Starfield is only a few days away from publication and in the run-up there were several leaks about the Bethesda role-playing game. Copies of the game are currently in the hands of select reviewers and even some players who acquired it illegally, before sharing a plethora of screenshots and gameplay videos online. One such clip, which is now raising concerns among fans about Starfield’s reach, was first posted on a Chinese forum over the weekend and suggested a player could walk continuously in one direction for 40 minutes before being greeted with the message “Limit achieved” is confronted. News. The videos have since been removed, though players are now questioning the legitimacy of developer Bethesda’s claims.
Bethesda’s publishing executive Pete Hines, who appears to have played Starfield for a time at least 130 hours, replied to a fan’s tweet asking if players could explore entire planets. He answered with: “Yes, if you want. Go on, bold explorer.” When the aforementioned leak broke, the comment was met with scores of fans accusing the studio of lying about the depth of the game’s exploration. While many have defended the game by saying that the Boundary Reached message came from him tutorial segment Some match journalists who have reviewed the game have also begun to vaguely defend themselves against the complainants. “That’s actually not entirely accurate,” says Windows Central Jez Corden said on X (formerly Twitter). “Just wait for the reviews. The spread half-truths are sometimes spread with malicious intent.”
You’ve probably seen this screenshot flying around and people saying “You can’t explore planets, Bethesda lied!”. Folks, nothing prevents you from exploring the planet. It may just be a loading screen, or you may need to land at the next location (a short loading or…) pic.twitter.com/Qq161IZ9Dl
— Darrius Fears (@TheRealDfea) August 26, 2023
It certainly doesn’t help that during the Starfield Direct presentation in June, game director Todd Howard claimed players could pick and land at any location on an uncharted planet, leading many to believe exploration would be seamless – similar to No Man’s Sky where planetary creatures, vegetation and conditions are procedurally generated. However, in the case of Starfield, this could mean that planets can be seamlessly explored in parts. Even if we consider that the leaked clip/image is not from the tutorial segment and look at the “Limit Reached” menu that appears on the screen, we are presented with three options. You can quickly travel back to your ship, press cancel and walk around until an invisible wall stops you, or you can use Open Planet Map to explore a different region on the map.
This suggests that the exploration of the planet isn’t necessarily over yet and that you could certainly land at any point on the map and explore the area before eventually hitting the roadblock – which is where I assume the game isn’t in is able to continue loading the area in reality -time. Much of this discourse will certainly be settled once the reviews come out on August 31st, which will no doubt touch on the exploration mechanic as it has been one of Bethesda’s key selling points. Expectations are extremely high for Starfield as the developer constantly touts its massive size, alongside new information about a jail system and the debate over it being limited to 30fps on consoles.
Starfield is coming to PC and Xbox Series S/X on September 6th. Anyone who pre-orders the Premium Edition will now receive five-day early access September 1.