We think we are facing one of the games that needs no introduction, but we will give it one anyway. Starfield has had an aura of pessimism around it, especially after the disappointing launch of Fallout 76, but we’re happy to say that Bethesda Studios’ expertise is here at its best, with Microsoft Xbox supporting the project and helping to improve all aspects of it. This is not only one of the best RPG experiences in history, but one of the best games we’ve ever experienced. Here’s our full review of the highly anticipated masterpiece, Starfield.
What secrets does the universe hold in Starfield?
The events of Starfield take place in the year 2330, and at that time humanity was able to move to space and stars thanks to the gravitational engines that allow travel between planets and solar systems, and one of the main reasons for leaving the planet Earth behind us is a catastrophe that occurred, and you will know more details of it during the events of the story. And we assure you, the story here is one of the most in-depth and exciting gaming stories We’ve played in recent times with so many wonderful characters and surprises that you will be amazed at how strong the writing team at the studio is!
We play the role of a miner tasked with collecting resources on a moon in space, but the story soon takes a different turn after that miner finds himself face to face with a strange-shaped artifact that emits sounds and visions when he touches it, and from here we join the Constellation organization that is responsible for exploring Space and knowledge of the secrets of the universe, hoping to reach the secret of this artifact, where it came from and who made it.
The story presents us with many distinguished characters, especially those who work with us in the Constellation organization, and each of them has a different style and character from the other, and they will take us with them on many wonderful tasks, and indeed there are some tasks here that can be considered one of the best in the history of the industry with gaming systems And great mechanics, especially in the second half of the game’s story!
The story runs for about 25 hours if you decide to focus on it mainly, but this is Starfield, and its vast world will tempt you to explore a lot of areas that are entirely out of the story, so expect your first finish to take you around 50 hours if you finish some of the side quests and the Quest Lines characteristic of some factions. The story of the game takes us to a group of wonderful cities and regions such as New Atlantis, Akila, Neon, and Cydonia, and each of the four main cities has many, many tasks, characters, and areas that can be explored, with a special character that makes you want to take a picture with every step you take on the land of these cities. . There is great attention to detail in everything here, and I’ll talk about it in more detail later in the review.
If we have to blame the game’s story, it is the lack of many options throughout its events, which leads to a unified end in the end, with not many differences in how to reach it. But for us, it did not affect our experience, and we have no problem with having a linear story in this huge world full of choices all around you, and we’re almost certain that the Starfield story is just preparing for a bigger and bigger world that will continue in the future over the course of additions and parts other.
The first conclusion to Starfield has taken us about 70 hours or so over the past two weeks, and We’ve spent most of our time exploring planets, completing side missions, and upgrading gear and ships.
The best gameplay from Bethesda studio
The sense of fighting with weapons is great!
Although the gameplay of Skyrim and Fallout 4 was good, Bethesda games are not known for having great gameplay, but the situation is different with Starfield, as it is clear that the studio has appointed a new team that specializes entirely in creating animation and movements to look especially smooth. The game, like the studio’s previous games, can be experienced from the first and third perspectives, and what is surprising here is that the movements appear smooth any way you play the game, and here we take our hat off to the animation team for the extent of their attention to all the details in the game!
Not only that, but the feel of the weapons themselves is wonderful and realistic, and it seems that the id Software studio’s assistance to the Bethesda team on the game was not only focused on the graphical aspect, but they also had a role in improving the gameplay, especially since Starfield has a huge amount of usable weapons, and some weapons It uses energy and lasers, not just ammo.
Speaking of weapons, we must touch a little on the confrontations themselves, which were fun with the jetpack on your back that enables you to perform distinctive acrobatic movements on planets where gravity is low. There are also some other ideas and mechanics that the game presents to you over time, but we will not spoil them for you. Especially since it relates to the events of the story.
