Starfield’s robot Vasco could be the antidote to Skyrim’s dull companions

Starfield Vasco robot
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Update: Starfield is what happens when hard sci-fi meets classic Bethesda games.

Continuing its drip-feed of Starfield information, Bethesda has released a behind-the-scenes video showing off a robot called Vasco. 

This bipedal bot seems to be a companion character of sorts for Starfield players as they explore the sci-fi worlds beyond humanity’s solar system. And I'm hoping it’ll be a panacea to the rather dull and two-dimensional companion characters in the otherwise-brilliant The Elder Scrolls Skyrim. (Looking at you, Lydia, and your low-key sass at being asked to carry items.)

At first glance Vasco looks like an intimidating robot, akin to something you might see in Aliens or The Expanse. But Starfield’s lead artist Istvan Pely describes the robot as a primarily “peaceful” machine, whom players will see as a “reliable companion.” Having said that, Vasco can apparently defend itself, so expect the bot to kick some extra-terrestrial ass if needed.

Starfield Vasco robot

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Vasco is also described as a “utilitarian, heavy industrial machine well-suited to the rigours of space travel,” which would suggest that it's more of a handy machine for dealing with heavy objects than a robot with a C-3PO or R2-D2 level of personality. Then again, Pely said that Vasco has become one of the Starfield development team’s “favorite companions in the game." To me, that suggests there’s more to the robot than meets the eye.

What’s more, the weathered look of Vasco would hint at a robot that’s been though a lot. We wouldn't be surprised if some errant code left the robot with some form of personality, and some stories that player will uncover over the course of what’s likely to be a very long game.

I do hope Bethesda puts some work into the characters and main story of Starfield, as these have previously been weak points in The Elder Scrolls games. Skyrim's world is deeply compelling to explore, and it’s festooned with interesting side-quests, but the main story was rather rote. And the companions had all the character of wet paper.

As with previous Starfield news, this tidbit has turned up my hype for Starfield by another notch. And I hope that Bethesda shows off some proper Starfield in-game action before too long. I’m holding out hope for a big summer showcase, likely in partnership with Microsoft and its Xbox division. 

As an Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC exclusive, Starfield also presents a compelling reason to seek out an Xbox Series X restock or one of our best gaming PCs. It'll also launch day-one on Xbox Game Pass, so that's well worth getting, too. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.