We already knew that Starfield was going to be massive, and in the days leading up to the game’s release Bethesda isn’t downplaying its scale one bit. Bethesda publishing boss Pete Hines says his current Starfield playthrough is nearing the 200 hour mark, and he’s not even close to being done.
Asked about the length of the game on today’s official Xbox Gamescom stream, Hines says, “There’s not an amount of time that I’m comfortable enough [to say] ‘now you’ve played it enough Starfield to get what this game is’. I’m at 150-160 hours on my current playthrough, and I haven’t even come close.”
That kind of hour count isn’t just a ‘how long to beat’ number – director Todd Howard said last year that the main quest alone would take around 30 to 40 hours – but it does indicate the sheer breadth of content in the space game.
“There’s so much stuff I have intentionally not done,” Hines says. “We try and tell everybody how big this game is, and the folks that are playing it, one of the few things they will tell us is ‘yeah you weren’t kidding. I can’t believe how big it is.’ No matter how you wanna play, there is so much for you to do in this game.”
My biggest Skyrim and Oblivion runs back in the day topped the 200 hour mark, so that kind of count isn’t entirely shocking for a new Bethesda game. But Hines says Starfield is still much bigger in scope than what’s come before.
“It feels when you’re playing it almost like there are a bunch of different games inside one game,” Hines says, “and I get to decide how much time I want to spend, in a way you haven’t really seen in a Fallout or Skyrim. Those things are still ‘I can spend all my time picking flowers in The Elder Scrolls’, but it doesn’t feel as wholly different as the entire space game that exists, the entire ‘live on a planet,’ the freeform exploration, the combat, which factions, taking sides. It’s just amazing to see how it all comes together.”
We now know what to expect from Starfield’s opening.