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E3 2018: Bethesda reveals first new franchise in 25 years: Starfield

by: Randy -
More On: Rage 2 Fallout 76 Starfield

Remarkable. Hope against hope, Starfield is a real thing. Since talk of some new IP called "Starfield" went into the rumor mill last year, just the idea of Todd Howard's Bethesda Game Studios working on a brand new sci-fi property (outside of the Fallout universe) had not only captured my attention, but shackled it, imprisoned it, and held it indefinitely without proper charges. Suffice it to say, I've been something of a wreck, and I can't even explain why. Except that merely the possibility of Todd Howard working on something new and fresh and without a sequel attached to it—just made me happy. It's not Fallout: Starfield. It's not The Elder Scrolls VI: Starfield. Or Doomfield, Preyfield, or Wolfenfield. None of that. Just Starfield, fresh, virginal, unhindered by what's come before it or what's coming after.

So here we have the teaser. It's not much, but it's enough to spark the imagination, and that's all a teaser has to do. We're looking through chipped and slightly dirty glass, with the letters "CONSTE" appearing roundly in the lower left. It may be part of the word "constellation," the probable name of a ship you're on. I mean, I say probable, but it could be, like, the USS Consternation. Hey, it's too early to rule out anything, right? And then sunlight slices a razor-thin edge of a terrestrial planet, crackling with rocky edges and coastlines, aged and pockmarked with craters, swirling with dead brown coloration; no trees of green, no skies of blue, no clouds of white. For all intents and purposes, this planet might be done and it's time to go.

So the camera pans down to reveal a NASA-like space station, built in a round ring shape, slowly spinning, which is almost always indicative that a structure has gravity for inhabitants. Four triangular solar-paneled arms open up to the sun. Then space seems to split, exploding with light and sucking in the space station at the same time, colors shifting in a blinding flash.

And that's it for now. A Starfield logo appears, simple and circular, indicative either of time being circular or perhaps the round construction of the station. Contrary to Bethesda E3 traditions, this game is some ways off. They had no problem putting a 2019 launch window on Rage 2, and no problem putting a 2018 launch date on Fallout 76, so Starfield may very well be a 2020 thing, or a late 2019 thing at the very earliest. For now, I can rest easy, knowing that Starfield isn't just a rumor anymore; it's not just some trademark of a name that might get slapped on any old thing. Starfield is real, even if it's a long ways from ready, and that's good enough for me.