Starfield reveal: Coming November 11, 2022, exclusively to PC, Xbox Series X/S

Half an hour before Sunday’s Xbox and Bethesda game-reveal event, one major announcement found its way out of the bag: the cinematic reveal for the upcoming space-exploration adventure game Starfield.

“Cinematic” should be in scare quotes, because Bethesda Game Studios has advertised that this trailer, as released by the Washington Post ahead of schedule, runs on its brand-new Creation Engine 2 and is “in-game alpha footage.” Content rendered inside a game engine isn’t necessarily the same as live gameplay. Plus, this trailer mostly consists of slow pans over a single planet’s exterior and the inside of our apparent hero’s spaceship, set to blast off.

Still, what we’re seeing looks less like an artificially sweetened trailer full of rapid camera pans and detailed zooms on faces (cough, cough, Halo Infinite‘s earliest trailer) and more like a true look at Bethesda Game Studios’ first bonafide adventure since 2015’s Fallout 4. Its emphasis on curved surface reflections, vast view distances, geometrically intense rocky plains, and at least one highly detailed human face imply a demanding game—which explains why the trailer ends with confirmation that this is an Xbox Series X/S and PC game, not base Xbox One, launching on November 11, 2022. (And, tellingly, not any PlayStation consoles—a post-acquisition reality for Bethesda and Xbox that the deal’s players have loudly hinted to in recent months.)

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