- Cyberpunk 2077 developer Patrick K. Mills has defended Starfield’s lack of cinematics during NPC dialogue.
- He said expecting Bethesda to focus on character’s facial animations and to have them on the level of Cyberpunk’s dialogue cinematics was unrealistic.
- Patrick further said Bethesda chose to focus on providing freedom to players instead.
A CD Projekt developer has come to the defence of Starfield which has been subject to criticism over many of its gameplay and graphical aspects. Those include stuttering of sound, a lack of variety, and rigidness in character dialogue animations. As part of that discourse, the internet has been drawing parallels between character animations in Starfield and Cyberpunk 2077.
The criticism of Starfield’s dialogue animations flared up after an X (formerly Twitter) post by Synth Potato, known in the community for his comprehensive game reviews. His criticism originated from the fact of how generic facial animations and gestures look during dialogue. He also called the camera angle too rigid for today’s standards, saying Bethesda had abandoned it after Oblivion (2006).
As much as I like Starfield, Creation Engine needs to go.
Going back to Cyberpunk puts in perspective just how outdated Starfield's dialogue animations are & it is staggering, regressing to a rigid camera angle that was left behind in 2006 with Oblivion and entirely eliminating… pic.twitter.com/p7Y4TNgNYM
— Synth Potato🥔 (@SynthPotato) October 1, 2023
He called on Bethesda to entirely give up the use of Creation Engine, insinuating it was the reason for this graphical regression which looked “worse” than Skyrim and Fallout 4. Referencing Cyberpunk 2077’s graphical superiority, especially in terms of body movements during dialogue. According to him, while Starfield’s body animations seem dull and generic, Cyberpunk’s are more lively and bring NPCs to life.
The post got so much traction that a CD Projekt developer, Patrick K. Mills, felt the need to weigh in and defend Bethesda’s title. He said the contrast between how the two games handle “cinematics” is not because of the engine. However, it was down to the usage of “design” and “tools.” Patrick also pointed out the difference in premises and priorities of both games.
Every major scene in 2077 took literal years to make
In starfield I can propose to like 10 different npcs and I can do it on any of a thousand different planets, you can't do elaborate scene design like that, you'd be making the game forever
— Patrick K. Mills (@PKernaghan) October 2, 2023
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Patrick went on to say that it took the Polish studio years to perfect “every major scene” in the game. And to expect Bethesda to do the same in a game of Starfield’s scale, with hundreds of character interactions, was unrealistic. Patrick also praised different aspects of the space adventure including the level of freedom offered to the players. He further said,
Instead, BGS puts their resources into giving maximum levels of player freedom, they are just doing something different with their time and that’s cool. You can want their scenes to be more cinematic or whatever, and that’s fair, but it comes at a cost. This is like the ‘BG3 should get DLC to be real-time’ or ‘every RPG should offer the gameplay and narrative agency of BG3’ all over again, but this time simply chalked up to ‘engine.’ It’s ignorant, and I don’t mean to say that just to disparage the OP. But not every game can do everything, you can’t make a game that has every feature executed to the same level as the best in that field, and it has very little to do with the engine you are using.”
Starfield, one of Bethesda’s most anticipated titles, came out on September 6 for PC and Xbox Series X|S. It has both been criticized and praised by the gaming community. For a detailed insight of what’s right and what’s wrong with the game, check out eXputer’s Starfield review.
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