Starfield's Vasco is basically a robotic space donkey

Starfield is still, apparently, coming later this year! The gears in the hype machine have been slowly turning for months now though, sadly, with not much beyond various dev talking head videos. Today, however, comes something more interesting—a 'behind-the-scenes' video showing off the first companion we've seen, Vasco.

Vasco is the Constellation faction's expeditionary robot. Essentially it's an industrial machine with personality—not that much of this is shown-off here—and its role seems to be as almost more of a practical assistant than companion.

Starfield lead artist Istvan Pely describes Vasco as: "an early model built by lunar robotics, Vasco was re-purposed to fulfill Constellation's mission. He's a utilitarian heavy industrial machine well-suited to the rigors of space travel."

Vasco's role for the player is heavily implied in this trailer without ever being stated outright. A piece of concept art shows it fixing a ship's underside, while at other points its strengths are emphasised as being traversing rough terrain and carrying a lot of stuff on extended journeys. The robot has weapons but these are defensive in nature, his primary role is 'peaceful', and the press blurb describes it as 'reliable'—so basically Vasco is going to be your space donkey.

The whole 'companion' thing is interesting with Starfield: the tendency is to think they'll work the same way as in something like Fallout, where you basically just run around with one at a time and progress their story. But if you're going to be tootling around the stars in a big ship, perhaps you take them all along with you and switch them out: Vasco's clearly going to be very useful on loot hunts, but you'd think (and hope!) there are more striking personalities out there for different scenarios.

Starfield is due to launch on 11 November 2022.

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."