Starfield Review - Bethesda's Sci-Fi Epic Explored on Xbox Series X/S and PC

It may take some time to fully appreciate Starfield, and certain aspects might not resonate with everyone. Nevertheless, the game's strengths, includ


In the ever-expanding realm of sprawling games, Starfield shines as a standout title. Drawing on Bethesda's acclaimed gameplay from The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, Starfield thrusts players into a galaxy teeming with solar systems, planets, and spacecraft. These environments are brimming with a diverse range of activities and missions, all catering to the allure of outer space adventures. The sheer scale of content can be overwhelming at times, potentially affecting focus and pacing. Moment-to-moment gameplay may not always be its strongest suit. However, players can expect to embark on hundreds of hours of exploration in a meticulously crafted sci-fi playground, an experience well worth undertaking.

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Release Date: September 6, 2023
Rating: Mature

Your journey begins as a space miner who stumbles upon a mysterious buried artifact, leading to visions of a grand cosmic mystery. This pivotal event introduces you to a tight-knit group of explorers dedicated to unraveling this enigma. As the narrative unfolds, you'll explore a vast network of human colony worlds that have sprung up after Earth's exodus.

Starfield excels in character dialogue and storytelling, offering unique personalities and interactions at every turn. The independent storylines of various factions, corporations, and companions tap into diverse sci-fi tropes, from being hunted by formidable xenoweapon aliens to infiltrating pirate fleets or serving as a frontier lawman on the outskirts of known space. The variety of experiences keeps the gameplay fresh, especially when considering emergent opportunities like establishing mining outposts, surveying planets, decorating a home, or pursuing romances with companions.


Starfield is a game filled with endless distractions, where new missions and activities continually beckon. The most enjoyment is derived when you allow these threads to guide your journey, creating a web of interactions you can seamlessly switch between as desired. Some activities, such as exploring alien temples or taking down mercenary ships, can become repetitive if undertaken without breaks. The frequent back-and-forth between mission givers and destinations can be frustrating, even with fast travel. However, standout mission moments, such as a research lab shifting between different states of reality or a corporate espionage exchange in a dance club's back room, immerse players in Starfield's unfolding narrative.

The joy of exploration is at the heart of Starfield's success. Discovering new planets with unknown megafauna or stumbling upon a seedy dive bar in a new city is truly enthralling. The game explores both the positive and negative aspects of humanity's quest to reach further and uncover what lies just beyond reach, and these themes seamlessly integrate into the gameplay. The high-quality presentation, featuring an immaculate visual landscape and a wistful, questing musical score, further enhances the experience.

Navigating Starfield can be challenging due to its complexity, both in terms of exploring a vast star map and managing its user interface and systems. Tasks like selling excess inventory, modifying your ship, assigning crew, or reaching specific star systems may initially leave you scratching your head. The constant need to enter menus to access destinations disrupts the feeling of seamless travel. However, once you become familiar with the mechanics, it becomes a vehicle that takes you to remarkable destinations.

Ground combat is a central aspect of the game, and players are likely to spend a significant amount of time wielding various weapons, from laser rifles to old Western-style shotguns. Traversal is exhilarating thanks to jet boost packs that allow for rapid movement through environments. However, gunplay can feel stiff and mechanical, and enemy AI often exhibits questionable pathing and positioning, lacking real challenge or tension. While unleashing heavy firepower on enemy bases can be entertaining, the action itself may leave you wanting more.

Shipborne space combat is another significant element, but it often falls short of expectations. Battles tend to be either too easy, with enemies swiftly dispatched, or too difficult, with adversaries significantly outmatching you.

It may take some time to fully appreciate Starfield, and certain aspects might not resonate with everyone. Nevertheless, the game's strengths, including its captivating original science fiction universe, expansive adventures, and interconnected stories, far outweigh any shortcomings. Approach it with the expectation of a learning curve in such a vast gameplay space, and you'll find a universe well worth
exploring.

