Video Games

Should I Buy Starfield?

Should you buy Starfield? Here's why you should and shouldn't.

Starfield has been nearly ten years in the making and will probably be re-re-released over the next thirty. But what about right now? Is this space-based action RPG (and Bethesda’s first new IP in absolutely ages) worth playing? If you’re wondering whether you should buy Starfield, here’s what you need to know.

Here’s Why You Should and Shouldn’t Buy Starfield

With reviews now available, a whole range of outlets have weighed in on Bethesda’s much-anticipated sci-fi game. And, on the whole, Starfield has been well received. Some reviewers have liked in, some have loved it, but no-one has (so far) declared it a stinking pile of Cliff Racer droppings.

Our sister site, Destructoid, awarded it a 10 out of 10, calling it a “an epic sandbox open-world RPG with a beautifully immersive universe, a captivating story, and fun and compelling gameplay the whole way.” GamesRadar called it “The best thing Bethesda’s done since Oblivion” and awarded it five out of five. Game Informer gave it an 8.5 out of 10 and GameSpot gave it a 7, which is still “Good” (though some Zelda fans might not agree). VideoGamer called it “a stellar effort” (someone was always going to go with that pun) and awarded it a 9 out of 10.  So, you should absolutely go out and buy it, right?

Not quite. It all depends on what you’re after and what you expect from Starfield. It’s not without its flaws, as our Editor-in-Chief Nick Calandra expressed in his impressions. For a start, exploration is far from seamless, both in space and on-planet. Another personal bugbear is how it still, sometimes, feels like The Truman Show, where you’re the only real person (even if you are). It felt strange landing at Neon and being the only ship there. It stops a little short of living up to the hype.

But am I enjoying myself now that I’ve come to terms with the game’s limits? Absolutely. It still offers an awful lot of freedom; I have one save where I’ve abandoned the main story entirely in favor of simply robbing and/or exploding ships. Bethesda’s formula is still heavily in evidence, but I can absolutely live with that. And storming onto a spaceship, axe in hand, never gets old.

So, should you buy Starfield? If you’re expecting the next No Man’s Sky or a truly open space exploration game that brings the whole universe to life, then no. But for everyone else, Bethesda fans especially, there’s so much to love here. So, unless you hate sci-fi or Bethesda’s open worlds with a vengeance, you absolutely should buy Starfield (or at least try it out on Game Pass). And if you do dive in, make sure to check out our full range of coverage for tips, stories, and plenty more.

About the author

Chris McMullen
Freelance contributor at The Escapist. I've returned to writing about games after a couple of career changes, with my recent stint lasting five-plus years. I hope, through my writing work, to settle the karmic debt I incurred by persuading my parents to buy a Mega CD. Aside from writing for The Escapist, I also cover news and more for GameSpew. I've also been published at other sites including VG247, Space, and more. My tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though I'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based.