ag_roberston_author, avatar

I sat down to play it last night, got destroyed by spaceships I’m trying to kill to level up my piloting skill and access class B and C ships, went to the simulator in the UC base to get some free kills and realised I wasn’t having any fun with the game any more, so I closed the game and started playing High on Life. Had way more fun.

After the



spoiler(which I saw coming as soon as the Starborn were introduced)

I realised it’s just not fun. I can’t get into the roleplay as all the characters are bland cardboard cutouts with weird facial expressions, the only fun I was really having was the shooting which grew stale once all the enemies became bullet sponges.

The lack of city maps, the boring cutscenes for everything, clunky console first interface, drab colours, bafflingly hideous item designs, lifeless procedural planets. The factions are all boring. Permanent skills, with no respec options?! And for god’s sake, let me eat food on the ground by long pressing E.

It’s actually worse than Fallout 4, and that’s 8 years old.

It’s at best a 5.5/10 for me.

comicallycluttered, (edited )

The factions are all boring. Permanent skills, with no respec options?! And for god’s sake, let me eat food on the ground by long pressing E.

Apparently that last one is being added with an update soon.

I think the factions are okay, but not nearly as good as their counterparts in previous games (eg. NCR > Freestar Collective, although that’s probably more thanks to Obsidian than Bethesda).


I’ve been noticing that too recently. I’ve been hooked on the game, but not really in a good way. I’m not having fun, I’m checking boxes for quests or leveling and it scratches an ADHD itch where I can’t get off it until I finish what I’m doing, but there’s always a new thing that I’m doing. They have done a good job singing missions together so that it feels like you’re always doing something.

But it doesn’t feel fun. They have less than 10 unique buildings to discover throughout the 1000 planets, to the point where I had seen the same two buildings within the first 5 hours of the game. They somehow couldn’t come up with more than 6 different types of plants that repeat across planets. Running to buildings from landing spots is a real bore.

Progression is a real grind. 32 hours in and I’m only level 22, AND I feel like I don’t have skill points in basically anything compared to how big the skill tree is.

I’m disappointed in how shallow the game is. 1000 planets wide, an inch deep. I’ll probably finish the main story missions and be done with it.

comicallycluttered, (edited )

Progression is a real grind. 32 hours in and I’m only level 22, AND I feel like I don’t have skill points in basically anything compared to how big the skill tree is.

Thank you. I’m in a similar situation and finding that the grind is really annoying with not a lot of payoff. And then you’ve got so many skills to invest in and you never quite know if you’ll actually need some of them.

I know planets don’t all have to be super interesting, but I dread landing on anything now, because they’re just… so boring to me.

Running to buildings from landing spots is a real bore.

Don’t know if you know this already, but bringing up your scanner and pointing it to your ship icon lets you fast travel to it.

Also, you can skip the whole “return to ship” thing altogether and open up the star map or whatever it’s called and immediately jump to space and set course/land on another planet. I think it only works if you’re unencumbered, though, but I’m not certain.

Edit: Lol, I accidentally misread that as “running from buildings to landing spots”, so ignore that last bit. Hard agree on running to the buildings. At least in TES/FO there’s interesting stuff along the way. Here, it’s just rocks and minerals and maybe a few animals.

stopthatgirl7 avatar

You know it’s bad game design when the most useful superpower the game has is the one to let you keep sprinting so you can try to waste less time (Personal Atmosphere).


84/100 reviewer score means it's tied with New Vegas, for whatever that's worth

ag_roberston_author, avatar

It really doesn’t deserve to be on par with New Vegas.

snowbell, avatar



I’ve played Starfield (PC) a good bit by now and I’d say that mid 80s is probably fair.

The gameplay is great fun - the combat, gear, etc. is really quite similar to Fallout 4 (though without the VATS), with a Skyrim style talent tree.

The base building and ship building is quite like Fallout 4, though much improved (thankfully!) but still a bit janky.

The worldbuilding is immersive but the world itself is just okay - it’s really predictable, they play it a bit too safe, every faction is nothing we haven’t seen a dozen times before, and society hasn’t advanced at all ~400 years in the future apparently.

Characters are exactly what you expect from a Bethesda game - a bit two dimensional, but nice enough.

Graphics are good, sound design is good, music is nice but a bit too similar to Skyrim IMO.

The story is also really quite safe and derivative, reminds me simultaneously of Mass Effect and Skyrim.

The exploration is cool, but does get a bit repetitive after a while. I think more interesting “random” locations would be really good - after a few abandoned, flavourless civilian bases, you’ve seen them all.

