Among plenty of other features and gameplay shown for Starfield during Xbox Games Showcase, Bethesda also took the chance to show off the Adoring Fan. It should be noted that Bethesda had previously confirmed that Starfield would feature its own Adoring Fan, but to see him in action is a different story entirely.
In Oblivion, players unlock the Adoring Fan after becoming Champion of the Arena. The Adoring Fan was an eerily-cheerful Bosmer child, who would become a follower for the player offering constant support and commentary but refusing to fight in combat.
The Starfield gameplay seen shows what happens when players choose the Hero Worshipped trait, which the official game details as, “You’ve earned the attention of an annoying ‘Adoring Fan’ who will show up randomly and jabber at you incessantly. On the plus side, he’ll give you gifts.” A very similar young man can be seen running up to the player, spouting off at the mouth. While the fan is “adoring” the player, many have found the constant commentary annoying over the years, but it’ll be interesting to see how much more useful this companion is. Bethesda has previously confirmed that the Adoring Fan will give gifts to players, but the game also shows scavenging, concealment, and weight-lifting skills when introducing them.
The skill system and talents in Starfield are visually represented by uniform patches, and allow players to build their characters from a set of different Physical, Social, Combat, Science, or Tech skills to suit their playstyle. Each category has several rows of subcategories, and each skill has ranks that players can unlock through completing the corresponding challenges. From picking locks to intimidating enemies to crafting chems at a Research Lab, it’s a full Bethesda experience set in space that fans are endearing calling it “No Man’s Skyrim”.
The gameplay of Starfield will combine a completely revamped gunplay familiar to Fallout players, with all sorts of tech and gadgets – such as being able to manipulate gravity in combat, hover in the air with a boost pack, or blow up an entire group of enemies with all sorts of explosives. It will feature a wide variety of weapons, fully-customizable with an equally ambitious set of mods. If Starfield delivers on its ambitious promises, its combat is sure to delight fans of the Fallout franchise, as well as any player who loves first-person shooters.
Though not a live service title, Starfield will have story expansions, with Shattered Space already announced as its first DLC Pack. Coupled with mod support on a brand-new engine, it will likely be supported by the developers and the community for many years to come. All that’s left is for Bethesda to stick the landing on September, and it may have a chance to compete for Game of the Year in a very stacked 2023.
The Showcase presentation included a series of extended looks at Starfield’s systems, including combat, exploration, world-building, character creation, its freeform approach, and the ability for the player to extensively customize and crew their own personal starship.
While Bethesda had previously disclosed that Starfield will feature over a thousand worlds that you’re free to explore at your own pace, the Showcase was the first time that its designers discussed the process thereof. Worlds in Starfield are procedurally generated, but are then populated with a variety of handcrafted encounters. No two players will see the same version of Starfield’s galaxy.
Starfield director Todd Howard also revealed that Starfield’s collector’s edition will come with a working smart watch that’s designed to match the official Constellation-brand watch that your character’s given in Starfield. That watch comes in a special hard case like the NASA-derived secure cases that are found in-game, along with an iron-on patch, a steelbook, and a digital download token.
To go along with the game, Xbox will issue an officially-branded Starfield Xbox Series X|S controller and a Starfield-branded wired headset. This marks the first time Xbox has issued a special-edition headset for a game.
The news from Forza Motorsport, the latest entry in Xbox’s long-running series of ultra-realistic racing games, was significantly less intense. Motorsport, now officially scheduled for release on Oct. 10, has officially partnered with General Motors, so players of the game will be able to collect, customize, and drive the 2023 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R and 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray.
In a surprise announcement, Microsoft will issue a brand new version of its award-winning Flight Simulator next year. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, made in partnership with the French studio Asobo, will feature additional activities such as search and rescue flights, aerial firefighting, hot air ballooning, experimental planes, and running a VIP charter service.
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