It is no secret that RPG titans Cyberpunk 2077 and Starfield are the subject of immense comparison, especially following the release of Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty expansion. Both games with equal amounts of hype surrounding their releases, Bethesda fans are taking issue with Starfield’s graphics and game engine. Now, CD Projekt Red quest designer Patrick Mills is stepping up to defend the space RPG.
“I like Starfield a lot, so I’m not getting involved in the core criticism here, but I will say that the way they handle cinematics vs Cyberpunk 2077 is not down to engine so much as it is tools and design,” explains Mills. Though many players might consider Starfield to be one of the best RPG games of 2023, the initial criticism comes from reporter ‘Synth Potato’. In a lengthy discussion about both titles, they say that “Creation Engine needs to go. Going back to Cyberpunk puts in perspective just how outdated Starfield’s dialogue animations are […] Starfield does not have body animations in dialogue, aside from basic turns and the occasional generic hand gesture.”
Additionally, Synth Potato says that “I’ve been really feeling more and more critical of Starfield after going back to Cyberpunk […] It really upsets me how Bethesda refuses to move on from that garbage engine that was already outdated by 2015 with Fallout 4.” In response to this takedown of Starfield’s game engine, Mills clarifies that Starfield’s enormous scale is what differentiates the two games.
“They have vastly more scenes with a revolving cast of characters and a mind-boggling number of possible locations […] every major scene in Cyberpunk 2077 took literal years to make. In Starfield, I can propose to like 10 different NPCs and I can do it on any of a thousand different planets, you can’t do elaborate scene design like that, you’d be making the game forever.”
Aside from all the Starfield companions and romance options, Mills adds “that not every game can do everything […] it has very little to do with the engine you are using […] they are doing what they are known for and very good, there are design constraints that they have to keep in mind.” Starfield uses a new iteration of Creation Engine, but still retains many of the hallmarks that comprise the signature feeling of a Bethesda RPG. Intense close-ups and odd characters are abundant, but they don’t entirely hinder the process of gathering all the best Starfield skills or slickest Starfield weapons.
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Conversely, CD Projekt Red will be leaving behind its own technology, REDEngine, for Unreal Engine 5 on releases going forward. That includes The Witcher 4, and the upcoming remake of the first game. The Witcher remake release date is one to look out for, but until then, we’ll see you in Night City or out in the frontiers of space.
Still looking for more? While a good Starfield wiki can be a handy source of information, our new Starfield Database goes further, offering you daily news, searchable databanks, and even interactive tools like a New Atlantis map for exploration.