Xbox and Bethesda finally brought us first gameplay and look at one of the most anticipated game announcements of this year in the form of Starfield. The Starfield gameplay included lots of different environments and planets which you could visit.
It has been revealed by Bethesda that the planets and worlds we see are not just backdrops they are part of the game. There are more than 100 systems and 1000 planets that you can visit in Starfield with each having its environment and setting. On paper, though it seems like a great concept and opens new doors to the open-world genre, realistically things can go seriously downhill.
Todd Howard, producer at Bethesda Studio in an interview in 2018 stated that:
“We’ve been talking about [Starfield] for a decade, we started putting things on paper five, six years ago, and active development was from when we finished Fallout 4, so two and a half, three years. [For Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield] everyone should be very patient. It’s gonna take a while for what we have in mind to come out.
Yes, 14 years of planning is a long time for a game, but the actual active development begins around 6 years back. This draws the question as to what we can expect from the game. In comparison, Red Dead Redemption 2, which is the epitome of open-world took 8 years of development.
Skyrim was another title developed by Bethesda that had quite a massive scope and took 6 years to make. Although the game had its glitches and bugs, the reason gamers are still playing Skyrim 10 years later is because of the shared experiences, not because of the ten years’ worth of material or the numerous re-releases. You hear about someone discovering a specific NPC or finishing a mission in a specific method, and you want to do the same thing in your own game.
That however doesn’t seem to be the case with Starfield as 1000 planets are too overkill. There is hardly any way you can make every planet interesting without it feeling generic and linear. The story and characterization could be sacrificed in the cause of scope and the marketing-friendly 1,000 worlds claim, or many hundred of these planets are entirely devoid of anything intriguing and were merely put in to round out the figure.
No Man’s Sky is another game to which Starfield is being compared. If we pull the gameplay footage from both the game and play them side-by-side you will see a lot of similarities. BUT, No Man’s Sky at its launch wasn’t what everyone expected it to be.
Most of the worlds looked generic and empty. And most of them did not even deliver the promised exploration. Also, the gameplay aspects weren’t polished. It was, however, later updated and looked like a brand new game with great gameplay.
It is possible that Bethesda might have done their proper homework and the game turns out to be perfect. But for a game that has such a huge scope and took only 6 years of development, it sure seems a bit unrealistic, until unless they decided to with procedural generation; where, each planet, creature, ship and other items are created procedurally using algorithms in the game itself, rendering diversity through each item created.
Starfield will hit the markets in early 2023 as per Xbox Game Pass login page and will be available on the Xbox Game Pass from Day One. We really hope that Bethesda has done its proper research and can pleasantly surprise everyone instead of the game being a catastrophe. Even if there are problems at launch, Bethesda could take a page out of No Man’s Sky’s book and later update it to be its best version.
What are your opinions on Starfield? Do you think it’s the right move by Bethesda? Let us know your thoughts.
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Abdullah is an avid gamer who primarily plays single-player titles. If you can’t find him anywhere, he’ll probably be at his desk playing The Witcher 3 for the millionth time. When he isn’t playing games, he’s either reading or writing about them.