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Bethesda tells us more about Starfield’s ‘Settled Systems’

The Settled Systems… pirates, mercenaries, spacers… The United Colonies and Freestar Collective. We’ve just found out a whole lot more about the Starfield universe.

New information about Starfield’s locations and gameplay was released last Friday (22nd October) by Bethesda on their website and official YouTube Channel. Emil Pagliarulo, Design Director at Bethesda Studios, discusses more about the locations featured in Starfield. And the worlds which inhabit ‘The Settled Systems’, a part of the Starfield universe.

Take a look at the new Starfield promo video released by Bethesda, and read our thoughts on what this means for the game below.

What we now know about the Settled Systems

The consistent teasing of new information from Bethesda, has begun to give us significant clues about the storyline and world(s) we are likely to expect from Starfield. This most recent video release give us plenty more information about the game. And hints at some exciting aspects of the gameplay we can look forward to.

What are the Settled Systems?

According to Bethesda’s new video release, the Settled Systems is a specific area of the Milky Way galaxy; Fifty light-years from our solar system. This, we assume, is the area of space that will occupy the playable areas of the Starfield game. Although how much is contained within that area is yet to be mentioned.

Location of the Settled Systems in Starfield
The Settled Systems are located within an area of populated planets within the Milk Way

The United Colonies and The Freestar Collective

For the first time we get a clear indication to two key factions that will appear in the game. The game set in the year 2329. Almost thirty years before that time, these two major groups were involved in a bloody war which we can assume involved the settled systems. This reminds us of the Stormcloaks and the Imperials factions that appear in the Bethesda game Skyrim. Which were in the middle of a confrontation during the events of the game, and a major plot of Skyrim’s storyline.

Like Skyrim, we expect that the confrontation between these two colonies, described as at an “uneasy peace”, will become another major quest line and plot for the game. As the player, we will likely get the ability to chose a side. Like the consequences of your decisions in Fallout 4, the root we choose for ourselves will probably lead to adaptive gameplay and personalized in-game experiences for each player.

Will these be the only factions Starfield will include? Probably not. In our opinion we expect that Bethesda will have outdone themselves of the scale of the game. And other factions will exist in other populated areas of space. It’s not like previous games haven’t included a wealth of quests and storylines contained within factions and guilds before. The Dark Brotherhood, The Companions, The Brotherhood of Steel, The Railroad, etc; just to name a few.

Starfield United Colonies and Freestar Collective Logos
United Colonies and Freestar Collective Logos

Who is the House of Va’ruun?

Continuing on from the topic of Starfield’s turbulent territories and the potential dangers that will inhabit them, Bethesda announce the existence of a group called the House of Va’ruun. They do not mention much more about the backstory or inclusion of this group; except to say that they are dangerous religious zealots. Which we assume is another quest line which will be encountered during gameplay.

Bethesda have discussed previously about making Starfield a game which embodies the atmosphere and theme of the human race in the future. With a ‘NASA-Punk‘ style and design. Starfield will be representing an imagined version of the future which is still very centred around society as we know it. Including many familiar conventions such as business and trade, politics, crime, cultural practices etc. Religions of a new age would be an interesting aspect of the future. And we wonder how Bethesda have imagined religious practices and beliefs in the era of space travel.

Could the ‘House of Va’ruun’ be a form of terrorist religious extremists, existing in the underground of the settled systems? Or could this be an optional plot for the player to join? Either way, it wouldn’t be unwise of Bethesda to invent a new faith, rather than making any comparisons with modern non-fictitious religious groups. For now however, details on this cults existence and involvement in the Settled Systems remains a mystery.


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