Next Generation Allows Bethesda to Explore “New Systems” in Starfield
Not even a full month has passed since Todd Howard took to Bethesda’s E3 stage where he announced Starfield. Yet, the need to know more is almost agonizing. It’s Bethesda Game Studios’ first original project in 25 years. How could fans not overflow with excitement? However, considering full time production didn’t begin until after Fallout 4, Starfield is still years away. Thus, the cycle of long bouts of quiet and vague teases shall commence. Thankfully, Howard kicks off this long period of time with a few vague teases that deserve acknowledgement. Starfield is indeed a next gen title and Bethesda plans on taking full advantage of it.
Talking to Eurogamer at Barcelona’s Gamelab conference, Howard revealed what next generation hardware means for Starfield’s development.
“That to us means two things. It does mean hardware and it does mean software on our side, and it also means gameplay – what does the next generation of epic single-player RPGs feel like to us?
“What systems we put it out on – what’s the hardware requirements – is still to be determined. We’re pushing it; we’re thinking very, very far in future so we’re building something that will handle next-generation hardware. That’s what we’re building on right now, that’s where our mind is, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t exist on the current systems as well.”
Because this title represents new territory for the studio, an array of other questions arise. Chief among them is whether Starfield will even carry the basic tenets of what fans have come to expect from the team. Howard essentially answers “yes” to this, but seems both confident and trepidatious in his response.
“I don’t want to say yes or no to that because I don’t know what that means to you or whoever’s going to read that. It’s different, but if you sit down and play it you would recognise it as something we made if that makes sense? It has our DNA in it. It has things that we like.
“But it has a lot of new systems we’ve been thinking about for a while that fit that kind of game really well. We’ll talk about it in the future. See now I wish I hadn’t announced it!”
Given Starfield’s being a sci-fi space adventure, “new systems” may literally refer to solar systems. Scientists posit the Milky Way alone is home to tens of billions of solar systems. Perhaps Howard and team are looking to take us somewhere even Mass Effect hasn’t explored. The context of his words, however, suggest he means they will explore new game systems, specifically for RPGs.
Since discussions about Starfield have existed internally since 2004, we’re left to wonder just what the team has planned that may not be possible until the next generation of games. Bethesda Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks often sit at the forefront of innovation in gaming. Excitement to see how the envelope is pushed in Starfield is through the roof.