Gazing into the vastness of the heavens has always been a pastime of humanity. The mystery, the grand ocean of everything and nothing bundled into one-word space. And the legendary developer Bethesda Game Studios decided to take a portion of the universe and make a game out of it with Starfield. The first new IP from Bethesda in over 20 years. And they for damn sure did not take a small step outside of their normal game world. Starfield has 1000 planets across explorable star systems. Space travel, ship combat, crafting, melee combat, long-range combat, ship customization, and so much more. Bethesda has blended together so many gameplay mechanics. Starfield is a clear product of those who love to get lost and explore let us talk about my time with it.
Story It Is There But Not Necessary
Honesty hour, I have not finished the main story, hell I don’t even think I am halfway through it. And I have 4 days 23 hours and 38 minutes in the game. The story from what I have experienced so far is that you are swept up into an interplanetary adventure. Searching for the who, what, where, and why these ancient artifacts give you glimpses into some hidden knowledge of the universe. Now I am not here to spoil what little I know of the story.
But I am here to say that it is not completely necessary to enjoy your time in Starfield. The story has been fun and introduces you to various companions and opens up a list of abilities that make you feel like a part-time Jedi. But in all honesty, I spent around two days of my playtime without activating the first main mission outside of the intro. This does not mean it is lackluster in any way but just not necessary to have fun in the Starfield universe.
Gameplay and There Is A Lot of It
Want to go around collecting exotic ships, be a planet-hopping trader, or be a bounty hunter that would make Boba Fett proud? Or simply want to make enough money for your digital parents to live well? All of these things can be done in one playthrough in Starfield. The ability to live out my childhood dream of being a space cowboy has been brought to life. Bethesda has brought back the trait system and it helps you create some interesting situations. You can have an adoring fan who praises everything you do or even be part of a religious cult.
You can join the Crimson Fleet and go terrorize the residents of the cosmos. If you are do gooder and want to spread order throughout the galaxy there is the UC Vanguard. There are three other factions that you will come across during your time in Starfield. And like other Bethesda titles, you can join all of them. They all have their own quest line and gear. So far I have only joined two of them and have been on quests that range from saving hostages to fighting through space bandits to find ancient artifacts.
See That Ship…Board It
If you didn’t know you could damage enemy ships then board them and take over the ship. What more needs to be said about that? I say the only thing missing from this game is some form of fishing and knowing Bethesda it’ll be in a future DLC. The combat is reminiscent of the solid shooting from Fallout 4. The biggest surprise in Starfield is the intense space combat. You have to manage your ship’s three weapon systems, shields, gravity drive, and engines. All while shooting down enemies and dodging their rockets.
Like the game, I am vaguely describing all of the things you can do in Starfield but that is part of its charm. You will do a lot of learning on the go with this game.
Graphics, Keep That Screenshot Ready
Stay ready to capture screenshots and use the photo mode. Starfield is beautiful it captures the beautiful emptiness of space. The day and night cycle of each planet creates photogenic lighting that will push you to just stare off into the distance. Now the face animations in this game are dated when compared to other recent titles but it is not unbearable. The weapon designs are grounded yet futuristic. Each major city has its own unique theme and feel. When you are in Neon City it looks like a slice of Bladerunner and cyberpunk. There is even an old western frontier town with cowboy hats and rangers as a police force.
Throughout my time playing on Xbox Series X the amount of bugs I have experienced has been minimal. Bethesda left the “Bugthesda” nickname in the past with Starfield. No crashes or game-breaking bugs have been experienced so far. Visually Starfield is one of the best-looking games this year.
What I Imagine Space Sounds Like
The music creates a feeling of wonder and exploration. A true soundtrack to space travel. The muffled sound of shooting in a low to no gravity environment. Hearing people communicate with space helmets or through spaceship communicators. You can tell that special care was put into the audio portion of this game. Now the random conversations of NPCs are often avoided because they lead to missions. But overall the sounds have a way of melding with the environment creating a seamless experience.
Starfield Is A Chance To Live Out Your Space Dreams From Home
Finally the big round-up of my experience with Bethesda Game Studios’ new IP. Starfield is vast, at times desolate, and even a little lonely. But Starfield is also filled with wonder and constantly rewards your exploration. Whether you are looking to scan all resources and life on a planet. Or shooting your way through a not-so-abandoned helium mine filled with space pirates. Starfield does one thing very well and that is keeping you entertained. If you enjoy other Bethesda titles then this one is a no-brainer. I give Starfield a 9 out of 10.
Thank you to Bethesda for providing LV1 Gaming with an Xbox Series X review code of Starfield.
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