Starfield review: One giant leap

Starfield is a stunning, planet-hopping adventure with impactful characters and themes.

Bethesda Softworks
123

Starfield is Bethesda Game Studios’ first new IP in 25 years, and its first single-player RPG since Fallout 4. Since it’s also the studio’s first release under the ownership of Microsoft, it’s safe to say that there is a lot riding on this one. Fortunately, Bethesda has delivered an expansive RPG that seemingly never stops unfolding, with some of my favorite characters and story moments they’ve created.

The endless pursuit of answers

All the members of Constellation, seated and standing around a table.

Set in the 24th century, Starfield envisions a time in which the Earth could no longer sustain human life, leading humanity to evacuate the planet and find refuge among the stars. The story is set a few hundred years into the future, meaning humanity is quite scattered throughout the various star systems, but many questions about the universe remain unanswered. It parallels our own reality, as the existence of humanity is just a small blip in the Earth’s billions of years of history, and there is still so much about the universe that we simply don’t know.

Bethesda does a superb job at coloring the world in and making it feel as authentic as possible. I spent hours learning about the war between the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective, the various leaders that have already come and gone in the Space Age, and how human culture has been forced to evolve after leaving the Earth. Starfield feels like a period piece, but for an era that just hasn’t happened yet.

Before finishing the Main Quest, I dove deep into Starfield’s host of side stories. It felt like it was impossible to walk from one end of a town to the other without overhearing something that would add a new quest to my list. I would frequently lose focus on the main objective due to how fascinating most of the side stories were. I infiltrated a pirate faction on behalf of the United Colonies, explored a secret base on a remote planet, and visited the site of a historic battle in the Colony War.

The interior of the city Neon.

Source: Bethesda Software

Constellation is among the many groups and factions you’ll meet in Starfield. Crossing paths early on, this exploration group is dedicated to exploring outer space and finding answers to some of the universe’s greatest mysteries. Alongside them, you’ll go on a planet-hopping journey filled with thrills and excitement, with a few existential crises thrown in here and there. I can easily say that Starfield made me think and feel harder than any Bethesda game before it.

What really drives Starfield’s story is its cast of main characters. The members of Constellation share a common goal, but their diverse backgrounds and personalities make for refreshing dynamics, and I always had a smile on my face when I returned to our HQ and one of them had something new to share. Barrett, a jovial explorer who is clever and curious, stood out as one of my favorites. I also enjoyed peeling back the layers on characters like Sarah Morgan, a stoic woman with a military background and a haunted past. She ended up having one of the game’s best arcs.

While I found Constellation’s home of New Atlantis to be a rather unremarkable city, I quite enjoyed most of the other major locations that I visited during the Starfield campaign. Akila City and Neon in particular were two cities that were brimming with interesting stories to uncover and fascinating characters to meet.

A star is born

A ship captain sitting in the cockpit.

Source: Bethesda

Of course, your character is at the center of this journey. Creating my character, I was almost overwhelmed with the sheer amount of options. Bethesda boasted that Starfield’s character creator is their most in-depth yet, and I’d agree with that statement. Not only can you fine tune and manipulate most of your physical features, but the game’s Backgrounds and Traits offer ways to make your character narratively and mechanically unique.

For example, I chose the Bounty Hunter background, which gave me three starting Skills: Piloting, Targeting Control Systems, and Boost Pack Training. This Background also gave me a clear grasp on some of the freelance work in the Settled Systems, providing exclusive dialogue options every now and then.

Traits also factor heavily into the narrative. Thanks to the Kid Stuff trait, I was able to periodically visit my parents, and would occasionally bump into them during my adventures. I also made my character a UC (United Colonies) native, which meant I had a better understanding of the faction’s operations.

The Ballistics Skill in the skill tree.

Source: Bethesda

From here, you build your character out by acquiring skill points (you get one per level-up) and spending them in the skill tree. It’s broken into five categories: Physical, Social, Combat, Science, and Tech. Once you’ve unlocked a Skill, you’ll also gain access to a challenge that must be completed in order to upgrade it. For example, the Speech skill required me to succeed in five Speech challenges before I could upgrade it to the second level. It’s neat that the game tasks you with actually engaging in a skill in order to improve at it, instead of just letting you aimlessly dump points into whatever.