As for weapons, you can upgrade them and add new parts that help you fight and increase their strength, but do not expect to get a system for upgrading and customizing weapons like in Call of Duty, for example. The matter here is much simpler than that, and in our opinion, it would be better for you to search for weapons and equipment. Best (space suit, helmet, etc.) in the environment or in areas where high-level enemies are present.
What about the RPG system and skill tree?
Like any role-playing game, you will start your journey in the world of Starfield as you create your character and you can customize it and choose the gender, shape and everything, and the customization here is the deepest in the history of the studio allowing you to create the character of your dreams even if you wanted to create yourself within the game you will be able to do so. You will also choose the character’s traits and history, which has an impact on some tasks and some situations and earns you certain skills from the beginning of the game, and we chose to be a Bounty Hunter who had a big role in one of the game’s most amazing side missions.
The skill tree is huge and has a wide variety of sections for everything your character can do from fighting, stealth, stealth, crafting and upgrading gear or even major improvements to the spaceship system. As you level up in the game, you will get a skill point, and with those skill points you can upgrade your abilities to suit your play style and what you want to do in the Starfield universe.
Like any RPG game, it is certainly full of dialogues and choices, and the events of a group of tasks can be changed (or completely changed) based on your choice in some situations, and the upgrade of certain capabilities enables you, for example, to persuade others to do what you want without resorting to fighting or paying bribes, which saves you ammunition and money. But as we explained in our talk about the story, the options are not very influential most of the time despite their abundance, and you feel that the game is trying to make you a hand in the decision or the course of events, but the truth is that its main story is linear and will end in the same way in the end. Perhaps the biggest impact of decisions takes place in the game world, side missions, and how to complete them.
But truth be told, this is really one of the best RPG experiences We’ve ever played in our life, and it managed to immerse ud in the game’s world and its very interesting events and characters. Even if the impact of decisions is not explicit in an obvious part of the missions, it did not affect our experience or our general enjoyment of the game.
Is the AI still the same level as their previous games?
The artificial intelligence isn’t one of Starfield’s biggest strengths, but it’s a bit of an improvement over the studio’s previous games, and sometimes you’ll find it actually presents a confrontation in front of you. Don’t get us wrong, the artificial intelligence here is still stupid, but not to the same level of stupidity as the artificial intelligence in Fallout 4, for example, and you will find that confronting human enemies requires you to take cover behind a wall or box and fire from behind the firewall so that you are not quickly harmed.
The same thing does not apply to confronting aliens that we encounter during our journey on various planets, they are stupid in the sense of the word stupid, and even the creatures that the characters were afraid of in the events of the game, for us it was just a simple additional challenge that did not take us time. All in all, there aren’t many AI problems here, and they won’t affect the overall experience, although we wish it was a little better!
One of the best worlds We’ve spent our time in of any game!
Design main and side missions
Here we come to one of the strongest points in Starfield, which is the design of missions. The main game missions here are downright epic, with loads of unique ideas and great mechanics presented and exploited in style. There are some missions in the second half of the game that we’re not allowed to talk about. You will be amazed at the number of ideas and details provided by Bethesda Studio!
Surprisingly, the same attention was applied to side missions and faction missions such as the Crimson Fleet, UC Vanguard, and Rangers. Each Questline can last you about 5 hours or more, offering many characters, surprises, assassinations, betrayals, and other unique ideas. We felt that each Questline of them could have become its own addition and would undoubtedly be fun, but here is the Bethesda studio adding such artifacts within the game world itself.
All the missions in the game, whether main or side, are completely designed by the designers in the studio and not through artificial intelligence or procedural generation, and this appears in the extent of their attention to detail and their attempt to explain different stories through the environment, and this is our favorite type of explaining stories by making the player himself He deduces what happened in this place before he came to it.
Does the game really include 1000 explorable planets?
This is one point to focus on relatively especially seeing so much negative talk about the game over the past days on Twitter. For starters, yes, Starfield has 1,000 explorable planets with over 100 different solar systems including many, many more planets and moons that you can land on, explore, build colonies, and do main or side missions.
