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New Starfield lore video discusses the Settled Systems of this Xbox and PC exclusive

Starfield Concept Art Factions
Starfield Concept Art Factions (Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

What you need to know

  • Bethesda Game Studios is currently working on its next big role-playing game, Starfield.
  • A new lore video shares that Starfield is set in the year 2330, with multiple factions recovering from a vicious war.
  • Starfield is scheduled to launch on Nov. 11, 2022 as an Xbox and PC exclusive.

Bethesda Game Studios is hard at work on Starfield, its next big role-playing game. On Wednesday, Bethesda Game Studios shared an update on the world of Starfield, which is set in the year 2330 in a portion of the Milky Way Galaxy called the Settled Systems. 20 years prior to the game, two major factions called the United Colonies and Freestar Collective were engaged in a massive war.

Emil Pagliarulo, design director at Bethesda Game Studios, explains that while this war is over, there are still threats such as the Pirates of the Crimson Fleet and religious zealots roaming in space.

Bethesda Game Studios previously shared some concept art and lore videos on a few of the planets in Starfield, with various pleasure worlds and border colonies making up the regions that players will explore. Starfield, like Arkane Austin's Redfall, features full Japanese localization, part of Xbox's committment to expanding for Japanese players.

Starfield is scheduled to arrive on Nov. 11, 2022 for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox Cloud Gaming and PC. Like all Xbox first-party games, it'll also be available day one in Xbox Game Pass.

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • Humans only, near stars recently colonized?
    Yes and yes.
    Sounds more adventure SF that outright Space Opera. Yesss...
    Me want.
  • Yeah, this really seems like it's going to be a proper "science-fiction RPG." I'm extremely excited.
  • Is anyone ever going to make a Sci Fi RPG where you don't have to be a human as the protagonist? Because that would be awesome.
  • It would if the alien characters (NPC and player) weren't humans in drag. How much difference does playing as a beast race make in Elder Scrolls? Or as an elf or dwarf in Dragon Age? ORIGINS tried it to minimal effect.
    In SF only a handful of stories have aliens who are truly alien in thought and deed; most are like Star Trek and Star Wars. A more reasonable approach would be a game where the player is an alien. Period.
    It would require a game mechanic other than standard human actions like conversation and violence, though. Bethesda seems to be saying that if "aliens" are just reskinned humans all they bring is cosmetics. Better to focus instead of "alien" behavior of humans. Which, historically speaking, is known to vary inmensely and diverge strongly from baseline modern western thought. (Look up the day to day life of imperial Rome, the Maya, the Inca, the Persians, or even further back the Yamnaya. Humans can be alien enough all by themselves.) Besides, STARFIELD is meant to be a franchise, so it makes sense to start out with a local "Fifty Worlds*" millieu and with DLC and followup games expand the scope of the game's universe. At some point they can add a First Contact followup and an expansion into alien space. Or a timejump to a galactic epoch. Keeping tbe game local and focused is an excellent decision because most other popular franchises focus on galactic societies to the point it is alnost cliche by now. Of tbe major movie and TV franchises, the local focus is what made the first years of THE EXPANSE so compelling. Hearing that STARFIELD is more EXPANSE than STAR WARS is for me, great news. Hopefully Bethesda is truly going humans only. (They could just be playing it coy. Bummer.) *Isaac Asimov's Robots and Empire future history runs from near future Earth only stories, through a solar system era going through a limited age of colonization (The 50 worlds of the LUCKY STARR and ROBOT MYSTERIES) expanding to a broader interstellar milieau and leading to a full blown galactic Empire and its collapse (Foundation) and its far future. The thought that BETHESDA is mining the Fifty Worlds narrative is promising. Starting out with fully formed galactic societies is actually tired by now.
  • I was not expecting as in depth an analysis from my comment as I got, so thank you for that. I understand some stories, like this one, don't lend themselves to an alien protagonist but it would be nice if someone took the punt and offered it up. An alien could be literally anything you can think of to an extent. To be a protagonist it simply needs the higher brain function to be able to converse with other creatures. Although even then it depends on the story you want to tell, Deadly Creatures on the Wii got away with utilizing arachnids as it's protagonists and the feel of the game, as a brawler, wasn't lacking. Bug Fables is probably the closest RPG I can think of, and then there are the occasional few outlandish characters in turn based RPG's occasionally but I'd be really interested in a Mass Effect or Baldur's Gate style game where you could actually be vastly different creatures. Maybe one day. I am interested in Starfield though although Bethesda RPG's haven't really been exciting me in recent times as I feel like the Elder Scrolls model is starting to getreally dated and Fallout I just don't like base building stuff and it really felt like that was where a lot of the focus went in Fallout 4.
  • So, I really do agree with you. Part of my hope is that the next Mass Effect allows us to choose from at least a handful of alien species. That being said, Bethesda has stated that "does intelligent life outside of humans exist" is one of the fundamental questions of Starfield, so it seems like there's a pretty big story reason why that's not happening here.
  • It gives them a chance to play the first contact card at some point.
    Also, they've said there will be ruins (alien, perhaps) in the game.
    They might also play it like David Drake's REPUBLIC OF CINNABAR books: the series is humans only, but one of the two main protagonist keeps running into very old, strange ruins that aren't. Nobody believes him and there is no indication Drake is going there but it adds texture to the character. (Think: Elder Scrolls Dwemers.) As for MASS EFFECT, allowing an alien protagonist would fit that game just fine.
    By starting the series with a multispecies society they gave up the chance to do the first contact war and they again passed on the chance to do it in ANDROMEDA, where they could've done as in ORIGINS and give you a different prologue for several secies even ifyou always ended up as the Pathfinder. BTW, there *is* a game a very popular SF game that let's you play a big stretch of the game as an alien with his own story: HALO. Results were mixed: some liked it, some griped. It is doable and worth trying again but doing it well is going to be tricky.
    It might need a new franchise.