It’s worth noting that the skill tree also reworks a lot of core features in Bethesda games. You need to unlock the Pickpocketing skill just to be able to pickpocket someone. You don’t even receive a stealth bar until you take the first level in Stealth. It’s clear that Bethesda wants the character-building process to be a long journey, but be aware that it’ll be slower than what you’re used to in The Elder Scrolls or Fallout.

Spacefaring stranger

Barrett and Sarah seated on a ship.

As someone who was pretty lukewarm on the shooting in Fallout, I went into Starfield a bit cautious about how central firearms were to combat. I’m happy to report that Bethesda has shown some excellent growth in this department, as the shooting felt impactful and sharp. The Ballistic family of weapons includes Rifles, Pistols, Shotguns, and Heavies. There are also weapons that utilize Energy and non-lethal blasts. They all feel unique to use, and I frequently found myself swapping between them like a madman. I realized that while in low-gravity areas, weapons with a powerful blast will actually send your character flying backward.

During your journey, you’ll come across weapons with varying rarities, which hold special traits of their own, as well as modifications that alter their damage output, range, magazine size, and accuracy. You can make further modifications yourself at a designated workstation, but you’ll need the proper skills unlocked to make the good stuff.

One of Starfield’s more ambitious new features is space flight. You’ll spend a lot of time on your ship, whether it’s traveling between star systems or playing the careful game that is inventory management. You can dump items into your ship’s cargo hold, which is a solid way to get heavy resources off your person. Of course, cargo holds have a capacity limit too, and I spent far more time than I care to admit fumbling around in the menus trying to un-encumber myself without losing my valuables.

Moving between star systems, your ship feels like more of a fast travel machine than anything else. You don’t manually fly to a planet, land on it, or take off. Instead, you map out your plans and watch most of it play out in brief cinematics. The same is true for interplanetary travel, as you’re constantly loading in and out of different star systems. The loading was quite quick playing on a PC with an SSD, and all of the flight cinematics were pretty stellar, but it certainly feels like something is lost here.

The shipbuilding menu in Starfield.

Source: Bethesda Softworks

Most notably, your ship will be a valuable weapon as you venture into some of the more dangerous reaches of space. Ship combat feels like an entirely different game, in the best of ways. While flying and shooting, you also have to manage your ships' different systems, which includes the shields, engine, and various weapon modules. Constantly flipping switches and moving power between them while also in an active dogfight made me feel like an actual pilot, and I took a lot of Tech skills early on so that I could be more formidable in space combat. Nothing in Starfield feels more badass than taking out an entire fleet of enemy ships, or destroying someone’s engine and boarding their ship.

Starfield allows you to customize your ship, a deep rabbit hole best suited for players far into their playthroughs. You need to unlock some of the Starship Design skills to take full advantage of what’s available here, but it’s incredibly satisfying to manually design the body of a ship, install weapon modules, create cargo holds, make it all look cool, and then step into it.

Outposts are another core feature of Starfield that can be a bit frustrating and barebones early on, but really blossoms once you invest more credits (currency) and resources into it. You can set up an outpost on just about any planet, placing extractors to harvest resources and workstations to craft and upgrade gear. Resources are the key, and each planet has its own unique set of minerals and other natural resources to gather and use as crafting components. You can assign crew members to work at your outposts, providing bonuses to crafting and harvesting.

I found a lot of fun in simply visiting unexplored planets, seeing what resources they had, and discovering random structures on them. Even on the more barren planets, it always felt like there was something on the horizon for me to check out, whether it be a ship that I just watched land, an abandoned outpost, or some other miscellaneous structure.

Talk through it

Sarah Morgan, tilting her head downward.

Source: Bethesda Softworks

As is common in RPGs, Starfield frequently allows you to choose how you respond to NPCs in a conversation. There are friendly options, aggressive options, and neutral approaches. I’d argue that this aspect of Starfield feels the least evolved from previous Bethesda games. The decisions all feel incredibly binary, as I often felt like I was choosing between being a boy scout or a mustache-twirling villain.

