Starfield reviews have started going live ahead of the game’s release next week.
After years of hype, the highly anticipated Xbox and PC exclusive from Bethesda will be released on September 6, but players who buy the game’s Premium Edition or Constellation Edition will get early access starting today / September 1 (depending on their time zone).
VGC’s Starfield review calls it “the ultimate Bethesda game”, saying it “takes what people loved about Fallout and Skyrim and casts it across an enormous galaxy”.
The game has also received widespread praise from most other critics who have posted reviews, with the majority agreeing that the game is a must-have.
That said, not every critic has been quite so glowing, with others suggesting that the game has some issues that make it merely very good rather than excellent.
Starfield review round-up
- VGC (5/5) – “Starfield is undoubtedly a game that players will explore for years. It’s content-rich in a way that’s rare in modern gaming, but it’s exactly the experience that people who’ve been buying different versions of Skyrim for years wanted. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel with any of its mechanics, but almost everything it does, it does so well, that it’s a truly engrossing experience.”
- The Verge – “Starfield is another huge experience with an almost overwhelming amount of things to do and see, coupled with some great character development, role-playing features, and so-so action. But it also smooths over many of the rough edges that have defined past releases from the studio while introducing a new theme and narrative that match the grand ambitions that Bethesda has always strived for. War never changes — but it’s a lot more thrilling in space.”
- Game Informer (8.5) – “It took me a long time to fall in love with Starfield, and even after I did, certain aspects didn’t work for me. But the things I didn’t enjoy are vastly outweighed by my enthusiasm for this new, original science fiction universe, the breadth of its adventures, and the appeal of its many interwoven stories. Go in with the expectation that it will take some time to find your footing in such a vast gameplay space, and there’s a universe well worth discovering here.”
- Destructoid (10) – “I wasn’t sure if it could be done, but Bethesda has managed to raise the bar for sandbox games even higher. In the end, Starfield is an epic sandbox open-world RPG with a beautifully immersive universe, a captivating story, and fun and compelling gameplay the whole way. I’m so happy to have experienced Starfield organically, and I really hope you get to as well.”
- Videogamer (9) – “Starfield is the enchantment and wonder of space bottled and fleshed out into something grand and ambitious, thoughtful and attentive, janky at times, often funny, but always charming.”
- PC Gamer (75) – “I don’t love Starfield, but I’m happy to say that I do like it. Those first 90 hours I played were far from perfect, but I’ve got plenty of reasons to play 90 more.”
- GamesRadar (5/5) – “Starfield isn’t really a game you play to complete, it’s more about living whatever sort of life you want in the literal universe Bethesda has created. Whatever you’re thinking of doing, you almost certainly can do it, and the scale is almost a release in a way – you’ll probably never see or do it all, so just enjoy the moment. There’s months, if not years, of discoveries buried away in here, and even after 80 hours I can’t wait to see more.”
- Polygon (no score) – “With Starfield, Bethesda has put all of its efforts into exploring the dark, vast corners of outer space. In the process, it has drained a lot of the humanity I was hoping to find in its wake. In trying to do everything, Starfield obfuscates its most compelling mysteries.”
- Attack of the Fanboy (5/5) – “Starfield is the most potent value proposition for Game Pass, being the killer app for the subscription service. It is also the best, most ambitious game in the Xbox Game Studios library to date. It would not be a stretch to say this could be one of the most ambitious games ever made, and that it followed through with many of those goals with relatively low compromise. For those fearing this game was Bethesda flying too close to the sun, this is a reminder that this same ambition, mixed with lots of caution and expertise, is also what put us on the moon.”
- IGN (7) – “Starfield has a lot of forces working against it, but eventually the allure of its expansive roleplaying quests and respectable combat make its gravitational pull difficult to resist.”
- Wccftech (9) – “With an engaging story, well-developed characters and lore, and a huge amount of meaningful content, Starfield is one of Bethesda’s finest games and one of the best role-playing games released in the past few years. The lack of seamless exploration and real innovation of the typical gameplay formula from the studio are noteworthy, but those willing to forego these issues will find a reactive and sprawling sci-fi universe to lose themselves in for hundreds, if not thousands, of hours.”
- RPG Site (9) – “This is absolutely the evolution I never knew that I wanted from the RPG subgenre probably best nebulously described as a ‘Bethesda game’. For the first time, I’m actually truly attached to my character and their life in one of these games – and that’s been transformative. That’s been achieved through a number of changes, some of them imperceptibly small – but they work. That’s the real story here. Starfield works – even though it’s so big that I doubted that it ever could.”
- GameSpot (7) – “When you strip Starfield down to its essentials, it relies on a tried-and-true, but well-tread formula while missing some of the depth of the games that came before it. Starfield is a game more concerned with quantity than quality, and leaves the experience at the surface level.”
- Touch Arcade (review in progress) – “If you enjoy Bethesda Game Studios’ games, and more importantly love exploration and space, I think you should prepare to experience your new obsession with Starfield. I’m looking forward to spending more time with it, and seeing how it improves over time on both Steam Deck and Xbox Series X.”