Starfield Starborn End of the Beginning

Last time around, I finally wrapped up all the side content I wanted to complete in my first playthrough. Since then, I became a Starfield Starborn after entering my first Unity and finally rolling credits. That really is just the end of the beginning, because there’s so much more to do.

It’s not really a spoiler anymore to know that the end of the game is then the start of a new universe. Finally hitting the credits did confirm this is my favorite game of all time. There are faults for sure, but the sum of the parts just scratched the Sci Fi itch for me.

Repetitively Acquiring New Starborn Powers

Starfield power temples spinning rings

Before I became a Starfield Starborn, I did take time to find and visit all the artifact temples Vlad could find for me. The whole thing was a bit monotonous. Starfield critics complain about the fast travel system, but it honestly saved my sanity getting the last set of powers from the temple. Each planet was unique with plenty of strange plants and animals, but the temples were mostly the same.

I’m pretty good with the zero-G puzzles inside of them, but I know it’s a point of frustration for some. So much so, that people created mods to remove or shorten them. It actually frustrated me a bit that Vlad’s Power Beyond mission hit completion while I still had 2 or 3 temples left to find. I thought it was a bug at first, but online commenters confirmed you can’t find them all on the first universe. I’ll have to complete my list in the next universe.

Searching for the Starfield Starborn and Unity

My Starfield character enjoying the view of a sunset

As for the main mission, I had left off at a point where we’d seek help from the Sanctum Universum. The whole question of what the Unity was seemed like a great religious question. As my character was more neutral as far as religions go, we were only interested in any ancient text mentions. It would make total sense for religious people to misinterpret advance technology as some religious experience.

What followed was philosophical discussions, before an actual story of a pilgrim emerged. That pilgrim passed on knowledge to all 3 of the major religions: Sanctum Universum, Enlightened and House Va’Ruun. Having watched a ton of History Channel specials on various religions, the search for answers was especially interesting to me.

The pilgrim passed on knowledge of his final location across the 3 religions that they preserved as stories. Putting all that info together to find the last signs of the pilgrim was a nice way for the game to tie the religions together. I imagine that’s a theme they might expand upon later in DLC.

Meeting the Starfield Starborn Face to Face

Meeting with Starfield Starborn, the Hunter and the Emissary on their ship

All these adventures led me to a confrontation with 2 of the Starborn that tried to prevent me from collecting all the artifacts. I chose to accept their offer for a peaceful meeting to get more answers. I won’t spoil everything, but there are some highlights I will mention. The Emissary and the Hunter, as they were called, played almost the Angel and Devil on the shoulder roles.

They also revealed who they really were behind the masks and it was definitely a bit shocking. I get the sense that who they are likely differs between playthroughs and universes. It will be interesting to see if and how they change in other universes. Both offered me a deal to help each of them, but I chose neither. I knew it likely increased the difficulty of a fight I was no doubt in for.

Luckily for me, or maybe for them, there was no fight right after that meeting. They instead, pointed me in a direction to acquire more answers.

Visiting NASA on the Scorched Earth

Starfield NASA history of space flight displays

With the style of Starfield considered “NASA punk”, it’s only fitting to visit the remnants of NASA on the now scorched earth. Seeing the launchpad, work stations and displays felt like a nice payoff for getting this far into the game. I took my time visiting all the displays of the pieces of NASA history. It’s a nice reminder of how far we’ve come in real life and how the game lore builds on that.

Starfield overlooking the old NASA launchpad on earth

The various computers and data slates filled me in on NASA’s history with Grav drives. I really love how the game handles how they created Grav drives and how important it was as Earth went downhill. Sure it was crucial in escaping earth, but the other detail about the technology as it relates to Earth is worth finding out on your own.

As much as I loved my trip to the relic that was NASA, it was my next mission that became my favorite in the entire game.

Entangled, My Favorite Starfield Mission

Starfield Rafael in another universe

The Entangled mission really teases the whole concept of the multiverse that Starfield’s new game plus is built on. As soon as I reached the Nishina Research Outpost after hearing their distress call, I knew it was not just a simple fetch quest. Security put everything on lockdown and wondered where the distress call came from.

