Starfield's early game choices are there to set you up for 500 hours of roleplay

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield's character creation system is designed to enable hundreds of hours of roleplay - if you want it.

In an interview with Kinda Funny Games, game director Todd Howard was asked how Starfield backgrounds and Starfield traits have evolved from the systems created for games like Fallout 3 and Skyrim. In response, Howard suggested that Bethesda has learned that two important factors are how those traits feel at the very start of the game, and how they fit a character rather than a stats list.

"We've done a number of games over the decades that have various character systems, and I think we've learned a lot in terms of 'how does it feel when you start a game? What are those first choices like before you understand what the actual rules of the game are?' That's always a trick to get right."

Perfecting your build before you've got a true understanding of the entire game is a permanent concern for RPG fans, but Howard says the team is also thinking about how the decisions you make at the start of the game will shape your character for dozens - if not hundreds - of hours:

"And then 'how much depth does it have if you're playing for 20 hours, or 50 hours, or 100 hours, or 500 hours?' I think we've hit a real sweetspot with Starfield, of giving you that flavor right out of the gate, where you are gonna pick some starting  Starfield skills, with your background. But that also has flavor - people wanna roleplay. They don't wanna just see it as a list of numbers." 

Howard picks the example of a chef - if that's your background, how will it actually affect what you're able to do in your own story, as opposed to simply affecting various stats? We saw some of that at play in the recent Starfield Direct, as a character with a hunting background was able to get a better fee on a quest to capture an exotic animal.

Elsewhere, Howard said that only 10% of Starfield's planets will be capable of supporting life.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.