Bethesda’s new franchise (…in Spaaace!) begins. 5 years since E3 announcement, anxious players only found relief to the anticipation through preloading opinions, their memories seasoned with well-earned mixed feelings and doubts.
Those paying attention agree they want Starfield to be everything and not a “mods will fix this” or “an underwhelming Fallout 76 needed more DLC’s to be decent” situation. It’s a new, deep space story thrill and adventure. Is this a new standard being set which could possibly augment familiar themes in Sci-Fi? If not immediately, maybe a few iterations? Surely, dev mammoths bet on mass adoption and industry disruption when it comes to games like this. After all, Bethesda wouldn’t put almost 10 years of development into an instant flatline, right? Right??
What I can say is when the bell-and-whistle smoke clears, compassionate gamers and diehards will experience something new AND what they’re used to. Really, I expected a more uniform consensus about it. But what I saw was a multiverse of interaction and opinion. If you expect that the old cynicism remains like any other time in the past, know that Starfield shines bright with the characteristics of a Bethesda game. However, at the same time, no one I watched was playing it the same way. After the main quest, the trajectory widens dramatically. That’s encouraging to me, at least.
Streamer playthroughs had me nostalgic: Deus Ex (you’ll understand why), No Man’s Sky (an old favorite of mine), even a little crumb of GTFO (sweat). While I personally never played Outer Worlds, it’s obvious Bethesda keeps close to what Obsidian gave them and fans in the past. I watched completionists, story-lovers, competitives, giga yawns and trolls. I only wanted to play more.
After all, we’re talking about a new game and a seemingly wide new universe. The adventure is out there, where it goes, not many know until you’re there. One thing similar, I’d say, is the likelihood of having fun while expressing, “Oh, Bethesda,” with a cheeky and endearing half smile is high. I wouldn’t overthink it, just play, have fun. It’s a huge game that’s surely the first of many in a large franchise, or at least a heap of DLC’s (like what we expect soon from Cyberpunk 2077). Ongoing mods will be novel and clips will be funny. Explore Starfield your way. Have fun.
JEFFREY WELLS | Writer
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