I have always been fascinated by space all my life. I took courses in astronomy and at one point in time I was even enrolled in an astrophysics program in university. As the release of this game called Starfield approached, my anticipation grew.
For the first time in my life, I wrote a blog post and made a youtube video about a video game.
Before you read this article, I want to be upfront and tell you that I have played Starfield for about 10 hours and I do not intent to play any more of it. I do not like Starfield. It has been a disappointing 10 hour ordeal with short moments of bliss.
Now if you care to find out why I feel this way, please read on.
The good parts
Lets get the good parts out of the way first. I will never get to go to the moon; I can say that one can dream and be hopeful that space travel will some day become so popular and affordable that one day it might even be possible for regular folks like us to travel to the moon. But it is not going happen. Now keep my mindset in… mind when I tell you that I was on the moon in Starfield jumping around and it was glorious. This is probably the closest thing to jumping on the moon that I will ever get to experience and it was glorious! – Did I say glorious twice?
Because it was glorious, in fact jumping around on any low gravity planet in Starfield is amazing. And I think different planets have different gravity in Starfield and your moment is affected by that fact which I think was a neat little detail.
Speaking of details, visually, there is an astonishing amount of detail from coffee mugs to note pads and tiles on floors. But not just visually, the immersive in-game city audio, filled with bustling sounds of the city of Neon creates the sensation that this virtual city is truly alive.
Although, if we are comparing cyberpunk style city visuals, The Ascent really takes the cake and does it much better.
The story about how different factions in Starfield came about was interesting – it was literally a story being narrated that you had to listen through to be qualified for a job in one of the factions. But once I got going, I did not really care about which faction, I was going to work for. It was just another side mission that led to shooting someone or retrieving something. I have not gone too far into the game, so there may be things that are a lot more interesting, or so I keep hearing people say.
That’s about where the good part ends for me.
Although game assets are very detailed, the color pallet feels a bit unappealing to me in some areas. There is this general hazy look which after a few hours into the game, I realized that it can be reduced or completely turned off in the display setting. You can also turn off motion blur, but turning one or both of them started to give me headaches. I did not bother figuring out which setting was causing my headaches.
The gunfight, and movement are better than Fallout 4, but still nothing ground breaking. Mass Effect Andromeda, with all its flaws had superb gameplay mechanics from the way weapons fired to movement while in combat. But I understand that no on really plays Bethesda games from its gameplay. It’s good enough, and it’s satisfying.
The game begins with your character touching some artifact that gives you a vision and then you are on a quest to understand its mysteries. Sounds very much like the beginning of Mass Effect. The difference is, I was intrigued and wanted to find more about this artifact while playing Mass Effect. There was a sense of importance, a sense of urgency. I felt that my character was part of something bigger.
In Starfield, I felt none of that. The Constellation group did not do much to convince me as a player that I should even care about this artifact and what these visions could mean.
Just as a disclaimer, I have only played this game for 10 hours and it could very well be that the side quests that I played are in fact boring.
It is well known in the gaming community that the side quests are one of the main attractions in every Bethesda game. I have heard from many people that there are some very interesting side quests in Starfield. So taking that into account, it is quite possible that I might have just by sheer luck come across the less interesting ones, or frankly, down right boring AF.
Here are some things that I did in side quests
- I mined some resources
- applied of jobs
- took tests to qualify for jobs
- took a museum tour talking about the history how how different factions came into being
- convinced an idiot to take a loan because his business is sinking because he opened a mining operation on a water planet
- handed flyers to local businesses
- brought coffee to my corporate bosses
- picked up sensors around trees that look like little eggs around the city to help a researcher
Do any of these sound interesting to you? If I wanted a job as an intern, I would go get a job as an intern in real life. Why would I spend my money and time to do all of that in a video game? Some people may enjoy doing these things IN A VIDEO GAME – I do not!
There are other combat missions that I did too, but they did little to make up for the drudgery of the aforementioned activities.
Endless sequence of loading screens
Opening doors, going to your ship, landing your ship on a planet, it is all just loading screen after loading screen.
Pointless Space travel
There is no real space travel. You simply select a planet and fast travel to the orbit of that planet and then you fast travel to one of the locations on the planet. And of the few planets that I visited, there were mostly only 2 or 3 locations that you can actually travel to. Apparently, that is the case of every other planet that other people have been to.
Do not Walk, just Teleport
I tried landing somewhere else on a planet, close to my target location but not exactly there and it took a long time of walking and so I gave up and just fast travelled to the target location. From what people are saying, walking from one location to another on a planet is apparently not even possible.
It was painful to write this blog post because I really did not want to think about Starfield anymore. There were more things that I had planned to talk about, but I just could not get myself to write it all.
A lot of people say the game starts to get better much later, but I just cannot get myself to spend any more time on this.
So at 3AM and 10 hours into the game, I decided that I could at that very moment do anything at all and still have a better time than playing Starfield.