When a game comes out that’s set in a place you live, the most natural compulsion is to head for your house to see if they’ve put it in. Unless you live in Manhattan, Downtown LA, or Central London, you probably haven’t enjoyed this phenomenon outside of Flight Simulator (which has everyone’s house in it). But we all live in a certain spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy, which just happens to be where Starfield takes place. Yes, you can visit the SOL system. And yes, going one better than Elite: Dangerous, you can land on Earth.
But you should probably steel yourself first. Or have a very stiff drink. Because it’s not the Earth you recognise: see the video below. Stop reading here unless you’re liable to get raging about spoilers.
See, in Starfield, an unfathomably thorough ecological disaster has turned the Earth from the ocean-drenched cradle of life we all know and mostly love (nobody likes Birmingham) into a barren ball of sand. There are vague indentations of where the land masses and oceans used to be, but aside from that, there’s nothing left of the planet or the vast human civilization that once called it home. As the in-game lore explains, it was this very disaster that gave humanity the impetus to colonise the stars in the first place: