Starfield is now fully available, and players’ feedback is starting to come in. One view that is shared by so many players is that many of the planets in Bethesda’s new space exploration game are barren.
Many can’t help but compare these environments with the rich worlds of Skyrim and Fallout, also produced by Bethesda. And, what is the latest on Starfield's potato situation?
Starfield Boring Planets
Bethesda’s chief executives fully acknowledge these sentiments, but they also say that the team had intentionally designed certain planets in Starfield to be empty or boring.
Ashley Cheng, Bethesda’s managing director, sat down with the New York Times and Todd Howard, Starfield’s director, to discuss the concern. According to Cheng, they wanted to invoke a feeling of being small in the vastness of space. Players should feel overwhelmed by the large expanse of space, even if there’s a lot of emptiness to be encountered.
Howard agreed, saying that Starfield needed the scale for the player to feel like they needed to go out and explore more of the in-game universe.
He also admitted that several of the 1,000 planets in the game were made barren so players could feel lonely occasionally and gravitate towards the central star systems of the three factions.
"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," he explained.
Indeed, Starfield’s scale is so massive that even traveling within Earth’s solar system in-game could take a few hours if you don't use fast travel. Streamer Alanah Pearce discovered by experience that it takes a whopping seven hours to reach Pluto, Earth’s farthest neighbor.
Pearce’s journey to Pluto and a hilarious video of a player hoarding 20,000 potatoes into his ship’s cockpit have shown Starfield’s accurate and realistic physics. However, the potatoes did strain the game’s frame rate; we will monitor the ongoing Starfield potato situation and report back as we uncover more.
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