Starfield Steam page appears as Bethesda cranks up the marketing machine

A landscape in Starfield.
(Image credit: Bethesda)
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Starfield is Bethesda's first original RPG in 25 years, set in space hundreds of years in the future, and it's coming late next year, on November 11, 2022. Today it's popped up on Steam (opens in new tab), billing itself as a "next generation role-playing game set amongst the stars" where you'll "embark on an epic journey to answer humanity’s greatest mystery."

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Starfield's marketing machine is whirring up, and you're going to have a hard time avoiding it over the next year. Bethesda's started posting videos with senior creatives discussing the project called Into the Starfield, and good old Todd Howard's off with the cryptic hints about the game's big 'step-out' moments (opens in new tab).

Bethesda's not been shy about calling Starfield 'Skyrim in space', doubtless while licking its chops at the thought of how many re-releases that could generate, and will share elements like a first-person perspective and highly interactive environments. At the same time the game's developers consistently use the word' grounded' to describe its approach to science fiction: "Whereas Skyrim (opens in new tab) is sort of an epic fantasy, this is a more grounded game and a grounded setting about exploration," art director Matt Carofano says. "I think that gives us a different take on how we make everything. So that's the sort of thing you latch onto when we're making new areas, making environments, making characters."

You want grounded? How about a space gun next to a space sandwich. I'm not sure that's the greatest salami texture the world has ever seen, but as long as I can pick up the sandwich and have a little space cupboard I can fill with sandwiches, we're good.

(Image credit: Bethesda)

While Bethesda hasn't quite thrown open the floodgates yet—there's still an element of uncertainty about key things like whether there'll be any form of space combat, travelling between planets and the like—there is a surprising amount of information out there about Starfield, the best detail so far being that Starfield will have a pleasure dome where you can get high on alien fish.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."