Bethesda’s Xbox exclusive Starfield is – without a doubt – a triumph for the developer and a fantastic game to spend some of your spare time playing. But, just how much more time can we all really play Starfield? For a title with such scope and scale, it’s a remarkably empty experience and some of the most interesting systems on paper are ultimately lacklustre in practice. We know this might sound drastic, but we need a major Starfield update (like Cyberpunk 2077 2.0) to arrive before the DLC if this game has any hope of sticking around for as long as it deserves to.
It might not strike you as one of the best Xbox RPG games available when you look at new Xbox games like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Remnant 2, but the still-growing Starfield player count proves that this space-based RPG is still worth checking out when you can. However, you shouldn’t go into this game expecting anything too revolutionary; this is still a Bethesda game after all and that everything just feels dated. We know we said that this locked pile of poo is everything wrong with Starfield (and we stand by that), but there are issues with this game that go beyond procedurally generated Starfield planets and RNG affecting almost every aspect of the game. At it’s core, Starfield is a boring experience – to put it plainly – and a major overhaul is needed to change that.
Now, before we go any further into this, there are some things Starfield does very well and a real reason why it’s one of the best Xbox Game Pass games out there right now. Some of the Starfield characters you come across when you’re exploring the stars are fantastic, and we could spend hours playing around with all the Starfield ship customization options available. The gunplay is a dramatic improvement on what Bethesda’s latest Fallout game offers up and the way Starfield New Game Plus works is really quite something. However, for all the good, there’s bad and it’s really hard to ignore the bad when so much of it has the potential to be so good.
For example, exploration in Starfield is utterly dull and unrewarding almost all of the time. When you think about how well Bethesda handles exploration in its other RPGs, this is so very disappointing and something that needs to change if Starfield is to have the staying power of a game like Skyrim. The planets often feel empty, there’s only a handful of POIs you can actually come across randomly, and it’s near-impossible to find any one of the best Starfield weapons while randomly roaming. Once you’ve explored a couple of planets, you really have explored them all. For a system with so much potential and so much promise, this is such a shame. Bethesda needs to change this if it wants Starfield to stick around – or at least give players ground vehicles to make traversing the desolate planets a little less time consuming and a little more enjoyable.
Another fantastic example of a Starfield system with so much potential being underused and ultimately wasted is the law enforcement and how you interact with it when it comes to smuggling contraband goods. Just one example of an activity with no real sense of consequences, whether you’re successful or otherwise, smuggling in Starfield is a huge disappointment. Not only is the value of the contraband goods you can smuggle often so low that it doesn’t even make the whole ordeal worthwhile in the first place, the lack of lasting consequences – both in the short term and the long term – and the lack of variety when it comes to opportunities like this in-game somehow even make being a space pirate dull.
We know those are only two examples, but from improvements to the areas identified above to things like Outpost construction and settlement building, there are so many systems in Starfield that feel rather pointless to engage in and lead to the game – as a whole – just feeling so very boring. This Reddit thread on r/Starfield has hundreds of comments all saying the same thing – and, of course, complaining about Bethesda’s apparent reliance on modders when it comes to addressing these issues. The Starfield Xbox mods release date is still a little ways away yet, but the changes people have been able to make already – and what we’ve seen done with Skyrim and Fallout 4 over the years – add some weight to this complaint.
Will all of this change with Starfield DLC when it comes out, though? Well, while Bethesda has introduced entire new systems and mechanics in post-launch content updates in the past, we don’t think so – if this is a narrative DLC like we expect, anyway. A lot of the issues Starfield has are entrenched in the experience and a result of how Bethesda utilizes the systems in play – or, rather doesn’t utilize them enough.
That’s why we believe that Starfield needs an overhaul like Cyberpunk 2077 – a game which, after a year of major updates, is now one of the best FPS games out there, when it comes to single-player experiences anyway. Three months in and the only major update Starfield has received has added active eating to the game, a nice Quality of Life feature but far from the only change the game needs. Bethesda’s radio silence, though, could be a sign that a larger update with more dramatic improvements is on the way, but we don’t know for certain and only time will tell.
So, for now, you may as well check out the best Starfield outpost locations here and this easy quest to get the best Starfield pistol available right here. If you’re not going to check out some of the new Xbox Game Pass December 2023 games and continue to play Starfield, you may as well help yourself out and save yourself from some tedious searching. You might want to avoid making this huge mistake with your Starfield skills, too – you can’t respec those if you make a mistake.