Bethesda’s highly anticipated game, Starfield, has garnered significant expectations from gamers. With its promise of a vast, galaxy-spanning adventure filled with rich content and numerous planets to explore, players are eager to dive into this immense universe. However, there have been concerns regarding technical issues, particularly bugs and frame-rate problems, which have plagued Bethesda’s previous console releases. Given the massive scope of Starfield, players are wondering if it is advisable to wait for these performance issues to be resolved before purchasing the game.
One of the major concerns is the compatibility with Xbox Series S, Microsoft’s junior console. Several titles have struggled to adapt to the system’s limitations, such as reductions in memory, bandwidth, and GPU performance. Although no pre-launch footage of Starfield on Series S has been released, Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard has spent considerable time testing the game on this console.
Fortunately, the initial impressions of Starfield are largely positive. In the first 20 hours of gameplay, there were no apparent bugs or glaring issues, indicating a consistent and stable experience. This is a significant improvement from the launch versions of Fallout 4 and Skyrim, which were riddled with flaws. The multiple delays that Starfield has undergone seem to have resulted in a polished final product worthy of immediate exploration. While it is impossible to speak for the entire game, the early impressions show no cause for concern.
Visually, Starfield offers excellent graphics with intricate details, exceptional post-processing, and stunning environmental artwork. This is a noticeable step up from Bethesda’s previous work. Although not consistently breathtaking, the overall visuals are commendable, considering the vastness of the game world.
However, there are some compromises. The world of Starfield is highly segmented, frequently interrupted loading screens, which may be bothersome to some players. Additionally, both versions of the game on Xbox Series X and Series S are limited to 30 frames per second, with no options for higher frame rates. This limitation was known well in advance, but the question is whether the consistent 30fps experience meets players’ expectations.
Despite these issues, Starfield performs quite well on both Xbox Series X and Series S. The graphics remain smooth, consistent, and detailed, providing a similar experience on both consoles. Some differences can be observed, such as reduced draw distances and shadows on Series S, as well as certain variations in terrain rendering. However, these disparities are only noticeable at distances from the player, and do not significantly impact the overall gameplay or visual experience.
While Starfield may not be a flawless masterpiece, it is undoubtedly a stable and enjoyable experience upon release. Players can embark on their galactic journey without having to worry about major technical issues. Whether you choose to explore the vast reaches of space on Xbox Series X or the slightly compromised but still impressive Series S, Starfield is poised to deliver an immersive adventure.
– Bethesda’s Starfield Provides a Smooth Journey on Xbox Series X and S, Digital Foundry (www.eurogamer.net)