Hot diggety! Starfield finally has a release date (opens in new tab), which is both good news (we can finally stop speculating (opens in new tab)) and bad news (Starfield's release date is September 6, which isn't the first half of 2023 as Bethesda said it would be following the original delay).
Now that you can start planning your excuses to take a few days off work to play it, and since we probably won't hear anything more about the space RPG until the Starfield Direct presentation on June 11, let's focus on the other stuff revealed in the new Starfield release date trailer.
The trailer is pretty short—roughly one minute of cinematic scenes and then a few seconds showing the date—and the second half is Todd Howard talking to us. Like most fans I immediately tuned him out and stared intently over his right shoulder—Dude, shut up, can't you see people are playing Starfield right behind you? We also got a few glimpses of gameplay as other Starfield developers played it at their desks, the lucky devils.
It's not much gameplay footage to sink our hungry space-fangs into, but there's still a few fun little morsels to chew on. Here are some details we spotted:
OK, technically, the trailer doesn't show space truckers. But it does show a space trucker's space helmet in the Oblivion-style inventory (which displays your character and what they're wearing), and that certainly implies the existence of space truckers. As someone who uses the 1:1 scale model of the Milky Way Galaxy in Elite Dangerous solely as a bus driving simulator (opens in new tab), I'm excited about the idea of becoming a space trucker, or at least murdering one and taking his helmet. And, if possible, his space truck.
The space trucker space helmet shown in the trailer may just be something you find or buy, one of many Starfield lids your character can wear, but I'm hoping there's an actual space trucking occupation, too. Y'all can go looking for artifacts that unravel the secrets of the universe, but I've got a big rig full of space diapers to deliver to Alpha Centauri. Honk honk!
Hideable helmets confirmed
It's always great when a game has a whole mess of hats and helmets to wear, but it's also nice when you can see your character's face and hair, the stuff you spent a couple hours fretting over in the character creator. RP-wise, it's also polite to show your face to other characters during conversations or romances—we're not those idiotic Mandalorians, we take off our helmets on dates, while at home, when eating and sleeping, etc.
On the inventory screen there's a "Hide Helmet In Breathable Areas" option, so when you're not at risk of asphyxiation or drowning you'll be able to see your character's face, hairdo, mutton-chops, scars, earrings, space-moustache, and all that. Nice.
That's not the only helmet news! There are other space helmets on display in the trailer, categorized as explorer, ground crew, mercenary, pirate assault, shocktroop, SY-920 pilot, and tracker's alliance. More importantly, we can see the stats of some of those helmets, starting with DR, which I assume means damage resistance (labeled DMG Resist in Fallout 4's Pip-Boy).
But there's more. We can see each helmet has ratings for protection against hazards: thermal (fire and heat), airborne (potentially poison gas, alien spores, toxic atmospheres, space farts, and who knows what else), corrosive (acid), and radiation. There are also ratings for physical protection, energy protection (like laser weapons and stuff) and EM, which might be electromagnetism, as in electromagnetic pulse—that could be a common type of weapon in Starfield, being that it's pretty science-fictiony.
Fallout 4-style looting
As we continue ignoring Todd Howard to look over his shoulder at Tim Lamb playing Starfield behind him, we can see a couple things on the screen. First, as Lamb's character runs up to some lootable boxes, a shadow arrives a moment later. That's a companion following him around, though we unfortunately can't see who it is. Rewinding a bit, we can see them from the front, too, but too far away to make out any real details. It's human shaped, though, so it's not the robot, Vasco.
More importantly we can see Lamb hovering over some crates of loot, and little info panes popping up showing the contents of those containers. It looks a lot like Fallout 4's looting system, as opposed to Skyrim's more intrusive one, which took over most of the screen to show the inventory you were looting. That's a plus.
A level 75 enemy
Near the end of the video we see a new alien enemy, and not only does it look pretty fierce and alarmingly huge, but you can see it's marked as a level 75 enemy. The deathclaw of outer space? It certainly has claws and looks like it's ready to make you dead.
We don't know what kind of level cap Starfield has yet, but I'd assume if a monster can be level 75, so can we. Fallout 4 had no level cap, and Skyrim's original level cap was patched out, effectively allowing players to level up forever. Maybe Starfield will be the same.
Ultrawide support: unclear
I could feel the neck muscles of ultrawide monitor users tightening as we caught a glimpse of someone playing Starfield on an ultrawide monitor that was clearly not supporting it. Those black columns on the side… yuck! I don't personally have an ultrawide monitor so I don't have skin in the game, but I would guess Starfield will ultimately ship with ultrawide support because this is 2023 and, c'mon, just do it.
Don't squint at the document, someone already did it a year ago
We got a quick glimpse of design director Emil Pagliarulo working on a document at his desk. But that's not the stuff to focus on, it's the document itself. It's hard to read, but it appears to be an in-game memo—an "Urgent Communique"—from UC Fleet Admiral Pascual Logan.
But don't bother examining it: someone already did. The same footage appeared in an earlier Starfield video. GamesRadar has the full text of the memo (opens in new tab), advising people to shoot the Crimson Fleet, who display a Jolly Roger emblem, on sight.
Everyone is using an Xbox controller
Huh! No one at Bethesda is using the mouse and keyboard to play Starfield? How curious. It's almost as if Bethesda received a directive from its new Microsoft overlords that everyone appearing in public footage playing Starfield must use an Xbox controller.
The number 1 sci-fi cliché has been confirmed
Play a fantasy game and you're gonna see some giant mushrooms. Place a sci-fi game and you're gonna see some floating rocks. I am not a fan of floating rocks. There is nothing scientific about rocks that float. Rocks are heavy. They sit on the ground. Stop making rocks float. The end.