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Star Wars Outlaws - The Big Massive Interview

Genre: Role-Playing Game
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date:
11th November 2022
Thursday, 14 September 2023
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 08:44am 14/09/23 | 1 Comments
Starfield recorded a peak player count (via Steam Charts) of 330,723 galactic explorers this past weekend, smashing through the concurrent peak player record for Skyrim set back in 2011. Skyrim's peak player count at launch on Steam was around 287,411. What makes this an even more impressive feat is that this doesn't include Xbox Game Pass players on PC - which will be another sizable chunk of spacefarers.

Ahead of this new record, Bethesda announced that Starfield is the studio's biggest launch to date, drawing in over six million players - more than Fallout and Skyrim. As a brand-new IP, this is great news for the team as Starfield was more of a gamble than simply releasing a new Elder Scrolls or Fallout title - though we should expect new entries in both sometime in the future.

That said, it still has a few ways to match Fallout 4's peak of around 473,000 concurrent players back in 2015 or Baldur’s Gate 3, which hit an impressive peak concurrent player count of around 875,000 just this past month. It would be nice to be able to combine Steam and PC Game Pass numbers to get a better picture - but the big takeaway for Starfield is that it has been a massive success for Bethesda and Microsoft on PC.
Friday, 1 September 2023
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 09:24am 01/09/23 | 0 Comments
Starfield is huge, and even though only 10% of the game's 1,000 planets to explore are not classed as 'Barren,' there's just something about landing on a desolate rock or mass and walking around. Very early on, the game lets you fully explore the Sol System - and that's what I did, checking out the harsh conditions on Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Earth.

Consider this a spoiler-free bit of planetary landscape eye-candy - outside of being a glimpse at the state of our homeworld in the year 2330. All footage was captured with the PC version running max settings at 60 fps with a GeForce RTX 4090. Check it out.

A snippet from our Review In Progress.

Starfield is a step ahead in how it embraces its role-playing nature beyond joining various factions and being either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ when it comes to making choices that might affect the lives of others. The detailed skill tree offers a long list of game-changing abilities to choose from, each feeling meaningful and useful, and there’s this level of diversity across the social, exploration, creation, and combat sides.

This then ties into what to do; even though Starfield features a compelling main story, alongside several fantastic side quests and faction questlines to work your way through slowly - you can just as easily spend several hours (like I did) exploring barren and sparse planets simply because it felt like a frontier that deserved discovery.

Ultimately, you can feel the thought and care poured into every corner of Starfield, from the lore to the discovery of the fate of humanity and its colonies in the year 2330 - it’s science fiction bliss.
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:00am 01/09/23 | 0 Comments
After several years of development, Bethesda's next major RPG - its first original IP in generations - is finally here. With all of the hype surrounding Starfield's release on Xbox Series X|S and PC - even though Bethesda offered a sizable lead time, we're not quite ready to offer a final verdict. In fact, we're far from it. Starfield is huge.

A snippet.
After paying the bill and loading it back into the world, seeing the result was one of those quintessential ‘wow’ moments. What was a 3D Lego-like toolbox creation in a window was now a real ship with scale that I had personally modified, upgraded, and built. One that I could now walk around and take a closer look at.

Learning a new system and getting excited about the things you can do is a big part of Starfield, perhaps the biggest of the first 20 or so hours - like the 40-minute presentation we got earlier in the year; even after 20 or 30 hours, you can’t help but feel like you’ve barely scratched the surface of what you can see and do in Starfield.

Our Starfield Review... In Progress
Thursday, 31 August 2023
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 10:40am 31/08/23 | 0 Comments
To celebrate the launch of Starfield on September 6, Bethesda is holding a very special Starfield Launch Experience that is set to transform the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay. Bethesda notes that fans and attendees will experience various themed immersive activities, custom lighting installations, cosplayers, and more.

From the developers of Skyrim and Fallout, Starfield is not only Bethesda Game Studios’ next-generation RPG but one of the biggest game releases of 2023.

