The Starfield gameplay trailer seems to hint that Bethesda’s upcoming space RPG could feature a survival system and other survival game mechanics, similar to Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas, whereby players have to eat, drink, and take care of their characters’ biological needs, as well as completing quests and unlocking abilities.
One of the game’s starting skills, Gastronomy, allows players to “craft specialty food and drink, and research additional recipes at a Research Lab”. This first of all implies that eating and drinking will form a part of Starfield’s gameplay, and that maintaining your character’s biological needs, a la survival games, may extend to factors such as temperature, disease, and rest. Bethesda fans will fondly recall the hardcore mode from Fallout: New Vegas, whereby bullets and blows result in life-threatening injuries, and you need to remain mindful of dehydration and the soaring Mojave heat. Given the rigours of space travel, and various hostile environments we’re likely to face across Starfield’s 1000 planets, it seems possible that gruelling external factors, as well as biological needs, could influence your play style. Our guide to how Starfield skills work can tell you more about how your character build might impact your survival.
It’s also possible that food, drink, and the specialty recipes described by the Gastronomy skill, will serve a simpler purpose, whereby they grant temporary buffs and status effects, similar to Fallout 4. Although the actual gameplay effect would not be as severe, this would still allow Starfield players to roleplay survival – whether or not there’s a mechanical benefit or status effect, there is something gratifying, and deeply atmospheric, about trudging back to your camp after a brutal Super Mutant battle, and popping open a few pre-war beers to take the edge off, and we’d like to see that moodiness replicated in Starfield.
“It will probably exist either at launch or as an update, but be optional,” says one Starfield fan, discussing the possibility of a survival mode over on Reddit. “Love the survival features, but they aren’t for everyone. Needs to be optional.”
“It should be geared toward management, keeping up with your needs,” says another Starfield Redditor. “Money should play a large part, with the universe having many pockets of civilization. Buying exotic foods with unique buffs and effects from gourmet alien chefs and such would be great. Hunting, starving, and scrounging in the outer reaches of space would be amazing as well.”
While you wait for further news on the Starfield release date window – as well as confirmation as to whether it will have survival mechanics – you can always kill time with the best survival games on PC. We’ve also put together some handy brochures to get you ready for your trips to Starfield’s various towns and cities, so take a look at our Neon City guide and our guide to New Atlantis.