Starfield was shown off in a trailer recently and it has since set off much discussion and debate surrounding its size, its variety and depth, or presumed lack thereof. It may also be the newest, biggest title from the famed RPG studio, but Bethesda's game also drew comparisons to No Man's Sky and Elite Dangerous.
In a new interview with IGN, studio head Todd Howard revealed some of the inspirations and influences that went into Starfield and chatted specifically about the spacefaring and combat.
The Starfield team has certainly played through and is aware of many of the space shooters and fliers that have released over the years, but wanted to add their own take on these systems. "Your ship has various power systems", Howard explained. "[There's a] little bit of FTL there in terms of putting how much power into three different weapon systems, then your engines, and shields, and the grav drive is what lets you jump, and sort of get out of some situations that you have to put power to".
Howard there was referring to Subset Games' FTL: Faster Than Light, the RTS roguelite which has garned acclaim for its captain-of-a-starship gameplay. Choosing where to reroute power is the critical decision in space – one imagines – and this was inspired by moments in FTL that asked players to power their engines to fly away or charge up weapons to fight.
Howard revealed that players will be able to be space pirates in effect, able to board enemy ships, fly off with them, and visit space stations, offering the option to be a smuggler should that take your fancy.
The blast from the past that is MechWarrior was another influence on Starfield, with Howard saying that this historic RPG provided inspiration for dogfighting and how fast this particular aspect of gameplay felt and played out. It seems like space combat could be a little considered since players might have to line up systems and power but according to Howard it's still pacier than a "twitchy dogfighter".
However, while spacefaring looks to be a developed part of the game, it seems Starfield will be keeping this somewhat separate from planet exploration and traversal. "People have asked, 'can you fly the ship straight down to the planet?' No", he told IGN. "We decided early in the project that the on-surface is one reality, and then when you're in space it's another reality".
Howard said that too much time and resources would be spent on developing this planet-to-space mechanic and most players would not consider it so important as to be worth it. As fans have discussed the massiveness of Starfield, Howard also elaborated that the upcoming space RPG will have more handcrafted content than any previous Bethesda title.
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