Bethesda’s recent Starfield Direct gave players an incredibly in-depth look at the game, showcasing everything from ship customization to interstellar combat to the most detailed character creation system to ever appear in a Bethesda game. We also learned about the game’s massive collection of 1,000+ explorable planets, but one rather vital detail was missing: How exactly are players supposed to explore a planet once they’ve landed on its surface?

We already know that Starfield’s ships cannot fly low over a planet’s atmosphere. Instead, players pick a “parking spot” from orbit, land their spacecraft, and disembark to have a look around. From what we’ve seen, planetside exploration takes place entirely on foot. While planets with low-g environments and what appears to be a jetpack on the character’s spacesuit may allow for large leaps that make for quicker on-foot travel on some planets, one has to wonder how exactly planetside exploration works on high-gravity worlds. Because for all the neat game features seen in the showcase, one vital ingredient still appears to be missing: a rover, or any sort of vehicle meant to more easily facilitate the exploration of a planet’s surface.

Although the original Mass Effect’s Mako rover was a bit clunky to operate, it still got the job done, and was a heck of a lot faster than wandering the game’s planets on foot. (It was also vastly improved in the games’s Legendary Edition.) Similarly, No Man’s Sky–which seems to have inspired a great deal of the content in Starfield–has an expansive fleet of “exocraft” that make exploring the game’s many planets far more convenient. The apparent lack of any sort of surface-traversal vehicle in Starfield is a bit concerning, especially given the fact that Mass Effect 1 only had about 40 planets and moons to explore (not counting DLC-exclusive planets) while Starfield has over 1,000.

© 2024  •