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STARFIELD: The 20-Hour Conundrum

Video games have evolved quite a lot in their relatively short lifespan. I remember my dad telling me stories of how he went to Butando’s Pizza in Toronto, and played Pac-Man for several hours when he was young. For him Pac-Man was the pinnacle of video games. It is honestly amazing that we went from basic games like Pac-Man and Pong, to games in virtual reality and simulations  that are as close to real-life as we can get. Not only are these games getting more realistic, but they are also getting much longer, and are getting more expensive as well.

The reason I bring this up is because there’s a certain game that came out recently that you may have heard of called Starfield. For those that do not know, Starfield is the latest game from a company you might have heard of called Bethesda. The game is a sprawling Space-Travel RPG. You get your own Spaceship and travel to various planets across the universe to get various resources. The game has been out for a week, and there have been many “opinions” on the game out on the internet. These opinions range from the “this game is perfect” to “this game is a glitchy mess just like all of Bethesda’s other games, TODD HOWARD BAD!!!?” All you have to do is look at the game’s Metacritic page to see what I’m talking about. My opinion is somewhere in the middle. I find that Starfield suffers from problems that effect many other triple-A games, such as taking to long to get good, but overall, it’s not a bad game.

However, these flaws make it difficult to recommend the game at full price, but if you can get it on a Steam Sale on PC, I would say you have a good time ahead of you. Now due to the evolution of video games, there are two things that have become a by-product of how video games have changed over the years. One is that games are getting much longer and require more time to complete and the other is that games are getting more expensive. These things are affecting my opinion on Starfield. It’s a huge game and as a result there are a lot of times where it feels like there’s a lull in the action and there’s not a lot happening in the game. This is something that plagues many recent triple-A games, and it’s something that has plagued Bethesda games especially.

(Seriously, the only games from Bethesda that I feel do not suffer from this problem are the new DOOM games and even then, do those count as Bethesda games if they only published it?)

Now, you may have noticed that in the title of this article I called this issue a conundrum. The reason for this is that from a narrative perspective, it makes sense that there are times where the game slows down. Honestly, I find that pop culture has skewed our perspective on Sci-Fi. Things like Star Wars and Star Trek have made it feel like there are giant Alien civilizations out there. There are probably a lot of planets out there that either have no life on it or have very limited life on it. In a way, Starfield reminds me of Hot Fuzz of all things. (Yes, the Simon Pegg movie.) What Hot Fuzz did for police procedurals, Starfield does for Sci-Fi in my eyes. It gives us a more accurate depiction of what traveling and working in space would be like.

Overall, Starfield is a game that I think suffers from being too big. There are thousands of planets for you to explore, and this might actually work towards the game’s detriment. There are not a lot of things to do on each planet as a result of there being so many planets. It probably would have worked better in a solar system rather than a whole galaxy. This is something that plagues new games in ​general as developers feel that they need to keep making games that are bigger and bigger and as a result games get harder and harder to make.

If you do buy the game on PC then there is more fun to be had as there are many mods for the game already as well. One such mod lets you use various ships from Star Wars such as Boba Fett’s ship, and that’s just a fun little thing for PC players. Another thing that many detractors have complained about are the glitches. Honestly, I am in the minority in this case because I find glitches to make a game more entertaining. If it doesn’t break my save, I do not mind the occasional glitch or hiccup. I find that it makes the game even more memorable.

Overall, I would not be able to recommend Starfield at full price to everyone I talk to. However, if you ever happen to find the game on sale, then I think you should pick it up because you’re in for a good time. I would rate the game the same as Metacritic and that would be a 7/10. It’s not the greatest game of all time, but it isn’t an egregious sin either. The most exciting part of Starfield is that now that it’s finally out, hopefully this means that we will be getting more Elder Scrolls 6 news soon. That is the game I really want from Bethesda now.

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