I have several games from my teenage years that I consider making up my “gamer DNA”. One of those games is 1986’s Starflight.
In this game you are the captain of a star ship exploring the galaxy. You are free to go where you want, limited by your resources, and every system and planet has a potential for an encounter. Over the course of the game the story presents itself nudges you toward investigating its mystery. I put so many hours into the game over the course of holiday 1986 and summer of 1987 restarting over and over again.
I loved that there were so many planets to go to, land, and explore. On any one of them you could find resources you needed or creatures to capture or artifacts to collect or information to further the investigation. It was amazing.
Over the years since, there have been a few other games that each had some elements from Starflight(and its sequel), and that gave me slightly similar feelings of my experiences in the game, but none had all those elements. (Elite, Star Control, Privateer, Freelancer, No Man’s Sky)
Fast forward to summer 2022, and the first gameplay trailer of Starfield.
It made me tingly. Starfield appears to have all the elements that I loved in Starflight + plus additional personal exploration, and story focus. The game feels ambitious, and I absolutely want to be able to play this on day one.
Then I made the mistake of looking on the internet. Instead of finding people full of joy from what they saw, I instead (of course) I find more people complaining. Some of the most common complaints I’ve seen:
- The ground combat is bad.
- The space combat feels simple
- The galaxy will be filled with barren useless planets.
Yet, from my perspective I see.
- Ground combat, cool. And it looks to be about as good as Fallout, Outerworlds, or NMS, all of which are amazing over the combat I saw in Starflight.
- I can make and fly a ship between planets, and engage in combat along the way? Awesome, I love that in games. Thank goodness it does not look as demanding as Elite or Star Citizen.
- Look at all the places, there’s bound to be a few amazing things hidden out there. Its going to be awesome to explore them all building up resources as I slowly work my way across the game finding those hidden gems.
I expect that just like their Elder Scrolls and Fallout games that yes the game will be a bit ‘janky’, and have some bugs at launch. And just like when I played those previous games, I don’t expect that my ‘fun’ will be ruined by the jank or bugs.
What I’m hoping is that once I actually play I will feel as though they delivered the game I’ve been longing for. No Man’s Sky almost did it, and heck If Starfield can get even that close, then I’m going to be a happy gamer.