Showing posts with label Starfield. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Starfield. Show all posts

Saturday, December 30, 2023

What Disappointed Me In 2023

 I can confirm that 2023 was a year and with it came some disappointments.

Starfield (game)

 Starfield is ending the year with "mostly negative" reviews on Steam and it 100% deserves them.  This loading screen infested mess of nothingness is an embarrassment to gaming.  I was so hyped when the original trailers came out, but they were misleading to the extreme.  The game in the trailer is not the game we got.

 With that said the game we got is what we should probably have expected. It is the same game engine behind their other games, like Skyrim, and performs exactly the same.  The challenge with Starfield is it's not a single terrestrial world and thus ends up with far more loading screens to get players between planets, ships, space, buildings, etc.

 Add onto the loading screens a combat system that is lackluster, a story that is nonsensical, and a myriad of systems that never make sense when brought together and you have the biggest gaming disappointment of 2023 and possibly the last decade.  How this game sold 10+ million copies is beyond me.  Had I not gotten my copy with my new graphics card purchase I'd of hit refund on Steam within the first hour. 

rebel moon movie poster
Rebel Moon (movie)

 If you told me Rebel Moon was a movie about Starfield I would believe it.  Story that makes no sense? Check. Every cliche under the sun (ha!)? Check. This movie doesn't deserve the words I've typed let alone more words.  Such a disappointment.  Do better Netflix.

New World (live service game)

 Some may find this surprising considering 91% of my game time this year has been spent playing New
World, but I can't help but admit that the end of year really soured my mood on the game.  We did get the Rise of the Angry Earth expansion which did bring amazing features like mounts, but it was very lacking in content.  The five extra levels (cap raised from 60 to 65) were laughable as far as effort-required and the new story + zone lasted all of an hour.  I hate to admit it but that was NOT enough to be worthy of the title "expansion".  I'd rather have had this delivered as a seasonal update.

new world

 The lacking expansion would have been fine as it was coming right before a big set of new features that were listed on the road map.  Then the road map was updated -- and this is why New World is on my disappointment's list -- they literally canceled the majority of the road map and delivered almost nothing.  Instead of the expansion being a launching pad into the future it was a speed bump that most players were done with the first week it came out.  I am still a huge New World fan but find myself less interested each update.  

 To cap it off we did not get a 2024 road map yet and instead have been asked to come back in May for "something big" which is mind boggling considering the number of items that were good enough to put on a road map before and are now many don't even sound like they are being considered.  How does that happen?  I can get a one off feature being dropped but the majority!?  What the heck.

Green Bay Packers Defense (supposedly a football team)

 What can I say.  We entered the year worried about whether Jordan Love was the future QB of the Packers.  Little did we know the age-old Green Bay Packers "worst defense in the league.... again" was the real worry.  If we make the play offs... it will be a miracle.


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Mind Blowing Star Citizen Video

 Anyone that has talked to me about Starfield likely knows I am not a fan.  I'd go as far as to say Starfield is a bug-ridden mess of loading screens.  With my disappointment in Starfield it has had me on the look for other games to scratch the space opera itch.  The two that come to mind are No Man's Sky and Star Citizen.  Itching even harder today is Star Citizen after I watched a mind blowing tech demo video!

 Does this mean I am a Star Citizen fanboy now?  Am I drinking the kool-aid?  Am I upset about a major financial investment I've made in Star Citizen?  No x3.  I am honest when I say Starfield sucks and there is a serious itch I want to scratch for a space exploration game.

 Also the more I've learned about Star Citizen the more I realize the general "Star Citizen is a scam and will never release!" sentiment online is way off base.  First off, there is a valid Star Citizen alpha that is online and playable.  Just watching a few videos I'd argue it has numerous aspects that beat out games like Starfield by a mile.

 I think the sentitment about Star Citizen comes from its ever-growing scale and watching this video I can see where that comes from.  But this video is in their engine.  This is in theory a literal path a player could take without ever hitting a loading screen.  Jump in your ship, fly to a planet, explore, hop back in that ship, zip off to a space station.... and it goes on and on and on.  Consider me impressed, if not mind blown, by where Star Citizen is at.  I shall watch it with much more interest now.

