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Thoughts on the game aside, we are all gonna continue buying and playing whatever shit Bethesda Games Studios make, there's no use running from it.
Completed most of the game barring some side content ofc, and overall I'd say I'm very conflicted about the title, though a little bit more towards the positive end. I have a lot of mixed feelings about the game's particular "identity" and I do feel that it is absolutely missing the charm of classic Bethesda titles, mainly due to the setting feeling indistinguishable from the rest of the sci-fi landscape. The feeling of wonder at getting lost in the world doesn't return either, which is such a sad thing because that's exactly what keeps us spending so much time in Bethesda's worlds. However, and this is something I never expected but the main storyline of this game is far and away the best part I think, and as far as BGS titles go, it's the best narrative they've cooked up so far. Genuinely gets its hooks into you early on to the point where you often feel the hunger for chasing after the artefacts instead of going around exploring everything, and I think that kind of balance is what would've been exactly what they needed, had the exploration aspect not tanked in favour of it. The Constellation group are fantastic and they spent a lot of time building a sense of intimacy between you and its members. It's an appreciated development considering their previous games kinda lacked in this regard. In addition to this, the main questline ties very nicely into all the faction quests and gives the player an incentive to really put themselves out there and try everything. In terms of payoffs, Starfield is a game that capitalizes on the aspect very well, though without some faults which I will get to later.
The faction questlines in this game aren't that numerous which was a bit of a disappointment, and while they vary in quality, the Crimson Fleet and UC Vanguard were the two standouts for me. Crimson Fleet in particular was fucking awesome. So many undercover missions with really cool choices that can change the entire trajectory of the questline and how it impacts the main story.
I think despite these strong narratives, the exploration aspect of Starfield was lacking. I didn't find much incentive to scour planets outside clear objectives. Mainly the procedurely-generated approach made the locations feel samey and boring. After the first few you don't wanna go around cause it's the same caves or pirate bases every time. Not to mention having to run everywhere, wish there were some more transportation options. The ship building and outpost customization aspect is fantastic though, and you can see a lot of time and care was put into making your ship feel like an extension of your character. It is your home, where you and your followers stay and it goes with you everywhere. It's the bridge between your player and the content, I think that they nailed that feeling of "home is where the heart is".
My biggest issue with the game is probably one I think Bethesda reaaaaaaally should've addressed by now but instead it has gotten worse. The sheer amount of time you spend in menus doing immersion breaking inventory management or having to manually offload the contents of your companions or your ship one by one feels so unintuitive and really grinded my gears. It's something that should have been addressed after Skyrim but it still persists and now reaches its worst state yet. On top of that, despite the exploration and side content being vast the way they approached NG+ is baffling to me. I didn't know what to think immediately, but I think it's kinda not good now that I've sat on it. Essentially when you reach the end of the main story, you're given the option if you want to complete it, but in the process you restart your entire playthrough, reset all questlines, etc. Idk why they saved this gimmick for the end in a game as big as this but it was a horrible idea I think. Upset me right at the end cause I loved how my finale played out prior.
But yeah, a sometimes good but mostly mediocre game especially with its hiccups and the performance issues I had. I think if you went into this game knowing what it was meant to be, literally just another BGS RPG in space, then you'll have some fun at the very least. It's far from the leap I wished it to be and now I'm a bit worried if TES6 is gonna be able to live up to what it NEEDS to be, but hey man I'm still gonna come back and put another 200 hours into this once all the mods start dropping so I can't complain.