Starfield | Securing The Scientist
The year was 2013 and my friends were looking for something to play together. The game must have been on sale though I have no idea since the store page was removed. All I do know is it was one of the first few games I ever game purchase on Steam at the time. It was also the first game I ever felt like I got ripped off on.
I have a total of just 3 hours played in this game but a bulk of that was not of actual playtime. I have also not touched it since early 2014 when it became apparent this game was a rip-off that had no intention at the time of being developed further.
To call it a tech demo would be an insult to tech demo everywhere. I dare hesitate to even call it a game in pre-alpha. The most shocking thing about it is they somehow got co-op to work in this game otherwise my friends and myself would have never have bought it. Outside of that starlight achievement of that game developer's lifetime, it went downhill from there.
Back then in 2013, I was less worried about the shady dealing that can and have gone down on the Steam gaming platform. Some awful games and scams have made it past their doors and been left to boil over and sap the money right out of any buyer stupid enough to chance it.
A game that was still being developed? That I can buy it at a discount? Oh, the stupid gamer I was back in the day was all too happy to slap my money down. While today I still buy early access games and am willing to take chances on some interesting titles. Something like this would have been added to my ignore list and not a second thought put into it.
This however would be quite even a shorter story if that was the case. Nope. I bought it for 13 or so bucks. If I only had known the troubles the first hour would have given me I would have never clicked buy.
You know things are going to be good when you install the game and click play. The thrill you get of a new adventure awaiting you. Some deep down inside hope that this will be that game to engulf your life for a while to make you forget about the real world.
This game could not even give me that. Right off the bat after clicking play up popped some message about a technical problem it was having. I frankly can’t recall what it even was. I just know my first hour “played” was spent in an afternoon of launching this stupid game and waiting to see whatever I did “fixed” it.
Something eventually clicked and it was time to play. If that happened nowadays with the return policies that are in place I would send this game right back to the refund pile and washed my hands of it. Sadly I wanted to play it with friends and everyone that was having issues got it fixed at some point.
Hour 2 was more like hour 5 at this point but the trusty old-time played would disagree with me on that part. So hour 2 I’ll have to go with it. It was quite hard to even recall what this game was about it’s been so long and the horrors were long lost forgotten.
I have no screenshots that have survived this era of greatness so just imagen 2013 graphics but even mud would be an improvement over it. It seemed quite clear the game developer was using whatever free dirt layer they could find off the internet for tiling their level on. It was a real horror show.
I want to say this game was supposed to be some kind of tower defense game. All I recall is some kind of platform in a vast wasteland of a desert with large rocks covering up the zone edges. Some ugly alien would attack it that you could not stop and that would be it.
Once the object you were supposed to be protecting got destroyed your eardrums would rupture with the sound of a thousand sirens going off. It was awful and you just wanted to run far away from it. After all, it was a very incomplete game with no lose screen. You lose and the world is just screaming at you.
So naturally, you would wander off to get away from the sound and hope to find something you can do in this game. It was a barren wasteland for the most part and nothing else to do. The only exception was a cave we had discovered.
For whatever reason, I want to say we had what we thought where glow sticks in our inventory. We tossed them into the entry of the cave of no light. Nothing. Not even a sliver of light. I have a feeling those glow sticks did not even have a light source on them.
The cave was too dark to explore and most of the group was chicken to risk going inside it. Anyone who did adventure in was never seen from again. They could still be lost in that very cave to this day for all I know.
After being pissed off and feeling we had been ripped off we thought it is best to wait and give it some time. The game was still in development after all. Least that was what the developer wanted the community to believe was going on.
So we waited. Waited some more. Uninstalled thinking we need to make some better purchases in the future and learn from this experience.
The year was 2014 and there must have been the elusive patch that we had been waiting for. It was the last time I had ever played the game and to this day I just look at in shame in my library. A number of us had been wanting to play it for whatever reason. What friendships that had survived to 2014 and owned the game were hoping to finally start a real adventure in this game.
Yet again we were denied instant gratification of pressing play and it just works. Some troubleshooting and workaround were required. I don’t want to know how many hours it took that time around to get everyone in. It was one of those 3 hours going on 20 kind of deal.
We finally get inside and it appeared one thing had changed. What it was or the importance it had has been lost in the abyss of my mind trying to forget this game. It was not worth it and again after exploring to make sure that was it. We uninstalled.
Years of Sales, lies, and Players Getting Ripped Off
If you ever needed an example of how little Steam can care about their customers this is the game that would be held up and shown. It was so bad several players became grave keepers for this game and would try and keep players from buying.
Every year during the holiday sales like Summer and Christmas this game would go up for a deep discount. Waves of people would come in wanting to know more about the game or just leave a comment after getting angry that they bought it. Reviews and the Steam discussion forums would be filled with warnings of “do not buy this scam.”
Even today of what remains of the Steam forums for this game there is more than likely some grave keeper roaming around their asylum of despair being on the looking out for anyone foolish enough to download let alone play this game.
You would think with all the rage, payment chargebacks, and I can only assume a policy or two needing to be written after all the angry customer Steam had to face. That this game would have been taken down by the platform itself. Well, you are in luck to be widely disappointed.
I’m not quite sure if this game showed up on Steam before 2013. It however has been on sale for quite some time. With the game developer themselves announcing in 2017 that they were removing the Steam store page and releasing the “game” for free on their website. I don’t dare venture out to see if there was another “patch” or any improvements.
All I do know is I still want my darn money back!
While several games have let me down over the years this one got into my gamer soul and crushed it. While I don’t quite recall the exact details of this game and some of this could be slightly off. This one still haunts my library of one of the worst games purchased I have ever made.
Interestingly enough some of the top content pieces for StarForge even to this day are how to remove or delete it from your Steam library. I keep it in mine as a reminder of the risks of buying an unfinished game and how there is little recourse if they never finish it other than deleting their name from your game library.
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The content was written by @Enjar.