Starfield Game Review

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Starfield Astronaut Space

After achieving remarkable success with Skyrim and Fallout 4, Bethesda could have taken the safe route by moving directly to The Elder Scrolls 6. However, the company opted for a more daring move, placing their bets on Starfield, an ambitious open-world sci-fi game and their first original intellectual property in over a quarter-century. This gamble has unquestionably paid off, as Starfield stands as a groundbreaking release that completely immerses players. It goes beyond mere comparisons to “Skyrim in space” and firmly establishes itself as one of Bethesda’s most outstanding creations.

While the initial hour of Starfield might feel a bit sluggish, the pace significantly quickens once players are granted the freedom to explore its vast galaxies and planets at their own pace. That classic Bethesda enchantment takes hold, transforming the game into an utterly captivating experience. Players are given the autonomy to adopt their preferred playstyle, which directly influences the skills they can develop. For instance, those who wish to steer clear of combat situations and skip certain objectives will focus on persuading various characters, thereby enhancing their speech skill and increasing the effectiveness of subsequent persuasion attempts. On the other hand, those inclined towards a more guns-blazing approach to Starfield’s conflicts have that option, earning opportunities to refine their proficiency with specific types of weaponry.

Initially, the combat in Starfield isn’t anything overly extraordinary. It’s somewhat reminiscent of Fallout’s combat without VATS. Nevertheless, as players progress, unlock new abilities, and expand their arsenal, the combat in Starfield becomes exponentially more exhilarating. What starts as basic shootouts transforms into explosive action sequences, where players zip around using boost packs, blast enemies with shotguns, and seamlessly take cover to reload and recover for the ensuing skirmish.

Starfield Game Combat

Starfield’s on-foot combat turns into a genuinely thrilling experience when players invest their skill points wisely, and the same concept extends to ship battles. Depending on the attributes selected during character creation, ship combat might feel a bit sluggish and unwieldy at the outset. However, by allocating skill points strategically, it transforms into an absolute delight, featuring heart-pounding space clashes that see players darting through asteroid fields and unleashing volleys upon enemy vessels. There are entire games dedicated to space combat that struggle to match the excitement Starfield delivers.

The space combat in Starfield is truly exceptional, yet some players might opt out of engaging with it. For those individuals, adjusting the difficulty level during space battles allows for swift triumphs over adversaries, and fortunately, they don’t need to spend extended periods in their spacecraft if they choose not to. Starfield places a strong emphasis on player convenience, introducing transformative quality-of-life elements such as the capability to fast-travel practically anywhere from nearly any location. This approach eliminates many of the constraints prevalent in Bethesda’s other titles. Picture this: standing on one planet within a galaxy and instantly fast-traveling to an entirely different planet lightyears away, all without the need to backtrack to the ship.

Another notable example is the seamless transition to the cockpit upon boarding the ship, eliminating the necessity to traverse through its interior and trimming away any filler content. These enhancements aimed at improving the player experience are sprinkled throughout Starfield. While they might not appear monumental on the surface, they create a substantial impact in the grand scheme of things.

Starfield Game

During your travels across Starfield’s diverse planets, you’ll encounter a fascinating array of individuals, each with their own distinct backgrounds and motivations. Some of these characters can even join your cause and be stationed aboard your ship or outposts that you establish. Building up your crew proves to be an enriching endeavor, as these crew members are finely developed personas that evoke a genuine sense of realness, forging strong emotional connections with them. This sentiment rings particularly true for Starfield’s companion characters, who arrive with their own personal quests and, in certain cases, the potential for romantic entanglements.

Starfield empowers players to personalize their own spacecraft, amass their own crew, and chart their own science fiction odysseys as they traverse its expansive realms. Bethesda wasn’t exaggerating when they revealed that Starfield boasts over 1,000 planets. While it’s accurate that some of these worlds may be desolate wastelands, others teem with captivating plant life and perilous extraterrestrial beings. The game liberates players to venture to nearly any destination they envision within Starfield. Even though the multitude of quests ensures that players never encounter a dull moment or devoid area, those who wish to venture off the conventional path and explore the procedurally-generated planets at length are free to do so. Still, those inclined to focus on the handcrafted content can pursue that avenue and still find themselves swamped by the sheer volume of engaging activities the game offers.

Starfield equips players with the means to experience the game in their own unique manner. Whether you opt to acquire a grand vessel and embark on stellar expeditions with your devoted crew akin to the captain of the Enterprise, or if you decide to center your efforts on establishing outposts on secluded planets while amassing valuable resources for crafting, the choice is yours. Should you wish, you can even become a galactic troublemaker, sowing chaos within the Settled Systems and evading authorities using your Grav Drives. Virtually every quest can be tackled through multiple avenues; players can diplomatically navigate their way out of predicaments, eliminate obstacles in their path, or employ stealth to infiltrate heavily fortified zones for the pilfering of vital documents or items. The horizon of possibilities stretches limitlessly, and it’s challenging to envision any other science fiction game coming close to matching the scale of freedom Starfield affords its players.