The game also does this thing where it’ll give you four or five dialogue options, but only one of them actually pushes the conversation or mission forward. I’ll take a response that seems most appropriate for my character, only to eventually have to take the option that the game wants me to pick in the end. It undercuts the role-playing element and sort of shatters the illusion occasionally. Bethesda RPGs have always been like this, but it was a little disappointing to see little evolution in this area, especially given how far similar games have come in recent years.

The beauty of it all

The city of New Atlantis

Source: Bethesda Softworks

Bethesda has a bit of a reputation for releasing games marred by bugs and visual glitches, which is why I was so impressed by the sheer presentation of Starfield. The Maryland studio has shown tremendous improvement in graphics and fidelity, as Starfield is easily the best-looking game Bethesda has made. I experienced very few bugs during my time playing, and the ones I did experience were relegated to small cosmetic errors. It adds to the immersion of an already detailed world, and left me excited about what the studio can do with the new Creation Engine 2 moving forward.

Starfield also ran pretty smoothly for a busy RPG that’s juggling a lot at once. I caught some performance hitches while moving quickly through some of the more populated cities, but never had to deal with frustrating framerate drops or frequent crashes. In fact, my game crashed one time while playing on the review build.

It’s clear that Bethesda put a lot of love into the fine details, and that’s on full display with Starfield’s sound design. The roar of a ship engine lifting off, the difference in character dialogue when speaking with a helmet on vs without one, or the many different sounds a gun can make all contributed to making the experience feel authentic. The muted blast of my silenced shotgun was music to my ears during my playthrough.

The same can be said about Starfield’s actual music. The score is phenomenal, swelling at the perfect moments to create some of the game’s most epic sequences. There were times I’d find myself sitting idle, just soaking in the environment and enjoying the original score. Bethesda has delivered some of the most iconic video game music of the modern era, and Starfield doesn’t disappoint.

For all, into the Starfield

A ship flying towards a planet.

Source: Bethesda Softworks

Starfield is more than a welcome addition to Bethesda’s family of RPG franchises, it feels like the start of a new era for the studio. Not only is it the developer’s most technically impressive game, but it also delivers a worthwhile narrative that takes some major swings and establishes a sprawling mythos. It has some blemishes here and there, but Starfield proves to be an awesome sci-fi adventure.


This review is based on a Steam code provided by the publisher. Starfield launches on September 6, 2023, for PC, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

Review for
Starfield
9
Pros
  • Immersive world
  • Tight, satisfying combat
  • Compelling campaign
  • Superb side quest design
  • Fascinating characters
  • Ship and outpost design are an awesome rabbit hole
Cons
  • You have to fast travel constantly
  • Dialogue system lacks evolution
From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 31, 2023 9:03 AM

    Donovan Erskine posted a new article, Starfield review: One giant leap

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 9:19 AM

      Can confirm that Donovan's review and score are sane. This is an incredible game where you'll get out of it what you put into it.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 10:01 AM

        I was confused that you mentioned a score, I couldn't find one in the review. Apparently on the mobile website it seems like it's way past the end of the article.

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 9:34 AM

      Not reading any reviews. See you tomorrow.

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 4:07 PM

      Starfield launch thread!

      Those with premium, less than 1 hr to go! Time to go exploring!

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:09 PM

        17% off on GMG. Steam code.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:10 PM

        I bought the upgrade I am the problem lol

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:12 PM

        Anyone on Xbox know how this works? Does the game just launch at the top of the hour it you click it? On PlayStation they have a countdown clock but on Xbox it just says whoops you are too early (like my wife)

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 4:15 PM

          If you have premium you can launch in 45 min.

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 4:17 PM

            I do, there's just no countdown or anyrhing. I hope it all work

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 4:25 PM

              Click on the premium upgrade in gamepass. Mine has been counting down just fine! (But that's on PC, so maybe Xbox just doesn't have it.)

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:12 PM

        87 average on Metacritic. Seems like the general consensus is that it's pretty much just Skyrim in space, except with a lot more nothingness (which will obviously appeal to some but completely turn off others)

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:15 PM

        I AM READY! I will be streaming my play through.

