There's still more to come from Summer Game Fest, but its big opening weekend has now come to an end. And what an end it was as Xbox and Bethesda almost definitely delivered the biggest and best presentation of the entire weekend. Redfall, Hollow Knight: Silksong, and of course Starfield were all shown off, with Bethesda's Todd Howard claiming that the studio's incredibly ambitious sci-fi RPG will have more than 1,000 planets to explore.
A studio proudly revealing its game will have 1,000 planets is obviously meant to be a selling point. A pretty big one in every sense of the word. The more places there are to explore the better, right? Well, maybe not. While many people will have been blown away by the reveal of Starfield's size in the moment, reactions on social media would suggest not everyone is sold on 1,000 planets in a single game being a good thing.
The fear is that Bethesda has opted for quantity over quality. That hundreds of Starfield's planets will be barren wastelands that even though they can be explored, it's probably not worth your time ever paying them a visit. What potentially makes that even worse is creating all of these uninteresting planets just to say there are more than 1,000 of them may mean the planets that could have been detailed, interesting, and full of virtual life have suffered because of it.
Howard used the planet Jemison as an example during the Starfield section of the showcase. The footage showed a player landing in New Atlantis as Howard explained you can actually land anywhere on the planet before making the 1,000 planets reveal. “When you tell me there are thousands of entire planets to visit for your game, you are, in effect, just telling me that I can't expect good/interesting/human made level design,” Freya Holmér writes in one of many similar reactions to the reveal on Twitter.
Starfield isn't the only game to have potentially fallen into this trap. If a studio can make a game so big that it spans more than 1,000 planets, then there's going to be a desire to do exactly that. However, reactions to Starfield continue to suggest that isn't what people want. As highlighted by Super Mattroid on Twitter, a handful of planets filled with life and intriguing things to discover would potentially make for a far better game, and odds are 990 of Starfield's planets probably won't be worth visiting at all.
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