“Starfield is our biggest launch ever, and we can’t wait for fans to experience the incredible universe Bethesda Games Studios have built,” said Simon Alty, VP & Managing Director, Bethesda APAC. “Bethesda has a long history of iconic and immersive worlds full of adventure, and Starfield brings that experience to a new frontier. We can’t wait to welcome you into the 'Starfield Launch Experience' and celebrate with you all.”

Tickets to attend the Starfield Launch Experience with fellow budding Constellation members and Bethesda ANZ are free and available through Eventbrite.

In the meantime, check out the very cool live-action trailer for the game, released before launch.

With the game set to hit Early Access tomorrow for those who pre-ordered, no doubt most of the videogame discord in the next week or two will be taken up exclusively by Starfield.
Monday, 12 June 2023
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:23pm 12/06/23 | 0 Comments
Following the already impressive Xbox Showcase, where we got closer looks at Fable, Avowed, and more, we got a gameplay deep dive on Bethesda's epic space RPG Starfield which is set to launch on Xbox Series X|S and PC on September 6, 2023. From planetary exploration to building your own ship and colonies to deep RPG character customisation the scope here is next level. And it looks amazing too. All 45 minutes of it.

From the team behind Oblivion, Skyrim, and Fallout, expectations were running high but this is truly next-level stuff. The sheer amount of detail and things you can do in a fully explorable galaxy is mind-blowing. Ship dogfighting, becoming a pirate and boarding other craft, visiting giant spaceports, building a fleet, a crew, and engaging in a deep single-player narrative with plenty of discovery. Even the hand-to-hand combat looks slick and smooth, thanks to planetary conditions and things like boost/jet packs.

There's a lot, so strap in and prepare to be blown away. Everything we see here is complete too, as the game is out in a few months.

Starfield is the first new universe in over 25 years from Bethesda Game Studios, the award-winning creators of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4. In this next generation role-playing game set amongst the stars, create your character and explore with unparalleled freedom as you embark on an epic journey to answer humanity’s greatest mystery.

In the year 2330, humanity has ventured beyond our solar system, settling new planets, and living as a spacefaring people. You will join Constellation – the last group of space explorers seeking rare artifacts throughout the galaxy – and navigate the vast expanse of space in Bethesda Game Studios’ biggest and most ambitious game.

Along the way you will join in the adventures of various factions; pilot and customise your own ship; explore planets and discover their local flora, fauna, and resources; build outposts; and master a refined combat system to deal with threats of all kinds.

Even though the Xbox Series X|S versions are confirmed as being locked to a 30fps presentation, even that would make it Bethesda's smoothest console RPG release to date. But even so, we don't think there's been a modern "open-world" RPG ever created with this level of scope, detail, and possibilities. Over 1,000 planets to explore - the mind boggles.
Wednesday, 10 May 2023
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:39pm 10/05/23 | 0 Comments
Starfield is easily one of the year's most anticipated releases, the long-awaited next massive RPG from the team behind Skyrim and Fallout 4. Out September 6, 2023, for Xbox Series X|S and PC, it's also a brand-new IP for the studio and arguably the biggest first-party Xbox Game Studios launch for the latest generation of consoles.

Although we got that gameplay deep dive a year ago, we'll have to wait until the next big E3-style Xbox Showcase in June for a deep-dive presentation on Starfield and all of its space-fearing RPG goodness.

It's being described as a hardcore RPG, with deep character customisation and countless planets to explore and factions and stories to discover.

The hype is real.

Today comes word that the game has received a Mature 17+ rating by the US-based ESRB - with a brief description of "Blood, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Drugs, Violence." Basically, all of the good stuff you'd look for when going to the video store in the early '90s as a kid to rent a few VHS tapes.

Though explained and written matter-of-factly, the rating does give some info on what to expect from weapons to fighting robots and alien creatures to the fictional drug Aurora being big in the Starfield universe.

"Players use futuristic guns, lasers, axes, and explosives to kill enemies," the rating writes. "Combat is fast-paced, with frequent gunfire, cries of pain, and explosions. Attacks on some enemies can result in blood-splatter effects; several environments depict blood stains on the ground around corpses."

It also hints at a section where you can work at an illicit drug lab, uses of the F-word and other swears, plus post-coital pillow talk with characters you can have sex with.

