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Starfield review
by zNeverSleep

It works, but after 60 hours of playing it, Bethesda's formula feels outdated.

I've completed all faction sidequests, done some exploration, and finished the main story. I was hoping for more, and believe me, I wasn't even hyped.

The story is good, as are the characters. However - avoiding major spoilers, I kind of already saw much of this plot in other films/games. The final act doesn't feel new or that surprising, after you take some time to think about it. Also, the missions are so similar to each other, both in terms of level design and gameplay overall.

Regarding the characters, well, the interaction still feels somewhat robotic. It's better than in Fallout, but not as good as it could be. I liked the fact that they have specific chats with you after some missions. You can "level up" the relationships as well, granting you new missions. But that's about it. What about the additions they made in gameplay? Basically, shooting things and carrying your stuff. That's it.

It would be so cool if every companion could impact your gameplay by the default weapon they were using. Imagine if Sarah was a close-quarters specialist. Barret, on the other hand, could deploy shields and heal you. Man, there was nothing new to this game that could avoid how hollow it feels in terms of gameplay. Shooting is as simple as it could be. The difficulty is a joke. Playing at the hardest difficulty just requires more ammo and med packs. It's not really challenging.

As for the exploration, I was expecting some breathtaking scenarios, like what I saw in the trailer. Man, in 60 hours, I only saw like 3 good ones. The rest was forgettable. Almost as repetitive as No Man's Sky.

I cannot forget to mention the terrible optimization. This game is only playable because of FSR - which is on by default, even on ultra settings. And the bugs... my god. Everywhere. Not as many as we are used to, but it breaks the immersion.

It's good. At the end of the day, I was kind of addicted to it. But it's far from being a definitive game of its genre.
«Can’t stop playing»

Other reviews8

Way too sandboxy for my liking but the central story was enjoyable enough. But why do I have to sit through a loading screen to go into a building? 

Date Completed: 2023-10-02 
Playtime: 20h 
Enjoyment: 7/10 
Recommendation: Main story was worth it for the price (which was low, thanks to Game Pass)
Hoo brother, where to even start with Starfield? The game that everyone and their mother have been waiting for years. The game that was hyped up to be the second coming. And now that it has finally been released and I've played through this bore-fest of a game, I think the full title for this game should be Starfield: a Cosmic Void of Uncreativity.

If you've played previous Bethesda games, then one of the things that probably drew you in was the world design. No matter if you played Elder Scrolls or Fallout, no matter the game, you could walk about 100 meters only to find something interesting, something unique. Those memorable places and the visual storytelling gave those games life and kept you coming back for more. If you expect to find the same or higher quality world design in Starfield, then I'm sorry to tell you that this is not a game like those that you've been playing for years, even decades.

Starfield's vision of creativity is quite honestly disturbing. The 1000 planets don't make it easier, but even the places where you'd expect to find a lot of similar elements from previous Bethesda titles are missing. The exploration aspect that was for so long a staple of the studio is missing from Starfield. Sure you can hop into your ship and cruise around the galaxy, but most of what you'll find is empty, and uninspiring.

I don't want to make this long, because I could probably talk about it for an hour or more, but the game is so disappointingly bland that I'd rather just go back to playing Skyrim or even Fallout 4.
«Disappointment of the year»
«Waste of time»
«Buggy as hell»
«Disappointment of the year»
This is a loading screen simulator. The engine is clearly outdated for a game of this scale. NPC's are dumb and look like mannequins. Sometimes enemies just stand in front of you waiting to be killed. Characters are uninteresting and you just don't care about them. A lot of locations look exactly the same (probably done with copy & paste). The quests are boring and repetitive. Overall it looks and feels like a 2015 game. To release something like this in 2023 and sell it for $100 is a crime against humanity. Mass Effect: Andromeda is a better game than this. It's one of the biggest scams in gaming history.
«Disappointment of the year»
«Waste of time»
Oh, those bad russians…
«Reviewers bribed»

Plenty of flaws but one of my favourite games of all time and definitely my favourite Bethesda game. Starfield is a game I can see myself actually jumping back into for many years which is something I never do. After my first play through the game is an A+. I fucking loved it. I am interested to see where this game goes with mods in the future.

- Graphics are great for everything that isn’t basic NPCs (guns, suits, ships, planets, the stars, buildings, main characters).

- Gunplay and movement is the best Bethesda has ever done….by a lot. The guns really do feel good. The variety so far has been decent. I like the boost pack. I like the different levels of gravity. 

- My favourite photo mode by a mile. I love that it uses them for the load screen. I’ve taken a lot of really cool shots.

- At 35 ish hours in I love the skill tree system. It’s very slow but it feels right for this style of game. There are a ton of skills I’m interested in which will likely keep me entertained for a long ass time. I tend to lose interest in games when I get “fully leveled” and the fact that this game has so many different things to pursue is very cool. 80 hours update, I still like the slow burn skill tree.

- Ship building became weirdly addicting and a great late game addition that gives me more motivation to keep getting credits. 

