Starfield must learn a lesson from Fallout: New Vegas


Bethesda’s next space RPG Starfield is the studio’s first new IP in over 25 years. More importantly, it is his best hope to regain some of the prestige lost in recent years due to the eventful exit of Fallout 76 and the lack of news on The Elder Scrolls 6. Todd Howard notably avoided comparisons to Bethesda’s other sci-fi RPG series, instead comparing the game to Skyrim and by focusing on his freedom as a player and his multiple reachable factions.

Yes Starfield is going to be Bethesda’s return to form, it must learn a great lesson from a game that was not developed by Bethesda Game Studios. Fallout: New Vegas has a key lesson to teach Starfield on role-playing freedom, and which could be particularly important to implement based on the information revealed so far about the upcoming game.

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Starfield player character

StarfieldThe player character is a puzzle. It is not clear if they will be cast or if they will have a background set as Fallout 4‘s protagonist, or if they will be more of a blank slate like Skyrim‘s Dragonborn. It seems very likely, however, that at least one detail about the game’s protagonist can be worked out from the start.

Although there will be several factions in Starfield, it is practically confirmed that the player will be part of a space exploration group named Constellation, which embarks on the “last voyage of humanity”. The E3 trailer specifically states that “you are now a part of Constellation,” implying that the player character himself has made some sort of discovery that will form the basis of his journey. All that is confirmed at this time is that everything the player finds near the start of the main quest is “the key to unlocking everything” from Constellation’s perspective.

SkyrimThe introductory sequence of is very open from a role-playing point of view. The player can leave Helgen without ever getting confirmation that he is the Dragonborn, allowing him to skip the main quest if he wishes. No matter how much players can customize their Starfield character, it looks like the premise of the game will be slightly more normative while still aiming to let players define most of their character. As such, this configuration is more comparable to Fallout: New Vegas.

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Open debuts

fallout new vegas opening benny

At the beginning of New Vegas – with the exception of the extra story introduced in the DLC – there is only one confirmed detail about the player character: his job. New VegasThe protagonist is the Courier, an unlucky mailman who unwittingly receives an extremely important package and ends up being hit in the head and left for dead because of its contents. While the last job they took on is already defined, Obsidian does a great job of not over-prescribing the player character’s past. In the retail version of the game, the only thing background players have to accept is that at some point they have accepted at least one delivery job. All other aspects of their life and personality are left to the player’s choice.

StarfieldThe main quest may involve the player joining Constellation, but Bethesda must avoid that premise implying too many other things about his character’s past if he is to create a virgin player character that offers players a wide variety of options. role play opportunities. Fortunately, the implication that the player makes some sort of discovery that initiates the main quest could be helpful.

The Courier is drawn into Fallout: New Vegas‘Main quest by sheer coincidence when it comes to the player at the start of the game, allowing them the freedom to play the part of whoever they want with any particular motive. The same cannot be said of Fallout 4 or Fallout 3, where the player tracks down his son and his father respectively. Whatever the discovery StarfieldThe protagonist of ‘s made at the start of the game, Bethesda must make it open to interpretation as a coincidence – the kind of discovery that anyone could have accidentally stumbled upon, suddenly making them vital to the final Constellation mission.

The player, for example, could find technology that projects some sort of alien signal into their mind, making it key to Constellation’s efforts to find intelligent alien life in Starfieldof the universe, no matter who they were before. This is a cliché example, but it shows that it is possible for the player to be a part of Constellation without prescribing that prior to the start of events he was a space explorer in training or some other more prescriptive story.

Skip the main quest

starfield sunset concept art

The player should also have the option to skip the main quest and have their decision to skip the main quest make sense in the character. Turn away from the main quest in Fallout 4 in particular can be an immersion breaker. It’s hard to imagine a parent with a missing child getting involved in the game’s silliest side missions, like the Silver Shroud questline, which makes it difficult to immerse yourself in some of the more light-hearted quests in the game. game. Fallout: New Vegas, not chasing Benny after shooting the player makes just as much sense as chasing him, freeing the player into the game’s open world, not only physically, but in terms of role-playing.

Bethesda could let the player let go Starfieldgalaxy before they make any discovery for Constellation to notice. If the game opens with the player making this discovery and they are not a Constellation member beforehand, it would make more sense for them to reject Constellation’s call to action if that is what. he wants to do. In any case, the opening of the game should be carefully designed to avoid restricting the player’s role-playing possibilities.

If a player wants to start Starfield and engage in the life of a brutal space pirate while completely ignoring the main story, they should be able to do it. The main story setup should be able to accommodate this choice without the player feeling like the player is going against what the game expects of them. As New Vegas, players should be drawn to the main quest out of curiosity and not out of obligation. Otherwise, Bethesda might struggle to match the level of role-playing freedom found in its best open-world RPGs.

Starfield launch on November 11, 2022, for PC and Xbox Series X / S.

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