Starfield: Needs to show me choice, consequences, and customization
The upcoming Starfield Direct showcase has fans eagerly anticipating new information, and as a devoted fan of RPGs and story-driven experiences, I have specific expectations. I am particularly fond of choices that directly impact my character, the world, and the people around me. Offering various options for navigating scenarios and making decisions is an excellent way to make players feel like they’re crafting their unique adventure. Based on what we’ve seen and heard about Starfield, Bethesda’s highly anticipated space RPG appears poised to place choice at the core of the experience. As Todd Howard stated during last year’s gameplay reveal, “It’s not our story, it’s the story you create by who you are and the choices you make.”
Character creation is the starting point for this experience, according to Howard. Bethesda will once again allow players to customize and create their personalized space adventurer. While we’ve glimpsed some of the game’s customization options, such as Starfield traits that serve as perks for our character, we have yet to see much about how our choices will influence our interstellar journey. With the Starfield Direct scheduled for June 11, we can expect another fresh look at Starfield gameplay. As a game that promises to let you “be who you want,” I am eager to learn more about how our choices and their consequences will shape the outcomes of our adventures.
Bethesda’s previous titles rank among the top RPGs, largely due to their mastery of role-playing fundamentals, including character customization and decision-making that directly impacts various questlines. Starfield seems poised to continue this trend, as lead quest designer Will Shen has mentioned in an interview that the game’s quest design will “go back to our old-school RPG roots,” featuring “lots of dialogue choices, referencing the player’s skills and background, and a variety of combat and non-combat activities.”
The concept of “referencing the player’s skills and backgrounds” particularly piques my interest when it comes to Starfield. I am eager to explore how character traits and backgrounds will be incorporated and how our choices may be manifested, such as through unique dialogue options or the way other characters perceive us in the universe. These elements can add depth to a character, and when combined with traits and perks, can introduce new layers of complexity. From possessing Alien DNA after participating in a controversial experiment to being an Empath with deep connections to others’ emotions, or even starting the game with a mortgage on a starter home, I hope we get a closer look at the available options and their implications for our spacefaring experience.
Given the extensive range of traits to choose from, I anticipate spending a considerable amount of time pondering which ones to assign to my character. However, I am curious to see the extent to which these traits will impact the overall experience and whether they warrant the attention I suspect they do. During the Direct, I would appreciate seeing examples of how these traits might influence the story we create in Starfield and how they could potentially affect questlines, as Shen suggests.
Apart from character traits, it would be thrilling to witness the impact of choices and consequences on a larger scale in relation to quests and the Starfield Factions we are about to encounter. With main story missions, unexpected encounters, and side quests, I eagerly anticipate at least one instance where our decisions or strategies will genuinely matter. Will we confront choices similar to those in The Outer Worlds, where a single decision can result in the shutdown of an entire colony? Or will the consequences be more nuanced and sometimes lead to the same outcome?
Shen has previously mentioned that Starfield quests will always offer “some better option you might miss,” suggesting that we will have multiple options and strategies to choose from. However, the real test lies in experiencing these choices firsthand. While I don’t expect to see many quest details to avoid spoilers, and I certainly want to be astonished when Starfield’s release date arrives in September, I can’t help but hope that we might catch a glimpse of these choices during the Starfield Direct. If so, I’m confident it will only heighten my enthusiasm for diving into a game that could potentially let me create my own space adventure.