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Starfield’s enemies can attack you at the speed of light, literally

Starfield’s gameplay demo reveals that during space combat, enemies can ambush you using faster-than-light warps, adding more danger to the sci-fi RPG

Starfield player character during customisation

Starfield’s space combat is perhaps more dangerous than we originally thought, as footage from the gameplay demo reveals that enemy ships can warp in and ambush you at the literal speed of light, leaving no corner of the sci-fi RPG ever truly safe.

As spotted by Reddit user blackvrocky, a few frames in Bethesda’s first gameplay demo show two huge flashes of light, followed by enemy ships appearing out of nowhere, and turning their weapons towards the player. We’re used to ambushes from Skyrim’s frost trolls, even Deathclaws glitching into existence right behind us in Fallout 4 – but this is ridiculous.

Enemy ships in the gameplay demo appear to be warping. from Starfield

With over 1,000 planets to explore, it’s likely that Starfield’s fast-travel system will be based around lightspeed and warping, but what we didn’t realise was that this would also apply to our enemies. The sci-fi RPG looks beautiful and serene (despite a few bugs), but now we’re starting to think that random attacks, from ships that can pounce you instantly from hyperspace, are likely to be a common disruption as we tour and marvel at the universe.

There have been a few other hints at how combat will work in Starfield. Bethesda studio director Todd Howard explains that the game is taking inspiration both from the indie darling FTL, and old PC classics such as MechWarrior. Alongside that, eagle-eyed fans have spotted an ominous warning hidden within the gameplay demo.

Given all these threats, and the fact you can apparently be attacked anywhere, any time in Starfield, you’ll want to make sure you give yourself the best chance of survival by getting your characters classes and stats absolutely right. Either that, or you could join a religion that forces you to constantly jump and down.