I've never bounced harder off a Bethesda game than Starfield — and the Steam data shows I'm not alone

Oct 22, 2023
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I've enjoyed bethesda games for decades. But I haven't bought SF yet, nor had I intended to. The long delays, the ever-changing start date, the hype piled on hype, to me, meant what I expected to happen exactly happened: there was no way the game, at onset, could live up to the promises. My intention, with this game, was to wait for the inevitable patches (from the current alpha testing), for the clever modders to build the game AND for the price to drop. Almost seems like we've been here before (*cough-cough* NMS), huge hype, "you MUST prepay to be first in line - in case the digital copies run out? - then reality. I waited then too, to finally buy a cheaper, better game.

SF will and must get better. Even then, to attract new buyers like me, they will lower the price. It's not like we all have nothing left in our libraries. I've got several games to finish and even a few I haven't started while I wait.

I hope people can learn a lesson here. Mainly, what is the point of prepaying for something that is only promises. Even kickstarter has a functioning product. Are there others like me who have decided to wait?

I will buy the game as I know it will get better - you gotta fill the collection, but I will only fill it at the right quality and at a reasonable price.
 
Oct 23, 2023
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I've enjoyed bethesda games for decades. But I haven't bought SF yet, nor had I intended to. The long delays, the ever-changing start date, the hype piled on hype, to me, meant what I expected to happen exactly happened: there was no way the game, at onset, could live up to the promises. My intention, with this game, was to wait for the inevitable patches (from the current alpha testing), for the clever modders to build the game AND for the price to drop. Almost seems like we've been here before (*cough-cough* NMS), huge hype, "you MUST prepay to be first in line - in case the digital copies run out? - then reality. I waited then too, to finally buy a cheaper, better game.

SF will and must get better. Even then, to attract new buyers like me, they will lower the price. It's not like we all have nothing left in our libraries. I've got several games to finish and even a few I haven't started while I wait.

I hope people can learn a lesson here. Mainly, what is the point of prepaying for something that is only promises. Even kickstarter has a functioning product. Are there others like me who have decided to wait?

I will buy the game as I know it will get better - you gotta fill the collection, but I will only fill it at the right quality and at a reasonable price.
The hype around Starfield has been pretty much on par with every other TES/FO game that Bethesda's put out since Morrowind. If you've played the games for decades and didn't notice the hype machine around those releases, you weren't paying attention.

But Morrowind when it came out? Buggy mess. Oblivion? Buggy mess. Skyrim? I think you get where I'm going. Hell, SF is the most polished launch game that Bethesda has ever released, it just not that good of a game (I'd argue the same of every vanilla game release in the TES/FO series too).

The reason I dropped off is MS "giving" me the game for free through Game Pass and then locking down the game files so that I can't enjoy the game via the modding community since the scripting add-ons don't work with it. I know it's the same for the other Bethesda releases through Game Pass, but I only found that out after starting SF.

Not to mention the performance isn't great. Currently trying to help my friend get better than 50fps at 1080p with a 5800X/RX 6750 combo while settings are low or medium.
 
Oct 22, 2023
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Good summary of the current gaming world.

BTW, where did you get the expression that I've "... played the games for decades and didn't notice the hype machine around those releases, you weren't paying attention..." I kinda thought what I wrote suggested the alternative.

Anyway, I didn't know game-pass nerfed their games to disallow mods. Thanks for that. I've never been enticed to get a pass and now I sure won't: modding games is the only way I'll play, for the reasons you described. Great public service.
 
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Oct 23, 2023
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Good summary of the current gaming world.

BTW, where did you get the expression that I've "... played the games for decades and didn't notice the hype machine around those releases, you weren't paying attention..." I kinda thought what I wrote suggested the alternative.

Anyway, I didn't know game-pass nerfed their games to disallow mods. Thanks for that. I've never been enticed to get a pass and now I sure won't: modding games is the only way I'll play, for the reasons you described. Great public service.
I read your inclusion of NMS without referencing prior Bethesda releases as giving a pass to their terrible release practices; so my bad if that wasn't your intent. SF at least isn't a broken mess of a game, and if you enjoy the game as it is, then it is, from my experience, very playable.

For Game Pass releases there is mod support, but mods that require scripting support, like those that use SKSE in Skyrim, won't work because of the encryption on the game files. Anything that doesn't need scripting, like (most) additional items or UI changes, will install fine.

if I ever actually want to give the game a good go, I'll probably have to raise the black sail so I can get full modding support, but my backlog is bursting at the seams (I own about 1300 PC games, so it's not like I have nothing to play, no matter what my brain tells me), so I don't really see that happening soon.
 
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Oct 22, 2023
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Thanks for the clarification about the scripting limits for GP games. With over 13 hundred PC games in your library, I suspect you've had a few experiences. Respect!
 
