Starfield promises to fill the void in my RPG-loving heart as I wait for Dragon Age 4 and Mass Effect 5

(Image credit: Bethesda)

I'm still thinking about everything that was shown off during the Starfield Direct. The showcase was stacked with in-depth looks at everything from character creation to what kinds of food we can have in our inventory. Every detail that emerged about Bethesda's new space-faring adventure had my RPG-loving heart all aflutter. After all, nothing speaks to me quite like a wealth of customization options, plenty of freedom to shape my own story, and the chance to develop bonds with other characters in virtual worlds. Rather excitingly, Starfield looks set to deliver on all these fronts. 

Ever since the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition, I've been looking for a new experience that offers immersive storytelling with memorable companions, romance, and plenty of freedom to shape my character. While I'm beyond excited that the likes of Dragon Age 4 and Mass Effect 5 are still to come, the upcoming Bethesda game could very well be just the kind of RPG to help fill the void. From the freedom it promises to the potential its ambitious universe holds, Starfield may just serve up the kind of role-playing journey I've been hoping for. 

Your story  


(Image credit: Xbox)

After Starfield was first revealed, Bethesda promised that it would allow us to "create any character you want and explore with unparalleled freedom". Right away this ticked two boxes on my ideal RPG checklist, but it wasn't until the Direct that I started to get a real sense of how Starfield will enable that. Lead animator Rick Vicens introduced the segment on character creation by saying that "the most important story is the one you tell." One that begins by presenting us with a suite of options to create and shape our own character by selecting their appearance, traits, and backgrounds. 

For me, role-playing is all about immersion, and there's no better way to do that than by playing a character you feel as if you've had a hand in crafting – that's one of the reasons I love BioWare's games. Of course, Bethesda is no stranger when it comes to allowing players to create a character of their own, and have the world react to them based on the traits or qualities you choose - a core feature in both the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series. 

Vicens promises the new system has "more to offer than ever before", and I'm already preparing to spend far too long bringing my own member of Constellation to life. With the freedom to define your appearance - from your body type to the way you walk, and even your teeth - lead character artist Ben Carnow says "we let the player get as close as possible to make whatever they want", and this is immediately speaking my language. I want to get as close as possible to my character, and having a wealth of options available to make who I want will hopefully allow me to do exactly that.  

Bonding moments  


(Image credit: Bethesda)

"I love a bit of romance in my RPGs, and it's always been a bit of a driving force for me when it comes to a game's story."

Beyond physical appearance, we also get to take another look at Starfield backgrounds and traits, which allow us to give our characters even more definition. When it comes to the best RPGs, they often put you in the shoes of a character who feels a part of the world. This is done by making the virtual spaces react to your actions and the choices you make, and I love it when games feel like they pay attention to the kind of character you've created. It's why I'm so excited that we can choose backgrounds and traits. I can imagine how they will make it even easier to feel connected to my character, since I'll be able to flesh them out with added details. 

We'll also be able to shape our character based on the approaches we decide to take as we explore, which is undoubtedly appealing. But there's one other very important aspect of Starfield that will likely be my biggest source of motivation. With a lineup of Starfield companions to meet, each will have their own quests, along with the chance to develop your relationship with them into something more. I love a bit of romance in my RPGs, and it's always been a bit of a driving force for me when it comes to a game's story. 

A role-playing experience almost always turns into something special thanks to the company within the world. While the likes of Fallout 4 and Skyrim have included follower relationships or marriage, Bethesda appears to have developed this side of the space adventure further - with a heartfelt moment shown off during the Direct with one of the companions. 

As an RPG fan, it's been quite some time since I've felt this excited about some of the new games on the immediate horizon. Starfield and Baldur's Gate 3 are two big releases that speak directly to me, signaling the arrival of role-playing experiences that have all the makings of an adventure I want to get lost in. While it's always best to temper expectations for anything as ambitious as Starfield, I can't help but hope it delivers just what I've been after. 

After the Starfield Direct, I'm completely sold on Bethesda's new adventure.

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.