Good news for Starfield’s aspiring completionists: One faction’s quest line will not lock them out of participating in another’s.
This was not the case in Bethesda Game Studios’ last mainline role-playing game, Fallout 4, where the player was forced to commit to one of four alliances in order to move the game’s main narrative to a conclusion.
In a YouTube discussion Bethesda posted on Wednesday, lead quest designer Will Shen (who is also responsible for Starfield’s main quest line) explained that players “don’t necessarily end up as the head of every single faction of the game.”
Players’ choices and actions will, however, influence a faction’s direction and purpose. “Say the politics of the ‘Freestar Rangers,’ what’s more important, is is justice or industry?” Shen said. “Where are you going to try to nudge them? […] All the major characters and every faction quest line will be reflecting on your choices. It can have far reaching consequences for what that faction is and what it cares about.”
This means that Starfield will be more like The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, which let players tour the College of Winterhold, the Dark Brotherhood, and the Nord rebellion, even if that produced a somewhat discordant narrative overall. The difference in Starfield, apparently, is players won’t be pursuing a rigid storyline that leads to each group’s fate, or the overall game story, as was the case for Skyrim and Fallout 4, respectively.
Starfield, boasting more than 1,000 explorable planets, still does not have a release date, though Bethesda has narrowed the window down to the first six months of 2023. The game will launch for Windows PC and Xbox Series X, and it will be available on Xbox Game Pass on launch day.