When I first watched the new footage for Starfield I was just whelmed. Here is a potent mix of The Outer Worlds and No Man Sky, with a heavy sprinkling of Bethesda RPG in it. “Was this it?” I thought. Was this really all the hype was building to? And I was ready to write it off as a title I won’t have to obsess over…but then it wouldn’t leave my mind. I kept dreaming up experiences and sights to see. So I rewatched the whole segment one more time and it struck a chord.
And I’m glad I rewatched it because now my brain has properly digested the spacefaring roleplaying neverending gobstopper. First of all, I want to make mention of the sweeping score. Inon Zur and Mark Lampert really pulled out all the stops to make it feel adventurous and curious. The music will also be dynamic to any given situation, so no mean feat considering all the potential scenarios the game could offer you.
And let’s talk about the scenarios. It’s basically Fallout in space, but with a bit more of a straight face. There are factions to join, story outcomes to be influenced by the said joining of factions, and people to interact with. I don’t know what I was expecting initially, but I’m all in for making decisions I’ll come to regret (or enjoy) many hours into my playthrough. Will I be the straight-laced explorer/scientist/soldier or will I become a ruthless space pirate?
The gameplay looked fine if a bit lacking in pizzazz. You can scan environments and you can shoot stuff. Nothing revolutionary. There’s crafting and building settlements and spaceships you can fly and shoot space lasers out of. Big fan of that.
The performance seemed a bit slow in heavier moments, but I guess that was to be expected from an open-world (open-space?) RPG. The facial animations also looked a notch better than what we got last time in Fallout 4. It’s still Bethesda-y, but definitely more advanced. They can’t all be whatever wizardry Guerilla Games comes up with.
If I ever would be worried about anything, it’d be the hundred(s) solar systems to explore with more than 1000 (some inhabitable) planets to explore. No Man’s Sky’s initial promise and initial failure hangs as a sword of Damocles above Starfield. Time will tell if Bethesda can deliver on this promise or if this will once again be another jankfest entry in their jankfest legacy. And I mean that lovingly.
For now, I’m more than a bit cautiously optimistic and am counting down the days till I can venture into the final frontier.