- The writing is all over the place in terms of quality. Some of these side quests or random encounters have excellent little contained stories. Some are laughable.  

- I agree with the general internet opinion that the surface maps are dog shit and essentially useless. I wish they had a batter autogenerated map that was easier to read. I don’t think it’s a major issue though. I don’t get lost too often. The game has decent signage and the point of the game is to be in the world rather than stare at a map. I don’t often find myself wishing there was a map anymore.

- I also agree with the internet that it would have been cooler to be able to fly from outer space directly to the surface of the planet like you can do in NMS. Or to fly your ship above the surface of the planet and be able to have low altitude ship fights or to shoot enemies on the surface. I can see the technical reasons why they didn’t add that feature, and without understanding the full impact that implementing that feature would have had on other aspects of the game, I think it was probably the right call. But, it would have been really cool if we could have entered from space.

- The third most common internet complaint is the over encumbrance issue. I also agree, but again I don’t think it’s a major issue. I think they are off by like 15%. For a game where so much is gathering loot, and crafting, and harvesting resources and carrying a bunch of shit around, you can’t carry a ton. There are ways to make this more manageable with skill upgrades, ship cargo, companion inventory, the safe in the lodge and other ways to mitigate the issue. 


Oh baby it’s here.

2 hours in. The start is slow which is expected. I like the opening story beats though. It just take time to introduce all the game mechanics. Graphics are better than any other Bethesda game but it’s becoming more clear Bethesda is not a graphical powerhouse. The gunplay is the best Bethesda has ever been, but again, not high praise. I experienced my first Bethesda bug at 1.5 hours. My robot companion had an audio glitch where he was constantly shooting. Save and reload fixed it. My biggest initial worry is it doesn’t seem like you can fly your ship on planets? Which seems weird. I hope I’m wrong.

First “Bethesda RPG” moment. A bank robbery happens. I eliminate the robbers, rob for my he bank, then take the credit for saving the hostages. Classic.

8 hours in. I’m clearly liking the game. It is a slow start to a degree. Not painfully slow though all things considered. But I’m 8 hours in and it still feels like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Like I still can’t even pick pocket. I’ve done nothing with ships. Although I did find a better ship. That was cool.

There are lots of classic Bethesdaisms in here. It hasn’t been too buggy. Only a couple minor things so far. But the dialogue and options, and inventory, and quest structure so far at least seems similar to fallout or skyrim. It doesn’t feel like it’s taken a leap into the next level. And the planets are cool, but with all the fast travelling it doesn’t really feel like space yet. I didn’t think that would make a difference but it kind of does. All of this is subject to change. I think I’m like 10% into my play through if I was to make a blind guess. I think I’ll play 80 hours. So my opinion may be wildly different by the time I’m done.

I love that photos you take get used as the loading screen. Brilliant idea. 

First crash happened 11.5 hours in. Wasn’t a big deal. I lost very little.

Probably 13 hours in. The most noticeable improvement over previous Bethesda games is the gunplay. I’m really enjoying the firefights. The gun diversity has been great so far, hopefully I continue to find better and different guns deep into my play through but to start I’ve really had a fun time find new weapons (and space suits and helmets for that matter). The surface map is lame and I do think it would be better if they had a more detailed surface map, but so far at least it hasn’t really negatively impacted me that much. I’m not getting lost which is my main issue, but I wish I could see more icons for shops etc. It’s weird it’s not included. 

Graphics are actually hard to judge because some of the planets, locations, ships and space gear look amazing, but then lots of NPCs look pretty jank. So some highs and lows but overall it’s a good looking game. I love that the load screen uses your photos. It’s encouraging me to take sweet photos of all these places which has encouraged me to explore and has added a little extra incentive to just soak up the cool space vibes. I can see myself taking more photos in this game than every other game I’ve ever played combined… I don’t usually take photos but I’m going to here. I am not feeling rushed at all. 

I’ve seen people complaining about the menu UI and inventory management but I’ve found the menus to be fine and pretty easy to understand for the most part. I do think you should be able to carry more weight. I get that it’s partly about realism but it’s making to difficult to try to invest in crafting or anything that takes resources. I wish I was able to spend more time harvesting minerals and crafting materials on planets but it’s not worth it at the moment because it takes too much weight. I know I could use companions as mules and my starship cargo hold as well so maybe later in the game I’ll be able to find some reasons to harvest and “no man’s sky” it up for a bit. I was looking forward to some degree of “no man sky” style of directionless exploration while harvesting resources for either money or crafting/building. I havnt had that yet but there is plenty of time. 

My stupidly early prediction for Starfield is it will be my favourite Bethesda game. Current rankings are: Skyrim (A) Fallout 3 (pre rankings but I’d guess a low A or high A-), Fallout 4 (mid high B+), Fallout 76 (highish B), Fallout New Vegas (lowish B). So I’m not a Bethesda fanboy by any means but I have enjoyed their games during their prime. Starfield is already third place for. And I bet it passes fallout 3 and skyrim by my journeys end. But we will see.

