The stakes are high for Bethesda’s newest role-playing game. Microsoft needs an Xbox hit, and players are hungry for an expansive and satisfying space adventure. From a report:

Starfield almost immediately nudges its players to the edges of the cosmos. In the opening hours of the role-playing video game, it’s possible to land your spaceship on Earth’s moon or zip 16 light-years to Alpha Centauri. When you open your map and zoom out from a planet, you can behold its surrounding solar system; zoom out again, and you’re scrolling past luminous stars and the mysterious worlds that orbit them. That sprawling celestial journey within Starfield, developed by Bethesda Game Studios, reveals both the tremendous potential and the monumental challenge of an open-world space adventure. Bethesda has hyped an expansive single-player campaign with 1,000 explorable planets. And expectations around the game, officially releasing on Sept. 6 after a 10-month delay, are nearly as vast.

It’s the first new universe in 25 years for Bethesda, known for the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. It’s also a high-stakes moment for Microsoft, which makes the Xbox and has long faced criticism that it produces fewer hit games than its console rivals, Sony and Nintendo. To compete, Microsoft went on a spending spree, acquiring Bethesda’s parent company in 2020 and agreeing to purchase Activision Blizzard in 2022, a $69 billion bet that is being challenged by regulators. Now Bethesda must deliver. Known for letting players navigate competing factions and undertake eccentric quests, the studio hopes Starfield will dazzle those clamoring for engaging encounters with alien life-forms or space mercenaries as well as a sense of boundless exploration.

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