There has been a deluge of different science fiction shows and movies over the past few years. From mid-sized companies like Netflix’s Star Trek Discovery, Another Life and Amazon’s Star Trek Picard, to stellar successes like Denis Villeneuve’s new film Dune. But the most notable sci-fi show for me has to be The Expanse.
Based on hard science fiction – where gravity and the laws of physics really matter – the writing of James SA Corey (actually Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck’s pen name) Leviathan Wakes. The Expanse series debuted in 2015 and gained a cult fan, thanks to its awareness of what life could be like if humanity managed to travel to the far reaches of the solar system, but did not have the more traditional science. fi tropes travel faster than light or teleporters.
Rather than roaming around in futuristic suits like the USS Enterprise crew, The Expanse’s astronauts are clad in magnetic boots to keep them from floating in zero gravity. And when a spaceship like The Expanse’s heroic ship, the Rocinante, engages their Epstein training, the crew are injected with a cocktail of injected drugs to negate some of the dangerous effects of high-G “burns”.
While this does convey the grim realities of space travel, it allows for some interesting ship designs and maneuvers, as well as a deep storyline based on different factions battling for status, resources, might and survival at through the solar system. Yet there’s also an alien element that seems seriously mysterious and otherworldly, which other sci-fi properties arguably have failed to convey.
As such, I’m a huge fan of the show, which is why I’m thrilled Bethesda’s Starfield has a whiff of The Expanse on it.
While The Expanse can be a great setting for the game, I don’t plan on any developer getting the licenses to do so, especially since the next season of The Expanse will be the last. But going through the new Bethesda Into the Starfield: The Endless Chase video, we could have an exhilarating whirlwind of Skyrim exploration mixed with a realistic sci-fi setting, which tickles my gaming fantasy.
While the new video primarily features Bethesda boss Todd Howard and other developers discussing how they’re approaching Starfield in terms of a Skyrim-like scope, but grounded in more realism, a few new screenshots / illustrations were presented.
Take the screenshot below; it shows an interior of what appears to be a spaceship. Rather than being covered in holographic screens and hissing sliding doors, it looks brutally functional.
The strap is used to hold things in place, not a buzzing force field. And the walls are filled with details like storage units, showing how in space, no one has space to waste. I love the Normandy as a ship to explore between missions in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, but this photo suggests that there will be a lot to pour into the ships in Starfield.
Head back outside and the photo below of a spaceship doesn’t show an elegant saucer or sharp-angled craft, but rather one that could have been conceivably concocted by both NASA and the ship designers of The Expanse.
It seems function rather than form was used here, showing that spaceships have to be designed to handle the rigors of space, not just to look cool as they slip between gas giants.
Again, this feels like a ship that I would spend ages staring at in-game, sucking up every detail.
And in a way, that’s a lot of what I did with Skyrim. Only, rather than pouring over panels and piping, I was drawn to the clusters of books, jars, tumblers, and other gubbins in the hallways of various Jarls.
Another similarity to Skyrim can be seen in this latest screenshot above, in which a ship is framed against a sunset.
Skyrim has many captivating sunsets; it looked gorgeous in 2011 and still pretty good today. And I wasted hours just positioning my character’s gaze so that I could then take the perfect screenshot of a land bathed in the red orange of a setting sun.
And thanks to Amazon taking over production of The Expanse and preventing it from being caned by SyFy, it also has a stunning visual flair and an eerie captivating sunset; his space battles also look epic.
In short, Starfield can, and I insist, because we haven’t seen any proper playthrough, be an exhilarating mix of Expanse-inspired hard sci-fi and Skyrim exploration. If so, November 22, 2022 should be a great time for me and other sci-fi fans; well, provided they can find an Xbox Series X restock.