Things quickly went weird when I’d be following a security guard one minute, then I instantly dropped into an alternate reality. That alternate universe shows signs of fire damage and nesting creatures that I fought off. This switching in and out of each universe continued until I met a strange figure in the burnt out labs, Rafael.

Starfield Rafael at Nishina in the other universe with nests and burn damage

He explained that their experiment with the artifact I hunted, caused an explosion. In the reality he was stuck in, he survived and everyone else died. In the main reality I started with, he was the only person to die. My switching back and forth continued to fill in bits of the story and advance me through the facility, until they were able to help me with a tool to control the shifts.

Starfield Nishina scientist studying a rift

Using rifts in the current universe, I could jump to the other universe. This helped me acquire information and avoid security by shifting out and move to a safe place, then back in. The puzzle solving and using rifts to avoid dangers reminded me a lot of the Dishonored 2 mission where the character could shift through time.

Choosing Which Universe to Save

In the end, I had a choice. I could save everyone else, but Rafael would cease to exist, or save just Rafael. Saving more people seems like an obvious choice, but I did wonder if there were benefits to saving Rafael. My search for more information led me to a body and a set of data slates that explained how to complete the experiment.

It probably took me a whole hour past the point where I could make the universe ending choice, but I figured out how to complete the experiment. I think it was well worth the extra time since it allowed me to save everyone. I’m sure it was trippy for Rafael to wake up in the same room as his dead body, but everyone was grateful and happily handed over the artifact that caused the whole mess.

Besides the obvious moral victory, I received an experimental space suit for my effort and the chance to later recruit Rafael for my crew. It’s without a doubt, the best mission I played in the entire game. I hope they embrace this shifting between universes idea in future DLC.

Fighting for Peace with the Emissary and Hunter

Starfield Ecliptic bodies everywhere with Vasco

The game made it pretty clear I’d have to fight my way to the final artifact. Unfortunately for me, I’d replaced lasers and ballistic weapons with automated turrets. My skill for those was very high, but my placement on my ship was bad. When I traveled to that final artifact planet, both the Emissary and Hunter met me in their Starborn ships.

There was no way to avoid a fight for me, so I had to limp along with my auto turrets. The placement was so bad I had to get very close and tilt my ship nose way up to hit their ships with lasers to bust the shields. I’d then have to put the nose way down to let the ballistic turrets do their thing. It took me a while to figure out the right distance and angles, but I did eventually defeat them both on the first attempt.

Starfield Starborn Ground War

I knew there was more blood to spill and the game shoved an ominous warning at me in the form of dozens Ecliptic bodies and broken robots. Good thing I was better prepared for this fight with all my best weapons fully upgraded and plenty of ammo.

It was a tough fight with all the waves of Starborn, but they couldn’t match up with my high tech weapons. I hit them with a cluster bombing grenade launcher, a minigun, a magnetic equivalent of a minigun, energy shotgun, plenty of varieties of grenades and an explosive SMG. I played with all of my toys.

There was a later part inside of a what appeared to be a robot factory that my Cyberneticist background paid huge dividends. Seeing all the robots and Starfield Starborn around, I rushed to what was obviously a control room. From there, I hacked the turrets and robots to protect me. The Starborn inside stood no chance.

The next big fight after that was much harder. Inside the chamber of the last artifact, it felt like constant grenade launchers locked onto me like homing missiles. I’d luckily stocked up on enough med kits and skill upgrades to survive my way through.

My final test though was the icing on the cake, I faced both the Emissary and the Hunter. Their combined forces would prove to be a tough fight, but no. I chose peace and used my Manipulation Neuro Amp to convince even the Hunter it was a good idea to skip a fight this time around.

It shocked me that skills I chose and choices I made allowed me to basically skip the final boss battle. They simply handed me their artifacts and I was good to finally head off to my first Unity.

