When Bethesda revealed that we would be able to visit our own solar system in Starfield, we have to admit that we were a little bit excited by that. Starfield is, as far as we know, largely set in the year 2330 – very much into the future. So, the thought of seeing how far Earth and humanity had truly come in those 200-odd years was intriguing to say the least. But, upon reflection, the fact that Bethesda is likely going to skip Earth altogether is actually something we agree with. We would go as far to say that Starfield avoiding Earth in-game is a good thing – great, even.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: ‘that’s a bit of a back-track, isn’t it? What happened to marvelling at Bethesda’s future Earth?’
Well, you’re not totally wrong about that. Don’t worry, though, we do have some reasoning to share with you – we’re not just going to leave that statement hanging. But, before we do, it’s important to keep in mind that Starfield is going to be a big game. We’re talking over 1,000 Starfield planets and countless locations to explore.
So, with all those planets to explore outside of our own solar system, why the heck would we actually want to explore Earth – a planet we can explore in countless other video games, or real life (if you really want).
Sure, let us roam around Mars and a few of Jupiter’s moons, but Earth is something we’ve seen time and time again. And, logically, any human-built structures we see out in the wider universe presented to us by Starfield will most-likely reflect the type of buildings we’d see in 2330’s Earth. So, it isn’t like we’re going to miss out on any marvels of engineering without it.
In addition to this, as sparked by the post from ‘Excellent_Ad7064‘, it would be a gargantuan task for Bethesda to accurately recreate Earth – well, the 2330 version of Earth – for Starfield; this is something that’s especially true when you, once again, consider the scope of the game. Sure, Bethesda could pull a few strings and borrow some assets from Microsoft Flight Simulator (probably), but that would still make Earth absolutely huge. We know No Man’s Sky has quite a few large, fully-explorable planets, but these aren’t quite as populated as we’d expect a planet in a Bethesda game to be. Procedural generation does wonders, but there’s been no mention of that when it comes to Starfield.
We also like the idea of an abandoned Earth and the mystery surrounding it’s fate – something that has been hinted at very briefly in the pre-release videos being released by Bethesda. In fact, we’d be fine if this was part of a major storyline in the sci-fi RPG – maybe not the main storyline, but a prominent side quest? We’re not going to start telling Bethesda’s writers how to do their job, but there’s so much more to explore – just look at all the Starfield religions we know about so far? We don’t know why you would want to take up too much narrative time with Earth.
The idea that Earth will be more or less inaccessible in Starfield isn’t a new one, exactly; players have been speculating about this for a while now and recent comments during behind-the-scenes developer videos like the one below only reinforce that.
However, we actually think Bethesda would be doing us all a favour by ditching Earth when it comes to the ‘Sol System’ in-game. Sure, tell us what’s happened to it through lore and conversations with NPCs in the Starfield factions, but don’t take us down there. If we want some strange post-apocalyptic future Earth, we can just play Fallout – right?
Okay, that was a little reductive, but you get the point. From all the brand new Starfield weapons, to all the new Starfield cities, this is going to be a huge game with so much to explore. Let’s just give Earth a rest for this one.