There’s a difference between having an “expansive title” that you can do a lot in and a “meaningful title” where your choices affect everything around you. Those who make open-world RPGs must see how well they can balance those elements to deliver something special for players. Regarding Bethesda’s latest title, Starfield, fans are a bit mixed on where the title falls within those categories. On the one hand, there is a massive universe to explore, and you have the freedom to do certain things, but how the game “reacts” to certain things has caused some players grief.
On Reddit, a user posted a complaint about how while Starfield does have companions, there are no true “evil companions” worth having to let you be the “scoundrel of the universe” without hearing people within your party whining about it:
“Seriously, everyone is a damn boy scout or a troubled teenager that talks sh*t but when someone actually puts their fists up they sh*t their pants. Sarah was a massive disappointment for me, I’d figure she would be okay with criminal activity considering she literally says, do whatever you want. And I quote, ‘some of us have seen the inside of a jail cell.’ But she’s the most lawful person I’ve seen, and constantly bitches when I act like a scoundrel, Hell I’ve even tried avoiding murder while doing crimes and she still gives me sh*t. I’ve heard about those Crimson Fleet companions but I’ve noticed a complaint that they’re barely fleshed out or have any depth like the “main” companions and that is just aggravating to me.”
While this may feel like someone “sounding off,” that wasn’t the case. Other Redditors voiced similar problems with the companions, including how Sarah threatened to “leave the player” in one life-or-death situation if they blew up a ship, but then when the people from that ship boarded them, Sarah had no issues killing them all.
This is rubbing people the wrong way because it limits the “choices and options” feel for the title. That contrasts with other RPGs where you can act like a villain, get your party to enjoy it, or at least appreciate it, and not make you feel like you were doing wrong the whole time.
It’s an interesting flaw in a game that many hailed as “perfect,” but that’s why sometimes the true “rating” of a game only comes after many people realize the flaws after a longer period.