Starfield’s launch was met with a lot of hype from players. After all, it was a major Bethesda release, something which hadn’t happened since Fallout 76 in 2018. However, what made the title even more alluring was the way the game had been marketed by the company. Many were thinking of it as the revolutionary next step in the world of gaming.
For starters, here is a comparison video from eXputer that you can check out.
There’s no denying that fans feel like current gaming titles are simply not utilizing the type of hardware the PS5 or Xbox Series X provide. For many people, Starfield felt like the title that could push boundaries for the current generation of consoles. And while the game did manage to retain a strong amount of players when it launched, things aren’t looking so good now that the hype has died down.
Not only was the game not nominated for Game of the Year, but now, it seems that even the game’s modding community is deciding to pull out. This really flies in the face of the claims made by Todd Howard. He claimed that Starfield would be a title that people would continue to play for the next 10 years. But as it turns out, players are already realizing the game was destined to be mediocre, at best. Here’s why.
Even The Modding Community Has Had Enough
One of the biggest reasons why Skyrim continues to have a decently sized player base is because of its modding scene. Dedicated modders have changed just about every element of the game. As a result, they’ve kept the game fresh though a decade has passed since the title initially launched. It’s no surprise that Bethesda was hoping to recapture that lightning in a bottle with Starfield.
But unfortunately for them, their space exploration RPG fails to deliver on that front in a number of ways. For one, important members of the modding community are starting to pull away from the title. One notable person is the creator of the Starfield Together mod, who also developed 2022’s Skyrim Together. This was a mod that allowed players to seamlessly enjoy Skyrim in a multiplayer setting.
While Skyrim Together managed to surpass over 80,000 downloads, Starfield’s version of the mod is at a dead end. The modding team shared via Discord that while they were able to reverse engineer 70 percent of the code from Skyrim Together for Starfield, the team has run into one crucial issue. And it’s that they find Starfield to be absolutely trash.
In the passionate and detailed post, the mod creator delved into how he found the game to be “boring” and “bland.” Cosideci also mentioned how the main draw of Bethesda games is getting the chance to explore a handcrafted world. This is all but gone with Starfield’s procedurally generated planets. While some might disagree, Cosideci simply pointed to the many reviews online that share similar complaints.
While Starfield Together is staying unfinished for now, the mod team did post the part of the code they reverse-engineered online. So it’s possible someone who’s passionate about the game might actually step up and put in the 100+ hours of work still needed to complete it. But considering just how many issues are present in the game, I highly doubt that’s going to be the case.
Bethesda’s Responses To Player Frustrations
After spending dozens of hours in the game, many players have come to the conclusion that more than anything, Starfield is simply bland. The game world doesn’t have the spark or interest needed to keep players hooked for more than its main campaign. And even that can prove to be a slog to get through. Some players have vented about these issues on Steam.
And of course, that has led to Bethesda developers jumping in to reply. The problem is that they’re providing some of the most cookie-cutter answers imaginable. As a result, players are going even more frustrated with Starfield as they realize even Bethesda is at a loss of words on how to defend the game. Take this review for example:
I played for 75 hours because I needed the dopamine fix. Looking back its a boring story, in a boring world. Also I CANNOT get over the one mission I thought would be awesome. Finding a ship launched from earth 200 years earlier with the offspring of the original crew finally finding humanity… and they have the same computers with the same operating system on their ship as the rest of the universe.”
To this, a Bethesda developer replied by saying that if the player found the world boring, they simply needed to do more than the main mission. According to the dev, the game has a ton of side missions that can share more about the world of Starfield and its people. Additionally, the developer recommended building outposts, and starships and smuggling contraband.
The thing is, if you’re 75+ hours into the game, chances are, you’ve already done all of these activities. The fact that the developer even considered suggesting this really goes to show that there really isn’t much of anything to do in Starfield, beyond the basic activities Bestheda has lined up. After a single campaign, most, if not all of this gets incredibly stale and repetitive.
But, according to the developer, there are many layers to Starfield, and players will find new things that they didn’t think were possible, even after hundreds of hours of playing. The original reviewer edited their review. And it’s just as you’d expect. They had already taken part in all of these activities during their initial run. And found them to be just as dull and boring as everything else in the game.
Surprisingly, this is just one response out of dozens that Bethesda has left on the Steam reviews of frustrated players. And every single one is worse than the last. It almost feels like they’ve got someone generating these through AI. It’s hard to see anyone genuinely using these arguments to defend a game, even though the title is so obviously lacking in features.
Into The Bland Beyond
Another user review on Steam discussed how the game world is incredibly small, and only pretends to be big. In reality, the vast space that players see is mostly empty. It’s a bunch of tiny sandboxes linked together via loading screens. Whereas the story served as a way to explore the worlds of previous Bethesda titles, this time, the game world is just there to serve as an accessory to the story.
It’s almost like they cared too much about trying to prove that they could write a better story and in the process lost sight of what people love about their games and lost the magic. This game is good for one, maybe two playthroughs and that’s it. All of your companions are good guys, you’re heavily forced into this constellation group, you’re going to play the exact same story over and over, and over again with goody companions scolding you.
Bethesda’s response to this honestly deserves to become a meme. A developer mentioned how astronauts going to the moon for the first time might have encountered nothing there too. But despite that, they certainly weren’t bored. I wish I was making this up. But it’s a genuine response given by a Bethesda dev. Essentially, they’re now comparing playing Starfield to actually traveling to the moon. And using that as a justification for why the game world is so devoid of any content.
It’s clear that despite Bethesda’s attempts to justify the bland world of Starfield, players are simply not buying it anymore. And if you want to see a great example of this in action, simply compare the player numbers of Skyrim versus Starfield. Despite being a game that’s more than a decade old, Skyrim is ahead. The title has an 18 thousand 24-hour peak, compared to Starfield’s 15K.
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