        Going Live in a few minutes if anyone wants to hang out!

        https://www.twitch.tv/g0nk

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 4:57 PM

          Streaming Live now!!

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:16 PM

        Has anyone seen benchmarks? Ideally competent ones that aren't in 45 minute YouTube video format.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:17 PM

        I bought the premium, but won't actually get to jump in till tomorrow morning. But I'm gonna get up bright and early and. Get. It. On!

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:17 PM

        $35 if you already have Gamepass. Installing now. Would have bought through Steam but that would be a LOT more.

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 4:25 PM

          Can you still do mods through game pass?

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 4:28 PM

            We will see. I'm really hoping it's not a UWP wrapped/sandboxed download. Xbox on Windows now supports plain Win32 EXEs with exposed folder structures like Steam, but not all new games do that. If I were paying full price, it would be the Steam edition.

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 4:53 PM

            Surely. They would get raked over the coals if not.

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 4:55 PM

              You'd think. But historically game pass games have been locked up pretty tight. Unless I'm super wrong, but like you can't even see the install files.

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 5:01 PM

            I'm going to assume that the best mod experience will be in a year with a mod manager, so best through steam

            I'll just buy it on steam when there are a bunch of good mods available

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 4:25 PM

          $31 if you had gamepass ultimate

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 4:36 PM

          Do you get to keep it if you pay $35 or is it tied to your gamepass?

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 4:37 PM

            It's stacks on top of the base game, I think. You need the base game through Gamepass or a standalone purchase.

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 4:48 PM

              So if I have gamepass I will have to buy it again if I let my sub lapse?

              • gmd legacy 10 years legacy 20 years mercury mega
                reply
                August 31, 2023 4:50 PM

                You keep the upgrade and eventual dlc you’d just have to buy the base game if you let game pass lapse

                • reply
                  August 31, 2023 5:02 PM

                  Hah, that’s pretty lane

                  • reply
                    August 31, 2023 6:30 PM

                    Why would you expect to keep the whole game if you stop subscribing

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:21 PM

        If you take a star trek through the wrong star field, you could start a star wars.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:23 PM

        Preparing to make Steam servers weep.

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 4:24 PM

          Apparently there is a 15gig day 1 patch.

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 4:25 PM

            The Gamepass PC download is 15.1GB, what is it doing, downloading it all again?

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 4:29 PM

              The steam download was 86gigs there abouts.

            • gmd legacy 10 years legacy 20 years mercury mega
              reply
              August 31, 2023 4:31 PM

              That’s the premium content you still have to download the base game

              • reply
                August 31, 2023 4:34 PM

                Oh my god. I should have realized. The Xbox PC app did not make that clear!

      • gmd legacy 10 years legacy 20 years mercury mega
        reply
        August 31, 2023 4:30 PM

        My body is ready

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:37 PM

        Let’s goooo!

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:46 PM

        15 MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:51 PM

        Snacks, check
        Drinks, check

        All systems gooooooo t minus 9 minutes

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:52 PM

        If I had known I was going to be this impulsive today I would have preloaded the game!

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:54 PM

        Anyone waiting to unlock, go pee now!! lol

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:54 PM

        Ohhh I am indeed quite jealous of you all

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 4:55 PM

        GmanLives with a positive review

        https://youtu.be/YVvHtVkRV8k?si=y7pXk7Aj38wNo2mL

        I highly respect this dudes opinions

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:05 PM

          He does good reviews. Watched quite a few of his videos, especially on throwback shooters.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:00 PM

        Let's gooooo

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:01 PM

        Unpacking!

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:02 PM

        Game doesn't launch on Xbox. Great.

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:03 PM

          Yeah I’m getting that too

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 5:03 PM

            I feel dumb. I knew this shit wouldn't work

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 5:04 PM

              its 7:04 for fucks sake

              • reply
                August 31, 2023 5:06 PM

                When you pay for five days early access shit needs to work when they say the product will be released

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 5:04 PM

            Should have gotten it on PS5.. pfft.