But let’s talk logically here, the game has dozens of major planets, a large part of which was designed mainly by Bethesda Studios, and they are the planets on which the main and side missions take place and include colonies, cities, caves, and more. But at the same time, there are hundreds and hundreds of planets that are designed with procedural generation, the same feature used in a game like No Man’s Sky, which means that we will find many barren planets that have no missions or places to explore, and the main goal is to land on them to build Colonies and collecting rare resources, for example.
Another point that has been hotly debated recently on Twitter is that planets are completely unexplorable, which is wrong. Any planet in Starfield you can explore every inch of it, but you are not completely free to do so, so let’s explain how it works.
Each planet has specific landing points, and when you land on a specific point, the game loads a large area around that point that can be explored. If you reach the borders of that area, the game will tell you that you must return to the spaceship and choose another landing point in order to explore the rest of the planet, and the matter continues like this with you landing at various points and beginning your journey in various regions on the planet’s surface.
This is logical, as it was difficult to expect the game to download an entire planet and make it open to players everywhere, and we expect that the Creatine Engine 2 will not allow you to do this, so the logical solution that Bethesda studio took is to place different landing points on all the planets and allow players by landing on them one by one to explore the entire planet, this is not a flaw in the game at all!
The game world is distinctively dynamic
From now until tomorrow we could talk about how powerful and dynamic the world of Starfield is, which amazes us every time we step into it. In Starfield, we felt the same feeling that Red Dead Redemption 2 gave us, which is that there are many dynamic events happening around you that you can follow from afar, or participate in and have a role in how this event ends!
It is also possible that you will come across areas or people talking about something while you are wandering around the game world, and suddenly you will find that the game is offering you a new side mission that could last you for an hour or an hour and a half, for example.
We want to tell you a simple situation that happened to us in the game. While we were wandering around in our spaceship on the outskirts of one of the planets, we found another ship requesting to communicate with us and we actually agreed. At that time, we were surprised that the person who contacted us was an old woman inviting us to land on her ship and have dinner with her, since she had a lot of food and did not need all of that.
At first, we thought it was a trap and that we would die when we entered the ship, but she was honest, and she kept telling us about the greatness of life and spacewalking and that she lives for her grandchildren, whom she always goes to visit. A situation that did not last more than 15 minutes, but it remains stuck in our mind until now because of how beautiful it was and the impact it had on us, as we felt completely relaxed playing the game as if we were actually living in the role of the character!
How great it is to control the starship in Starfield!
We would not be exaggerating if we told you that Starfield has a flight simulation game inside it. A spaceship is not just a means of transportation between planets and solar systems, but it is much more than that!
Starfield gives you the ability to customize literally every inch of the ship. You can change the engine, grav drive, driving area, and add different weapons and equipment that serve your playstyle. You can also enlarge the size of the spaceship or purchase other ready-made spaceships that are larger and bulkier to allow for the addition of more resources and open space to place more of your crew inside.
Speaking of the crew, you can assign many different characters to take with you on board the ship for various space battles, planets, and other wonderful things that you will need to help this crew with, especially if you decide to establish colonies on specific planets and leave part of the crew in them because they have a certain experience capable of improving the colony. Increase the speed of crafting resources and gear.
The style of playing with the spaceship is no less fun than the style of playing with your main character because Starfield simulates reality in that aspect, and suddenly you find the game turns into a strategic experience during battles, where you must direct the ship’s energy in an ideal way to balance all the different elements of the ship, such as weapons, armor, or the engine, and this is of course Depending on what is happening around you in the environment. If you are under a lot of pressure from enemies, you will increase the strength of the shield, if you want to destroy enemies quickly, you will increase the power of the weapons, and if you want to move quickly from the place, you will direct energy and increase the power of the engines. Thus, we see that the game has a set of elements of realistic flight simulation games!