Final Path to Unity

My first Starfield Unity review with Andreja

With all the artifacts collected, I was able to complete the Armillary that would propel me to the center of the universe and to the Unity. First though, was the optional choice to say good by to all my companions. After spending close to 200hrs, I was not about to miss out on the heartfelt good byes and the convesation of those that wanted to come with me.

It felt like a nice way put a bow on all those relationships I built through all those hours and adventures. With the sappy stuff out of the way, I was still not ready to say goodbye to my universe. I collected so much stuff and acquired so many credits, it was daunting to think about wiping that slate clean. Even all the missions I toiled away at would basically go back to the beginning.

Crushing Some Achievements Right Before Unity

With that in mind, I spent another hour or so using my resources to play around and complete some achievements. It was easy to nab the achievements for building things and buying ships with all my stuff. Things like collecting minerals and organic material, I figured I’d just naturally acquire through NG+. No quick way to do those with what I had.

After all the side missions, achievements and sappy talks, I finally rebuilt the Armillary and jumped to the Unity. It was my turn to become a Starfield Starborn I loved how it sort of embodied an NDE (Near Death Experience) with all the vibrant colors and a life review. Seeing what would ultimately happen with some of the big choices I made in the game was a big payoff.

My Impact on the Universe

The relationship with Andreja, for example, inspired House Va’Ruun to open up to communication with the Settled Systems. My choices during the UC Vanguard questline reduced the Terrormorph threat and inspired cooperation between the main factions of the universe.

Working with Ryujin corporation convinced them to shelve their Manipulation tech and my character became a legend for future recruits to live up to. Completing the Freestar Collective missions helped remind the universe of the sense of justice the group upholds. My choice to help UC Sysdef take down the Crimson Fleet made the universe safer for everyone.

My final choice to reject both the Hunter and the Emissary did open up anyone to find their way to the Unity. This part did not have a good or bad spin, but that could mean more Starborn and maybe that’s something for future DLC (or the inevitable Starfield multiplayer mode/spin off like ESO or FO76).

Even after learning all that, it was my choice to either leave the Unity and return to my universe or become Starborn to enter a new universe. Having read the crazy stories about some NG+ playthroughs, I didn’t hesitate to become Starborn. With that choice, the credits finally rolled.

For Starfield Starborn, the End is a New Beginning

My Starfield Starborn ship and space suit at New Atlantis

I finally “finished” the game, but now another game begins. As a Starfield Starborn, I have one of those sleek spacesuits and the odd saucer ship to start me off. Besides carrying over all my skills and knowledge, everything else is gone. I accumulated so much junk, it’s sort of liberating.

It was a given I had to visit Constellation, though it was disappointing I did not get one of the rare universes where things are weird there. Everyone looked just as I remembered, so I chose the option to skip the main quest by telling everyone who I really was (Starborn from another universe). The conversations were brand new on that subject of what the Starborn are.

As familiar as everything was, I was glad for that difference. My choice basically skipped me to the point where Vlad could give me locations of all the artifacts and temples. I grabbed some quickly using plenty of fast travel, but that is the point I finally decided to take a break to play some other games.

My New Favorite Game of All Time

Starfield has faults, but I have zero doubts it’s my favorite game of all time. It’s taken the crown from Cyberpunk 2077 for me, though I’ve not played the Phantom Liberty DLC or much of 2.0 yet. For now though, I’m in awe of what Bethesda put together. For those of us that grew up on Star Trek the Next Generation, Total Recall, Aliens, Event Horizon and more, it just scratches so many itches.

Critics that want to deny this game will have long legs like Skyrim are a little clueless. There’s so much in the game already, but even more potential to build on what’s there. Bethesda did a ton of work turning around Fallout 76 and you can bet an even higher level of effort for Starfield with the financial backing of Microsoft.

With plans of the first major feature patch coming in February of this year, I think I’ll wait until then to go to hard on NG+ playthroughs. Until then, I’ll finally get around to these other games languishing on my backlog as my Starfield hours ticked away.

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