I don’t need Starfield because I have The Outer Worlds

starfield will be one of the biggest games of 2023, but I’m not that excited to play it just yet.

While Starfield’s spotlight on the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase this year brought out some impressive features, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d already gotten everything I could want from a traditional sci-fi RPG like this one from another game: The outer worlds from Obsidian Entertainment. Ironically developed by another studio owned by Microsoft, The outer worlds showed that blowing up a sci-fi game with thousands of planets isn’t necessary when a “less is more” mentality can still result in an expertly crafted sci-fi RPG.

although The outer worlds may not be as great as starfield size wise it still leaves an impression every time I revisit. It’s a focused, replayable and hilarious adventure without a lot of bloat, which is what I want from my RPGs. It does this while also emulating, and beating out, Bethesda’s classic The Elder Scrolls and Fallout games. starfield to the battle.

starfield might impress me when it launches but what I’ve seen of it hasn’t got me as excited to play it as I’m so happy playing it again The outer worlds while eagerly waiting for the sequel

Less worlds, more fun

From the moment your escape pod accidentally lands on a bounty hunter supposed to be helping you, it’s clear that The outer worlds is an ironic, satirical take on capitalism, colonization and the sci-fi genre as a whole. While Bethesda Game Studios’ stories contain quite a bit of humor, much of his writing tends to be more serious and dry. We haven’t seen enough of it yet Starfield’s dialogue or story to get another idea of ​​its thematic identity.

Starfield’s story could be more playful than we’ve seen so far, but the sheer size of the game really worries me. During the Microsoft showcase, Todd Howard boasted that there are more than 1,000 planets to explore. Because starfield is so large, I worry that it risks becoming unfocused. Will I be bored on planets that aren’t very handmade and don’t have much to do? It’s the same potential problem that has been infamously plagued No Man’s Sky at launch.

In the meantimeThe Outer Worlds and the upcoming sequel are deliberately designed to avoid those bloated issues, according to former Obsidian Entertainment Narrative Designer Nitai Poddar in a Interview with Game Informer 2019† “There’s a lot of value in having an open-ended game that’s still structured around individual discrete levels,” he said. “It’s also usually easier to develop, and I’m always a fan of getting the most out of a budget you have.”

The outer worlds developers didn’t have a huge budget and kept the game small, but very tightly designed. You may not be able to explore or fly between entire planets, but you will definitely remember what you did on every planet you visited. This smaller scope allowed the studio to make the world more responsive to every dialogue choice and player decision.

Playing a combat-oriented build-in The outer worlds gives you a very different experience than a dialogue-driven playthrough. You can also kill or scorn everyone you meet The outer worlds, and the game explains it in tangible, narrative ways. This makes The outer worlds a great sci-fi roleplaying experience, and I hope the sequel will be too. I don’t have this hunger for a sci-fi RPG on such a potentially problematic large scale when The outer worlds and the handcrafted worlds and stories are so fun moment by moment, just like classic Bethesda games.

Where both games boldly go

As for sci-fi experiences, starfield can differentiate itself from The Outer Worlds with its combat, base and shipbuilding, and space combat. But when it comes to the core tenets of Bethesda’s best RPGs – compelling characters, well-written stories, and plenty of reactive and choice-driven moments – The outer worlds defeat starfield to the punch without extra fat. I already have the Bethesda-esque sci-fi experience I’ve always wanted.

A space explorer stands in front of a mountain range in Starfield.

Thankfully, this isn’t a competition between studios or an either-or scenario for all Xbox executives and players. Both starfield and The outer worlds can coexist as successful franchises in Microsoft’s Wider Gaming Lineupstarfield has several feature differences that make it stand out more among diehard Bethesda fans and those more interested in flying around in space or building a base on a planet. I’m glad Microsoft is willing to release two similar sci-fi RPGs because it knows they’re both distinctive enough to stand on their own, even if I end up choosing one over the other.

Yet I see almost every red flag in starfield is something that The outer worlds so skillfully avoided. I’m definitely going into it starfield with an open mind when it launches, and I hope I am surprised and thoroughly enjoy the experience. If it doesn’t grab me completely, I won’t lose sleep over it; I’ll just go back and do another playthrough of The Outer Worlds.

starfield coming out for PC and Xbox Series X/S during the first half of 2023The Outer Worlds 2 has no release date, but the original and expansions are available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X via Xbox Game Pass and Nintendo Switch.

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