With all the comparisons made to No Man’s Sky, Bethesda’s Starfield will lack one key feature in its space exploration. Players can’t fly from space to planets or vice versa. In an interview with IGN, director Todd Howard said it’s “really just not that important to the player.”
This is following Howard discussing the team’s philosophy of saying “yes” to the player with its planet creation. Despite this, the team didn’t try to implement things that weren’t crucial to the experience. As Howard notes, “People have asked, ‘Can you fly the ship straight down to the planet?’ No. We decided early in the project that the on-surface is one reality, and then when you’re in space it’s another reality.”
“If you try to really spend a lot of time engineering the in-between, like that segue, you’re just spending a lot of time [on something] that’s really just not that important to the player,” he added. “So let’s make sure it’s awesome when you’re on the surface and awesome when you’re in space, and those realities look and play as good as they can be.”
As such, Starfield will offer plenty to do in both scenarios, from ship combat in space to exploring major cities, gathering resources and pursuing quests on the planets. There are some 1,000 planets to explore across 100 systems with the most handcrafted content that Bethesda has ever had in its games. The main quest is about 30 to 40 hours long and has over 200,000 lines of dialogue.
So while one immersive aspect won’t be there, there’s plenty to make up for it. Starfield is out in 2023 for Xbox Series X/S and PC while launching day one for Game Pass. Stay tuned for more details in the meantime.