Of the 70 hours we spent in Starfield, about 3 or 4 of them we focused on developing the ship and building other ships completely from scratch because the thing about the ship building system is that it turns into a simple game over time because each part of the ship has a certain rank and you have to assemble the correct parts fit together as if you were putting together a puzzle, and it was fun for me.
Build colonies on various planets
To be honest, the idea of building colonies is the only thing we didn’t pay any attention to during our Starfield experience because that’s not the main reason we play Bethesda titles for. But if you are a fan of this, especially after the wonderful experience it provided in both Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, the system here is larger and more massive than any previous game.
The idea of building colonies in Starfield has been greatly developed and improved, as you can build many colonies on many planets, and here comes the role of remote planets. Although they are completely devoid of missions and cities, they are full of resources waiting to be collected, so you can benefit from those planets by building… Colonies and assign a full crew to them to collect resources for you, and with them you will be able to develop your equipment, space suit, and gear to become stronger in the face of various enemies and creatures that stand in your way.
In addition, if you are a fan of collecting achievements for games, you will have to build colonies and invest some time, as you will not be able to obtain all the achievements until you create colonies, develop equipment, and such things. But if your primary goal is to explore the world, the stories, the characters, and the different events, you can stay away from the idea of establishing colonies, and this will not affect the experience as a whole.
Starfield’s technical experience is almost problem-free
Creation Engine 2 shines with stunning graphics
Bethesda games did not previously focus on providing a stunning level of graphics. Although their graphics were acceptable every year they were released, there were other games in the same year that were stronger and better graphically by far, but we all know that we play Bethesda titles in order to enjoy many things, and graphics are not One of them.
It’s a completely different story here with Starfield, which is built on the latest version of the Creation Engine, which has seen huge improvements over the studio’s last games, Fallout 4 and 76. This is a completely new generation experience, and that shows in the attention to detail throughout the game, even on the remote planets created. By procedural obstetrics. But the game really shines when you get into the massive cities like New Atlantis and Neon and look at how much the studio cares about delivering a visually stunning and realistic experience.
Starfield’s graphics level sometimes reaches the same level as Cyberpunk 2077, and this is while trying the game on medium settings, so what if you own a super computer and run the game on the highest settings with 4K resolution, for example. The experience will undoubtedly be legendary. It is noteworthy that id Software (which developed the DOOM series and created the id Tech engine) helped Bethesda studios with the graphic design of Starfield, and even added the Motion Blur feature, which was not present in any of their games previously.
The game’s fantastic graphic level is not only exclusive to the environments, but the characters were also beautifully designed with a focus on providing high-quality textures for the skin and clothing. Of course, this is not the best game visually, and there are other games released recently that are better than Starfield, but when you look at the gigantic size of the game and the level of graphics that it offers, you must tip your hat to Bethesda studio for their great interest in providing distinctive technologies and developing their Creatine Engine.
An audio experience of the highest level of beauty
As mentioned in our talk about the story, all the characters in Starfield whether main or side are great characters, and the main reason to make them beloved characters that we will remember for years to come is the excellent voice acting. The casting here was all great, and we loved a character like Sarah Morgan who accompanied me throughout the experience and was a major part of the crew of our spaceship.
As for the sound effects, everything in Starfield is designed in a distinctive style, and although most of the things in the game come from the distant future and there are no similar things to them for the audio team at Bethesda to draw upon, they managed to create an experience that immerses you in the world because of its sounds, especially the sound of Laser and energy weapons which was very special.
There is also no dust in the soundtrack, as it was composed by the wonderful Inon Zur, who worked on almost all parts of Fallout, and Zur managed to capture the spirit of space and adventure in a way that we did not expect. There is one main melody that you will hear throughout the events of the story, with many others that suit each mission and add to its greatness, especially in the second half of the events. In addition, the music that you hear while exploring the planets is very beautiful and wonderful!
Technical game problems are rare!
