Bethesda’s ambitious space exploration game, Starfield, recently clinched the “Most Innovative Gameplay Award” in the 2023 Steam Awards, sparking a mix of surprise and skepticism among its fanbase and the wider gaming community.
While Starfield has been praised for its expansive universe and engaging gameplay, its receipt of an award for innovation has left many puzzled. The award, as described by Steam, honors games at the forefront of creative experimentation, offering unique perspectives and unexpected twists in gameplay. Fans and critics alike have noted that while Starfield delivers a rich gaming experience, it doesn’t necessarily break new ground in terms of gameplay innovation.
The sentiment is particularly evident on Starfield’s subreddit, where fans express their confusion and critique. Comments range from pointing out the game’s reliance on Bethesda’s long-established gaming formula and engine to noting the lack of genuinely innovative features. The incorporation of procedural generation and a new take on lock-picking, while interesting, don’t seem to align with the award’s criteria for ground-breaking gameplay.
This sentiment is not just confined to a vocal minority; the broader conversation across gaming forums and social media echoes these points, indicating a genuine bewilderment within the gaming community.
Looking Forward: Bethesda’s Plans for Starfield
Despite the mixed reactions to its Steam award, Bethesda is not slowing down in its efforts to enhance Starfield. As outlined in their 2024 roadmap, the game is set to receive bi-monthly updates starting in February. These updates promise a range of improvements, from quality-of-life enhancements to new content and features.
Some of the anticipated updates include novel methods of travel, accessible city maps during exploration, and expanded options for ship customization and decoration. These additions could potentially enrich the gameplay experience and might align more closely with the innovative spirit the Steam award suggests.
Starfield’s Steam award win has undoubtedly stirred a conversation about what constitutes innovation in the gaming industry. While Bethesda’s title has its strengths, the debate it has ignited reflects a broader discussion about evolving standards and expectations in game design.