I’m Getting Caught in Starfield’s Classic RPG Trap, And I Love It
Since Starfield launched for early-access users on Friday, September 1st, I’ve been throwing myself headlong into the game and focusing every moment of my spare time on exploring the near-endless expanse that is the Settled Systems. I’m not sure if I’m proud to admit this, but in just two days, I’ve racked up 25 hours on the game – and in the grand scheme of things, I’ve gotten nowhere.
I’ve fallen into that classic RPG trap – particularly the kind of snare that has been present in Bethesda Game Studios’ open-world epics for many years. I’m doing everything but the main campaign, becoming ridiculously overpowered, dominating every side quest, collecting ships, surveying planets, fighting Spacers… Every except following the core story of the game.
Ask me if I care.
Starfield’s Depth is Staggering
Everywhere I turn, there’s something else to do. If I land on a planet, I feel compelled to use my hand scanner to survey every plant, creature, and location. If I see a ship land in the distance, I’m chasing it down and seeing what’s happening at its destination. Every cave or abandoned installation I find, I’m poking around it, and I’m opening every box, studying every text, and interacting with as many NPCs as I possibly can.
I’ll be frank – the miscellaneous quest-givers aren’t especially intelligent or varied. I’ve landed on several planets back-to-back and been given the exact same task with the same name from similar NPCs working in the same environment. But I don’t even baulk at that – I want to fill my time returning lost packages or hunting down AWOL members of staff, damn it.
From the side missions to the secondary quests and from exploring enormous, planet-sized environments to cataloguing data on a near-endless scale, I can see myself occupying hundreds of hours in Starfield without even sniffing the main story. I’m levelling up, I’m unlocking perks, I’m collecting and modifying ships, building outposts, forming relationships, and learning about every new feature in this all-too-fantastic game.
Why should I even need to touch the main story yet?
Last night, I was coasting through space, and a kindly old Grandma invited me aboard her ship to have dinner with her, moments later, I was jumping through systems while hot on the heels of bloodthirsty space pirates. It’s everything I dreamed it would be and more.
Have you started your Starfield journey yet, or are you waiting for the full release?