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:04 PM

          i keep getting the loading dots FIX THIS NOW BILL GATES

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:12 PM

          starfailed

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:02 PM

        UNPACKING

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:14 PM

          This unpacking is going so slow, not gonna be able to play it until like 10 or 11 tonight

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 5:15 PM

            Pretty quck for me, ticked from 98 to 103 while I was replying.

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 5:23 PM

              It took 8 seconds to go from 13.22 GB to 13.23 GB, out of 116.27 GB total 😭

              • reply
                August 31, 2023 5:24 PM

                Oof. Exit and relaunch Steam??

              • reply
                September 1, 2023 1:47 AM

                Hard Drive maybe? Took me about 10 mins total.

                • reply
                  September 1, 2023 2:12 AM

                  I think the Xbox app is just weird when it comes to decrypting sometimes. It's why I've taken to just downloading the games right when they unlock, it usually ends up being quicker for me.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:04 PM

        I keep getting I'm too early still. I even got the fireworks in the Xbox App.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:08 PM

        Just beat it. Not bad. Like Skyrim in space. 8/10

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:11 PM

          You beat the game before redshak could even launch it, now you can go to him

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:16 PM

          fadetofunk, is that you?

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 5:44 PM

            Shit! I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you meddling shackers!

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 8:26 PM

              Heh, no plans on plowing through Starfield. I'm sure I'll burn out well before I finish it.

        • reply
          September 1, 2023 2:15 AM

          Nice speedrun.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:14 PM

        Uh...no launchy on PC GP?? I just downloaded and launched the art book/soundtrack, but says I'm too early for the game...??

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:14 PM

          Yeah I can launch those 2 but not the game. I think maybe too many people are trying at the same time :)

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 5:25 PM

            Restarted the PC and now it's launching!!!

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 5:27 PM

              Damnit, 117GB update beforehand D:

      • gmd legacy 10 years legacy 20 years mercury mega
        reply
        August 31, 2023 5:19 PM

        IM IN https://i.imgur.com/yXKTIDY.jpg

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:20 PM

        sigh.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:20 PM

        Steam bois are already playing. GP are just wishing there was a second game store that worked as well as steam.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:21 PM

        Gamepass version: reddit says just keep spamming play

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:22 PM

          It’s working now

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:23 PM

          I am, it’s still not working

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:23 PM

          Worked for me. But I'm downloading 117gb again...

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 5:24 PM

            Yeah me too - going pretty quick though.

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 5:25 PM

              Yeah I'm pretty much saturated at 155mB/s. I don't understand why the preload was a thing though.

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 5:25 PM

            It’s not downloading, it’s doing the unpacking/verification

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:25 PM

          That's what i did. Took 10 tries now getting an update.

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 5:25 PM

            Snap. It's redownloading the whole thing again!

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 5:26 PM

              NM. It's decrypting. 400MB /s. Way faster than my Internet. All SSD work.

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:25 PM

          [deleted]

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:46 PM

          spam the green button?I get the message that says Copy to Clipboard | OK

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 5:47 PM

            or are people talking about the premium version?

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 5:57 PM

            Yes, keep spamming

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:46 PM

          Launch it from the Microsoft store.

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 6:44 PM

          wait is this just the normal gamepass version or for people who bought the upgrade

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:22 PM

        Goddamnit where the hell is the FOV setting? I'mma bout to puke right now.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:24 PM

        exited PC xbox app completely, restarted app, now its working.

      • gmd legacy 10 years legacy 20 years mercury mega
        reply
        August 31, 2023 5:31 PM

        Immediately disabled film grain

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:32 PM

        Finally got in. Looks ok. 30 fps is rough but it is what it is

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:33 PM

        Finally got it.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:46 PM

        When using FSR, are you supposed to manually lower the render resolution? It doesn’t really run very well at 1440p on my 4090 until I start lowering render resolution

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:49 PM

          I read that if you just select the presets (ex med high or ultra) it auto turns on FSR 2 and auto selects the appropriate resolution scale

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 5:56 PM

          I’m still in the intro but at 1440p and 100% scale w fra2 on I’m getting 75 fps mostly locked there. Most settings are on high and shadows on medium

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 5:58 PM

            Yea I just left everything at default ultra. I don’t know how to actually see the fps, so just going by feel

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 6:04 PM

              Win+g will get you game bar where you can turn on stats and pin them for a bit to see. Also allows you to do Xbox party and other Xbox social stuff in game bar

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:47 PM

        Just set up my character! I’m going for a Han Solo build:

        Went with space scoundrel background with adoring fan, kid stuff, and wanted for traits

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 5:55 PM

        The UI / text just has a real…basic..Vibe to it. Weapons just have a number like 19,13 for damage.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 6:08 PM

        [deleted]

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 6:16 PM

          Oh, honey

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 6:17 PM

          Yeah. Never.

