Being a game with more than 1,000 planets as playable environments, Starfield's approach to exploration is inherently different to other Bethesda games, and director Todd Howard isn't sure everyone will like it.
"It's not the same as dropping you in a world like Skyrim," he told GQ. "You wander totally differently."
In particular, Howard touches on the experience of disembarking your ship on a planet for the first time and laying eyes on the new environment. "I think that moment works almost every time," Howard said. "When you're looking over the landscape and the star is setting. That's all somewhat simulated. In this game it just happens."
Make sure you're ready for Starfield
It probably doesn't need to be said that Starfield is an absolutely massive game - so big, in fact, that Howard himself was surprised how big it turned out - but with so many different planets to explore, it'll look less like one giant seamless world and more like a whole crap-ton of distinct worlds you can travel between.
With a little over a week until Starfield's early access launch, you might be tempted to go in with as little information as possible, which is totally reasonable! But if you just can't help yourself, here's a comprehensive pre-release guide to Starfield planets including all of the information on the different geological types, gravity differences, temperature, flora, and fauna we've seen. In short, there's a lot of variety in the procedurally generated planets that'll affect how you explore them.
In case you missed it, Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently said Starfield is "more Oblivion than Skyrim."