Boundary reached, reads a text box from the video game Starfield that went viral online over the weekend. Return to your ship or open the map to explore another area.
Days before its release, the largest game of the year keeps leaking information, the most recent of which raises some questions regarding one of its most anticipated features: planet exploration.
In leaked Starfield gameplay videos from YouTube and a Chinese forum post that appeared over the weekend, both of which have since been taken down but are still accessible through archive, a “boundary reached” sign could be seen, which would suggest that Starfield’s planets aren’t one continuous open environment. This information compile by Kotaku. In a time-lapse video, the player traverses a planet in a single direction for ten minutes until coming to an imperceptible border.
Fans who anticipate Bethesda’s limitless RPG to function much like No Man’s Sky, a space exploration game that continuously renders planets in their entirety while you walk or fly around them, were surprise by potential constraints on world map sizes. While Bethesda hasn’t been as explicit about on-foot travel in official presentations, we’ve known all along that Starfield’s exploration will have some restrictions, such as how you won’t be able to manually fly your ship into a planet’s atmosphere to land.
We learned that you can choose any location on a planet and land there from the June Starfield Direct. The “boundary reached” statement may suggest that the game can only load the planet you’re on in pieces rather than directly contradicting that. When Todd Howard indicated that you could travel anyplace in Starfield, I didn’t expect it to function that way, but it would be typical for previous Bethesda RPGs that load whenever you enter a sizable building. The alleged restriction does, however, go against a Twitter response from Pete Hines of Bethesda on August 21 that said you can explore the entire planet after landing.