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 6:43 PM

          Once Sony aquires Microsoft

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 7:33 PM

          I know, they make it super hard to find. But then again, I had similar difficulty finding God of War in the Xbox marketplace.

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 8:10 PM

            [deleted]

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 8:30 PM

              How does it matter? It’s an exclusive game just like God of War and Mario and Halo and Last of Us and the many others over the decades upon decades of exclusive titles.

              You’re being obtuse and you know it’s not available on PlayStation, so I gave you the appropriate response.

              • reply
                August 31, 2023 9:26 PM

                [deleted]

                • reply
                  August 31, 2023 9:29 PM

                  They didn’t buy exclusivity though. The whole company has been a part of Xbox for 3 years

                  • reply
                    August 31, 2023 10:49 PM

                    I mean, you can't get much more "buying exclusivity" than literally purchasing the company and then not releasing on your competitor's platform.

                • reply
                  August 31, 2023 10:32 PM

                  So Insomniac and Naughty Dog? Both were studios producing multi-platform titles gobbled up by Sony.

                  It’s just not a new practice that started with Bethesda!

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 6:10 PM

        No HDR support on PC. John Linneman says it is natively supported but through auto HDR… Which I guess I’ll have to take his word for it, but seems suspect.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 6:19 PM

        Trying to be positive but this ship reticle thing is driving me INSANE.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 7:20 PM

        Finally got started, and crashed right as I was going into the new tunnel break at the very beginning after a tiny bit of mining. So I get to start all over again, no save

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 6:30 PM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 6:40 PM

      All the threads were merged into the shack front page articles lol

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 7:06 PM

        Probably how it should be but a lotta work on the mod’s parts.

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 6:48 PM

      Game is running like dogshit in the area after you wake up before boarding the ship. Even onboard the ship I'm getting 50FPS on the lowest settings and 35 on ultra. Running at 2560x1440 on the newest available drivers on a 3080. Been running BG3 without any issues.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 7:01 PM

        What's your CPU?

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 7:07 PM

          3700x. Yeah it's crusty, but I'm not seeing it bottleneck unless I'm just interpreting things incorrectly which is totally possible.

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 7:22 PM

            That could be it. I'll be able to give a better answer once I play tonight. I have a similar build except for CPU.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 7:06 PM

        FYI, there is a DLSS mod that's out and I have it running on the gamepass version. Not really seeing any performance gains right now though. https://www.nexusmods.com/starfield/mods/111 I don't think it's my 3700x since I'm seeing maybe 40% utilization.

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 7:18 PM

          Render resolution of 720p at the lowest settings https://i.imgur.com/AH0wOAz.png Guess I'll get dinner and see if anyone else has similar issues later.

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 8:16 PM

            Not reading it wrong, GPU limited as far as I can see. Could easily be performance issues that will be fixed soon.

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      August 31, 2023 6:49 PM

      What’s the deal with ship thrusters?
      https://i.imgur.com/aUeaRoY.jpg

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 7:13 PM

        Is that supposed to be Seinfeld?

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 7:23 PM

          Choosing the name was the last bit, I’ll change the appearance later on to match

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 7:34 PM

      the fps performance looks like ass from what i’ve seen

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      August 31, 2023 7:55 PM

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-BkrwO_Dck today is the day... is this real life???????????? I am going to try it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      { passes out }

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 8:04 PM

      Holy shit, it looks really good and my 7900 XTX is crunching it easily on 4K MAX not upscaling all native, make sure you get the new AMD GPUI drivers -> https://www.amd.com/en/support/graphics/amd-radeon-rx-7000-series/amd-radeon-rx-7900-series/amd-radeon-rx-7900xtx

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 8:18 PM

        eh? The benchs I've seen show the 7900 in the 50's at 4k native.