Friday, October 06, 2023

There are four people on my ship in Starfield and I'm too afraid to ask why

starfield too afraid to ask
 My internet (Spectrum) was out all day yesterday so I had to... gasp... play offline video games to pass my time.  I decided to jump back into Starfield.  I was in the middle of a quest which I tidied up by killing everyone on the "Scow" ship.  Upon returning to my ship there were four people on it; three of whom I have no idea why they are there.  They've also been there a while.

 This is part of my complaints about Starfield.  Many things seem to happen or not happen and then suddenly there is a bunch of people hanging out on your ship with storylines you don't ever remember interacting with.  One would think you'd have more control over your own ship.

 On top of this is the pure irony that these folks are just sitting on the ship for whatever amount of time for some sort of trigger to do whatever is next in their chain of events.  I was jailed, had my ship impounded, and once free there they were... just hanging out.  Look at these fools.

starfield ship interior
I know why Sarah Morgan is here, but why are you looking at me random guy?  And why is there a "settler" standing by the hatch?

starfield ship interior
That's OK buddy; you just go ahead and use my bed.

 Anyways; the internet is back up so back to online gaming!

Monday, September 25, 2023

At least Starfield looks good

 I haven't done anything in photo mode so need to give that a try but here are some shots from the adventure so far.

Shotguns out when exiting the ship!

The ring.

Sadly I am not actually flying the ship.

Oh. Ah.

Neon aka "loading screen town"

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Starfield is not a good game

 Here are my thoughts on Starfield after eight hours of play: Starfield is not a good game.

 I had big hopes for Starfield.  Not out-of-this-universe hopes, but I really thought it was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime game launch.  A launch you'd tell your grandkids about it (I am getting old!) like you tell your kids about World of Warcraft's launch.  Sadly, I was wrong about Starfield.

 Before we get to the bad I can at least admit that I dig the NASA-punk style.  Sitting down in the cockpit of your spaceship is an amazing visual feast.  Zipping around with lasers and ballistic cannons firing in space while all the screens and dials whir in your cockpit is awesome.  The spacesuits are slick.  Building exteriors are cool.  The few cities in the game are visually stunning.

 However, as far as nice things to say though; that's about it.  The game looks good some of the time.  I can't even say it looks good all of the time!  There is a lot of, to put it politely, grey-green-brown mush in this game.  Right alongside amazing starships and folks boost packing around in epic space suits is planet after planet of visual famine.

 There are so many things wrong with the game, but the biggest grievance I have is the number of loading screens and traversal via game menus (fast travel).  I recorded one such chain of events:

  • Menu to fast travel to destination
  • Loading screen into space
  • Menu to land on planet
  • Loading screen to land
  • Loading screen to exit ship
  • Walk short distance to building
  • Loading screen to enter building first room
  • Loading screen to exit first room
  • Loading screen for second part of building
  • Loading screen to exit back to first area
  • Loading screen to exit building
  • Menu to fast travel back to ship (walking is for suckers)
  • Menu to pick destination
  • Loading screen to launch into space
  • Menu to pick destination
  • Loading screen to travel
  • Menu to land on planet
  • Loading screen to land
  • Loading screen to exit ship

 That may seem extreme as an example but that is literally how you play the game.  Menu, load, menu, load.  Some will say "but you are supposed to do it the hard way and you will see the real Starfield, all the random encounters!".  Huh!?  Sure I can scoot around in space for a bit and fight a random pirate for the 10th time, but at some point I still have to go through menu + loading screen to get anywhere.

 The loading screen approach really kills the excitement for the game.  Other than the arcade-lite space combat system there is no point at which you or your crew is flying your ship.  Want to go somewhere on planet; it is menu > load > menu > load > hoof it out on foot.  They couldn't even bother to give us land vehicles in the absence of being able to fly our ship around the surface!