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Oct 23, 2023
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To each their own but in my opinion you're descriptions and takes of the game are way off. Bethesda has been making the same type of game for decades now. Starfield is not perfect but most certainly better than just good. If you liked Fallout 4 you'll love Starfield, they've streamlined and refined the games mechanics and the experience more cohesive than it's predecessors by far for sure. Take into account that we live in the patch/update age(Cyberpunk, No Man's Sky) Starfield has the potential to be the GTA of it's genre. Imagine Starfield having online mission co-op? How about if Starfield borrowed from Destiny 2's seamless join mission option? It's not a online game now but it could be. Getting back to the game's current state the addition of a land rover like Mass Effect's would be a welcomed along with other tweaks , with patches and updates the stars are the limit. 😁 To point towards the games falling off of players as if the game is a let down is very misleading. Most gamers have back logs of games they're trying to start and or finish myself included (Calisito, Jedi Survivor, Phantom Liberty) have you considered that fact and take it into account when forming your opinion? Starfield is a great game that you don't like but to write an article about the game that could dissuade others from even trying Starfield is a shame.
 
Oct 23, 2023
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Lets see... reviewer barely put in enough time to finish a single quest? Check. One of the things they complain about is not the game itself, but how hard it is to exploit a bug that isnt even part of the game? Check. Basing opinion on Steam stats when most players are on XBox? Check.

These reviews could be cut/pasted from Skyrim launch. Which as we all know turned out to be one of the longest lasting games of all time. Starfield is very likely to surpass it. It's a fantastic game, if you actually play it a bit. On the other hand if open world RPGs aren't your cup of tea, you won't like it. It's not a shooter. It is Fallout in Space. <EOF>
 
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Oct 23, 2023
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Typical review from a generation with the attention span of a gnat. This game is awesome, sounds like you haven't played it enough. This is a Bethesda game through and through. There will be console mods and add-ons in the future. Speaking of console, you just totally disregarded console players. PC Steam players is not an overall indication of popularity.
 
Jun 18, 2023
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How are people writing reviews at only a dozen hours in????

I don't even game anymore other than occasionally and I've got 90 hours in the game and still haven't bothered to get more than one special power, or complete an outpost and I still have so many quests and things to do.

The ship building is great, except that they don't use standard camera view controls for modeling programs so it's clunky as heck to build a ship, yet there is an entire reddit just showing off insane ship builds.

Just walking by random people in the game adds quests that you can do and some of them are crazy.

I still haven't visited half the planets, plus after you finish the game there's basically a whole nother game experience with multiple different paths based on how you played the first play through.

People also forget that those numbers aren't really a demonstration of the game, but more a demonstration of the players. Some are still deep in other games and only popped in for a bit too check it out for a dozen hours. Some are reviewers and YouTube people that make content and aren't consistently logging into the same game every day. It's almost like half the Internet that games, streams and plays games based on what looks good in their stream. A single player space exploration with expansive worlds isn't super fun to watch as a third person...
 
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Oct 23, 2023
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This article completely missed the mark on why Bethesda games have such ridiculous staying power. Once the modding community matures for Starfield the concurrent player count will rise and stabilize. Bethesda doesn't need to provide long term support. Historically their first party DLC were sub par to average at best. All they need to do is release the Creation Kit for Starfield and the modders will take over for them.
 
Oct 23, 2023
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I think a lot of it is because of major, game-breaking bugs. A lot of people I know played a ton, but had to stop because of the frustration of bugs such as your entire apartment disappearing, performance/crashing becoming unbearable on a specific character (only fixed by starting all over again), or major quests coming to a halt.

But I see a great game in Starfield, it just needs a lot of work. It's not ready.
 
Oct 24, 2023
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Tbh, I don’t feel that “a dozen or so hours” is sufficient time in game to really appreciate it. I believe my character (first playthrough) just hit the 3 day mark.

They could’ve certainly done better in filling the galaxy with things to make it feel more alive, though the game’s cities do feel lively and have some great things about them.

I’m now nearly certain that Starfield is probably a 7 or 8 out of 10. It plays well, the complex mechanics were surprisingly easy to adjust to, and I’m addicted to the starship building and space combat.

Edit: also, I feel like I’d probably have a different opinion if I were playing it on PC instead of XSX. I’ve heard there are more performance issues and glitches on PC.
 
Oct 27, 2023
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It amazes me the amount of fanbois in the comments that defend incomplete, boring, buggy messes just because they can't take off their nostalgia googles for the half hour it takes to realize just like D4 this game is a minimum viable product that does not even compare to any of its competitors in the space. Demand more from releases instead of letting a multi billion dollar company rely on free labor, sorry I mean modders to fix their product.

Before you say but but No Man's Sky has years of updates. That was a studios first game. Bethesda has all of their experience and Microsoft to pull from and yet still managed to release with all of the same issues and problems. Not just that a fledgling studio made. But even the ones unique to every single Bethesda release.