Bethesda fans have taken note of the incredible improvements to NPC animations when comparing Starfield gameplay to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Typically, NPCs in Bethesda Game Studios titles appear pretty static, only performing a handful of preset motions while conversing with the player character.
While limited NPC movements pervade most RPGs, titles such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Horizon Forbidden West have moved the needle to a certain extent.
However, the hope is that the technology powering this console generation engenders even more drastic improvements. And it looks as though Starfield could mark a step in the right direction for Bethesda, in particular.
Starfield NPC animations impress Skyrim fans
Reddit user PandaAnaconda recently took to the Starfield subreddit to shout their praises for Bethesda’s efforts with respect to non-playable characters.
While others pour over details related to combat, planet landing, and the like, PandaAnaconda listed a few things they noticed when watching the player interact with NPCs in Starfield’s gameplay reveal.
For one, NPCs can now walk, talk, and gesticulate all at once, evidenced by a scene wherein a space explorer enters the scene with their arms waving about.
The Redditor also called attention to the facial animations on Starfield NPCs. Their foreheads wrinkle when they speak. Plus, their brows furrow and jowls move more realistically, too.
PandaAnaconda acknowledged that these changes may not seem transcendent when looking at other AAA games. However, Starfield’s NPCs count as nothing short of a major leap for Bethesda Game Studios.
Bethesda released the gameplay footage in question during its joint press conference with Xbox earlier in the month. Notably, the reveal video showcased exploration, traversal, gunplay, and character customization.
The eagerly-anticipated RPG previously boasted a November 2022 launch date, though a delay has since pushed Starfield to an unspecified date in 2023.