I was just as hyped as anyone else in the weeks before Starfield’s release. It was a tough position to be in, reporting on the leaks while trying everything possible to avoid spoilers, but I managed it. I was locked in from the minute it went live, and in the earliest days of the game’s lifecycle, I poured time, effort, and money into the game. That’s right – money. I enjoyed it so much that I went out a week later and bought the Constellation Edition.
But now, just one month after Starfield was released, I’ve basically forgotten about the game entirely. I completed the story and felt absolutely no drive to jump into NG+. By that point, I’d completed all the side content, too – all that was left was building outposts, playing around with ships, and scanning planets.
Where Did It All Go Wrong?
Let me preface my point with a bit of a backstory: I love Bethesda’s games. I’ve lost thousands of hours of my life to Fallout 4 – and still play it today – and I’ve logged more time than I would like to admit in Fallout 76. Back in the day, I was an absolute fiend for Skyrim, too.
So, what’s wrong with Starfield? Why have I totally lost interest in the game after just one month?
Firstly, I felt as though the game, despite being set in a universe with around 1,500 planets, didn’t have all that much to do or discover. For the most part, ‘randomised’ locations were rinse-and-repeat duplicates, and there’s only so much time you can run around scanning plants and alien creatures.
I wrapped the story up relatively quickly, completed the questlines for the factions, ticked some achievement-based boxes, and pummeled space pirates wherever I came across them, but it felt like too repetitive a loop for me to really stay engaged.
I’ve got no interest in building a resource-gathering factory in an outpost somewhere, and I don’t want to spend hours building all different kinds of ships. Also, I don’t care to mod the game – and even the official mod tools coming next year don’t interest me.
It’s sad, in a way. I went into Starfield extremely hopeful, adamant that the game was brimming at the seams with potential, and with less than 100 hours played, it has now been shelved. It failed to keep my attention for more than a couple of weeks, and by the end of that, I was offered NG+ and turned it down. I understand the concept of it and why it’s so ‘special’ in Starfield, I just don’t want to do it.
By stark contrast, I’ll happily go back and start a new run-through of Fallout 4 any day of the week – or Fallout 3, even. For games set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, they somehow manage to feel more alive than Starfield, and infinitely more engaging and replayable – even without NG+ initiatives.
Of course, it doesn’t help that there’s a solid line-up of games coming in the next couple of months to sway my attention. I’m already neck-deep in Assassin’s Creed Mirage and can say quite honestly that it – for me – is a much more worthwhile purchase than Starfield.
Perhaps I’ll revisit Starfield when the Shattered Space expansion launches next year, but until then, I don’t think I’ll even keep the game installed.