That's right, sex is coming to Starfield which will no doubt ramp up the Mass Effect comparisons. Even more interesting is the ESRB rating listing actual in-game pillow talk.
“Life is a sexually transmitted disease that's a hundred percent fatal,”
“I'm all for getting a little wild, but next time let's try it without the jetpacks.”
“Talk about seeing stars, whew… that was amazing.”

That last one is a little on the space-nose, kind of like "Nobody said to engage the lightspeed thruster, next time bring it down to Space Mach 10 and give me time to ignite my own thermal core." Ahem.
Friday, 17 March 2023
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:47pm 17/03/23 | 0 Comments
Cast your minds back to the launch of Fallout 3 in Australia and the game was originally banned due to its depiction of drug use. The reason for that was that the R18+ rating for videogames wasn't a thing at the time. Today comes the surprising revelation that Bethesda's Starfield has been given an R18+ rating due to the game's drug use.

The rating means that sales of the game will be restricted to people aged 18 or older in Australia - with "high impact" drug use looking to be the main reason. As far as violence goes Starfield has been given the "strong impact" rating which means that even if the rating is disputed it's looking like an Australian MA15+ rating for the game could be the alternative.

For a new IP to be given an R18+ rating, especially for a significant release like Starfield, is a major setback. It limits where the game can be advertised, and who it's marketed to, and no doubt even limits who can play the game via Xbox Game Pass. Starfield has yet to enter its marketing phase, which we assume would be massive considering it's the next game from the studio behind Fallout and Skyrim. At least in Australia, a restricted Starfield could mean fewer billboards.

That said, DOOM Eternal was given an R18+ rating for violence and marketing there was prevalent even in Australia.

Going back to Fallout 3, the Australian ban actually led to a positive outcome, where 'Morphine' was renamed to 'Med-X' which gave the drugs in the Fallout universe their own identity. Based on what we've seen from Starfield so far, there's nothing to indicate that the game will deliver an edgy R18+ style experience. The Australian Classification for Starfield also notes that there's no sex in the game, and nudity is basically non-existent.

There's enough time for the rating to change ahead of the game's September debut, and who knows, maybe a simple name change for drugs could be the solution here too.
Thursday, 15 December 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:57pm 15/12/22 | 0 Comments
A new behind-the-scenes Starfield video has dropped, digging into the questing and storytelling with Lead Quest Designer Will Shen. In it we learn that you'll get to visit "the old neighbourhood", learn about what happened to Earth, and even visit an early settlement on Mars.

We also learn that the various factions in the game (United Colonies, Freestar Collective, Ryujin Industries, the Crimson Fleet, and House Va'Ruun), in terms of joining them and being a part of their stories -- will play out more like Skyrim than what we saw in Fallout 4.

We also learn that it'll be a little more nuanced than simply becoming the head of each faction, with more personal stories and choices impacting the direction of how they see themselves in the universe. And like with Skyrim you'll be able to play through all faction-based questlines independently of each other.

"All the major characters and every faction questline will be reflecting on your choices," Will Shen says. "But it can have far-reaching consequences for what that faction is and what it cares about." Companions will also play a larger role, voicing their opinions and reacting to your decisions. Bethesda adds that you'll be gradually introduced to all of the factions during the main storyline, and also there will be plenty of non-faction-based stories and quests to discover. Planets will feature dynamically placed quests ranging from settlements to outposts populated with self-contained stories that will send you off to different regions.

Starfield is on track for a 2023 release on Xbox Series X|S and PC, though no release date or window has been set yet.
Thursday, 13 October 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:33pm 13/10/22 | 0 Comments
A new behind-the-scenes video with Starfield game director Todd Howard has dropped, giving some insight into the background and hard sci-fi nature of the game. As per the gameplay reveal, Starfield is an expansive RPG where you can explore numerous planets and even fly a ship.

In terms of Bethesda RPGs and character interaction, on top of a detailed trait system and skill-based dialogue choices, we learn that Starfield features over 250,000 lines of dialogue. Compared to previous Bethesda RPGs, Fallout 4 featured around 110,000 and Skyrim 60,000. So yeah, from a pure narrative perspective Starfield is going to be huge.

