I should preface this review by stating that I’ve been under a bit of a non-immediate family stress.
Starfield, a new RPG from Bethesda, which brought us Skyrim and Fallout, is out in a few days, and I have early access because I splurged on the deluxe edition. The reviews are ranging widely, and I thought I would add my first impression.
Like most video games, Starfield starts with a basic tutorial. Once I got the mine part of it out of the way, the tutorial directs me to exterminate a pirate outpost on the nearby moon, because they are determined to prevent me from leaving the orbit. So I land on this moon/planet, and it’s a barren rock with some weird and aggressive terrestrial crabs running around.
My trusty robot, Vasco, and I go to the pirate hideout, which is pretty close, and realize that it used to be a research facility. Without spoiling too much, something went wrong and the pirates took it over. So I kill the pirates, no big whoop, and the game tells me that I need to be going to the capital city. But I saw a marker in the distance, so after I dump my
ill gotten gains just rewards into my cargo hold, I decide to check the marker out.
I’m jet packing and walking my way across this barren landscape – and it is ugly – and finally come up to the edge of the structure tagged by that marker. There is a little cube of a bunker sitting there, with a ladder leading to the top. I take the ladder. A dude in high end armor unfolds himself from the bench and shoots me in the head. I shoot him back, many times, he falls down, and behind me, the map turns red like I had kicked a nest of hornets.
I had stumbled onto some kind of a mercenary base. I’m being shot from everywhere. I run for cover and return fire. There are mercenaries on top of mercenaries, on top of mercenaries and they are yelling about flanking me. It’s getting dark, and I can’t see crap, just the bullet trails: yellow from them and blue from Vasco, who is yelling things like, “Pew pew!” and “I’m aiming for your center of mass!”
I’m crouching on this second floor walkway, being shot and popping medpacks like they are candy, and I realize that the walkway is attached to the outside of a two story hab.
I shoot some fuel tanks next to the merc that’s firing at me, he vanishes in a cloud of fiery death, and I jump over the side to the ground, hoping my jet pack with cushion my fall damage. It does.
I land in front of the habitat, open the door, and see three guys who promptly turn me into Swiss cheese. So I reload the quick save, open the door, and throw a frag mine in there. It explodes and I die. The blast picks up my body and hurls it 50 feet into the air. I didn’t allow for the proper blast clearance.
I reload the quick save, and then also reload, and reload one more time, and finally I get the mine in there and it explodes properly, and then I shoot everyone from outside as they try to exit so they can snipe me.
I get into the bunker, loot everything I can, and find a communique from the mercenary leader which says that since the two major powers withdrew from the planet, their old military bases are up for grabs and he is commandeering them. These clowns are squatters.
I take up position on the inner catwalk and wait. They start coming through the door and I shoot them. I now have a pile of mercenaries blocking the door. Outside Vasco is running around, living his best life. At some point I realize that he is being pummeled by turrets so I make a brief excursion and snipe the turrets.
Finally no more red dots are coming. I reload, pop a medpack, and start a systematic sweep. I find some barracks and people inside who are wanting to kill me, so I deal with that. I shoot one guy into his jet pack. It lifts him up into the air and then he explodes above my head. I find their cache of weapons, hack the digital lock, and obtain Advanced Big Bang, which happens to be a particle beam shotgun. Oh goodie.
A transport ship comes in, and they unload more reinforcements, and me and Vasco mop them up. I strip the base to its studs, load that robot up so he can barely move, and we fast travel to the ship. We hyperjump to the capital without incident, and at the port, I unload my loot into the trade kiosk until it runs out of money. Then I go to the actual store and sell things there until they run out of money.
I have 17,000 credits, and I still have things to sell.
So far? Worth it.
PS. I had to install this game on SSD. When they say it’s a requirement, they are not kidding. I was experiencing a lot of audio stutter and weird loading pauses. Moving to SSD so far seems to have fixed it. I haven’t had any stutter at all.