- The Elder Scrolls 6 should prioritize hand-crafted content and a smaller scale to avoid the issues faced by Starfield.
- Starfield’s ambition with over 1,000 planets resulted in empty and unrewarding gameplay, highlighting the importance of quality over quantity.
- The Elder Scrolls 6 should stick to a smaller scope and deliver a rich and unique experience to regain players’ trust and meet fans’ expectations.
Way before it was ready for release, Starfield was already the talk of the town in various ways, such as it being Bethesda’s first new IP in a long time or how it was supposed to deliver what many fans expected from Xbox after a shallow few years of first-party releases, and The Elder Scrolls 6 will likely go through something similar when the time is right. While they are very different games, The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield will probably share a lot of DNA given that they are both Bethesda RPGs with a penchant for exploration and immersive storytelling. However, if there is something that Starfield‘s issues highlight, is that TES 6 shouldn’t have the same ambition.
Shooting for the stars seemed like the obvious play for Starfield, as it didn’t have the same level of anticipation as other longstanding Bethesda series to back it, but it didn’t pay back as much as its developer would have liked. An enormous gaming effort to make and to fully explore, Starfield tried to be true to its title by including over a thousand planets and ten times as many options for players to build their characters or ships. Starfield is and was conceived as a game of ambition, but that is not what The Elder Scrolls 6 needs – not on the same level as Bethesda’s new space exploration IP.
There’s One Release Date The Elder Scrolls 6 Should Steer Clear Of
While it is still unclear when the long-awaited The Elder Scrolls 6 will launch, there’s one release date that Bethesda should avoid at all costs.
The Elder Scrolls 6 Should Prioritize Hand-Crafted Content, Smaller Scale
Why TES 6 Can’t Afford to be Like Starfield
The Elder Scrolls 6 suffers from one big issue, and that is to be Skyrim‘s sequel. This can be a problem because Skyrim was one of the most successful games ever made, with a plethora of different ports and editions as well as near-endless community mods, and it is still being played today, after over 12 years. TES 6 runs the risk of looking at that kind of success and trying to go above and beyond, but Starfield showed that this is not always the best choice.
Starfield‘s 1,000+ planets can be seen as a boon at first glance, but they were mostly empty and simply not engaging or rewarding, which is a huge downside for a game based on exploration. In this type of game, exploration should be given the appropriate weight when it comes to players’ decision-making, in the sense that allowing gamers to freely take any path they wish within the game should always give their session meaning – be it loot at the end of a dungeon, a secret quest found toward the edges of the map, or something of the sort. This is more important than ever after Starfield‘s reviews plummeted on Steam, and Bethesda needs a big win.
The Elder Scrolls 6 should be an ambitious title, but Bethesda shouldn’t mistake quantity for quality. If Starfield had one-fourth of its planets but each of them was rich and unique, then it would have been a lot more impactful than it was – and this is a big lesson for TES 6 to learn.
The Elder Scrolls 6 Should be Smaller to Deliver on Every Front
The Elder Scrolls 6‘s release may be years away, with it likely being closer to 2030 than fans would like, but this doesn’t mean it can’t use that time to evolve the Bethesda formula. If TES 6 has the same open-world setting as Starfield, then it shouldn’t be adding procedurally-generated dungeons or expanding beyond its titular region (or regions), but rather it should stick to a smaller scope. TES 6 should be a hand-crafted experience through and through, and that would make for the best possible approach from Bethesda after the Starfield debacle so that Xbox can regain players’ trust.
In a similar fashion, Avowed is reportedly smaller than Skyrim, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Even if The Elder Scrolls 6 ends up being on the smaller end, it could still flourish with tons of in-game activities and content to explore. A small map is not a death sentence in the gaming industry, especially in a lore-rich franchise like The Elder Scrolls, where the region can expand underground as much as the skies. TES 6 can’t afford the risk of not delivering on fans’ expectations, and for that reason, it’s much safer to stick to a smaller-scale project.