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        September 1, 2023 12:23 AM

        Yeah, it looks incredible. I just have the 7900 XT at 1440p with everything cranked up, no upscaling and I get 80-90 FPS.

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          September 1, 2023 1:44 AM

          100% this -> "Yeah, it looks incredible" it is really crazy how good it looks, it is 100% a next gen title, I love it!!!!!!!!!!!

          Nice, 7000s are cooking it, it is also really cool AMD had drives for the game before it launched on the day of early access.

          Good times, this weekend is going to own!

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        September 1, 2023 1:28 AM

        I'm so glad it's working so well for you! My 6800 is handling it better than I expected. I'm running it in ultrawide with everything on high and staying at 60 most of the time with occasional drops into the 50s during combat.

        It's so damned pretty, and it's already grabbing me more than Skyrim ever did during repeated attempts to pick it up!

        https://i.imgur.com/LIKg3fZ.jpg
        https://i.imgur.com/G8yETPp.jpg

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          September 1, 2023 1:37 AM

          My character on the big screen (NES on the bottom right for scale lol)

          https://i.imgur.com/g3ZQxAZ.jpg

          Kinda bummed some of the menu screens don't support the ultrawide, but that's an acceptable tradeoff for the game itself handling it with no fuss.

          • reply
            September 1, 2023 1:50 AM

            Awesome, shit that is a huge screen LOL :) , very nice!!!! I have only tried it on 4K I am tempted to see if it explodes on 3 screen! Yeah it is a crazy good compared to past support on ultra wide.

            • reply
              September 1, 2023 1:59 AM

              Heh, there's no good place to plug in a TV and I had a giant unfinished wall so during the pandemic I figured this was a good way to kill two birds with one stone. It might be a little overkill, but I dig it.

        • reply
          September 1, 2023 1:48 AM

          I love it man, best GPU I ever bought hands down! Cool, that is really solid, I hope you got the new drivers that have the Starfield profile and optimizations!

          You know what is crazy, I honestly did not expect it to look so good, like the textures, 3D models, lighting and everything is crazy good!

          Awesome, you have the same axe as I do.

          Man I got to go to bed but it is hard to stop playing, I love finding bases or a ship that lands also the planets looks soooooooo good!

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 8:05 PM

      How do I quick change weapons without having to go into the inventory screen and equip a new one?

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 8:30 PM

        Favorite and then assign it to a spot (dpad on Xbox controller) don’t know about keyboard.

        • reply
          September 1, 2023 1:46 AM

          You can put favorites on the number keys or access them from the quick menu on PC. I bound the quick menu to left flick on my mouse wheel and it's pretty convenient.

        • reply
          September 1, 2023 1:59 AM

          If it's anything like the other games it's the number keys.

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 8:07 PM

      Played an hour. I like it. Performance was fine with default settings but I didn't have benchmark numbers on. Ryzen 5800, 4070 RTX. Don't love the menu / ui but I don't hate it either.

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 8:17 PM

      Just played a good 2.5 hours, LOVED IT!!! Going to sleep now though because I'm old. Took tomorrow off, so STARFIELD ALL WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 8:18 PM

        What’s the deal with lock picking? Can you just get stuck with the wrong key and have to bail?

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 8:26 PM

          Nope. You have to use all 4 keys each time. Line them up and you can switch to a different key on the right when picking. Each one corresponds with a separate layer. It's weird at first.

          • reply
            August 31, 2023 9:44 PM

            Oh shit. Didn't know you could switch.

            • reply
              August 31, 2023 10:41 PM

              Ditto. I just save scummed the hell out of the first locked box I found because I was confused.

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 9:18 PM

          You always have the right keys, but some keys can potentially fit on multiple layers (or, I assume, in multiple positions). If you put a key in the wrong place it can prevent you from completing the next stage. I'm not sure if you can back out to a previous stage.