Perhaps this is the strangest statement you will hear about a game from Bethesda, especially after what we saw in Fallout 76, but the Starfield game is actually almost free of technical problems. During 75 hours of play, we only encountered about 5 bugs, and they were all minor things that did not affect the experience, and Crash only happened once, and this is very acceptable for a game of this size with all these characters and places that can be visited.
The main reason why the game came out so polished is definitely Microsoft’s support, and the intention of Phil Spencer and the Xbox team to postpone the game for a full year to ensure it comes out without problems. The game in the review version was version 1.6, which means that it went through a lot of quality assurance over the past months, and indeed the teams responsible for quality assurance were able to solve almost all of the game’s problems, and the end result is an experience that makes you feel that it comes to us from a completely different studio and not from the same studio that Fallout 76 was introduced to us only 5 years ago!
It is worth noting that the Day 1 update for Starfield was released while we were reviewing the game, and all the minor problems we encountered were resolved.
What about technical performance?
This is a new generation game, so we were already expecting that it would be heavy on performance, especially after it was revealed that it was locked to 30 frames per second for Xbox Series, our experience with the game was on an average personal computer with the following specifications:
- Intel Core i5-10400F processor
- 32 GB of DDR4 RAM with a frequency of 3200 MHz
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 8 GB graphics card
- Storage on NVMe M.2 SSD
We were able to run the game at 1080p on medium settings (and some on high), and in return we got 30 frames per second in open areas, and 60 frames per second in closed areas. we did not like the experience as it varied between frames in this way, so we went to the Nvidia Control Panel and locked it to 30 frames so that the experience would be smooth and similar at all times, whether in closed areas or while exploring planets.
Indeed, the experience became perfect and similar to console devices in this way, and the game did not drop below 30 frames in any situation, even in situations that were full of action, explosions, and large confrontations over vast areas. The experience is technically very polished, but you will need medium/strong hardware to enjoy it without problems.
All this greatness is included with your Xbox Game Pass subscription!
Perhaps the most important thing that increases the value of Starfield in general is that a masterpiece of this type is available with you as an Xbox Game Pass subscription on PC and Xbox Series This wonderful subscription costs you only 10$ per month, and through it you can enjoy the game Starfield and other powerful Xbox exclusives coming in the coming months and years.
The value of the service is increasing day by day with the presence of a giant group of AAA games, and Starfield is perhaps the largest game to join the service so far, and it is the perfect response to all those who used to say that the service focuses on independent games only! This is not an advertisement for the Game Pass service, but it is just advice to go immediately and subscribe to the service if you have not done so, as you will save a lot of money in the coming period.
In the end
Starfield is one of the best RPGs in gaming history, a love letter from Bethesda Studios and Todd Howard to their fans who have been waiting for a new title for over 25 years. It’s the perfect result of the studio’s 30 years of experience, and it can be seen as the beginning of a new era for Microsoft because it’s one of our Xbox games that we recommend buying to try. Bethesda studio is back to its glories, our faith in Todd Howard is back, and now we’re setting our sights on the highly anticipated The Elder Scrolls VI as the next masterpiece.
Gamer Zone Club evaluation: 10
- Story, characters, and dialogues: 10
- Gameplay, world design, and main and side quest design: 10
- Role-playing system and freedom of exploration: 10
- The technical experience as a whole (graphics, audio, and performance) : 10
- An interesting story with characters, dialogues, and shocking surprises
- Smooth and fun gameplay
- Huge freedom to explore a dynamic world of over 1000 planets
- The role-playing system was excellently mastered
- The design of main and side quests is some of the best We’ve seen
- Distinctive spaceship gameplay design as if it were a flight simulation experience
- Stunning graphics, sound effects and soundtrack at the highest level
- An almost problem-free technical experience, and this is the first time we see this from Bethesd Studio
- All you need is a subscription to experience this masterpiece
- Some minor flaws that did not affect the overall experience