Bethesda has revealed in a new Starfield developer diary that its upcoming space RPG will allow you to join multiple factions, including the bad guys.
As part of the diary, lead quest designer Will Shen revealed three of the main factions that will be available to join.
“One of the big choices is, ‘Which part of the game world am I going to engage in?’” he said. “We always make a bunch of different groups that represent some of the major factions in every game. And in this one we’ve got the United Colonies, that represents the future of space republic idealized. You also have the Freestar Collective, which is the space western fantasy, people that are out there on the frontier. We’ve got Ryujin Industries which represents corporate life.”
Shen notes that he believes Ryujin Industries has “one of the best starts of any of the factions.” This storyline will apparently start with you being hired by the megacorporation and having to prove you can cut the mustard.
In addition to these three, there’s also the Crimson Fleet; a pirate raiders faction that seems to be the de facto choice for anyone looking to do an evil playthrough of Starfield.
All four sound like fascinating factions that have the potential to offer very different kinds of quests, but there’s an even more interesting potential route for players to take. You can join up with the Crimson Fleet while also working with more benevolent factions. This creates a sort of undercover espionage role play scenario.
“The cool thing about Crimson Fleet is what if you’re a good person and you want to be a good player? And you don’t want to play as a bad guy?” asked design director Emil Pagliarulo. “You can side with pirates, or you can report back to your superiors and be this space cop type of thing. So it lets you be a good person and still play with the bad guys.”
As well as discussion around factions, Bethesda also revealed that character creation will be more detailed this time around. Game director Todd Howard notes that you will be able to choose a background for your character and traits that will define them, akin to more hardcore RPGs such as Pillars of Eternity. It’s unclear from the conversation if factions and backgrounds will link together; could we opt to be affiliated with Crimson Fleet or United Colonies from the start of the game? And will that alter the opening, akin to Cyberpunk 2077’s prologues? We’ll have to wait and see.
Starfield – March 2022 New Concept Art
For more from Starfield, check out the first companion to be revealed, and how an old Oblivion mechanic has been resurrected for the new dialogue system.
The hugely anticipated Xbox console exclusive will arrive on November 11, and will be Bethesda’s first brand new series in decades. We’ve slowly been learning about the game, including its 1st and 3rd person viewpoints, its full mod support, and that players can pick pronouns, with characters reacting accordingly.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.