          • reply
            September 1, 2023 1:31 AM

            You have a limited number of redos, though I'm not sure if they use another key.

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 8:18 PM

      lmao the AI for enemies is sooooooo bad.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 8:23 PM

        Watching twitch streams, it just feels like Fallout in space to me. :(

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 8:35 PM

          the crab / spider bugs don’t even attack you. they just stand there while you shoot em

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 8:34 PM

        It was terrible in the preview they showed way back. Combat in general looked terrible.

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 8:32 PM

      It is super washed out for me, on PC and Xbox, but dropping to limited HDMI signal improved things here. I wonder if there is a black level bug.

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 8:34 PM

        I find the colors and visuals very muted and pretty dark and dim (Xbox)

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 9:15 PM

        Came here to mention this. The game DOES kick in Auto HDR. Menus can display black, but the actual game is very washed out. Way too bright on a calibrated OLED. Lots of color banding too.

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 9:25 PM

          What is it like if you turn off auto HDR?

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 8:36 PM

      The mouse sensitivity sliders and keybind customization are both usable! I could kiss Todd Howard on the mouth right now!

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 8:43 PM

      This aint no Baldurs Gate 3

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 8:58 PM

      I’m spending so much time just looking at everything. My eyes are not trained to recognize any of this stuff like they have been for Fallout games for instance. It’s refreshing 👍

      • reply
        August 31, 2023 9:24 PM

        Haha, I hear that. I spent way to much time carefully inspecting the environment in the Kreet base. Tip: Your scanner will highlight objects you can interact with, not just resources and flora/fauna/enemies.

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 10:03 PM

          PC FOV Fix here, stolen from reddit

          -Create a StarfieldCustom.ini in the Starfield Folder in Documents/MyGames

          -Add:

          [Camera]
          fFPWorldFOV=X
          fTPWorldFOV=X

          X= desired FOV in deg

        • reply
          August 31, 2023 10:15 PM

          Changing the FOV:

          -Create a StarfieldCustom.ini in the Starfield Folder in Documents/MyGames

          -Add:

          [Camera]
          fFPWorldFOV=X
          fTPWorldFOV=X

          X= desired FOV in deg

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 9:43 PM

      i need to play a lot more but so far it feels like Fallout in space

      that is not a negative for me but the game hasn't grabbed me yet

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 9:55 PM

      fuuuuuuuuuuck the performance is fucking awful. Long pauses and out of sync audio. Can't change the resolution which is a huge fucking oddity, could help with performance. But uh... yeah gonna refund because it's literally unplayable. *sad face*

    • reply
      August 31, 2023 10:10 PM

      I've put a few hours in now and overall I am loving this game. I get a lot of Skyrim vibes, but also a lot of good Mass Effect vibes too. So far I have not encountered any bugs/issues and I did not have to sit and ride in the back of a wagon for 10 minutes. ;) The rest of this year is now set with my gaming between this and BG3, no need for anything else.

    • reply
      September 1, 2023 1:01 AM

      Ah dang. Eager to get home to my rig.

      Starfield is probably too much for the Steam Deck
      While this is bad news for folks who were planning on using the Steam Deck as their primary device for playing Starfield, let’s keep in mind that this game was probably never going to run well on Valve’s handheld PC. Remember, this is a game that runs at 30fps on Xbox Series X, and is pushing desktop PCs. So it’s not surprising to hear that the not-super-powerful Steam Deck struggles to play it.

    • reply
      September 1, 2023 1:16 AM

      Just played for a few hours, only finished customizing my character.

    • reply
      September 1, 2023 1:53 AM

      There is colour graded loot in the game, I got a epic shot gun and it owns!!!!!!!! That was one thing I always wanted from Bethesda games is colour graded loot in the traditional APRG style or MMO, very cool!

      Man I think you can steal the ships that land on planets if you kill everyone, damn it I should have taken the last one there was so much cargo space and work benches.

      Starfield graphics are amazing and the gun play feels so good!

      • reply
        September 1, 2023 1:57 AM

        Oh man, why didn't I think of trying to go inside the space pirate ship that attacked me at their base after I killed their leader? I just figured stuff like that was scripted and they take off no matter what.

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