Starfield's New Atlantis is A New Twist on Sci-Fi's Glimpses of the Future

Highlights New Atlantis is a visually stunning starting city in Starfield, inspired by the optimistic vision of the future in science fiction. The city incorporates modern architectural designs, such as buildings covered with greenery, as a response to environmental issues like deforestation. Despite its hopeful appearance, New Atlantis still faces class struggles and other problems, adding depth to the game’s world and storyline.

After the adventure in Starfield quite literally takes off from the ground, players end up in New Atlantis, a city that seems like quite a paradise in deep space and serves as the new home for Earth’s general populace in 2330. Named after the mythical lost city, it’s Constellation’s home base, and therefore where players will often return as they hunt for the lost Artifacts scattered across the many planets in Starfield.

While New Atlantis may be the starting city, as well as the one required by the main story to be visited the most, it isn’t boring by any stretch in terms of architectural design. In fact, New Atlantis is a gorgeous city, and Starfield’s quests show its dark underbelly to make the location come alive as the player explores it throughout their playthrough. Intriguingly, New Atlantis is most likely inspired by the classic science fiction trope of showing “the world of tomorrow.”

How Starfield Pays Tribute to Science Fiction’s Love of Possibilities starfield-earth-nasa-launch-tower

Science fiction is a genre that can vary widely from one story to the next for different reasons, but there are a number of recontouring trends among them all. One of these trends is that sci-fi media typically sits on the optimistic side of looking to the future, and this is shown by stories usually featuring civilizations that reflect what the creator(s) hope the world will be like years from now, be it on Earth or even as a new civilization on Mars or farther out planets.

This is where New Atlantis comes in, which showcases many classic sci-fi architecture ideas in a way that makes the city look shiny and new, but also rather lived in. While it may not have something as commonly expected as moving sidewalks or have traffic-jammed flying cars in the sky, it doesn’t take much for players to feel like they’re in the future once they land. However, there’s a specific twist to New Atlantis that makes it stand out.

Starfield’s New Atlantis Uses Modern Architecture Designs To Expand Its Aesthetics Starfield New Atlantis top-down view with game logo

New Atlantis may represent the optimistic hope that a new future will be crisp, clean, and organized to a degree, it also uses current architectural plans for new buildings and structures to create a futuristic city that’s rather unique. While some players may see some areas of the United Colonies city as being overrun with too much plant life, this is likely very much on purpose. Some buildings currently built today such as Bosco Verticale in Italy use a similar approach to cover roofs and the sides of building in greenery to help tackle the loss of important foliage in the face of issues such as deforestation and climate change.

In fact, it makes perfect sense as to why New Atlantis would take this approach, as one of the reasons Earth is so desolate in Starfield is because the atmosphere was torn to pieces. As Starfield makes it perfectly clear that not many planets with breathable air exist, it makes sense as to why the United Colonies would learn from the civilization that came before and do all they can to protect what they have.

However, though New Atlantis is painted as a hopeful beacon in the blackest sea that is space, things are certainly not that black and white by any means. If players explore the city, they’ll discover the class struggle among other problems that lurk underneath. While New Atlantis may have helped give humanity a new home, it hasn’t fixed all of its issues, and that’s one of the things that make the world of Starfield come to life as fans explore it for the first time or through New Game Plus.

Starfield is available now on PC and Xbox Series X/S.

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