Starfield: Why It Fell Short of the Hype


Cyberpunk 2077 City

Spoiled by Better Worlds: Why ‘Starfield’ Just Isn’t Clicking

The Promise and Disillusionment

The Starfield hype-loop promised much – I was jacked into that vision of bleeding-edge Bethesda open worlds unfurling across the final frontier. The first few hours delivered that digital tourist spark, bouncing from one shiny celestial object to another. But as the chrome glaze wore off, I realized the matrix itself was flat as a credit chip. Sure, the bugs didn’t help, but it goes deeper than that – a hollowness beneath the meticulously modeled planets.

Night City as Contrast

Remember that first crawl through Night City? Each back alley a potential micro-narrative, raw electricity seeping from its neon seams. In contrast, Starfield’s sprawling worlds feel more like meticulously arranged set pieces. Even the settlements have an artificial quality, as if populated by malfunctioning animatronics waiting to spit out the next routine task. Interactions have all the bite of a synth-protein bar. Where Cyberpunk gave even its low-level grunts a flicker of ambition or desperation in their chrome eyes, Starfield’s NPCs feel like poorly coded vending machines regurgitating bland dialogue prompts.

Action Falls Flat

Even the spaceship action lacks punch. After witnessing the cinematic clash of god-sized Eikons in FFXVI, Starfield’s dogfights, even with all the lasers and upgrades, have the intensity of an office supply inventory spreadsheet. There’s a sense that all the eye-candy is just window dressing, masking the void underneath.

Echoes of Bethesda’s Past

Bethesda used to have a saving grace – that quirky, sim-like soul lurking beneath the technical jank. Back in Skyrim, even the caves whispered with weird stories, promising loot or lore. Starfield has faint echoes of that, but it’s missing the vibrant pulse, the spark that drew you into those older worlds and made them feel, if not precisely alive, then brimming with potential.

Modding Hope & Existential Questions

Part of me clings to the fading hope that mods will eventually fix what the devs didn’t, breathe life into the bland environments and mechanical dialogue. Maybe in this patched-up, expanded form, many months down the line, I’ll revisit and find something resembling a truly ‘next-gen’ world. But in the meantime, here’s the question that lingers: Can purely open-world exploration survive? Can endless planets and fetch quests sustain an experience, or does the genre desperately need a narrative and gameplay evolution? We might be at a crossroads where dazzling vistas alone aren’t enough. Maybe Starfield’s core lack of personality marks a deeper malaise, a sign that all the polish and promise in the world can’t save a game with a busted soul.