- Starfield’s gameplay mechanics feel familiar and outdated, making some see it as a retreat into safe territory for Bethesda.
- Multiple expansions like Skyrim seem unlikely for Starfield due to longer development times in the current gaming landscape. With the wider gaming industry often going the route of one big DLC, it would make sense if Starfield followed suit.
- Starfield’s future may not resemble Skyrim’s enduring success, as the game’s legacy is stunted and DLC might not have the desired effect of reputation revival.
Starfield was an ambitious venture for developer, Bethesda, but in other ways, it felt like a retreat into safety. On one hand, giving players hundreds of planets to explore on their own ship was something new instead of the open-world format of The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. Still, its gameplay mechanics felt instantly familiar and outdated.
This wasn’t a fate that Skyrim seemed to suffer, as people were constantly satisfied by what that game provided. Multiple major DLC packs were released to help justify all that exploration long after the game first hit shelves, but while that strategy worked in 2011, Starfield might need to neglect the idea of several new expansions, instead focusing on Shattered Space, the one confirmed piece of DLC content for the new Bethesda title.
The Elder Scrolls 6’s Early Announcement Might Be a Blessing in Disguise After Starfield
Bethesda’s decision to announce The Edler Scrolls 6 and Starfield in the same year may pay off dividends when TES6 eventually releases.
Skyrim’s Stopping Power is Unmatched
Bethesda was at the top of its game in 2011, coming off the back of the successful Fallout 3 a few years before. Skyrim is one of the biggest touchstones of the RPG genre to date, resetting the bar that only a handful of titles, even today, have managed to clear. It’s still providing new experiences today as players use mods to constantly make the game feel fresh. Though an abundance of new versions on almost every platform available have made the game overbearing to some fans, others appreciate how relevant Bethesda has kept Skyrim.
The game’s success was obvious in its opening few weeks on the market, and the three DLC expansions, Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn brought new content to a single-player game that people are still playing today. Starfield is in an altogether different situation 12 years later, so it wouldn’t be wise to assume that it’ll follow in the footsteps of Skyrim simply because it shares the same developer.
DLC’s Place in Gaming is Different in 2023
When Skyrim launched in 2011, DLC was commonplace, and was one of the few ways developers could add to a game post-release. Now, in-game purchases, live-service offerings, and half-sequels are the primary methods of prolonging a title or reusing a gameplay loop. As such, the conventional DLC expansion in the same vein as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dragonborn, for example, might not be necessary or even all that desired in 2023.
Multiple expansions to Skyrim released within six months of each other, which is something that simply isn’t viable in the current iteration of gaming where development time is significantly longer. Starfield receiving more downloadable content isn’t unrealistic, as going to new planets with different cultural norms to acquire unique weapons and clothing would have some appeal, but the game is more likely to follow the likes of Horizon Forbidden West or Cyberpunk 2077 with a single expansion rather than multiple.
Starfield Has a Lot Riding on its Only Confirmed DLC
Shattered Space is being billed as the ‘first’ piece of downloadable content for Starfield, which implies there will be more to come, but a single, well-executed expansion rather than a few throw-away ones would surely be preferable for fans, as working on multiple big additions could push back the development of The Elder Scrolls 6, which fans have been anticipating since it was revealed almost five years ago.
Starfield’s Legacy is Stunted
Starfield was one of the most anticipated games not just of 2023, but the decade. Bethesda releases a new RPG once in a blue moon, so expectations were high. Sadly, for many it didn’t reach those heights, as the recent reviews on Steam are ‘Mostly Negative.’ Bethesda plans to update Starfield every few weeks, starting in February 2024, but most of the work is likely to be spent fixing, tweaking, and improving the game as it currently exists, so new content akin to Skyrim feels like a far-away possibility.
Starfield receiving more downloadable content isn’t unrealistic…but it’s more likely to follow the likes of Horizon Forbidden West or Cyberpunk 2077 with a single expansion rather than multiple.
Starfield‘s good grace among gamers seems to be dwindling, and though DLC might be a viable way to bring people back and nurture a possible reputation revival (much like Cyberpunk 2077 did with Phantom Liberty), it could also have the opposite effect. Starfield has the potential for more, but it’s hard to imagine that its future will look like Skyrim‘s given how things have changed over the years and how divisive the game seems to be. While Skyrim was beloved as soon as it released, justifying plenty of DLC, Starfield has not been as widely celebrated.
- 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)