Todd Howard also name-dropped a very old sci-fi RPG called SunDog: Frozen Legacy which was released for the Apple II back in 1984 as a point of inspiration. In that game, players flew a ship to different planets, something that will be a core part of Starfield. Though when it comes to science there have been some trade-offs to maintain playability.

“We were really into fuel and how the gravity drive works," Todd Howard says of Starfield. "I’m reading papers on quantum physics and bending space in front of you. You don’t actually warp you bend [and] bring the space toward you. And so we were playing that and it became very punitive to the player, your ship would run out of fuel and the game would just stop.”

Being stranded in space won't be an issue players will need to deal with, though Todd Howard confirms that Starfield will support mods. And that there's room to take the sci-fi concepts within the game even further by adding survival elements and things like having to monitor fuel consumption.

Starfield is out for Xbox Series X|S and PC in 2023.
Monday, 5 September 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:27pm 05/09/22 | 0 Comments
Acclaimed composer Inon Zur (whose credits include Fallout 3, Dragon Age: Origins, and Fallout 4) is once again working with Bethesda to create the music that you'll hear in Starfield. Appearing in a new longform interview on the Nikhil Hogan Show on YouTube, Inon opens up about the game - specifically in relation to the size and scope of the ambitious RPG.

Namely that the story and themes are going to be huge, and philosophical in nature.
Starfield is a deep game, it's a philosophical game. It's a game that will consume a lot of... if you want to play Starfield it'll consume a lot of your being. I believe that after Starfield, you will be a bit of... I wouldn't say changed person, but it will definitely give you another perspective. Maybe a deeper perspective on your whole being.

As for the size of the game, and this might be in relation to the music, Inon Zur notes that it's "at least twice as big as the biggest game Bethesda ever did". Although we know that Starfield features action, RPG elements, factions to join, and many stories and locations to explore, it's definitely cool to hear that the team at BGS is swinging for the stars with this one. Exploring the universe and trying to understand your place in it is such a great central theme to explore.

"The premise of Starfield and the courage to ask questions and try to answer them is actually standing in the core of Starfield," Inon Zur says. "It's more than just another shooter or another RPG game. Starfield really takes a very courageous step into a realm that is more philosophical."

Starfield is the first brand-new IP from the studio behind The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, and it's currently on track for the 2023 release across Xbox consoles and PC.

Check out the full interview/discussion with Inon Zur below.

Tuesday, 14 June 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:15pm 14/06/22 | 0 Comments
As part of the big 15-minute Starfield gameplay presentation the other day we got glimpses at dialogue scenes played out in first-person - ala classic Bethesda Game Studios RPGs like Skyrim and Fallout 3. The studio's most recent game, Fallout 4, went with a fully voiced protagonist and a Mass Effect-style dialogue wheel. In Starfield it's out with the new and in with the old.

With Bethesda taking to Twitter to confirm that you will be in control of a silent protagonist (no voice acting) with all character interaction to play out in first-person.

Starfield looks to dig deep into the RPG side of things for the studio, with an in-depth character creator that extends to background traits, skill trees, and plenty of customisation. Which then extends to being able to build your own spaceship and spaceport. Factions will play a big role too, and with this traditional approach to NPC interaction Starfield will feel every bit like a classic Bethesda RPG. And it's probably safe to assume there'll be plenty of Skill checks in there too.
Thursday, 9 June 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 10:00pm 09/06/22 | 0 Comments
As part of a new What’s Next For Gaming at Microsoft event that included a nice little sit-down with Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, the Xbox chief highlighted Starfield as the crown jewel of sorts of the recent ZeniMax/Bethesda acquisition. “This will be a hallmark for us in terms of the acquisition of ZeniMax,” Phil says. “Getting to work with Todd Howard, and bringing this game to market. I've seen a lot of this game, and people are going to see more of it. I love setting the goal of ‘let's get more players for this game than any other game’.”

Of course the recent delay of Starfield into the first-half of 2023 means it won’t be the big holiday game for Xbox this year, but it’s going to be one of the biggest Xbox releases to date when it does finally drop. It’s the next game from the studio behind Skyrim and Fallout 4, is a brand-new IP, and has been in development in one form or another since 2015.

