Starfield Main Quest will be 30-40 hours long, says Todd Howard

A Starfield spacecraft jumps into hyperspace.

screenshot: Bethesda/Kotaku

Over the weekend we got a first look at how starfield will play. Now director Todd Howard has released a bunch of more detailed details in one new interview with IGN. The most important thing to take away is that starfield is larger than any of Bethesda’s previous games and aims for you to be able to do everything from role-playing as a space chef to battling pirates MechWarriorShip battle in style.

During Sunday Xbox and Bethesda ShowcaseHoward took potential players on a tour starfield‘s galaxy, from warehouse shootouts to neon-lit cities and beyond. The presentation ended with the line that starfield will have over 1,000 planets for you to visit. It elicited a huge response, eliciting excitement from some and cautious concern from others, like me. In an in-depth interview with IGNHoward went into more detail on what he meant and what players should expect from other aspects of the game.

It will be obvious which planets have been handcrafted.

Howard was pretty frank in the interview that many of them starfieldThe planets of are procedurally generated and are exceptionless. Players can visit them for resources or hang out because they like the view and want to base their base there. Time on this planet has been compared to a revisit The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall with “some gameplay and some random content”.

While most are procedurally generated, those that were hand-designed are clearly signposted so players don’t get lost fooling around on a mostly empty space rock when they don’t want to. Howard also said there isn’t a huge gap between procedurally generating a planet and procedurally generating an entire cluster, suggesting it may not be the huge drain on development resources some skeptics have feared. “We handcrafted more of the content in this game than in any other game we’ve made,” Howard said.

The main story is 30-40 hours long.

d A common thread in the interview was that everything rotates starfield is larger, and that includes the critical path. The main quest chains in games like failure 4 were under 30 hours, but Howard said starfieldThe main story of could bring some players closer to 40. While final voting on the game is ongoing – there’s still no exact early 2023 release date –starfieldThe main quest chain of currently has a lot more content. “It’s more quests, so maybe 20% more than our previous ones,” he said IGN. Time will tell if it’s more memorable than the others.

There are four capitals.

While starfield has over 1,000 planets, Howard confirmed that there are only four capital cities, the largest of which is New Atlantis. It’s home to the main Constellation faction, which Howard describes as “NASA-meets-Indiana Jones-meets-The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” There you can practice your cooking, work on your ship and no doubt pick hundreds of locks. Howard promises that New Atlantis will be Bethesda’s busiest RPG city yet.

Ship combat has a lot to offer.

By far the most interesting nuggets from the interview related to space travel. Howard confirmed that you won’t be seamlessly traveling back and forth between the surface and the stars. “If you’re trying to really spend a lot of time developing that in-between, that transition, you’re just spending a lot of time doing something that’s really not that important to the players,” he said. But once you’re in space, there’s plenty to do, including dogfighting with other ships.

Players’ spaceships have a finite power supply that can be channeled into three different weapon systems, engines, shields, and a gravdrive that allows you to dodge in space. Howad described the pacing as similar MechWarrior, and said players can dock and board other ships that spot them, or steal them outright. There will also be unique dialogue and quest beats that may appear in these parts of the game.

Like I said, that’s the most important thing starfield is bigger than any previous Bethesda game. How that translates into interesting storytelling and memorable player moments remains to be seen. One thing Howard was not asked about during his interview was what toll, if any, starfield‘s creation the development team is taking over, or why it was pushed back from November 11th to 2023.

As kotaku reported last week, Fallout 76The buggy launch of was the result of a chaotic production cycle and some internally could see the eventual train wreck coming a mile away. Bethesda and Microsoft have so far opted not to comment. Meanwhile, Todd Howard’s content roadmap is already complete teasing failure 5 in the far, far future. Starfield Main Quest will be 30-40 hours long, says Todd Howard

Curtis Crabtree

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