Game Log | Starfield – 002
Note: This game log is a few weeks behind. What I have written below were my early thoughts on the game. It's more of a first impressions post than a game log, but it is what I've written down on my journal. I emphasize the word early because it would seem, from what I've written below, that I hate the game, or that it's no good. But my viewpoint changed as I kept playing and kept leveling up. Just to note that at the time of this writing, I've actually already finished the game. Anyone that's a fan of single player RPGs will enjoy this game.
Character Name: Edgewater Playthrough: 1st
Still playing Starfield and the initial excitement I think has worn off a little. Below are a couple of my thoughts on the game.
The dialogue Persuasion system/minigame seems unfinished, or clunky, or at times broken. Some of the conversations end up with unrealistic results. At one point the person you're talking to is adamant about pushing their point of view, then you say something very minor, then all of a sudden they have a huge change of heart and now they're agreeing with you. It seems very unrealistic to me.
I had one such conversation with a gang leader, whose gang was holding up a bank and had hostages. I used the Persuasion system to try to get them to back down and release the hostages. My initial dialogue choice was a hard stance, basically saying something to the effect of, “Hey man, no one is going to bail you out, you might as well release the hostages because the Marshal is not going to agree with your demands.” To this statement the gang leader responded with something like, “You want to be a hardass? I can be a hardass too. You either cater to our demands or we'll kill the hostages.” At this point, I was convinced there was no way to persuade the gang leader to release the hostages.
I do not remember if I had more turns in the Persuasion system/minigame at this point, but I remember shifting the conversation to asking about their demands. The gang leader said that they wanted a ship and that they'll fly out into space with the hostages, then release them somewhere safe, and any attempt at stopping them will result with the hostages getting killed.
So, then I tried to stall and said it was going to take awhile to get a ship. The gang leader was smart and said there are a lot of ships in and around the city, which was true. Then I said that the Marshal was simply not going to let them get away with a ship, but the gang leader didn't want to hear any of it. So, again I was convinced that there's no persuading this gang leader to just give up the hostages.
Finally, the conversation shifted to me saying something like, “Hey man, I'm your only ticket out of here, your bank robbery charge is going to turn into a murder charge if hostages are going to get killed.” After hearing this, the gang leader went from a hardass to a softie. He then said that they screwed up and didn't intend to end up having hostages, and that yes, I was right, they'll give up and go to jail instead.
What?!?! You've gotta be kidding me. There's just no way.
I didn't know whether to laugh or be disgusted with how that turned out. There's no way that hardass gang leader would have a change of heart like that, considering how aggressive his responses were to me earlier. That whole quest dialogue/conversation to me was just broken.
The ship combat in space is, I'm not sure how to say it, confusing. It also feels lacking. There is no radar in the game that tells you where the enemy spaceship is. Actually, there is a circle in the middle of the screen, kind of like a compass, that has arrows that point to where the enemy could be. But it doesn't tell you if they are in front of you or behind you. Worse, it doesn't show you how close an enemy spaceship is in relation to your spaceship. It leads to a lot of turning, and turning, and turning until you see the bad guy. It doesn't allow you to perform maneuvers like you would do with fighter jets, because you don't exactly know where the enemy spaceship is. So what you end up doing is just to follow the arrows. The problem with following the arrows, is that it can and usually brings you into the crosshairs of other enemy ships. It's a mess in my opinion.
In the screenshot above, you can see what the UI looks like when piloting a ship in cockpit view. The ring in the center is your radar/compass. The red arrows are the enemy ships. There's nothing on the ships dashboard that gives you any more information.
This same problem exists when you're on the defensive end. You see on the screen it says, enemy missiles locked on, but you cannot know for certain where the attack is coming from. You see red arrows on the screen, that shows where the enemy ships are, but where or which one is the bad guy targeting you? Who knows. And without knowing whether they are above or below you, or in front or behind you, it's hard to determine what kind of evasive maneuver you can do. So, all I'm left with is to use the Boost feature to try and break the missile lock, then turn around and follow the arrow. By the time I get my target in the center of my screen, the rest of the enemy ships are already shooting at me. It's total chaos. And while that might be the case in a real space battle, the game's UI just doesn't have enough to help you out here.
It leads to some very frustrating loses in ship combat, as well as some very questionable wins. Like those ship battles where I won against three enemy Spacers. I have no clue if I won because I was a good pilot, or if my ship was just superior to the enemy ships. It's just... lacking. I feel like they could have done better.
As far as the gunplay goes, I miss VATS. Yes, I know this is not a Fallout game, but without it, the gunplay is just well average gunplay. Playing on the console, there is the occasional hard to aim moments because you're playing with a controller. VATS alleviated this for Fallout 4 and added an element of excitement to gunplay. There's no such thing here. So, you just shoot the bad guys until they are dead. And because everyone is wearing armored spacesuits, there is a level of sponginess to the enemies. You have to keep shooting and shooting and shooting.
I also hoped they would have added aim-assist for console players, but I don't think they did.
Also, the enemies are all able to use cover, but your character cannot seem to do the same. You're just standing out there or crouching behind cover, but you're not really making use of cover. I wished they would have implemented a cover system similar to The Division, where you can get into cover, shoot from cover, and have aim-assist if your crosshairs are near the enemy. But they did not and it makes the gunplay to me just average.