I’m a sucker for customisable bases/houses/etc. especially for space ships, giving me all those building blocks and letting me loose in the sandbox (starbox?) is honestly hours of entertainment.

Space combat is fun, but IMO the space part of the game would be way more immersive if I did all of the ship piloting stuff in-character rather than in the UI menues, seems like a big oversight - why not have something like the galaxy map from mass effect, or have everything on displays in the cockpit? It would be much more immersive, but I guess it would have delayed the game quite a bit.

A lot of the game is juggling menues and interfaces which aren’t the best designed. very similar to Skyrim - I imagine UI redesign mods will really shine once they start coming out. It’s pretty tricky trying to figure out what stuff in your inventory is junk you accidentally picked up (looking at you, Fire Extinguisher!) and which items have a surprisingly good value-to-weight ratio (like some - but not all - of the books, or the deck of cards, surprisingly)

There are occasionally little bugs and glitches, but it’s not too bad for 2023 - nothing that makes the game unplayable or breaks major things, it’s just been stuff like glitchy animations, containers placed in the wrong place/orientation, weird physics behaviour, and I’ve noticed a couple missing textures here and there.

If you’re looking for more of a story/RPG game, I’d suggest something more like Mass Effect or Knights of the Old Republic.

For exploration and space combat, I think No Man’s Sky is better, but with much less customisation.

For more customisation and sandbox style gameplay - but less action-oriented - Space Engineers is probably a better choice.

All in all, Starfield is a fun game - Skyrim in space is a good starting point for describing it, but it’s a lot closer to “Fallout 4, but the bombs didn’t drop”, though the game has a lot of cool extra systems beyond that. I’d be happy to recommend it to someone who would enjoy a single player sci-fi themed looter-shooter sandbox game with some mild RPG elements and player-constructed ships and bases, and I’m sure there are hundreds of hours of enjoyment there, and, as with the Elder Scrolls or Fallout games, it’s likely a game that I will return to for many, many years to come


How i see it is al alternative falllout timeline aet in the future. A lot of the basic game mechanics are straight upgrades from Fallout 4, with slightly better faction writing than 4, and slightly more rpg checks to make an experience feels better than 4. IMO i dont think its better than New Vegas, but its a direct upgrade from FO4


i dont think its better than New Vegas

To be fair, that’s quite a high bar, games that are as good as New Vegas are very rare indeed

CMLVI avatar

One of the hidden elements of travel is the scanner; if you travel within a system and can "target" the location via quest marker or the like, you can just travel to it from the pilot seat and land at the location, no menu needed.

I think there are other caveats, but the number of "different" ways travel can occur makes it hard for me to keep the details straight. It may just be within system, you may be able to grav jump. You may need to have a quest marker there so it "displays" the planet surface location, or you may be able to select from a few "local" options. I just can't remember what the restrictions are to that method off the top of my head lol


If you have a quest marker, you can jump straight there using the quest log, no fiddling around with the map required!

CMLVI avatar

I thought so! There are a lot of little quirks with travel. Usually I get scanned by the Feds landing at New Atlantis, other times I don't. Sometimes I can jump straight to surface other times I need to go from orbit. Just little things I haven't paid attention to so I can't say definitively what the criteria is. But, jumping from the scanner is a way nicer way to do it. I just got in the ha it of traveling from the quest menu because I can go from planet surface -> new system -> planet surface with one action (usually).


I’m loving starfield and I’ll agree with this. It’s a mid eighties score kind of game. If it’s what you want it’s amazing, but the people calling it game of the century and whatnot are buying their own hype.

On the other hand, it’s likely to have serious staying power as an all time classic game, Bethesda is great at that and there’s a ton of room for people to use it as an incredible mod canvas. I don’t think that should affect launch reviews though.

gamingdexter, avatar

I’ve been really enjoying the game, just past 70hours on Xbox and starting the 2nd main story mission quest. Planning on starting new on PC shortly after I complete my current character. I don’t understand the console hate. I was upset when Spiderman on PS4 was an exclusive, but later I got a PS4, played/beat it, had a blast. Hate for something because you can’t play it is just wild. Just like people hating on huge houses or seeing expansive cars just because they don’t have it. Underline jealousy. If you really hate it that much because you can’t play/have it, work towards obtaining it and appreciating it. I’ve been really happy with most of the games that have come out/still planning on coming out this year, best in a long time for me

stopthatgirl7 avatar

Why are people just assuming it’s a console war thing and “jealousy,” when the article is talking about reviewer scores, not scores from random users?


