Starfield Early Access Sparks Controversy Over Low Review Scores and Gameplay Pacing

Starfield's launch in early access has been met with controversial low review scores, leading to divided opinions about the game's pacing and enjoyment factor.

Starfield: Exciting exploration or tedious grind?

Earlier this month, Bethesda launched their highly anticipated space exploration game, Starfield, in early access. After years of waiting to explore this expansive universe, players finally had the chance to dive in on September 1st. In their eagerness to access the game as soon as possible, many individuals paid extra for early access, playing for numerous hours from the outset.

Initial reception and controversy

However, shortly after launch, Starfield was met with a wave of controversial low review scores, causing tensions and divided opinions within the community. This controversy was intensified when figures emerged showing that less than 6% of players had reached level 10, according to Starfield's in-game statistics. This prompted debates about the game's pacing, and whether too much time is required before it becomes enjoyable.

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One player shed light on this statistic, sharing a screenshot from the game with the in-game stat that says: “Only 5.82% of gamers unlocked this,” in reference to the achievement dubbed 'Traveler', which is awarded to players after reaching level 10. The player added, “Keep that in mind while reading people’s criticism.”

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Player responses: Mixed feelings about pacing

The player’s post spurred a wave of responses that further divided opinions. Some agreed, citing their own experiences. “It takes like 10 hours to get to level 10. The first 10 hours of the game shouldn’t be bad. I don’t need a full workday in a game to give my impressions of it,” one user said. Another added, “I’ve clocked in 12 hours and I’ve been mostly mining rocks.”

Conversely, some players found themselves thoroughly enjoying the gameplay. “I’ve been playing for over 11 hours and haven’t even completed the first quest with Sarah yet. The more I play, the more I want to play,” a user commented. Another added, “I keep trying to do the main quest but every system I jump into has me so sidetracked.”

Looking ahead

It is clear that the game’s pacing is well suited to some, while others find it frustrating. It now remains to be seen how Todd Howard and the Bethesda team will address these issues in future updates following its full release on September 6.