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Starfield is an epic space exploration game developed by Bethesda Game Studios. Pete Hines is the current CEO of Bethesda Game Studios. The game was first announced at Bethesda's E3 Conference back in 2018. Starfield released on September 6, 2023 exclusively for the Xbox Series X/S and PC. Starfield is described by Bethesda Game Studios as a "next generation role-playing game set amongst the stars", which offers "unparalleled freedom as you embark on an epic journey to answer humanityâs greatest mystery".
An early access period which granted players to the game prior to September 6, 2023 started on September 1, 2023. The game then arrived to the Xbox Game Pass service for wider release.
Starfield was the first new Bethesda IP in 25 years. Powered by the Creation Engine 2, the player is able to explore more than 1,000 planetary systems - which are both fictional and non fictional. The studio's most ambitious game to date, Starfield blends planetary exploration with space combat, resource management and RPG-style player choice.
On launch, the game received generally favourable reviews from many critics. At the time of writing, Starfield on PC currently sits at an 87 rating on Metacritic, while the Xbox version of the game has a score of 85. Videogamer.com's Tom Bardwell awarded the game 9/10 in his Starfield review, writing: "If you plan on picking up Starfield, and I strongly urge you to, take your time and embrace an unhurried pace. Peer around every corner, eavesdrop on every conversation, investigate every planet, exhaust every dialogue tree, and see through every activity and side quest to its end, however insignificant it may seem. And, once in a while, lay off the need to acquire and amass by looting and killing everything in sight to bask in the little things."
Other publications were not so positive. IGN wrote in their review, awarding the game a 7/10, "Itâs never a great sign when someone recommends a game on the grounds that it gets good after more than a dozen hours, but thatâs very much the kind of game Starfield is, and I do recommend it." Elsewhere, PC Gamer criticised the game's space travel, claiming it was too reliant on loading screens and fast travel. "Despite cruising from one end of the galaxy to the other in Starfield, I never really felt like I was going anywhere," reads their review, in which they awarded the game 75/ 100 score.
Since its launch, Starfield has polarised fans, with some claiming the game is more linear than they would have wanted. There are also a number of bugs in the game that seem to be affecting the Starfield PC in particular. These range from weird glitches to game-breaking bugs that cause the game to crash. It's thought a patch will arrive soon to help improve overall performance. Likely as a result of these issues, the User Score on Metacritic has dropped to 5.5 for the PC version of the game, while a 6.4 User Score on Metacritic is recorded for the Xbox version at the time of writing.
Since the launch of the game, the modding community has already released hundreds of Starfield mods to tackle both performance gripes and also add features including DLSS, which was not supported on launch.
Starfield is set in an area roughly 50 light-years from our Solar System called the Settled Systems. It follows the player, who starts their journey working in a mine, as they become a member of the Constellation - a group of space explorers. The game takes place 20 years after the Colony War, which saw two of the largest colonies - the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective - battle for control.
Starfield blends action and space combat with RPG elements. The player is able to explore multiple planets and moons, with a majority of their landscapes achieved through procedural generation. Each planet has unique fauna and flora, which can be mined and used by the player. Unlike No Man's Sky, which allows the player to dynamically land on a planet, in Starfield once you get close to a planet's atmosphere, you're able to select a number of landing spots. Picking one of these triggers a landing animation.
Just like other Bethesda games, such as Fallout and Skyrim, Starfield allows the player to customise their character. Everything from their appearance to their background and traits can be customised, which affects the overall experience. There are five distinct skill trees: Social, Combat, Physical, Tech and Science. Throughout the game, the player will interact with a number of NPCs and companions, some of which can join the player's crew. Each crew member has their own unique skills and abilities - and can be stationed at outposts built by the player.
Playbale through either first-person or third-person perspective, Starfield places an emphasis on combat. The player can often choose to tackle things using stealth, or lean more heaviy into the game's many weapons. Unlike Fallout, there is not VATS (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System), which allowed the player to target specific body parts. However, damage boosts are achieved by aiming at enemy weak points, usually the head.
The player can also steal, build and buy ships. These can be found at spaceports in the game world. In space combat, the player is able to disable enemy ship's engines and board them. The player can choose to steal the vessel if they have the necessary Pilot Rank or steal valuable items on board.
There have been claims Starfield does not go far enough when it comes to accessibility. As reported by Kotaku, Steve Saylor, a content creator and accessibility consultant, called the game âextremely disappointing.â âI didnât know when Todd Howard said on @KindaFunnyVids that they would have big font mode that was all they would have,â Saylor tweeted. It's hoped Bethesda will include more accessibility options in an upcoming patch. Upon release, some gamers sought refunds after realising there was an option for the player to choose pronouns for their character.