Ever since its first gameplay trailer at Summer Games Fest, fans have been poring over every detail of Bethesda’s upcoming RPG Starfield, and now they think they’ve cracked another mystery, specifically, how the game will handle its Skyrim, Fallout, and Oblivion-inspired “step-out” moment.
Reddit user Exo_soldier began a thread just after the first gameplay reveal, and the entire community has been subsequently adding to it, culminating in a video from YouTuber Taye Talks who has summarised how Starfield will apparently open, and how Bethesda will frame your first glimpses of enormous cosmos.
During the initial character creation menus, your default Starfield character is described as being under the employ of Argos Extractors, presumably a mining company, operating on one of the game’s 1,000 planets. Redditors point to moments of the gameplay trailer where your character is shown using a scanner and a laser tool to retrieve iron ore as evidence that mining will serve as their background.
Digging (no pun intended) into this theory further, Taye Talks and the Reddit community have identified another moment from the gameplay footage, where a companion, dressed in what appears to be a kind of space mining suit, looks at the player character and remarks “most dusties don’t even make it this far”. Supposedly, this is in reference to the fact that the game begins deep below the planetary surface – your character, a novice miner (that same companion even refers to you as “the new guy”) has made it further than most other newbies, but is now, vitally for the step-out moment, isolated underground, a long way from any sweeping, galactic vistas, and perfectly poised to be stunned when they finally make it to the surface. Oblivion starts you in a subterranean jail. Fallout usually puts you in a nuclear bunker. A space mine would make sense, is all we’re saying.
At some point during this initial mining section, Redditors speculate that you wander away from your compadres, and encounter a mysterious rock formation. It’s this interaction – you can see your character reach out and touch the bizarre, hovering boulder in the gameplay footage – that sets Starfield’s story in motion. Returning to the dusty planet surface, you are met by a pilot who asks if you are the one who “saw the visions”.
Suddenly, one of Starfield’s enemy factions, the Crimson Fleet, attacks you and the other miners – this, fans have suggested, is where you will experience the game’s combat tutorial. The pilot is killed, but having told you that you should visit Constellation, the council of intellectuals that doubles for Skyrim’s Greybeards, or Fallout’s Brotherhood of Steel, you promptly commandeer his ship, and set forth out into the universe. And that’s it, boom – as soon as you leave the atmosphere of this first planet, you get the big ol’ step-out moment.
It’s a detailed theory, and it benefits from some choice evidence from the gameplay footage, and following the template that Bethesda has used in its RPGs up until now. We’re almost convinced, but we’ll have to wait until Starfield launches in 2023 to know the truth.