Game ReviewsGamingPC / MacXbox Series X

Starfield, we’re past reviewing it.

Starfield, it’s been a long time coming and has caused some cosmic ripples.

Given the pedigree of Elder Scrolls, Oblivion, Fallout, how could Bethesda have anything but an exciting new IP?

Starfield review?

No. To be fair, with a game of this magnitude there is little point attempting to traditionally review it. Especially now, a couple of weeks in. Given we got our code right at launch and there is a huge game to explore, it’s fair to say the rest of the world has been there before us.

It’s not like the stable door was open, and the horse bolted. Much more like the horse took a gentle trot into the courtyard and cantered off down the road.

So, accepting the online discourse, the trite fanboy wars and review bombers. Not forgetting the wax lyrical opinions from everybody that got gifted sexy Starfield space watches. We thought it’s better just to have a yarn about why we’re having fun with Starfield.

Captain Sam, Level 10.

Of course there are a couple of standouts with a Bethesda game, but for me, bringing up my kleptomaniac tendencies is the biggest challenge. If it’s not nailed down, I’m generally nicking it.

Having completed the (to be frank) mundane opener it’s a bit of mining, a short firefight and being gifted a ship, I was relieved to be set free.

Captain Tusock, Level 25.

I have been a Bethesda fanboy forever. Their open worlds, bugs and all, are just a joy to explore. I felt at home within minutes of venturing into the Starfield. Falling into old habits of having to explore every nook and cranny, even if it was only the tutorial section.

I then fell into my worst habit. Playing for a few hours and deciding to restart because I found something I wasn’t spec’d to use. Creating a new character is always the fix. Even now I want to restart with my better knowledge of the game.

Captain Sam, Level 10.

My first few hours were a bit bewildered. Wandering round the very sterile Atlantis and wondering if this was really it. Things got more interesting once I visited The Well and the more grunge aesthetic came out. 

From that point I set myself on voyaging to a nearby planet, then the scale of the game started to open up. 

Captain Tusock, Level 25.

I never make a priority of main questlines. And instead take on any and all side quests regardless of how urgent the need is to do the main quest. This often opens up far more exciting areas earlier than the developers would like.

It also often gives me kick arse gear and even a killer spaceship which makes things easier. I just need to upgrade the cargo hold. I cannot have enough styrofoam cups and desk ornaments…

Captain Sam, Level 10.

It wasn’t soon before my quest list started to feel a bit swamped. Even just walking past somebody and overhearing something added a new job to my pile of shame. It’s hard to work out what’s important and what’s worth ignoring, before you spend a few hours trailing round some deadbeat planet for very little reward.

Captain Tusock, Level 25.

I’m one for the more ‘off the beaten track’ destinations so find my Quest Log filling up at a much slower rate. Although I do have a wealth of surveyed planet data which can be useful for a few quick credits at times.

One headache I did have was trying to find the last Fauna sample to scan on an early planet. All I will say is not everything lives on land.

Captain Sam, Level 10.

I love the classic Bethesda mechanics though. Something that really should have a #StarfieldLogic series on Viva La Dirt League is the option to back off down the corridor from a firefight. Have a quick nap, on somebody’s bed just out of sight. Then come back and carry on shooting these very lazy space pirates.

I quite like how the skill tree levels up once youv’e completed a challenge tied to the skill. Obviously I’m running everywhere like an overladen Forrest Gump. Just to increase my carrying capacity.

Captain Tusock, Level 25.

I am pleasantly surprised to find ammo has no weight. It allows my hoarding tendencies to live their best life. And also the ability to carry a weapon for every ammo type, currently at 18 so far, is possible. I still have to come to the acceptance that often a common weapon is more powerful than that old Legendary one I scored 15 levels ago. I.Must.Let.Go.

Captain Sam, Level 10.

That sounds like a T-Shirt I should be wearing.

One of the great joys of these games in particular is rummaging through everybody else’s belongings. With the way the internet is these days, there aren’t many secrets to stumble across because someone is already crowing about it on Social Media. So we have to find our joy in hoarding.

Captain Tusock, Level 25.

Recently I delved into a bit of ship design. About 6 hours later I came to the realisation that my flying brick looked terrible and the way to go is to just edit cool ships like the Mantis and Star Eagle. But the most important thing is I now have room for all my friends and loot.

I haven’t even got around to furnishing the house Mum and Dad left me, even though my first goal was to get it paid off with the bank.

Captain Sam, Level 10.

I think ship design is way off for me. Like many games it promises something epic limited only by your imagination, but very hampered by ability. The UI doesn’t strike me as very intuitive and I’m always annoyed by the development of material paywall.

I grabbed the Mantis as you suggested, a mission I was very unprepared for, but that’s big enough for me now. Interesting comment about Mum and Dad, shows how little attention I’ve paid to the ‘story’ or character creation.

Captain Tusock, Level 25.

As expected I am very much enjoying all aspects of Starfield. It definitely is close to the touted Skyrim in space. Anyone who loves Fallout and Elder Scrolls games, like me, is instantly going to be at home and embracing Starfield.

Bethesda have once again created a world for you to enjoy and explore in your own way. Damn the naysayers, Starfield is a great game.

Captain Sam, Level 10.

I agree with you Tus, it does exactly what it said on the tin. Who cares about social discourse, games are for people and they can decide for themselves. 

For me, Starfield is a slow burn. I’ll be regularly grabbing a few hours here and there, but my natural curiosity will mean I’ll be ambling through the universe at my own, overladen pace for light years.