Starfield’s first gameplay trailer is everything we could have wanted

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Update: Starfield has survival elements — but won’t warp your mind with dull tasks.

Starfield received a big showing during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. We’ve seen various pieces of concept art and in-game screenshots in the past. But during Microsoft’s faux-E3 event, we were treated to full-blown in-game footage of what it’s like playing Starfield. If you were expecting The Elder Scrolls and Fallout in space, then you’re going to be pleased by what this latest trailer has to offer.

We saw various gameplay elements, including planetary exploration, shooting mechanics and character customization. You’ll not only be able to set your character’s physical appearance but can also customize their skills and abilities. Customization also extends to other aspects of Starfield, including base-building and ship crafting. This is all due course for Bethesda Softworks-developed games, but it’s still impressive seeing how much you’re able to tailor the experience.

Speaking about your spaceship, not only can you build it from scratch, but you can also fly it into space and engage in harrowing zero-G combat with other starfighters. And since Starfield is set in space, you’re able to fly to a multitude of planets. In fact, Bethesda’s Todd Howard said there will be over 100 star systems and 1,000 planets to explore. Space exploration should be one of the game’s highlights.

You can watch the trailer above to see what was revealed today, but suffice it to say that Starfield is shaping up to be a truly massive endeavor. Given the disappointment that was Halo Infinite, Xbox needs a bonafide hit. It’s possible that Starfield could be exactly what the Xbox brand needs to make it competitive against PlayStation. Starfield will also no doubt boost Xbox Game Pass subscriptions since it will be on the service at launch.

At the moment, Starfield has a nebulous release date of “2023.” Since it missed its initial November 11, 2022 launch, I think it’s smart for Microsoft to give us a ballpark estimate instead of a date that could potentially change. But whenever Starfield releases, the wait should be well worth it, at least based on this impressive trailer. I wasn’t interested before, but I now have Starfield on my radar. If it delivers on its promises, it could be the space exploration game I and other science fiction fans have yearned for.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.