Todd Howard cryptically teases two big 'step out moments' in Starfield

Audio player loading…

Bethesda has served up a new look at its upcoming sci-fi epic Starfield (opens in new tab) in an extended video featuring game director Todd Howard, studio director Angela Browder and art director Matt Carofano talking about some of their inspirations for the game, and how it's different from—but still similar to—earlier Bethesda RPGs.

"We were doing Morrowind and looking at what we might do after that and beyond that, and we had a list of, 'What are the other types of worlds we want to go to?'," Howard says in the video. "And obviously Fallout was at the top of the list, if we could do that. And that magically, luckily, came true for us. And right behind that was science fiction."

Like other Bethesda RPGs, exploration will be at the core of Starfield, but developers are approaching it very differently because of the more realistic, scientifically-solid setting. 

"Whereas Skyrim (opens in new tab) is sort of an epic fantasy, this is a more grounded game and a grounded setting about exploration," 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."

"I also think that because it's based in a more realistic atmosphere, you have a lot of people on our team who are super into certain things, like robotics or engineering," Browder says. "And they can use this lifetime of knowledge they have gathered, and then use it in their work."

But while "the mechanics of the world are entirely different," Starfield will share many similarities with Skyrim and its predecessors, including a first-person perspective, a highly interactive world, and what Howard described, and teased, as "'step out' moments."

"We always have that 'step out' moment into the world, so to say," Howard says. "The technology has changed. We've all changed. So our expectations when loading up a game, like, 'Okay, I'm going to step out and there's going to be this moment.' Us being able to do that and have it feel new every generation, every game, is something that is really special about what we do."

"I like to say that Starfield has two 'step out' moments. That's cryptic."

Starfield is set to come out on November 11, 2022.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.