I just met this creepy dude named mickey caviar and he is the best character. I hired him.

Walter Stroud mission was cool.

The Ryujen?? The corporate espionage missions are cool. I like em.

The Juno AI who becomes self aware random encounter was awesome. Starfield is on a great streak right now of fun varies missions.

I enjoyed surveying (and hunting wildlife for exp) on random planets. I think I might do a bunch of the Constellation missions board tasks. It’s a good way to get bonus exp and credits while just chilling and exploring. I found a few space rebel camps. It was a good time.

I tried to set up the cargo link for a mission board and I couldn’t fucking do it. I’m so confused. I give up. I didn’t expect outpost building or automated resource collection to be my cup of tea but I wanted to try it out. I may try again at a later date. Mostly just to see how it works.

There are a bunch of weirdos in this universe and I LOVE it! 22 hours in. Currently high A- and climbing.

This game is fucking cool.

23 hrs in. Game froze. Had to reboot. A bit annoying.

Bad streak. Just had my most annoying bug so far. My waypoint glitched and was always wrong. I had to go back in saves to fix it and play a stretch three times in a row. 

Fuck me another crash. It’s shutting the bed recently.

Third crash. The game isn’t running well at the moment. But it’s also amazing. I’m having so much fun. I love the quests. I love the world.

I don’t think a game has fully taken over my brain like this since Elden Ring. All I want to do right now is play Starfield. And when I’m not playing, I’m thinking about it, or reading about, or talking about or writing about it. There’s just so many space adventures to be had.

Stumbled upon a hilarious scenario. I hack a door to enter this random guys place and I immediately see a bloody massacred body on the floor and then a robot dog starts attacking me. I kill the dog, search the place and discover these emails between this topher guy who tries to scam an illegal robot salesman. It was really funny stuff. 

It’s official, this is my favourite Bethesda game. It’s at least an A, and for me, it’s currently my game of the year (haven’t played diablo 4, TOTK, BG3, RE4 remake).

Around 30 hrs now and I’ve played enough to say as a whole the graphics are actually really good. The only flaw is NPCs as hit and miss. The planets, structures, ships, weapons, spacesuits and clothing are excellent. It’s a beautiful looking world and I regularly just explore planets to see what cool photos I can take to add to my dope load screen list.

I am loving Starfield. It is flying through the ranks. But it is still a buggy game for me. My game is crashing and having issues constantly during the latest 5 or so hours.

Loving this game. Just finished the free star rangers quest line and got the new ship. Definitely better than my last ship. I changed the colours. It looks cool. Love this game.

Funny how even Starfield has multiverse stuff going on. There really was a big multiverse push in the last decade. It fits the style of the game though.

Exploring a random planet for a surveying mission board. See an abandoned science facility. Go explore. Find an underground portion with space pirates. Kill the pirates. Explore a bit more. See a cold room. Notice the cold room is tall and there’s a ledge near the top. I think “hmmm it would be a logical place to hide something up there….” Fly up and find hidden contraband. Nice

50 hrs… loving it. 

Close to finishing the ryujen questline. I liked the story and vibes but the gameplay was weak. The stealth systems are pretty simple and I didn’t find it that satisfying but I did enjoy the corporate espionage side of things.

I love seeing the cool and/or funny ships people are making in this game on Reddit. This shipbuilder is fantastic. I’m just about ready to dive in and make my own cool ship.

Loved the unearthed mission. The history of earth and the grab drive was very cool.

I probably spent 3-4 hours making my ship. WOODWING. It’s was inspired by the BATWING. It’s got room for improvement still but I’m happy with how it turned out. For a first ship. I spent all my money on it. Like 600k I think. It’s a B Class but it feels unstoppable. It has so much firepower and I shift the power from long range to close range weapons in a tough fight to really pump out the damage. It’s a bit heavy and slow but it’s sick overall.

Around the 72 hour mark I’ve upped the difficulty from its default normal to very hard. My character and ship were getting too overpowered. It’s been the right call.

Around hour 80 and I’m finally starting to slow down lol. I honestly don’t know if there is a game Ive binged as hard as Starfield. I played Eden ring for longer (as of now) but I didn’t binge Elden ring as much. Loving Starfield, I might take a mini break and play some other games for a bit before jumping back in. I’m reality  I’ll probably start something for five mins and then just go back to Starfield though.

I made a second sweet ship. WOODYPRISE. This game is great and one of my all time faves. Definitely my favourite Bethesda game.

I wish I started the UC missions earlier because they might have been my favourite and I think I would have enjoyed them even more if I played them sooner.

Finished the main campaign. 92 hours. Made the jump into new game plus. I’m calling it for now. I intend to come back to Starfield, definitely for the DLC, and probably for new mod support as well. I loved Starfield.

Final Score: A+
🍓I play a new s​ех game 1​8​+​) I can not get through it, very hard) Who played, help me ➤