Starfield Chronicles: Part 3 — The First 20 Hours

I can’t believe it has only been 20 hours. It feels like I’ve been playing for so much longer. Which I realise might sound like a fairly damning condemnation of the game, after all, isn’t time meant to fly by when you’re having fun?

Yeah?

But in this case no. I think it’s because the gameplay is so… dense. The time spent feels like I’m getting so much done. Although I want to stress the ‘feels’ like, because objectively — that’s probably not the case. Maybe progressed one of the main faction storylines a bit more, or kicked Spacers out of an independent star system, or upgraded my ship (finally).

Actually, I ended up buying a new ship. I went to Mars for this one. It’s… well… a fair bit bigger than the ol’ Frontier.

But whatever I might be doing, it feels worthwhile within the context of the game.

And yet I know there are so many more things I’ve either barely scratched the surface of, or not touched at all yet.

Things I Haven’t Touched Yet:

  • Crafting
  • Outposts
  • Research
  • Powers

And arguably the Constellation main story — but you had to do a bit of that to even get out into the wider world from the mining camp you started at.

Only just near the end of my current 20-hour stint taken the Constellation story far enough that I could choose to leave Sarah behind. (I didn’t.)

Largely because shortly after starting the UC Vanguard storyline, I found that it escalated in urgency very quickly and demanded more immediate attention. … Not to say that I didn’t still spend large amounts of time pursuing side missions and tasks… Because I did, but you know.

I discovered during this section you could go into a low-power ‘stealth’ mode. Drawing all power out of weapons and shields, and keeping at maximum, two pips of energy in engines made you run cool and quiet, and more difficult to detect.

Story aside, I know I still have so much to learn. I don’t even really have much of an idea as to what my priorities should be for setting up outposts yet.

And I only upgraded my starship (well… replaced it) when I finally crammed the starter one absolutely full to the brim with resources and loot.

Which perhaps then goes to answer for you which side of Roger’s recently posed question I came down on. I am not referring to any guides or external tips at this stage. Not to say I won’t ever, but I don’t feel that I’ve yet exhausted the possibilities of self-discovery for this first time through the game. I certainly have nothing against guides — heck, I had to follow one start-to-finish to get through my first-ever Dark Souls game.

But Bethesda games don’t command quite that same degree of frustration or difficulty, I don’t think. Or at least, not once you’ve experienced a half dozen of them.

And Starfield is, if nothing else, a Bethesda game through and through.

Views on whether that is a good thing or not are varied, ranging from very much not with a rather rapid decision to refund, to the more neutral through to the generally more positive.

If you couldn’t tell — I definitely lean toward the more positive.

By design, I didn’t really know much about Starfield going in, so I hadn’t really built up any strong expectations on what it would or wouldn’t be. I can see a lot of areas that will one day be improved by mods, and that future does excite me, but I’m also attempting to push most of those thoughts to the wayside for the time being and enjoy Starfield for what it is in its vanilla state.

Possibly for both the first and last time.

Huh. Not sure how I feel about that.

But for now at least, I cannot get enough — so time to go back and play! :D

Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

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