Starfield Direct needs to be all gameplay, all of the time

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Starfield Direct could be the last big update we get on Bethesda's highly-anticipated space adventure before its expected to land this September. Promising to take us inside Bethesda Game Studios to learn "much, much more about Starfield", the Direct is surely the perfect way to put some concerns to rest, while simultaneously amping up the excitement. And the best way to do just that is to show us a heck of a lot of gameplay. 

After a series of videos were released that focused on the developers discussing different aspects of Starfield, we finally got our first look at some gameplay during the Xbox and Bethesda showcase last year. The ten-minute footage featured snippets of character and ship customization, a brief look at combat, and some insight into planetary exploration and space flight. It was great to at long last get to actually see the game after only hearing about it for such a long time, but it still left me with so many questions surrounding how certain features will work. With a whole Direct dedicated to the new RPG, I really hope that, for the most part, it's going to be gameplay galore above all.

Lift off


(Image credit: Bethesda)


(Image credit: Bethesda)

10 Starfield gameplay features I want to see at the Starfield Direct showcase

I certainly don't expect the upcoming Direct to answer all of the questions I have. After all, it's safe to assume that a lot will be left for us to discover for ourselves. Still, given that Starfield was first announced all the way back in 2018, getting a big helping of gameplay showing  Starfield in action prior to release feels overdue. Happily, the Xbox Wire announcement for the Direct states that we can expect developer interviews, "behind-the-scenes insider information", and more crucially, "tons of gameplay". Just what and how much is shown remains to be seen, but it makes me hopeful this is going to be the showcase that really sells me on Bethesda's take on space exploration. 

The previous showcase that debuted Starfield gameplay features revealed that we'll be able to explore 1,000 planets across 100 systems in Bethesda's ambitious universe. There was also a lot of emphasis put on the fact that we'll not only be able to craft and create our own ship, but we'll also be able to fly it. The trouble is, we still really know all the ins and outs of how space flight will actually go. Our first look showed different segments of a flight, with the ship lifting off and then battling others among the stars. I  can't help but want to see a full space flight from start to finish in this Direct – after all, if we get to see tons of gameplay, this would be a great time to showcase what is, for me, one of Starfield's big appeals properly for the first time: the chance to be an space pilot who can explore the galaxy. 

It also feels important that we do see this aspect at play to help alleviate some fears surrounding the wealth of planets Starfield will present to us. Many are concerned this will make the experience feel empty or a bit superficial if the planets don't have much to offer. A full space flight going from one planet to another, with examples of what's in store, could at least give us a better idea until we can jump onto the flight deck ourselves. With only hints and teases of certain features that Bethesda's developers have talked about – such as companions, Starfield factions, and much more – there's so much we've yet to get a closer look, more in depth look at, and with only a little shown so far, this feels like the final chance to really wow us before the release date comes around on September 6. 

There's already a lot of excitement and anticipation surrounding Starfield. As well as being the first new IP from the studio in over two decades, it's also one of the biggest upcoming Xbox Series X games on the immediate horizon. After Starfield's delay to September and the disappointing launch of Redfall, there's already been lots of conversations in the world of games around how much pressure Starfield is going to be under to deliver – even more so since last year saw fewer releases on Xbox that we were expecting. With a lot of attention being drawn, the Direct needs more gameplay than anything else. I can't wait to see what awaits us. 

Keep up to speed with everything this month with our dedicated E3 2023 schedule 

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.