Making excuses as to why the game isn’t reviewing as highly as they think it should be. Not understanding that sone people just don’t like the game as much as they do.


I was upset when Spiderman on PS4 was an exclusive

Exclusives are actively hurting the consumer, being upset is normal.

Hate for something because you can’t play it is just wild

If it’s because someone decided they can milk more money by making it exclusive, it’s not that wild.

Just like people hating on huge houses or seeing expansive cars just because they don’t have it

It seems your world view is dominated by jealousy a lot and you project it onto others. I hate huge houses and expensive cars because it’s just to show everyone around how rich you are and serves no other purpose. All that while other people suffer and struggle to survive.

CMLVI avatar

I mean, I get where you're coming from. But this didn't start with Starfield, and Sony has a great track record of even more restrictive platforming than Xbox does. Microsoft games are now usually accompanied by some kind of PC access.

Not an excuse, but expecting Microsoft to extend an olive branch of non-exclusivity to Sony when they have historically been incredibly averse to it themselves is not really a realistic expectation.


Well some part of the bad reviews are the stupid battle between xbox and ps users going to leave bad reviews because it’s an exclusive…

And there are the genuine people leaving good and bad reviews.

But I can see such a score. The game isn’t that great from all the reviews I saw. And it seems to “become good” after 10 hours of play time…

If that is what it takes for a game to become good, it’s not that great.

stopthatgirl7 avatar

The 84 isn’t from people fighting console wars, though - these are the reviewer scores, not user scores. So as more actual reviewers are finishing and writing up their impressions, the scores are dipping. The scores aren’t bad by any means, but they aren’t as good as when only a handful of reviewers that got review copies had their reviews out.


Yeah it’s pretty easy to understand that the 84 is the professional reviews. I guess there aren’t just 64 people who put a comment, but 6190 who put a comment (from the image in the post).

The more professional reviews come out the more the score has a chance to go down compared to the first reviews if they were very high. And give some sort of average.

However profesional review scores don’t always align to what most users think, as people like different things, but also the users get very much bothered by a bad start. While the reviewers will give a score on the entire game.

LoamImprovement, (edited )

I trust the scores that come after release over the ones that came before, because post release scores aren’t concerned with biting the hand that feeds re: getting future review copies for titles down the line. It’s telling that a lot of the earlier ones are higher but just say “great game, Bethesda’s knocked it out of the park again” with a sentence or two, and later, lower ones are a lot meatier with specific criticisms.

I think it’s worth noting that there are a lot of irrelevant low reviews from the review bombers too, as well as zeroes from the people who are upset that you can choose your pronouns. I’ve played the game. I don’t like the game - I think it’s bad on its own merits, or lack thereof. Where I think FO4 was a ‘meh’ because of the less impactful character building and stripped-down dialogue system, doubling down on the clutter looter aspects, I call Starfield bad because the same clutter looting and character building with a new coat of paint is now gated behind repetitive tasks and mostly barren procgen maps. There’s more layers of obligatory fast travel between the parts of the game that are enjoyable, and that’s in service of the parts of the game that aren’t. The game is objectively worse than FO4 for those reasons, and in the case of the leveling system, it didn’t even need to be.

And you know, while I’m airing my grievances here, I also think it’s fair to have higher standards in the eight years between the two games - Bethesda doesn’t get to hide behind their own old engine the same way Obsidian gets a pass for the issues FNV runs into - it’s their engine. They should know from the get-go whether the game they want to make can be supported with a system built over a decade ago, and if it’s not, they should be prepared to go back to square one. They had plenty of time; I don’t believe for a second they couldn’t have made this game right, but they were hell-bent on getting one more game out of the Creation engine, and by god did they, for better or (much, much) worse. So when people say “It’s Bethesda, what did you expect?” I will answer, from the top of this hill where I’m already carving my fucking epitaph, “Something more and better than what we got last decade.” And people give shit for that expectation? I’m supposed to be impressed that they plugged the random number generator that puts cartons of cigarettes in trashcans into a random planet generator? That in the eight years between FO4 and this samey, shallow, mediocre mess, two more than the development time between Daggerfall and Morrowind, that arguably set the standard for this kind of game with its masterfully crafted world, with huge setpiece cities full of bespoke characters and encounters, they’ve managed to stretch the disappointment of randomized containers full of vendor trash and blocky bases full of raiders over thousands of empty maps? Give me a break. Game bad. Emperor Todd has no clothes and I’m fucking calling it out.

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