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Starfield: Every Major Detail Shown In The Xbox Showcase Gameplay Demo

Of all the games that are awaiting release, none are perhaps more ambitious and jaw-dropping in terms of scope than "Starfield." An action-adventure RPG set in space, "Starfield" is the latest project from Bethesda Softworks and represents the company's first new IP in over two decades. Set in the year 2310, the game follows a player-controlled character who has joined a group called Constellation, an organization of the last space explorers left in the midst of a war between two factions — United Colonies and Freestar Collective — that are attempting inter-galactic colonization.

Despite being announced at E3 all the way back in 2018, Bethesda has remained mostly tight-lipped about "Starfield" and had long withheld gameplay footage ahead of its planned 2023 release. However, that all changed during June 2022's Xbox Showcase, during which Bethesda dropped the first gameplay trailer for "Starfield," which showcased a multitude of activities available in the game. 

In stark contract to recent rumors that might have caused fans to temper their expectations, the new footage makes "Starfield" look awesome! But of course, like any trailer, certain things stand out more than others.

Character customization

During the Xbox Showcase presentation, game director Todd Howard showed off the amount of character customization options that will be present in "Starfield" calling it the "most flexible" character creation suite of any Bethesda title to date. Players will have the option to customize virtually every detail of their virtual avatar's appearance, even down to the way they walk.

When building their characters, players will also be able to choose their character's background. These backgrounds range from being a former diplomat, gangster, and even a bounty hunter among others. These backgrounds will also help determine your character's three starting skills. For instance, a former diplomat will be adept at situations that call for suave conversation skills, while  a cyberneticist will do more damage when using attacks with lasers or robotics. Characters will also have a selection of traits that determine their personality. These traits include things like being an empath or being an introvert. Some of these traits can be combined, but choosing certain ones will lock others out — for instance, you obviously can't be an introvert and an extrovert at the same time.

The game also includes a skill tree, which allows players to level proficiencies in combat, science, or social areas. Each skill seems to have a Rank 4 cap, at least at launch.

Outpost building

One of the more intriguing elements seen in the "Starfield" gameplay reveal is the ability to build your own outpost. Regarding these outposts, Todd Howard noted that they will be essential to one's survival when playing "Starfield" and are a key part of the overall experience when not present. "These [outposts] act as a home away from home for survival and resource generation," Howard said during his presentation. "You can choose where and how to build each one, and you can hire characters you meet to keep it up and running."

Howard's description of custom outposts and how they work is reminiscent of "No Man's Sky," in which players are able to build their own settlements on the planets they discover. As in "Starfield," players in "No Man's Sky" can use these outposts to store or generate different resources needed to stay alive or trade across the galaxy.

Shots of a custom-built outpost in "Starfield" show NPC characters doing research and even autonomous droids seemingly helping things along. It remains to be seen how much you'll have to keep an eye on the staff of each outpost.

Crafting

When it comes to any kind of game where the emphasis has been placed on exploration and resource collection, the ability to craft items is pretty much essential. "Starfield" is no different in this regard, and has its own in-depth crafting system. As shown in the trailer, players will be granted a wide range of options when it comes to crafting, ranging from "running research projects with resources you find, to crafting weapon mods needed to survive."

Research project options shown include studies on pharmacology, food and drink, outpost development, equipment, and weaponry. Weapon mods include attachments that help performance in combat, such as grip upgrades, sights and optics, and even the ability to add extended magazines to a weapon and increase its ammo capacity. The trailer also appears to show some kind of modification that allows for bullets to automatically track hostile sentries without needing an exact aim. In other words, you're going to want to do your research before running into a firefight in "Starfield."

Spaceship customization

No spacebound game is complete without awesome spaceships. But "Starfield" seems to be approaching these vessels in a way that not only makes them essential for traveling from one point to another, but also an extension of the player themselves. As such, Todd Howard has announced that "Starfield" will give players the ability to build their own spaceship from the ground up

The customization process appears to be a kind of freeform drag-and-drop system in which players can add components to their space vessel, including "loads of different modules, ship manufacturers, and more." Completing the space exploration fantasy, players will also be able to lead their own crew aboard the ship, as well.

During this section of the preview, it is also shown that players can also choose from several pre-built/preset ship designs. Each option also seems to have a direct effect on the ship's strengths and weaknesses, though these aren't described in too much detail. Needless to say, it seems the only limit to what you can do to your ship in "Starfield" is your own imagination. Oh, and you can fly your creation into high-octane space battles, so make sure you've built a sturdy vessel!

Over 1000 planets to explore

In a game so focused on space exploration and being presented as a sandbox experience, it begs the question: How many places are there to actually see in "Starfield?" Well, it turns out, there's a lot. 

According to Todd Howard, "Starfield" contains over 100 different star systems and over 1000 planets for players to discover and search for resources. Players can land on any part of these worlds and explore, or else go to their base or dedicated spaceport, as some of them even have their own settlements and cities. For instance, at the beginning of the preview, players are shown the planet Jemison. On it is a major city called New Atlantis, where players can land and interact with the populace. 

These planets vary by wide margins. Some of them are shown as desolate wastelands that are laden with essential and useful resources, while others are mini-utopias that contain sentient life. Planets also vary in terms of gravity, atmosphere, and temperature. Given the presence of such characteristics, it is implied that these elements could provide a wildly different gameplay experience from planet to planet.