A number of major websites have criticised Starfield in their reviews, as it becomes obvious why Bethesda wanted to limit review copies.
So you know when we said withholding review copies almost always means the game in question has problems? Well, it doesn’t seem like we were wrong, as many of the initial reviews from those outlets that did get a copy of Starfield early are not what Bethesda and Microsoft would’ve been hoping for.
IGN and GameSpot have both given the game 7/10, with the former describing it as suffering from, ‘disjointed space travel, non-existent maps, aggravating inventory management, and a slow rollout of essential abilities.’
Gamespot describes it as having an ‘uninspired main story with weak writing and characterisations’ and ‘shallow RPG mechanics with regard to dialogue, quest solutions, and influencing outcomes.’
PC Gamer senior editor Robin Valentine describes it as ‘a fantastically boring game – endless half-baked filler in one of the most sterile settings ever realised in a game.’
The Polygon review also uses the word sterile, complaining that Bethesda has ‘drained a lot of the humanity’ from the concept.
PCGamerN also gives the game a 7/10, while Paste has what seems to be the lowest score so far, comparing it unfavourably with Mass Effect and No Man’s Sky and giving it a derisory score of 5/10.
Despite these verdicts from more respected websites, the game’s OpenCritic and Metacritic scores are in the mid-80s, as a result of a lot of high marks from elsewhere, including a number of 10/10s.
VGC and GamesRadar+ – both UK sites – give the game full marks, as do Destructoid, Attack of the Fanboy, and Game Rant.
Paste is the only score below 7/10 that we’ve spotted so far, with all the other reviews finding plenty of positives to say about the game while still finding fault in Bethesda’s typically weak storytelling and almost all of them mentioning an aggravating map system.
It now seems more obvious than ever that the reason Bethesda refused to send review copies to the majority of UK outlets, including Eurogamer, Edge, The Guardian, and ourselves, is that they wanted to keep the Metacritic score as high as possible before launch.
Starfield doesn’t seem to be a terrible game, but it’s also clear it’s not the game-of-the-year contender that Bethesda and Microsoft were implying it was.
This is exactly what you’d expect from a title they refused to give hands-on previews for and which they’ve tried to keep out the hands of any reviewer they deem likely to give it a low score.
Email email@example.com, leave a comment below, follow us on Twitter, and sign-up to our newsletter.
Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To submit Inbox letters and Reader’s Features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Submit Stuff page here.
For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.
Sign up to all the exclusive gaming content, latest releases before they’re seen on the site.