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Starfield: A wonderful adventure or starry-eyed letdown?



Bethesda's highly anticipated space-faring RPG Starfield arrived back in September promising to take gamers on an epic journey across the cosmos. Since then, has this ambitious title lived up to the hype or has it fallen short of its goals? Let's take a closer look at the good and the bad of the space-faring adventure game Starfield.

 

So, to begin I will start with saying I don’t have near the number of hours that a lot of other players have put in and it takes a lot for any game to hold my attention, so I am only speaking from my experience and I’m in no way bashing the game. I love every Bethesda game and starfield rates in my top 3. Also, my Twitter/X handle might be Bethesda Fanatic but I’m going to do my best to give a fair and reasonable take on Starfield. 




The Good things about Starfield:



A Vast Universe:


Starfield boasts an impressive 1,000 explorable planets each with its own unique environment, flora and fauna. The sheer scale of the game is breathtaking, and the sense of discovery is undeniable. This only gets better with each NG+ you start! I’ve seen some pretty wild things in other players playthroughs of the game and it’s just mind blowing that even after all these months later there is still new stuff happening and places to explore. There seems to be a lot to do and find in Starfield and with each screenshot and video posted it only reinforces the fact that Bethesda did an amazing job.


Engaging Quests:


The main storyline of Starfield is a compelling mystery that takes players on a wondrous ride through the galaxy and the side quests offer a variety of engaging stories and memorable characters making for a rich roleplaying experience. Whether you want to be a pirate and bring chaos to the universe or a Bounty hunter bringing law and order in exchange for money you can choose to play however you want and enjoy the game your way. The side quests are so well done that you’ll forget you’re not even playing the main storyline. The random generation of loot makes each quest a enjoyable experience no matter how many times you play through it and the ways to approach how to complete each quest will have you planning future play throughs before you are even done with your current one.


Combat:


Both on foot and in space the combat in Starfield is satisfying and enjoyable to say the least. The gunplay is fun and responsive, and the space battles are great once you get the hang of the controls! You’ll have endless amounts of fun gunslinging your way through the universe and making a name for yourself. Your first gunfight in a zero-gravity environment will have you scouring the planets and stars for more. The enemies put up a fight and make you have to think about your approach compared to other Bethesda games where the enemy AI seems kind of “dumb” to say the least. 




The Bad things about Starfield:


Technical Issues:


Despite Bethesda's claims of a polished release Starfield is not without its share of bugs and glitches. While not game-breaking these issues can take away from the overall experience but for those like me that have been playing Bethesda games for years these things are expected and in their own way part of the game. Yes, it doesn’t make it acceptable, and it should have been their most polished game so I can see where a lot of the negativity comes from. 


Empty Space:


While the game features a large number of explorable planets many of them felt barren and lifeless to me. Yes, there are creatures and ambient sounds and beautiful landscapes but sometimes it just all felt “dead”. The thrill of discovery can quickly turn to tedium as you trudge through the empty landscapes in search of meaningful content. Random fights between spacers and crimson fleet or the occasional aggressive creature happen but more could have been done with all the space given on each planet.


I spent a lot of my time flying from planet to planet looking for the “perfect” outpost building sites and I came across a lot of the something which was random nothingness like the Fallout New Vegas map. Now I didn’t explore every planet and every site, so I probably missed a lot but from what I personally saw it was a lot of missed opportunity to make planets feel more exotic and filled with interesting life and points of interest because after a while it all the planets felt the same but with stronger enemies. 


Being a Target of Console Wars:


Before I get any hate let me explain myself. It’s no fault of Bethesda or Xbox that they made it exclusive as many game devs and companies do so. I fully support them for making it exclusive because exclusivity is what brought me over to the Xbox side back when the first fable released. My point is that if it was on other consoles, I believe it wouldn’t have gotten as much hate and negativity as it did. The game became a focal point of console warring, and it was kneecapped before a lot of people really got to experience it. 





Conclusion:


In the end my view is that Starfield is a mixed bag. Its ambitious scope and engaging gameplay are held back by technical issues and console war stigma. Fans of Bethesda's previous titles will find much to love in this cosmic adventure but newcomers looking for a perfect story driven RPG might not see the diamond in the rough. My personal opinion for the nay sayers and people bored with the game already into wait for the DLC and for the modders to get their hands on the game. When they marketed Starfield as “game of the generation” they meant that it will be played for years to come just like Skyrim and fallout (Thanks to the modding community of course). To be a true Bethesda fan one must be patient and take things with a grain of salt.


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