Over the last fortnight, I’ve had the distinction of being one of the brave many to first set foot into Starfield, the first new universe from the team at Bethesda Game Studios in more than two decades.
We put the call out on social media, asking you for your questions about the game, which is undoubtedly one of the year’s most anticipated.
@hash_braun asks “Can you romance the robot?”
I’ve seen a lot of flirtatious rizz-lord dialogue options pop up for the likes of Sarah and Barrett in my time, unfortunately I didn’t see any for Vasco. So if you’re asking if you can get your fingers rusty? Don’t think so.
@ItsZimmers asks “Can we hear you scream in space?”
Like any big blockbuster space epic, Starfield has plenty of scientifically questionable noises exploding within space’s vacuum.
And I can confirm my death rattle was heard more than a few times.
@reptilescorpio asks “How big is your inventory? Is it annoying to juggle while exploring?”
Like any Bethesda game, your pack size is variable depending on your suit, perks, and upgrades.
I struggled with being over-encumbered for a bit, though I eventually realised it was due to me carrying heavy ship parts which are meant to be stored in my ship’s cargo hold.
@shannongrixti asks “Can you pat the galactic dog or any other foreign creatures for that matter?”
Not that I’ve discovered just yet, there are few of a planet’s fauna that have “patted” me into the next suburb, however.
@ChrisLMiddleton asks “What’s the star to field ratio?”
Plenty of stars, but a lot of field, too.
@optimarse asks “How does the on planet travel feel? Do we really need to return to space to travel to a different part of the planet?”
It feels like running endlessly across the least populated parts of Fallout’s wastelands. When the planet you’re on isn’t rich with resources and other flora and fauna, and it’s rocks as far as the eye can see, the want for another mode of transport creeps in.
On the flip side, there’s something profoundly beautiful about looking up and seeing the stars and being the only soul for a million miles.
As for travelling to different points on a planet’s surface, I’d definitely advise returning to orbit. There’s nothing to the loading and being up there makes it easier to spot objectives and points of interest on the surface.
@ashleyhobley asks “How’s the start menu?”
I like it, it’s elegant and sells the magnitude of space.
@blackwyvere asks “How repetitive are the planets?”
I’d say it’s definitely evident which planets are formed within the procedural generation algorithm, though I’d say there’s still a nice enough mix of flora and fauna, as well as other resources to farm, that it still feels inherently adventurous.
@blackwyvere asks “Does the game feel bloated or just right when playing the main questline?”
Although the pressures of trying to turn out a review on a Bethesda title led me to mainline the main questline, which I wouldn’t necessarily say is the best way to absorb the world at large, I definitely don’t feel as though it felt bloated at all.
As is often the case, there’s plenty to see and do, and much of that comes from discovering things along the way.
@Zinzanchan asks “Simple yes, or no. Are there more significant locations present in the game that haven’t been revealed yet?”
@Jems057 asks “When flying in space, can you get up from the helm and walk around to do ship stuff? Does this leave you open to piracy, in your experience?”
You most certainly can hop up from your captain’s seat to pop to the loo or check the cargo hold.
In my experience it hasn’t left me more open to piracy, though.
@QuinstaTV asks “Does the world feel alive or alone and empty?”
Well, it can be both. Space is big, and I believe Starfield captures that enormity well enough.
Parts of the Settled Systems are densely populated, others are not, but they’re equally explorable.
@inkedELCHAPO asks “Interplanetary travel, is it a thing? Can you fly from one planet to another in space?”
I mean, you could. Unlike Elite Dangerous, which features a freer drop-in and drop-out form of warp drive, Starfield’s provides point-to-point transit.
So if you’re opting not to system hop and fly there, which in theory is possible but I wouldn’t dare test it myself, look up how far just one light second is.
@JustACyberLad asks “Is there HOTAS support?”
Historically, Bethesda games haven’t provided support for HOTAS, though with what’ll no doubt be an impassioned modding community for PC, I wouldn’t rule out it appearing in future in a more unofficial sense.
@WhiteWolf496 asks “Performance and bugs?”
I played on console and found the performance to be great. It’s a Bethesda game so there are a few bugs.
These are more of the visual variety. There’s been nothing remotely game-breaking in my experience, and I had several impossible-to-finish quests in Skyrim that had simply bugged out. So I’d argue Starfield is their most polished and stable game yet.
@Tyrone_9085 asks “Can you get the Adoring Fan trait and the Parents trait, combine the two and leave them at your parents’ house?”
You’re a sick puppy.
Fortunately, I got the time to test this on a subsequent run and absolutely you’re able to leave your swimfan at your parents’ apartment in the residential tower on New Atlantis.
It doesn’t spawn any dialogue or trigger anything, but he’ll stay put.
@WinchesterSawan asks “How’s the performance on Xbox Series X? And what does Crew mean from the main menu?”
The performance on Xbox Series X is pretty solid, truth be told.
As I mentioned earlier, although loads between zones, planets, and systems do exist they’re pretty brief. Plus outside of a few teething issues when landing on more populated planets where the frames might chop up a bit, things held together rather well.
Crew is just a fancy term for credits!
@BozoHere69 asks “How would you compare this with the Fallout series?”
I’d compare them with relative ease, it’s very much a Bethesda game through and through and that obviously means it holds some striking similarities to the other franchises in The Elder Scrolls and Fallout.
Obviously, the sci-fi themes and space setting set it apart.
Kristoffer Barton asks “Any bugs?”
Yeah, a few. Mostly visual.
Lachlan Robertson asks “Can you name your custom starship?”
If you can, I couldn’t find an option to do so.
Craig Lind asks “Is it just Skyrim in space?”
You say that like it’s not what the people want, Craig.
In a lot of ways, yes. Starfield is very much a Bethesda-made roleplaying game set in space, for all the good and bad that implies.
Mark Timbs asks “Is it good enough to sell Xbox hardware?”
While the easy answer would be yes, another commenter made a salient point.
It hasn’t been Microsoft’s goal to move hardware for some time. What this game is though, is a phenomenal excuse to subscribe to Game Pass.
Dan Meyers asks “How far into the game do you become a Dragonborn?”
Shannon McKernan asks “Is there an overwhelming amount of icons on the map?”
Not really, Starfield doesn’t necessarily deal with exploration in that same “how many times can I get lured from the beaten path by a cave icon?” way that The Elder Scrolls did.
There are icons, but they’re not quite as plentiful or, and this might be contentious, meaningful as they were in their smaller games—which is an insane way to describe Fallout.
Vu Phan asks “What does the main storyline entail?”
You give your black lung-ridden mining gig the flick when you see flashes of light and music after touching a mysterious slab of unquantifiable space rock and are welcomed into Constellation, a spacefaring group set on unmasking the universe’s most baffling anomalies.