Bethesda finally pulled the curtain back on Starfield at today’s Microsoft and Bethesda Games Showcase, and new gameplay footage of the upcoming space epic is reminding gamers of another sci-fi exploration game: No Man’s Sky.
No Man’s Sky is the procedurally generated space exploration game developed by Hello Games that originally launched in 2016. While early reception of the game was not so positive, consistent content updates have managed to turn the game around. Earlier this year, No Man’s Sky creator Sean Murray said the game isn’t close to being finished, even after 19 major updates.
There are certainly grounds for comparison between the two titles, as Starfield’s first gameplay video showed a character in a spacesuit exploring an unknown planet while mining resources with a laser — gameplay elements that are integral to No Man’s Sky’s loop.
We also saw space flight and combat, loads of customization options, and a lot of dinosaurs, which are also reminiscent of Hello Games’ title. Shortly after Starfield’s gameplay premiere, No Man’s Sky began trending on Twitter, with some gamers excited about Starfield’s resemblance to No Man’s Sky, and others saying the game looks just a bit too similar.
No Man’s Sky 2 looks good. pic.twitter.com/TNNYdy9RJr
— Shirrako (@ShirrakoGaming) June 12, 2022
So I’m really hoping Starfield is good but man does it look like No Man’s Sky + guns
— Kyle J (@CameraColossus) June 12, 2022
Starfield looks like AAA no man’s sky and I officially am making plans to get an Xbox as of such
— Central Scrutinizer (@CentralScruty) June 12, 2022
I gotta admit, ending the Showcase with No Man’s Sky running at 24fps was a pretty bold move.
— Nicola (@Nick_Marseil) June 12, 2022
Its like Bethesda saw No Man’s Sky and said “we can do that but only about 15% better”
— RJ Palmer (@arvalis) June 12, 2022
No Man’s Sky made by the creators of Fallout 76 has real potential to be the most broken game ever made
— GuyFoxDay (@GuyFoxDay) June 12, 2022
While there are certainly similarities in the two games’ look and gameplay, they are definitely going for very different things. No Man’s Sky features quintillions of procedurally generated open world planets, while we just learned today that Starfield will have around 1,000 fully explorable planets. Starfield also appears to have a heavier focus on combat, which falls more in line with other Bethesda games like Fallout and Skyrim.
Even beyond the number of explorable plants, Starfield is shaping up to be an enormous experience. Today’s presentation also gave us a peek at all of the customization options within Starfield, where we learned that players will be able to design characters, spaceships, and outposts to their liking.
For more, check out everything announced in the Xbox and Bethesda games showcase.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.