internal Wiki.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of The Washington Post‘s interview is its premiere of “Into the Starfield: The Journey Begins,” a two-minute teaser showcasing Bethesda personnel hard at work on the highly-anticipated title. Of course, if that’s all it showed, it wouldn’t be so grand. But interspersed images captivate the mind with quality concept art that does a fine job setting the scenes for our adventures. While the E3 trailer set the tone, this wealth of color better illustrates where we’ll be going.
Seventeen months separate us from the chance to finally boot up Starfield for the first time, but suddenly it doesn’t feel impossibly far away. We know when we’re getting it, we can roughly surmise when we’ll start hearing a ton more about it, and in the meantime, the sporadic Todd Howard newspaper appearance can serve as an appetizer to the main course to come.
Before we go, here’s one more noteworthy snippet: Inon Zur, the excellent composer of such works as Dragon Age: Origins, Soulcalibur V, and all four of Bethesda’s major Fallout titles, is in charge of Starfield‘s sure-to-be-pretty score. His music has a brand of moodiness that I believe will lend itself well to the theatrics of space opera. That alone is enough to look forward to.
Source: The Washington Post