“Starfield” is the biggest game of Gamescom. You can’t allude to the Bethesda title at the Cologne game fair, but the studio has set up a cinema for 300 people, in which 20 minutes of gameplay from the start of the game can be seen. The scenes will not be published – heise online watched them on site.
It starts in an elevator that goes into a mine. The still unnamed main character can listen to the bickering of two mining NPCs from the first-person perspective, who give the player a brief introduction to their work.
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Why the protagonist has dedicated himself to resource exploitation is deliberately left open. As with previous Bethesda games, the backstory remains intentionally nebulous. Also known for a long time: Bethesda has decided not to set the main character to music. As in “Skyrim” she remains silent during the dialogues.
Blackout and character creation
After a short introduction – Bethesda edited the material a lot – the player can then shoot at raw material deposits with a mining laser. You don’t do that for long: a scanner detects an anomaly that the player has to locate. So he sneaks through narrow tunnels with a flashlight to finally find an artifact. Strange visions can be seen upon touching the strange object. Afterwards, the main character faints, only to wake up later in a medical station.
Here you can finally create your character. Bethesda has shown character creation in previous videos. For the first time in a Bethesda game you can choose between different body types, and there are also extensive settings for fine adjustment of the face to choose from. Finally, you choose a background and features before you can finally continue playing. Now that the character is created, you can also play in third-person perspective.
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Two “Bethesda moments”
You are in a planetary station, this time above the earth. First, the main character from the Bethesda demo steals a sandwich in the canteen, which understandably an NPC acknowledges with outrage. You exit the station and experience your first true Bethesda moment: the moment you step out of caves, vaults, and other structures to stare at the open game world for the first time. In this case, it’s a dusty planet, somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
You can’t enjoy the dirty idyll for long: pirates are attacking the base. For the first time you can shoot around. The gun battles look great, weapons develop boom and enemies explode dramatically when you hit their gas tank. Bethesda has obviously improved significantly here since “Fallout 4”. The pirates quickly realize that as NPCs they don’t stand a chance against the main character and flee.
Then it’s off to space to join the adventurers and artifact seekers of the Constellation. Spaceship launch and landing sequences are automated, so players have no direct control here. You get it back once you make it into space. Here’s another Bethesda moment: the space environments look fantastic. The following space battle with other pirates is a little less impressive. “Starfield” seems far removed from a space battle simulation.
In “Starfield” there are space battles. However, there were no large battle simulations in the demo.
Finally, you “grav jump” into the Alpha Centauri system, where the Constellation headquarters is headed for in the “Starfield” capital of New Atlantis. This is where the Gamescom demo ended. Overall, “Starfield” made an excellent impression in terms of gameplay material: the graphics are very solid for Bethesda standards, and the innards of the spaceships in particular look great. As usual, the English language output is great and the gameplay promises to be significantly better than “Fallout 4”. Everything else has to be clarified in the test report, press representatives already have access to the game.
“Starfield” will be released on September 6th for PC and Xbox Series X/S, pre-orders of the more expensive premium editions can start on September 1st. Gamescom visitors who would like to see the demo material themselves will find the “Starfield” cinema at the Xbox stand in Hall 8.
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