My First Impressions Of Starfield


I’m a little late getting to the party but now I've got a couple of hours played and so far, I'm rather enjoying it. Is it going to be the Elder Scrolls of space? Has it been bug-free? Am I having a blast? I’d say so far things have been around what my hype for this game came to expect if it not being a bit simpler than I was hoping for.

Starfield is now one of many games that are starting to have a higher cost to buy for a “triple A” game at $69.99. We all kind of knew at some point inflation was going to catch up and start pushing the actual base price behind all the other nonsense that has been going on in games for years to try and make up for it.

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One thing that is getting ridiculous in video games is the character creation and other options before you even get into the game. I’m not one to care too much about how my character looks in games, needing to spend hours messing around with settings. However, even I spent a little chunk of time seeing what I could do.

It did get to a point where it felt like I was endlessly scrolling through options to the point I was ready to move on. I ended up quickly skipping over or not making any further modifications to my character after a while. For those that enjoy that part of a game, this is great. For people like me, it’s not like we can’t just click through to move forward.

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As if I thought that was enough, the background options you have are quite girthy as well. Oddly I did not find one I felt fit what I was looking for more so than the file not found option.

These were only starting skills you got to pick anyway. I’d quickly start getting levels early on in the game and not even fully spend the points I got per level. This game requires more than just levels to say rank up a particular skill in guns. Along with further points being spent on a lower tier of the tree to get into more advanced skills.

Is this game free of controversy? Nope, you get to in a single-player game pick your pronoun. Now if this was an MMO I'd see a reason for people getting pissed off about it. It’s however not. It’s a single-player game and what other players do, or pick has zero impact on me. This game has already become quite modded by the community.

Do I have any desire at this time for using mods? No, I want the vanilla experience. With that said this is not going to be an Elder Scrolls in Space kind of game without mods. Heck, I doubt Elder Scrolls would have gotten as far without the massive modding community behind it. Granted there feels like quite some lacking things in Starfield to even get close to the unmodded version of Elder Scrolls in space many people were hoping for.

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One thing I'm calling out right now is it’s a space game people are claiming is open world. You can’t be doing this nonsense! Boundry reached? I'm on a dang planet. I don’t care if the rest of it is dead boring space around the planet this should not be an issue.

raiding an outpost in starfield.png

There is at least one tradeoff to being restricted to only certain regions on a planet. The areas of interest are highly detailed and so far, feel unique from one to another. I however only have a couple of hours spent in the game so far. So only time will tell how that holds up.

However, once you move beyond quite a thrilling little place to raid filled with all kinds of things to loot and kill. It’s mostly dead space with a couple of ores and things to mine or scan. Then you guessed it another boundary was reached.

While it feels like the game is heavily pushing you along the main storyline nothing stopping you from just going out and doing your own thing. Unless you run into a locked building or something that requires the actual key, and you can’t pick the lock.

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As far as lockpicking goes it’s like a lot of things in this game rather simple. I, however, have learned in my many years of wisdom that when it comes to space games It’s better to have things a little too overly simplified than overly complex. Very few people and most definitely not me want to spend half an hour docking a ship. Thankfully for docking, you are just pressing a button.

There however comes to a point where a game has simplified things to the point, where they have taken space out of a space game and that is just wild. I never thought they would make a space game that simple.

going to another solar system in starfield.png

Sure, at the start you have to select a solar system and jump to those individual solar systems. If you don’t have the route to that system explored yet you have to go along and at least jump into them to “discover them.” You then land on the planet you want.

jumping in space starfield.png

After that, however, you only need to go into space. Once in orbit wanting to go somewhere you already have been. You can just select land. Even if it’s a massive jump that has many solar systems in between it. You are just skipping space and landing at a site with a space screen in between.

I guess the fun of exploring a new system and the planets in it is seeing if there are space pirates or anything else you could get into. After that not so much. I don’t want space so grueling I need to fly for 72 real-life hours to get to the next planet. This is, however, just beyond making things simplified for the players, it’s making them quite lazy. Granted I could choose to do things the hard way; however, when you get a button it’s hard to not use such a system. It just misses out on the journey to get somewhere and putting more focus on the result.

combat in space starfield.png

Beyond that, the time I have spent in space has been quite fun. I’m not getting disoriented and lost in a “3D environment.” You have to make choices about what system to power up for the current situation you are in. You even have a couple of different options for weapons for combat.

I even got to board a ship. Granted that was for a mission. Any other time I've run into pirates their ships just go boom. I do, however, understand ship boarding is a thing in this game. Which adds a fun element if that is something I can play around with further in the future.

shop in new atlas starfield.png

I have had a lot of fun going around different towns and areas exploring as much as possible and looting anything I think I can get away with. They have put a lot of time into some areas. Then again if you don’t want to see them, they have fast travel on planets as well, removing even further of the journey.

Oddly enough the only place that seems to be lacking fast travel is within a dungeon itself. You just spent half an hour or longer clearing a place out. You reached the end and finished the objective. Maybe I'm missing something but then you have to re-run through the entire place.

It’s almost like they don’t want you to loot as you go along. I guess walking through a place gives me a second chance to double-check for loot. I, however, hate it when you reach the end of a dungeon and there is not a door to just exit or some other creative way to get out of it quickly.

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I did not crop this screenshot in any way. This talk creeped me out with how it was bugged.

Then of course you get to the bugs. I’ve seen a couple of Stranges and from what I hear once you get so far into the game there starts to be some issues. Since I'm not in any rush hopefully any major bugs will get fixed soon enough since the game has already been out for a bit. If not, maybe I'll have to go hunting around for a mod. I would not be shocked if the community fixed things faster than the developer.

shieldbreaker ship for sale in starfield.png

The part I'm looking forward to getting into this game is better ships. You can flat-out buy ships, buy upgrades and who knows what else. I’m just not that far along. I, however, already want a new ship! It’s going to be a while however since vendors I've run into only have 5k credits max on them to buy stuff off you as a base.

Final Thoughts

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Despite many aspects of this game feeling overly simplified I have been having quite a blast. I’ve been wanting a space game I can just sit down and enjoy for quite some time now. Not one that requires training for months to do the most basic things.

My journey is also just starting. There are many things I've not even played around with yet in this game. I’m hoping there is a little more depth than I've what I've seen so far in Starfield. If not, it will be a fun journey regardless of how it ends.


Screenshots were taken and content was written by @Enjar about Starfield.

Disclosure: Starfield received for free through AMD rewards from the graphics card I purchased.