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When Starfield was released on September 6, 2023, it enjoyed a mostly positive reception. It was hailed for its enormous world, roaming freedom, and potential. The anticipation was also high because it was Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years. However, that admiration appears to have waned.

When Starfield was released on September 6, 2023, it enjoyed a mostly positive reception. It was hailed for its enormous world and roaming freedom with a wide potential. The anticipation was also high because it was Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years. However, that admiration appears to have waned.

After its release, Starfield garnered an average Metacritic score of 86 on PC and 83 on Xbox Series X. Surprisingly, the platform where it garnered the highest score after launch is the platform where the game is currently being bashed. The review of the space exploration game has slipped to “Mostly Negative” on Steam, based on over 7,000 new reviews.

Interviews that followed the Starfield hype revealed that the concept for the game was over 20 years old. However, Bethesda Game Studios took their time to make sure they produced the perfect game. The massive drop in the game’s rating on Steam suggests that Bethesda might not have hit the intended goal.

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Perhaps, Starfield wasn’t spectacular from the start but rode on the waves of an excellent marketing campaign that presented it as the next big thing in the gaming industry. The marketing was so spectacular that over 13 million players hopped on board to have a taste of Starfield. Now that the euphoria has faded, gamers are beginning to see the game for what it really is.

When Starfield was released on September 6, 2023, it enjoyed a mostly positive reception. It was hailed for its enormous world and roaming freedom with a wide potential. The anticipation was also high because it was Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years. However, that admiration appears to have waned.

Also, it may be that Starfield was not as bad as the reviews suggest. Rather, a reaction to Bethesda’s attitude. In other words, Starfield may have just become the punching bag where aggrieved gamers go to vent their frustration about Bethesda’s attitude toward negative reviews. At least, this was the stance of one of the reviewers on Steam who goes by the moniker Ceilium.

“I wasn’t going to write this at first because I was so 50/50 on recommending it or not but after Bethesda started replying to negative reviews about why the reviews they’ve written are wrong I feel compelled to write something,” Ceilium wrote.

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KungPow also felt the urge to leave a review due to Bethesda’s reaction to negative comments. “I’ve never left a review for a game before. However, it really irks me the way Bethesda is treating their customers,” KungPow wrote on December 26. “To have the balls to tell someone that they don’t know what their own definition of fun is or that they don’t know how to play the game correctly is just mind-boggling.”

Not everyone thinks Starfield is a colossal disaster

“Starfield is a game that has an excess of nothingness,” was how Harlock who spent over 41 hours on the game described it on Steam on December 10. “An open-world RPG that is so overstuffed with meaningless content that the seams are starting to split and the empty calories are spilling out”.

When Starfield was released on September 6, 2023, it enjoyed a mostly positive reception. It was hailed for its enormous world and roaming freedom with a wide potential. The anticipation was also high because it was Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years. However, that admiration appears to have waned.

Another reviewer, Kosmozuikis, who has spent 53 hours on the game called it a “Big cup of mediocrity”. Kosmozuikis said the game would have gotten a positive review if it “was made by an indie studio with very little resources in [a] few years”. Kosmozuikis went ahead to use words like “shallow, soulless, unoriginal, unimaginative, poorly written, poor looking, poor performing game” to describe Starfield.

However, not everyone thinks that Starfield deserves the negative reviews that it is currently receiving on Steam. Those speaking in favor of the game believe that the quests, roaming freedom, and storyline should have made up for the areas that players found wanting.

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“I know Starfied has issues but I really think it does NOT deserve to be rated this low on Steam right now,” wrote Synth Potato, a managing partner and director at X. “Is it outdated in many aspects like load screens, limited exploration and procedural content slop? Yes 100%, but I really think the storylines, quests, and general freedom in who you want to be aka the Bethesda RPG loop that you get into as you stick more to curated content makes up for a lot of it, it’s far from flawless but not bad enough to be a Mostly Negative on Steam.”

“In a way, I do also hope this is a wake-up call for Bethesda to up their game in terms of animations, seamlessness, and PC optimizations for TES6. This level of technical regression compared to other RPGs needs to end with Starfield. Creation Engine needs a MASSIVE upgrade or new tech to be built ASAP. I still have faith in Bethesda’s games.”

Many believe Starfield starts exciting but quickly degenerates to boring and repetitive, no thanks to the procedural exploration. According to Synth Potato, procedural content is not working for Bethesda and they need to revert to curated content. Do you agree with this view?


Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.

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