Starfield: Release date, gameplay, trailers & everything we know

Starfield: Release date, gameplay, trailers & everything we know
Images via Bethesda

Written by 

Tarran Stockton


22nd Aug 2023 19:43


If you're on the hunt for any morsel of news you can get for the upcoming Starfield RPG, we've got a full rundown of its release date, whether it's an Xbox platform exclusive, and more.

Starfield is the next huge, AAA role-playing game from powerhouse studio Bethesda Softworks - mostly known for its iconic The Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises - and it's one of the most highly anticipated games of 2023.

Announced back in 2018 - very close to five years ago as of writing this - it's become the talk of the proverbial video game town as the first new IP from Bethesda Softworks in over 20 years. Many questions still remain about how exactly Starfield will play, but we do now know quite a lot about the game, including its release date, platforms, gameplay, and more.

Is there a Starfield release date?

Starfield is confirmed to have a September 6, 2023 release date. The news broke on March 8, when a brand-new trailer was released which announced the game's launch date. Bethesda also shared news of an exclusive Starfield Direct showcase set to take place on June 11, during the upcoming Xbox Games Showcase, where we'll likely learn more about the title. 

Previously, Starfield's release was set to be late last year on November 11, 2022, exactly eleven years after the release of the iconic The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It was then delayed and pushed back to the first half of 2023 before being delayed once more to the current release date.

Starfield screenshot showing a weapon in the inventory
Click to enlarge

Starfield has been in development since 2015 and Todd Howard has previously stated the studio was confident with the release date. The delay seems to be an effort to give the team more time to polish the experience, as Bethesda games are quite infamous for their bugs and glitches.

Starfield trailers and gameplay

There are a few trailers on the internet now that provide a window into the world of Starfield. The first three trailers we saw didn't provide us with a tonne of information, but it’s given us some insight into the world of Starfield and what players can expect.

The very first teaser trailer showed a planet's exterior and a fancy ship before it proceeded to warp away - presumably a sign of the faster-than-light traversal players will use to navigate the world of Starfield.

The second trailer was created in-engine with gameplay and contains a narrator. It showed footage of a pilot - who is likely the marketing analog for the protagonist - wandering their ship before taking off into the stars.

The narration vaguely spoke about the wonders of space exploration and the awe it inspires in mankind, which taken with the details revealed in the third trailer, explains some of the themes of hope and exploring the great mysteries of life that the game will tackle.

Speaking of the third trailer, it contains the most information we've seen by far, explaining the mood and scope of the game. It’s also paired with concept art of the key in-game locations and studio b-roll of the designers hard at work. Most importantly, it explains the hook of Starfield, which sees the player as part of Constellation, the last of the space explorers.

Finally, and the one we've all been waiting for - the gameplay trailer. Thanks to the Xbox Bethesda Showcase, we've got our first look at what we can expect to see on our screens come the 2023 release.

Starfield screenshot showing a city settlement
Click to enlarge

As expected, it boasts that Fallout feel but in space and some added gameplay mechanics such as resource farming. Shooting is also involved, but there doesn't seem to be any V.A.T.S. this time around.

Lastly, we recently got a live-action trailer for Starfield at Gamescom 2023. Few new details were released, but it's scored by a gorgeous rendition of Elton John's Rocketman.

Todd Howard took to the stage afterward to give a brief overview of the game's start, talking about how the game opens with the protagonist touching an artefact in space before seeing visions (which is also shown in the trailer). Then you are thrown into the character creator to make your own explorer, before being thrust into the main game.

Starfield gameplay & story details

In terms of Starfield gameplay, we know it will be like “Skyrim in space” according to Todd Howard, so expect a choice of first-person or third-person gameplay with a mix of combat, exploration, and conversation.

Some of the developers have highlighted the different locations to explore such as New Atlantis, the capital for the largest and most powerful faction in the game, and Neon, a hub for extracurricular activities situated on a fishing platform where fish with psychotropic properties attract customers from all over.

an image of ship in Starfield travelling faster than light
Click to enlarge

As a game set in space, Starfield would be amiss if it didn’t include ship-to-ship combat, which is rumoured thanks to some trailer hints. For example, keen-eyed viewers will notice in the second trailer that the cockpit’s pilot console lists three different weapons available for use.

Starfield Galaxy map
Click to enlarge

In the third trailer, we also see footage of key Bethesda writer Emil Pagliarulo as he taps away at his keyboard seemingly writing a snippet of in-game lore that talks about ‘Crimson Pirates’ who could possibly ambush you in the cosmic void.

In terms of story, Starfield might be the most ambitious narrative Bethesda has ever tackled, with the total amount of dialogue lines coming in at 150,000, which is more than double that of Skyrim.

It takes place 300 years in the future, where humanity has explored the stars and settled in with their galactic neighbours, allowing different factions, religions, and groups to come together.

an image of a character looking at a vista in Starfield
Click to enlarge

What is confirmed is that you will play as a member of the last space exploration group called Constellation. We don’t know what kind of circumstances will be the catalyst for your adventure, but it’s always a good bet to assume you’ll be in some sort of predicament with a Bethesda RPG.

In addition to that, Bethesda has confirmed that some familiar CRPG elements of their older titles will be back, like picking your character background. This is great news for fans who felt alienated by the move away from more hardcore role-playing systems that started with Oblivion and have continued until Fallout 4.

Starfield character creation screen
Click to enlarge

Bethesda has also revealed that Starfield will be running Creation Engine 2, the next edition of the Gamebryo engine that it has been using for 20 years now. Considering it will be built on a similar framework as Skyrim then fans can expect a litany of mods to be churned out from day one.

Bethesda RPGs are known for their dedicated audience of modders and we don’t expect Starfield to be any different in this regard.

Will Starfield be an Xbox platform exclusive?

an image of a character next to some alien wildlife in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Due to Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda, Starfield will be an Xbox Series X|S console exclusive and available on PC. You can also play it on day one with an Xbox Game Pass subscription.

That means PlayStation fans are unable to play it on their console.

Make sure you keep your eyes peeled on GGRecon for more Starfield news, guides, and an eventual review going forward as we learn more about Bethesda's next epic.

Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.

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