In the ever-expanding realm of sprawling games, Starfield shines as a standout title. Drawing on Bethesda's acclaimed gameplay from The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, Starfield thrusts players into a galaxy teeming with solar systems, planets, and spacecraft. These environments are brimming with a diverse range of activities and missions, all catering to the allure of outer space adventures. The sheer scale of content can be overwhelming at times, potentially affecting focus and pacing. Moment-to-moment gameplay may not always be its strongest suit. However, players can expect to embark on hundreds of hours of exploration in a meticulously crafted sci-fi playground, an experience well worth undertaking.

A Cosmic Mystery Unveiled
Your journey begins as a space miner who stumbles upon a mysterious buried artifact, leading to visions of a grand cosmic mystery. This pivotal event introduces you to a tight-knit group of explorers dedicated to unraveling this enigma. As the narrative unfolds, you'll explore a vast network of human colony worlds that have sprung up after Earth's exodus.

Compelling Character Development
Starfield excels in character dialogue and storytelling, offering unique personalities and interactions at every turn. The independent storylines of various factions, corporations, and companions tap into diverse sci-fi tropes, from being hunted by formidable xenoweapon aliens to infiltrating pirate fleets or serving as a frontier lawman on the outskirts of known space. The variety of experiences keeps the gameplay fresh, especially when considering emergent opportunities like establishing mining outposts, surveying planets, decorating a home, or pursuing romances with companions.

Endless Distractions
Starfield is a game filled with endless distractions, where new missions and activities continually beckon. The most enjoyment is derived when you allow these threads to guide your journey, creating a web of interactions you can seamlessly switch between as desired. Some activities, such as exploring alien temples or taking down mercenary ships, can become repetitive if undertaken without breaks. The frequent back-and-forth between mission givers and destinations can be frustrating, even with fast travel. However, standout mission moments, such as a research lab shifting between different states of reality or a corporate espionage exchange in a dance club's back room, immerse players in Starfield's unfolding narrative.

The Joy of Exploration
The joy of exploration is at the heart of Starfield's success. Discovering new planets with unknown megafauna or stumbling upon a seedy dive bar in a new city is truly enthralling. The game explores both the positive and negative aspects of humanity's quest to reach further and uncover what lies just beyond reach, and these themes seamlessly integrate into the gameplay. The high-quality presentation, featuring an immaculate visual landscape and a wistful, questing musical score, further enhances the experience.

Navigational Challenges
Navigating Starfield can be challenging due to its complexity, both in terms of exploring a vast star map and managing its user interface and systems. Tasks like selling excess inventory, modifying your ship, assigning crew, or reaching specific star systems may initially leave you scratching your head. The constant need to enter menus to access destinations disrupts the feeling of seamless travel. However, once you become familiar with the mechanics, it becomes a vehicle that takes you to remarkable destinations.

Combat and Challenges
Ground combat is a central aspect of the game, and players are likely to spend a significant amount of time wielding various weapons, from laser rifles to old Western-style shotguns. Traversal is exhilarating thanks to jet boost packs that allow for rapid movement through environments. However, gunplay can feel stiff and mechanical, and enemy AI often exhibits questionable pathing and positioning, lacking real challenge or tension. While unleashing heavy firepower on enemy bases can be entertaining, the action itself may leave you wanting more.

Space Battles and Beyond
Shipborne space combat is another significant element, but it often falls short of expectations. Battles tend to be either too easy, with enemies swiftly dispatched, or too difficult, with adversaries significantly outmatching you.

It may take some time to fully appreciate Starfield, and certain aspects might not resonate with everyone. Nevertheless, the game's strengths, including its captivating original science fiction universe, expansive adventures, and interconnected stories, far outweigh any shortcomings. Approach it with the expectation of a learning curve in such a vast gameplay space, and you'll find a universe well worth exploring. Starfield invites players to embark on a sci-fi journey filled with wonder, mysteries, and the vastness of space, offering an experience that will leave a lasting impression.
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