This is not to say that Xbox is all-in and nothing else when it comes to Starfield, but that it sees the game as something potentially huge. A hallmark release (thanks Phil). This sits alongside the much talked about long-term plan for Xbox, which is to bring the platform to more people than ever - no matter if they own a console or dedicated gaming PC. Which means, yeah, you’ll be able to play Starfield on a phone or Smart TV.

“When I think about the platform that we're building, we're building a platform that can reach billions of players,” Phil adds. “Whether it's on console, whether it's on PC, whether it's through Xbox cloud streaming where players on any device they want to play on should be able to find the content that they want to play. Whether it's in a web browser, whether it's in an app, or whether it's on a device that's dedicated to playing games. That's just fundamental to where Xbox is going, find as many players as we can, and cultivate a community of amazing creators.”

All The Xbox Pre-Showcase News

Xbox App is Coming to Samsung’s 2022 Smart TVs
Xbox is Getting New Features Designed for Windows 11 and Microsoft Edge
Xbox Game Pass is Getting Demos and the Ability to Cloud Stream Games Outside of its Library
Xbox Design Lab is Coming to Australia… And in New and Improved Form
Phil Spencer Sees Starfield as the Hallmark Release to Come Out of the Bethesda Acquisition
Thursday, 12 May 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 10:14pm 12/05/22 | 0 Comments
Bethesda has delayed the release of Starfield to the first half of 2023 alongside Arkane's Redfall. A game that was announced a year ago as a 2022 release, but without any real gameplay. Granted we still havent seen Starfield in action, arguably one of the most anticipated games coming to Xbox and PC. As the next ambitious RPG from the team behind Skyrim and Fallout 4, yeah, it looks like we'll need to wait a little longer.

The announcement regarding the delays was made moments ago via social media.

As per above Bethesda wants to ensure that the game's released are "the best, most polished versions" - pointing to additional time needed to get them both in a great state. And really, it's a decision that was no doubt difficult to make, but for the best. On the plus side, it does sound like we're going to get early looks at both as part of the upcoming Xbox & Bethesda showcase.
Monday, 11 April 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:25pm 11/04/22 | 0 Comments
As per a recent update on Starfield the team at Bethesda confirmed that the game will be a return to "hardcore RPGs" for the studio. And with that players will be able to foster relationships with various companions, one of which will be a Constellation robot by the name of Vasco.

Described as "just one of several companions you’ll meet" this lovable robot will wasn't designed for combat, though will come equipped with some firearms in-case interstellar negotiations go south.

“It’s always fascinating to see who the breakout characters are, who players start to gravitate toward,” says Lead Artist Istvan Pely. “Even early in the process, before we had the full suite of characters, people in the studio started gravitating toward a robot. Toward VASCO. He’s your buddy, but he’s a robot. But all of the sudden everyone on the team decided ‘I want a relationship with VASCO. He’s so cool. He’s so much fun.’ He became a breakout character, and we were just getting started.”

In the video above we see Vasco in the locales that made their debut during last year's teaser. With Starfield on track for a 11.11.22 release on Xbox Series X|S and PC, odds are we're going to be getting our first deep dive into the highly anticipated sci-fi RPG in the coming months.
Wednesday, 1 December 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 11:08am 01/12/21 | 0 Comments
Into the Starfield: The Endless Pursuit is the latest episode taking a look at Bethesda Game Studios' upcoming RPG Starfield, where get to watch Game Director Todd Howard, Studio Director Angela Browder and Art Director Matt Carofano talk about what it means to create the next BGS epic.

With one of the design philosophies seemingly being the team being aware that Skyrim is still being played a decade after its release -- so what does that mean for Starfield.

It's also cool to hear them talk about "step out" moments, which Bethesda has used to great effect in the past. Examples of this would be emerging into the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3 and getting out of the first dungeon in Oblivion. According to Todd Howard, Starfield currently has two of these epic moments.

Although we don't get to see any new footage from the game, the video does feature some wonderful new concept art -- which helps highlight just how different this game will look compared to an Elder Scrolls or Fallout. Starfield's world and universe is grounded in reality.

And it's looking pretty awesome.