2023’s most anticipated game is finally here, with a lot to like

Starfield launch day

2023 has been a huge year for video games. From The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to Baldur’s Gate 3, the high level of quality has been astounding. Today, Starfield, the sci-fi RPG epic from Bethesda Game Studios – well known for The Elder Scrolls series and recent Fallout games – takes flight.

Other than the fact that it’s another huge RPG to sink dozens of hours into, Starfield is the first new IP from Bethesda Game Studios in over 25 years. Exclusive to PC and Xbox Series X and S consoles, the game offers interplanetary action of a scale rarely seen in video games. Here’s how the developers describe the game:

“In this next generation role-playing game set amongst the stars, create any character you want and explore with unparalleled freedom as you embark on an epic journey to answer humanity’s greatest mystery.”

Bethesda Game Studios

What the reviews say about Starfield

The general consensus about Starfield is that it’s a massive game filled with plenty of quests to take on in addition to lots of customisation to personalise your experience. It currently sits on a strong aggregated rating of 86 on Metacritic for the Xbox version, with the PC version sitting on a slightly higher 88. Depending on what you look for in a game, your mileage may vary, as while there’s a lot of content, some reviewers found the experience to be a little shallow.

In a four-star review on GamesHub, Edmond Tran praised many of Starfield’s elements, including its visual design and combat. However, there were some aspects, like the limited space travel system, that rang hollow.

“It’s the static and mechanical elements of Starfield that shine the brightest – the art, the environments, the combat systems,” Tran wrote. “They make up the strong foundations of a playset with a very intriguing scenario. But you need to mentally meet Starfield partway to complete its vision of a vast, living universe. You need to stretch out the expanse and envision the journey.”

In a more critical review, Michael Higham awarded Starfield seven out of 10 on GameSpot. Although he liked much of the gameplay experience, frustrations such as shallow RPG elements and a poor in-game navigation system made it feel “a mile wide and an inch deep”.

Filled with praise for Starfield, Jess Zammit’s review for Player2 suggested that more than 50 hours of play barely scratched the surface of what the game offered.

“Starfield is a mammoth game, a mammoth achievement, and a feat of environmental storytelling, and it revels in propelling you towards the unknown and encouraging you to explore,” Zammit wrote.

Undoubtedly, Starfield is a huge game. Even if it doesn’t completely stick the landing on all facets, it’ll prove to be a big hit much like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout games before it. You can play it now on PC plus Xbox Series X and S consoles, with Xbox Game Pass subscribers able to access Starfield as part of the service.

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