Bethesda‘s Todd Howard has revealed that “hundreds of plans” for Starfield were left on the cutting room floor to ensure “the studio’s technology could keep up with its ambition”.
Talking in an interview with The Washington Post, Starfield‘s director said that there was an idea to integrate Fallout 3‘s devastated Washington D.C. into this game’s abandoned Earth.
“Oh, we planned, and those plans went out the window,” explained Howard. “We knew we were going to rewrite parts of the engine, so we started building technology for the planets and the outer space stuff on our previous engine and renderer.”
Yet, the coronavirus crisis did a number on this already strenuous task to overhaul Starfield‘s engine as well as significant volumes of finished assets and mechanics. Though Bethesda’s developers worked from home for their safety, this meant that production became “very, very slow”.
‘Starfield’ Credit: Bethesda
Howard expressed his pride in the final product, in spite of the challenges that they encountered. “It’s something we always talked about here,” he said of Starfield.
“A few years in, we figured out why people try and stop or don’t want to do it all the way. But we are in a fortunate position to have the support and time to do it.”
Andy Brown described Starfield as a “spectacle that sometimes feels too big for its own good” in NME‘s review. While the majority of its locations and missions feel like they’ve been copied and pasted, players are allowed to whip up a gun from cobbling together customisation components, and build a spaceship that fulfils their wildest dreams.
“Starfield is a must-play game for sci-fi fans, but its shortcomings prevent it from becoming a complete triumph,” concluded Andy.
Elsewhere, Starfield‘s Irish characters were ridiculed for leaning into stereotypes with fans arguing that their accents are unrepresentative of anywhere in the country.