Bethesda made parts of Starfield “boring” on purpose, says the developer


It was one of the most eagerly awaited games of all time, and surely millions of people worldwide were looking forward to playing Starfield. A role-playing game set in space, one of its major features is that it would offer 1,000 different planets to explore, letting players loose themselves in a deep sci-fi world…

And indeed early critic reviews suggested that game developer Bethesda had succeeded at this goal with the game enjoying a solid score on Metacritic (87 out of 100 at the time of writing). But then user reviews started pouring in, and Starfield is now one of those blockbuster games with wildly different critic and user scores. The user score for Bethesda’s latest game currently stands at 5.6, with more than 5,000 users having voiced their opinion on Metacritic so far.

One of the things that users on Metacritic have been complaining about is the game’s planets being mostly “empty” and boring to explore. But this might have been by design, as having so many planets in the game means that many will have little points of interest and give players little to do besides hunting for resources.

Also, game designer Todd Howard of Bethesda revealed in an interview with the New York Times (via that the game needed this “scale” in order to deliver a feeling of being an “explorer”.

“We needed the scale to have that feeling. We could have made a game where there are four cities and four planets. But that would not have the same feeling of being this explorer”, said Howard.

This invariably would lead to the game having quite a few empty planets, although these don’t necessarily have to be “boring” according to Bethesda’s managing director Ashley Cheng.

“Everyone’s concerned that empty planets are going to be boring. But when the astronauts went to the moon, there was nothing there. They certainly weren’t bored”, said Cheng.

Sadly, though, and in agreement with many players who have complained about Starfield’s planets so far, Cheng said that not every planet “is supposed to be Disney World”, and that “the point of the vastness of space is you should feel small”, so scale was more of a consideration than fun when creating Starfield’s planets it seems…

But still, while the game might not exactly offer the exhilarating experience people might expect after watching Starfield’s impressive live action trailer, it’s still a vast, epic game with tons to see and do, quests to embark on and places to discover.

Many of its planets might not be as interesting to trek through right now, and people have been unfairly complaining Starfield’s worlds to those of No Man’s Sky, a game that has received countless updates and patches since it came out back in the summer of 2016.

Like they did with their previous game Fallout 76, it’s likely Bethesda will keep adding content to Starfield in the months and years to come, plus the inevitable DLC and expansions might eventually help turn this into the impressive space epic Bethesda fans were hoping to get at launch this year…

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