Starfield’s Religions and ‘God’ are Core of the Space-Faring Game


Since Starfield was first announced over 5 years ago, the primary focus has been on the massive galaxy and opportunity for exploration. Bethesda’s first new universe game in over two decades has been eagerly awaited and many fans are simply counting down the hours before they can get their hands on the title.

And in a recent interview, Starfield lead designer Emil Pagliarulo confirmed that the team set out to explore the bigger questions which other sci-fi games have not addressed. What we don’t know is how they intend to do that, given that we know very little of the narrative.

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Does Starfield Address One of the Big Questions?

Who knew that the Starfield story would have such depth.

In the interview Pagliarulo talked about developing the lore of the game and how he would build it from the ground up. A lot of the time it would be straight discussions with Todd Howard and running everything through him. Pagliarulo was asked when the lore of Starfield becomes the story and stated that there were several discussions early on;

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“We are making a video game, there’s gonna be a main quest, but we really want to dig into the sort of the kind of high-level stuff with exploring space, the more theological aspects of it.”

Now how many games do you know off the top of your head that would look into theological aspects in a video game? Not many I imagine. And I doubt many studios would want to tread in such dangerous waters given the personal views of many players. But thankfully Bethesda have erred on the side of caution with having this in their space-faring game;

“[Religion] was a way to talk about these big concepts but not dive too far down the rabbit hole — you don’t want to offend people. “

And it was actually in conversation with one of the Starfield writers, Shane Liesegang, that provided the most clarity for them. Liesegang was studying to be a Jesuit Priest at the time and Pagliarulo consulted with him on several aspects and how he could make things believable.

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The subject of Theology and what’s really out there is a hot topic in Starfield

There’s no surprise that Starfield draws inspiration from several Sci-Fi films such as Interstellar and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and we can see why they are looking to these for how they look at theology in their own title.

And Pagliarulo even touched on the reason for people venturing into space in the first place. ‘Why do we want to go into space?’ and ‘What do we hope to find?’ and it’s always about exploring the great unknown. He even took time to quote the great James T. Kirk himself, the quote coming from William Shatner upon his experience in space;

“It was terrifying. There’s nothing out there.”

Which really does make you think about what, if anything is out there. Many players may just appreciate the game for how it looks and how it feels but for some, it may just be a more theological journey into the unknown.

But what are your thoughts on the latest news for Starfield? Do you agree that there’s more depth to the game than we originally thought? Or do you think there’s no place for religion in video games? Get in touch, drop us a comment, and let us know your thoughts.

Source – Polygon

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Written by Andy MacGregor

Born and raised in the West coast of Scotland. A massive fan of Comics and losing endless hours in epic Video Games.