Starfield is Game of the Generation

Since the last time I wrote about Starfield, a lot has happened in my game and in the streaming scene. Metacritic scores dropped about another point to 87 (for PC), but I’m now convinced Starfield is game of the generation. At the very least, it’s officially my favorite game of all time.

It’s an anomaly, because it gets there without the best graphics, story or sound. Gameplay is debatable, but the sum of the parts is so good, it’s great. For example, I did put 15 hours into Baldur’s Gate 3 over the past few weeks, but Starfield I’ve already racked up 46 hours.

Putting in Work for the Constellation Group

Starfield New Atlantis Building in the distance

Taking suggestions from earlier reviewers and streamers, I tackled a bunch of the main Constellation missions before going off on tangents. For a little while, it’s definitely good advice. Those main missions serve a few purposes. First I picked up new companions/crewmates. Second I learned new game mechanics. Lastly, it introduced me to new locations.

The members I met in those initial hours include Sarah Morgan, Walter Stroud, Matteo, Noel, Vladimir, Sam Coe and his daughter. Walter, as the financier, ran Stroud-Ekland which gives me major Weyland-Yutani vibes. If you don’t know what that is, then watch Aliens.

Starfield UC Museum Terrormorph display

Sarah really started things off, as my first human companion. She introduced me to the MAST office where I agreed to join the UC Vanguard (who seem like Starship Troopers). Although I didn’t fully sign up yet, I highly suggest agreeing to join initially just for the museum tour to learn more Starfield lore and access to the Flight Sim. The latter allows you to rank up ship skills quickly.

She also introduced me to Cydonia on Mars. It’s a mining colony that reminds me a lot of the Total Recall version of Mars. I picked up a new weapons specialist for my ship at a bar there and ended up with like 3 missions to add to my list before we left. Knowing those other threads were there really peaked my interest.

Running Silent, Docking and Enemy Ship Boarding

The whole point of us being there was to track down a guy named Moara who uses one of the artifacts we wanted as his hood ornament. After our leads sent us searching for him in space, I learned how to power down ship systems to only minimum engines to basically run silent like a submarine past enemies.

If there are times I’m outnumbered or outgunned, I’m sure it will be useful to repeat that process, then if I catch attention, pick a jump point and throw all power to Grav drives to get out quick. I love that option, because beefing up ships requires skill and a lot of resources.

At the tail end of the mission thread, I learned to dock with an abandoned space station and a disabled ship. It’s so satisfying to be able to dock, regardless of the action boiling down to a cutscene before loading the new area. Learning how to do all that is a perfect example of the value of the main missions in the beginning.

Akila, Land of Space Cowboys

Starfield Akila city bank robbery at Galbank

Next on the list was Sam Coe and his daughter. I was excited to know his involvement meant I was going to Akila, the Space Wild West city. Visiting that city did not disappoint. It was equal parts Fallout and Red Dead Redemption. The first part of the mission with Sam even started out with a good old fashioned bank robbery with hostages.

I failed to persuade the bank robbers to come out peacefully, so I ended up murdering them all after I convinced them to let me “check on the hostages”. Interested to eventually find out what talking them down initially would amount to. Later, I was able to help Sam deal with some family issues and get us to his families secret mine to find the next artifact.

Along the way, we even ran into some dangerous alien creatures which Sam helped me dispatch. Those encounters helped show me some of the allure of someone choosing the Beast Hunter background in the character creator. I get the sense I ain’t seen nothing yet.

Like other cities, I added several missions to my growing list, including a chance to join the Freestar Rangers. They are basically the equivalent of Space Sheriffs. I’m not quite ready for faction missions, but my son ran through that questline and highly recommends it. This is the point where I realized there’s already enough content to justify a $70 game, but makes my face want to melt with how much more there is to this game.

Upgrading my Ship via the Builder

Starfield ship builder upgrading my Frontier ship

With all these possible shipmates, I decided it was time to dive into the ship builder to add some space for more crew. What started as a quest to add enough crew spots for Sarah, Barrett, Sam and his daughter, turned into a rabbit hole.

I ended up adding a crew station module to ensure I could fit my max 4 crew into my ship. That turned into me adding crew quarters and a workshop. I also had to learn that adding that extra mass required a better Grav Drive which then required a better reactor. Even with that solved, my ship was then too long, so I had to move the landing struts to account for that.

For any ship builds, there’s a flight read checklist that informed me off any errors (like things not connected or not enough power) or warnings about weaknesses. I solved all my errors, but had to add better engines to sort out my maneuverability warning. It’s great puzzle/building experience.

Starfield my first upgraded ship

What really blew me away was when I saw my changes in first person. First it was seeing them on the runway, then actually going inside the new modules. I immediately decided I wanted more, so I add Captain quarters and an Armory. Now I can have a decent amount of crew, work on upgrades from my ship and admire my gear in the Armory.

Starfield my Ship Corridor
Starfield armory module
Starfield Workshop module

What’s crazy is that I’ve seen people online with upgraded ship skills where they can add a Mess Hall module that’s almost the size of my ship. The Ship Command skill fully upgraded can unlock up to 8 active crew members. You can roleplay your mini Star Trek fantasy.

That was the point I thought this game could unseat Cyberpunk as my favorite game of all time.

Building my First Outpost

With my ship and crew capacity concerns address, for now, I turned my attention toward creating a Lunar Mining base for my former mining crew. I landed on the moon, because why not, but I setup an outpost beacon once I saw a robotics laboratory near my landing site. No time to explore it then, so I wanted to place a pin in it.

After I came back and cleared that robotics base, I played around with setting up some outpost pieces. I created a habitat, resource extractor, some beds and a crew station. I powered it all with some solar panels. That’s when I remembered that I hired Lin and Heller from my old mining crew, but didn’t have room on my ship for them.

I hired them to run my Lunar base and we were off to the races. My understanding is that none of the Outpost gameplay is necessary, but it’s great that it’s there to play with. I was having so much fun just playing around with it that I forgot to take an screen grabs. It’s also something I threw together, so I’ll save screenshots for when I properly set everything up.

Starfield is my Game of the Generation

Starfield photo mode flight manual of my character and my ship

It was not long after my ship and outpost building that I went off on some long tangents. I embarked on the fantastic Mantis questline and later met a long lost Earth Colony ship before visiting the vacation planet of Paradiso. There’s too much packed in there to talk about just yet. All of this amazing content made clear this is now my favorite game of all time.

Metacritic and haters be damned, this will be a game people play for the next decade much like Skyrim. There’s so much to do in the base game, then DLCs and mods will be insane. It almost makes my face melt to think about what I’ve already done in the game without even scratching the surface. As you can see from my Flight Manual mockup above, the photo mode is also a whole rabbit hole.

Can’t wait to talk about what I did in Starfield next.

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