- Starfield’s lack of large-scale worldbuilding makes it feel smaller compared to past Bethesda titles, resulting in a disconnect between the different worlds in the game.
- The ability to scrap items is missing in Starfield.
Starfield may have been Bethesda’s most ambitious title yet, as it went beyond the franchises it is known for — namely Fallout and The Elder Scrolls — to explore the reaches of space in a seemingly endless universe full of over 1,000 planets to discover. However, its ambition certainly paid off, as fans and critics have repeatedly acknowledged their appreciation for Starfield, regardless of any criticism the game has received.
Although Starfield brings plenty of fresh features to Bethesda’s iconic formula, there are several key characteristics of a Bethesda game that the Sci-Fi RPG lacks. Some of these might be considered unnecessary to Starfield‘s world and gameplay, but others have contributed to Bethesda’s latest title feeling a little less “Bethesda” than it could have been.
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Bethesda’s Large-Scale Worldbuilding
Despite its enormous size, Starfield can still feel quite small at times, especially in comparison to past Bethesda titles. This is primarily due to Starfield‘s lack of large-scale worldbuilding — a feature that is widely considered one of the most iconic characteristics of a Bethesda game. Although players can travel lightyears between galaxies in Starfield, every galaxy has a way of feeling like its own world, leading to an unfortunate disconnect between them.
The worlds of past Bethesda titles like The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim and Fallout 4 feel much larger than Starfield‘s, not in terms of their size but the worldbuilding and lore that characterize them. In those games, every character and story feels connected, as though everyone is fighting the same battle, even if for different reasons. As Starfield‘s worlds all feel separate from one another, despite any attempts by the story to connect them, it’s difficult to get a firm grasp on what the all-encompassing world of Starfield truly is.
The Ability to Scrap Items
One feature missing from Starfield that many Bethesda fans have consistently expressed their disappointment in is the lack of any way to scrap items. Past Bethesda titles have given players the ability to scrap items for materials that they can then use to craft or improve their weapons and armor or build a structure. Fallout 76, for example, has a unique scrapping system that allows players to learn mods by scrapping weapons and armor that have those mods equipped. In Starfield, however, players have no choice but to discard or sell their items, as there is currently no way to scrap them.
A Separate Hacking Minigame
Every Bethesda fan knows that they can expect two skills to be available in a futuristic Bethesda game: lockpicking and hacking. This is primarily true of the Fallout series, as players are allowed to pick the locks on doors and safes and hack terminals. However, although Starfield is indeed a futuristic game, lockpicking and hacking are essentially the same thing. In Starfield, players use Digipicks to pick locks on doors and containers by completing a unique minigame. Unfortunately, they are required to complete the same minigame when unlocking computers, leading some fans to question Bethesda’s intentions in not including a separate hacking minigame.
More Lootable Containers/Better Loot
In any Bethesda game, players can loot just about anything from dinner forks and weapons to the very clothes on an NPC’s back. This remains true in Starfield, but there is simultaneously a disappointing lack of lootable containers. Past Bethesda games have made just about any sort of container lootable, like desks, cabinets, dressers, and more. Starfield, on the other hand, only includes a handful of lootable containers, resulting in somewhat less-rewarding exploration.
Bethesda is undoubtedly known for its unique role-playing experiences, and despite what it lacks, Starfield will likely be remembered as such. Still, fans might have been pleased to see more of Bethesda’s signature on Starfield‘s world and gameplay. Perhaps Bethesda will take note of this and update Starfield to include these features in a future patch, but that remains to be seen.
- September 6, 2023
- M For Mature 17+ Due To Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Drugs, Strong Language, Violence
- How Long To Beat
- 20 Hours
- X|S Enhanced
- File Size Xbox Series
- 101 GB (November 2023)