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Why We're Worried About Starfield

Bethesda promised some exciting things with the "Starfield" Summer Game Fest reveal, but that also came with its fair share of concerns. After years of the developer alternating between new entries within the "Fallout" and "The Elder Scrolls" franchises, "Starfield" has become one of the most anticipated releases in the industry. It was announced at Bethesda's E3 conference, and executive producer Todd Howard has even described it as "'Skyrim' in space" (via The Washington Post). The title was previously set for a fall 2022 release but has since been delayed to Q1 or Q2 2023.

The June 2022 "Starfield" gameplay reveal showed off a little bit of everything the game offers: character creation, space combat, exploration, and a glimpse at the larger narrative. According to Howard, "Starfield" will allow players to visit more than 1,000 planets scattered across over 100 star systems. Those numbers alone give the impression that it will be a massive endeavor, and comments comparing "Starfield" to games like "No Man's Sky" and "Star Citizen" abound. Such large scale, however, may come at a cost.

Starfield sounds almost too ambitious

The promise of more than 1,000 explorable planets from a publisher whose reputation has soured over the last few years has spawned mixed feelings across the industry. On the surface, that much space exploration seems promising; however, it's caused some to wonder how much repetition will be involved. It's been confirmed that procedural generation plays a role, as it does in most Bethesda entries; but, as Alice Bell of Rock Paper Shotgun observed, how many of the locations will just have the same grey rocks from the gameplay reveal?

Another aspect that stood out in the reveal is the graphical fidelity. For a title that can either make or break this console generation for Xbox, certain fans expected "Starfield" to stand out more than it did. "I think it just looks pretty lackluster for 2022," said Luke Stephens, a popular game analyst on YouTube. One Twitter user even went as far as comparing its graphics to titles made for the Nintendo GameCube. Despite the large scale, certain players want something that also appears truly next-gen.

All in all, the first look at "Starfield" proved divisive.