 To make the menu > load loop even worse the UI is trash.  So much so that one of the first mods for the game to gain traction was a mod for a better UI.  In a matter of days modders have better UI than Bethesda after how many years of development?  I admit that UI is a very hard item to get right, especially when the game crosses consoles and PC, but I swear to all that is noodly that if the Starfield UI swaps the function of a button one more time from one screen to the next I'm going to scream. It wouldn't be that bad if I didn't have to spend half my time playing the game buried in the damn UI!

 The story in Betheseda RPGs is something you either like or dislike.  I've never been a huge fan, opting to "click and get on with it", but there has always been a certain quirky quality to them that got me through.  Starfield's story though, barring some major improvement past where I am at currently, is a dud.  It is hard to follow and is nothing more than glorified fetch quests.

 Then there is the combat and general character experience/progression.  The gun play feels terrible; my pistol whip does more damage than 100 bullets.  Melee is garbage and has zero variety of choices.  Enemies are braindead; easily fooled or just outright skipped.  Ammunition is stupid scarce and you'd be better off just buying a new spaceship vs trying to buy enough bullets for one fight.  My best weapon is my freaking mining laser.  The progression makes no sense.  Loot drops way too much.  You can carry almost as much as your entire spaceship can... and inventory management is a nightmare.

 Systems are sometimes over explained, then others are not explained at all, and so few systems seem to connect together in any logical way.  Sometimes we say games are "made by committee" to indicate they are generic; Starfield is a game that feels "made by lots of committees that didn't talk to each other".  Every system is just mush and boiled down to basics.  As mentioned; space combat is arcade-lite. Researching, mining/gathering, ship building, outpost building, crews... all of these systems are feature incomplete and none of it makes any sense. 

 Oh and there is space magic.  Why? Who the freak knows.

 I am baffled by anyone playing this game that thinks its good.  I would never recommend the game and am very happy it was just a freebie with my GPU update (I had planned to upgrade anyways for New World).  I'd be seriously pissed if I spent money on this game (note: I did technically as I bought a copy for my 14 yo son; he seems to enjoy it but his context is Minecraft).

 Summed up: Starfield is like a box of random toys dumped in front of a kid with a parent trying to make up a story as they got along playing with them.  Starfield is not a good game.


Friday, September 08, 2023

Starfield: In one sense, you do have a vehicle, you obviously have your spaceship


 Todd Howard, overlord of Starfield development, gave a surprising answer recently when asked about the lack of land vehicles in the game.

“In one sense, you do have a vehicle, you obviously have your spaceship so you can go around space, but then on the surface, you do have a jetpack which you can upgrade,” Howard continued. “Obviously, planets have different levels of gravity, which makes that (travel) unique for many planets.”

 I am wondering what game Todd is referring to.

 In the Starfield I've seen you can't actually fly your ship; it's just a series of loading screens.  If I could take off in the ship, hover over the planet's surface, and then fly it to a new location then I'd get his comments, but thats not how the game works... at all.  Your ship is a static element once landed and everything else is hoofed out on foot. 

 And NO; having a boost pack/jet pack is not a sufficient replacement to having land vehicles.

 We need land vehicles in Starfield!

Monday, September 04, 2023

Starfield Hottake: Loading Screens

 Here is my first Starfield hot take: loading screens kill immersion.

 There are so many load screens in Starfield.  The worst offender being the aspects around ships.  Loading screen to get into the ship,  Loading screen to launch into space (you don't actually fly into space).  Loading screen to then fast travel to destination.  Loading screen to then land on a planet. Loading screen to then exit your ship. Since you landed right next to an outpost you will walk a few feet only to have another loading screen to enter the building.

 None of the loading seems too long, but the sheer quantity kills immersion.  I honestly don't know what I expected from a Bethesda RPG with the creation engine.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Surprise: Starfield Early Access Is Popular

 And the charts go up for Starfield.  233k+ and climbing within an hour of early access just on Steam.  Can't imagine how big it is accross all platforms.  Again, this is just those that paid for early access!  Will be neat to check in on Sept 5th with the general launch.

 I bought a copy for my oldest son's birthday that had early access.  Won't get my copy until later next week; likely with a new GPU (AMD 7800XT).

starfield player count