Starfield Game Ship

That being said, it’s important to note that Starfield isn’t a flawless masterpiece by any means. Like any game, it has its share of imperfections. However, these imperfections aren’t substantial enough to significantly diminish the overall experience. Take, for instance, the occasional outdated mission design choices in Starfield. An example is the inclusion of NPCs who move at a much slower pace than the player character, which can occasionally be a source of frustration. Additionally, there are instances where certain dungeons appear strikingly similar to each other, disrupting immersion and slightly dampening the cosmic allure of Starfield. Nevertheless, even with these considerations, the game stands out as Bethesda’s most finely polished launch to date. Impressively, we didn’t come across any game-breaking bugs during our time with Starfield. Naturally, there are some instances of minor irregularities, like occasional frame drops, general jankiness, and infrequent visual or audio glitches.

Despite these occasional quirks, it’s important to emphasize that Starfield is indeed a remarkably well-polished creation, particularly when weighed against Bethesda’s previous endeavors. Nonetheless, there is one specific technical issue that proves to be a notable annoyance and, hopefully, will be rectified in a forthcoming update. After a certain point, whether due to time played or another factor, the scanner function starts causing a peculiar stutter when activated. It’s worth mentioning that this hiccup didn’t manifest earlier in the game. While not significantly detrimental, it does remain a source of irritation.

Apart from these potential technical glitches, the game’s most conspicuous shortcomings become evident during the course of Starfield’s principal questline. In certain aspects, the main quest in Starfield stands as the most outstanding narrative thread in any Bethesda game, showcasing ingenious missions with enjoyable combat sequences, captivating narrative developments, and pivotal decisions that exert a profound influence on both the game world and its inhabitants. However, there are instances where the Starfield main quest doesn’t entirely meet expectations, resulting in a slightly anticlimactic experience in some aspects.

Starfield Game Ship Sarah Morgan

Within the main questline, there exists a sequence of notably repetitive missions that involve the same recurring puzzle and enemy encounter each time. Delving too deeply into the purpose of these missions would veer into spoiler territory, but it’s worth noting that these quests tend to compel players to see them through to completion, rendering their repetitive nature all the more disappointing. The overarching narrative of the main quest is populated by well-crafted, believable characters, along with intriguing plot twists. However, the final impression of the story’s culmination may diverge among players. While some fans might find themselves thoroughly impressed by the unfolding events, others might find the explanations provided by Starfield for its most significant enigmas to be less than satisfying.

Nonetheless, whether an individual finds the main quest of Starfield captivating or not, it constitutes only a fraction of the entire game. Its impact isn’t overwhelmingly substantial. For those who find the recurrent nature of certain missions tiresome, they have the liberty to disregard the main quest altogether and embark on a personalized space saga, journeying from one galaxy to another, exploring planets, and engaging in the consistently captivating side quests and faction-driven missions.

In customary Bethesda style, Starfield introduces four principal factions for players to engage with, each boasting their own dedicated questlines. Players can find themselves entangled with the cunning space pirates forming the Crimson Fleet, or they might opt for a venture into corporate espionage with Ryujin Industries. Alternatively, some may choose to align themselves with the Freestar Rangers, indulging in their spacefaring cowboy fantasies, while others may feel compelled to join the militaristic Vanguard faction.

Starfield Ship Combat

Among all the factions within Starfield, the questline associated with the Crimson Fleet unequivocally stands out as the most thrilling. It presents high-stakes scenarios and concludes with a truly spectacular climax that ranks among the game’s most exceptional moments. Yet, it’s just one of many remarkable instances in a game brimming with them. Whether it’s the nail-biting ship confrontations reminiscent of Star Trek or the simple yet breathtaking vistas of colossal planets set against the backdrop of the celestial void, Starfield consistently delivers a stream of unforgettable experiences. While the game does have its share of issues, these concerns seem to pale in significance when viewed within the broader context. Ultimately, players will find themselves drawn to Starfield, eager to engage with it at every available opportunity, and even musing about it during moments away from the screen.

Much like Bethesda’s previous titles, Starfield boasts an abundance of content capable of ensnaring players within its universe for countless hours. However, it offers even more replayability than anticipated. A standout feature is the inclusion of a New Game+ option, a facet that sets Starfield apart from other entries in the Bethesda lineup. While specifics about the intricacies of New Game+ cannot be disclosed here, it’s worth acknowledging that this innovative addition ensures Starfield becomes even more addictive than Skyrim, proving difficult to put down.

In delivering on its promises and then exceeding expectations, Starfield emerges as the quintessential sci-fi game. It presents players with an astonishingly expansive realm to explore, allowing them to adopt their preferred playstyle. With its potential to evoke a devotion akin to that inspired by Skyrim, Starfield has the potential to stand as a title cherished and fervently played for years to come. Its captivating allure makes it an absolute necessity to experience, asserting itself as a premier Xbox console exclusive in recent memory.

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