Toward the end of August, Bethesda Softworks published three videos on YouTube. They’re sneak peeks into some locations that will be featured in the much anticipated project, Starfield, which is scheduled to release November 11th, 2022. New Atlantis, Neon, and Akila are the three Starfield cities revealed in these videos. Emil Pagliarulo, Design Director for Starfield, narrated these videos to provide insight into what it will be like to experience these settings.
The first city to discuss is New Atlantis, which seems to be the major city of this game. Much like the Imperial City was in Oblivion. The imagery shown is of the city’s space port. This could be a close-up look of the pyramid-shaped structure shown in other imagery for the game. New Atlantis appears to be a massive urban city consisting of many skyscrapers, bright lights, and all sorts of people.
Furthermore, the commentary reveals that New Atlantis is the capital city of a faction called the United Colonies, and that the U.C. is a military super power in Starfield. I’m excited to find out whether the U.C. is a friend or foe to the player. Is it like the Septim Empire in Elder Scrolls, or more like the Galactic Empire in Star Wars? Perhaps the player gets to decide that for themselves.
The next city to talk about is Neon. It’s a domed city sitting on a platform above a body of water. To quote Emil Pagliarulo here, because there are a lot of interesting things to digest in his commentary:
The Xenofresh Corporation built a giant fishing platform on a rather nondescript aquatic world. They wanted to catch fish until they discovered a fish with psychotropic properties. They could make way more money selling a drug than they could fish. That drug is Aurora and is legal only on Neon.
Firstly, he mentions something called the Xenofresh Corporation, which seems to rule Neon in a corporatocracy. Aurora, a drug made from a local fish, is the source of this organization’s power. This is a very intriguing setting and it suits Bethesda’s style well.
Akila is the last location revealed thus far, and it’s the capital of another faction called the Freestar Collective. It seems that the key difference between the F.C. and the U.C. is that the F.C. is an alliance between independently governed star systems, and the U.C. is a large government that reigns over many star systems. Also, the U.C. sounds much more powerful. The player may get to choose which of these factions to join, like choosing between the Stormcloak Rebellion and the Imperial Legion in Skyrim.
Additionally, Pagliarulo mentions alien creatures that live outside of Akila called Ashta, which are a mix of wolf and velociraptor. That sounds like a very interesting beast. I hope that Starfield will have many unorthodox life forms like the Ashta rather than more humanoid looking beings, like Super Mutants in Fallout.