Starfield’s graphics provide a “retro cassette” take on space exploration and the Bethesda RPG game formula, explains Xbox boss Matt Booty in a recent interview, as we await further details on the much-mysterious Starfield release date.
Discussing Halo, Game Pass, and the upcoming Bethesda space game, Booty explains how Starfield is inspired by concept art of the “late 70s, early 80s”, offering a visual style that could appeal to fans of classic sci-fi movies like Solaris and Alien.
“There’s going to be an awful lot of new stuff that Bethesda fans and Todd Howard fans have not seen brought to the game,” Booty explains. “The things that excite me first are just the visual style, which for lack of something better I would call kind of ‘NASA punk’. It has a little bit of a kind of ‘retro cassette’ feel to it, which is pretty unique.”
Bethesda RPGs have always carried a distinct but similar visual and animation style, first with the Gamebryo engine, which fuelled Fallout 3 and the Bethesda-published New Vegas, and then the Creation engine, which powers Skyrim and Fallout 4. Starfield will use an updated version, Creation 2, and from the sounds of it, offer RPG fans a fresh visual style. Discussing Starfield further, Booty says that director Todd Howard is “not going to sit still on what was built before”, though cannot offer further details on the game’s much anticipated launch.
Personally, I would like Starfield to look and feel a little like Alien: Isolation, all chunky machines and whirring, plastic-box computers that make everything feel laboured and mechanical. There’s a fantastic tension, when the ship and its components look and sound like they’re struggling to work, as to whether you will be able to survive. It makes the whole world feel more tactile and lived in, and creates the sense that everything you find and do in the game is hard-earned, rather than available at the touch of an efficient, holographic button. We will just have to wait in the see.
In the meantime, make sure you’re up to (light)speed with all the Starfield cities. You can also learn about Starfield character creation and all the best Starfield backgrounds, to start planning and preparing your personal space adventurer before launching into the stars.