The Shield

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The Shield

The Shield



Ah, I’m back after a nice long summer abroad. The month of September brought along many things: a new school year, the movie The Creator (which I’m hyped to see) and a very special game made by Bethesda Softworks: STARFIELD.

Some background information: Bethesda Softworks is a game developer from Maryland, who have created some of the world’s best RPGs, including Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, and Skyrim. Bethesda has been on a streak of being involved with some pretty bad games in the past few years, from outside-developed clunkers like Redfall to Fallout 76, probably the biggest disappointment in Bethesda history. Both of these games had gamers wishing for something better, and when Bethesda announced a brand new OP—an RPG set in space!—the fans went wild. Many expected disappointment, some expected Game of the Year. Me? I didn’t really care. I had been hurt once, and I didn’t think I’d actually buy it, so I was just watching whatever popped up on TikTok or YouTube about it. Once I found out it was going to be a GamePass Day One game, I decided to try it out, and for once . . . I liked it.

WARNING: I will be discussing some minor spoilers, which I will include warnings for. Nothing major, I promise.

First Impressions

We start the game in a mine as a space miner, wielding our first weapon, the laser miner. The game starts off slow and boring, but gets more interesting after we find a cool space rock, which sends us flying and knocks us out. This then transports us to the player creation scene, which I will go over later. After that, we wake up, and give the special rock we found to a member of what’s basically a space adventurers’ guild. In the middle of the trade, space pirates attack us and we are forced into our first combat moment. After we defeat the pirates, we are told to join the space adventurers, and we are let free into the world of Starfield. I feel like this intro wasn’t too bad, as it only took fifteen minutes and it did not restrict any of your personal story or world-building. It was boring at times, but a great way to kick off the story.

Character Creation

I feel that this game has the best character creation in any RPG I’ve ever played. Unlike Fallout NV or 4, you’re not locked into one role. You can be anything you want to be. For instance, I made my character into an ex-soldier who has now joined a space cowboy group, but I can also become a space pirate like Jack Sparrow, a bounty hunter like the Mandalorian or Jango Fett, or you could become a violent space terrorist who blows up any ship in their way. You choose not only your backstory with traits like where you’re from, what your personality is like, or even your parents being alien or still alive, but also your future, with traits like Hero Worship, which grants you a follower who will admire you no matter what, or choosing to start out with a giant house you have to pay off. You also have a number of factions to choose from, including the Crimson Fleet, a band of space pirates; the United Colonies, a utopia which is the largest faction in the galaxy; or the Freestar collective, a law-bringing group of space cowboys. The character creation is very in-depth, but I wish the physical face creation was more akin to Fallout 4.


One of the biggest parts of the game is its combat. Throughout the game, you get chances to upgrade your spacesuit and weapons, with a giant roster of suits, guns, knives, and helmets. The combat is fun and rewarding, and you don’t get the help of the VATS system from Fallout, so you’d better have good aim. The amount of different enemies are enough to keep the game fun and different. One of my favorite parts about combat is that the M1911 and AK47 are still around, which is a memento to their ruggedness and survivability. 

Side Quests/Random Interactions 

The side quests in this game are superb. While some of the quests are simple fetch quests that get boring after a while, a lot of the quests are engaging, fun, and interesting. There are quests like helping clones of Genghis Khan, Amelia Earhart, and various other historical figures fight against aliens and a space gang, or things as simple as running cargo through a blockade. The random interactions in this game really seal the deal with their chaotic nature and occasional stupidity. I was roaming in space when another ship suddenly hailed me over the radio. I responded asking what they wanted, and a kid came on the radio asking me to buy her Girl Scout cookies. Obviously, I blew her up. Another time, when I pulled up to a space station, it turned out to actually be a casino that was being robbed.


The main story, from what I’ve played through so far, is pretty boring. Being a space adventurer is fun for some, but I’d rather use my time doing the great side quests than scouring the galaxy for magic space rocks. I would have preferred a main story more akin to the Fallout games, where you help a certain faction rule the wasteland or focus on defeating the big bad. But who knows? I’m only about halfway through the story, so maybe it’ll get better.


The main inhabited planets of the game are fabulously filled with personality, Easter eggs, and a properly lived-in feeling, from the bustling streets of New Atlantis to the dark alleys of Neon. Even smaller planets have lots of thoughts and details. Earth, which has been destroyed, still has influential buildings like the Empire State Building, the Pyramids, and the Kennedy Space Center. While some of the smaller moons and planets are pretty empty, they all still have unique parts to them and have lots of resources.


In the game there are hundreds of unique characters you meet, fight, and recruit. Some of my favorite characters include Sam Coe, a very famous space cowboy who follows you on your journey to become a Freestar ranger. Another character I love is Amelia Earhart. Her witty nature and 1920s accent tops the cake of this fearless aviator who can join your crew after a short quest.


Building onto Fallout 4‘s great settlement building system, Starfield allows you to build not only spaceships, but also small planetside bases, and you can buy small houses if you don’t want to build anything. The amount of customization you can use on the housing in this game is absurd. Your ship or home is your home, every inch of it. You can make anything you could want. Want a Star Destroyer? You can build a Star Destroyer. Want to build a space ranch? You can build a space ranch. The building possibilities are endless.


I have high hopes for the future of Starfield. I hope that we get DLCs that are as good as, or better than, Far Harbor or Honest Hearts. I would love the addition of new ships, weapons, and gear, as well as new factions. I would also love the ability to build a space station where you can store your extra ships or companions, as well as a new colony on an uninhabited planet. I’m also hoping for integrated mod support like Fallout or Skyrim, as mods could make this game into the Star Wars RPG we all wanted, or a real space flight simulator.

Starfield is a fun, interesting game that I can’t seem to put down for hours after picking it up. While the main story lacks some punch, the side quests are this game’s bread and butter. DLCs and mod support will only boost the fun people will have, and I can’t wait for the future of this game.

Should you buy it? Definitely, but I would actually recommend to get Xbox GamePass instead, as you will not only get this game, but also hundreds of others.

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    A KoulourisSep 30, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    Great writing, Izzy! Keep up the great work. Miss K