There's little known about Starfield, yet it continues to build hype. Players should be cautious before they experience another Cyberpunk situation.
The long-awaited and mysterious Starfield has been a topic of interest recently. Some rumors have claimed that Bethesda's sci-fi title will feature Tom Cruise, and other rumors have positioned the game as an Xbox exclusive. Despite the lack of any substantial evidence to back up these claims, Starfield's supposed leaks are fueling a certain degree of hype that's all too familiar.
Just about six months ago, the world saw what can happen when a game doesn't live up to the colossal expectations it creates. After years of hype, Cyberpunk 2077 launched as an incomplete, buggy mess. It was an unfortunate example of what can happen when a game's reputation and anticipation reach beyond its substance. Players saw hype running rampant firsthand, and it looks like Starfield might be poised to retread that path.
Starfield has been one of Bethesda's more intriguing projects since the world learned of its existence. With only a short official teaser and a collection of suspect photos and in-game screens, not much is known about the space-faring RPG. The title was initially announced at E3 2018 alongside Elder Scrolls VI and has been a subject of interest since then. As Bethesda's first new original franchise in 25 years, fans have been watching with excitement and expectation.
In the past, Bethesda titles had always generated large, passionate fan bases and have a history of drumming up anticipation for new releases. Though it has always been common for these titles to release with some bugs and issues, in the case of now-legendary titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4, these could be overlooked due to excellent overall experiences. Currently though, Bethesda is a little more hit or miss when it comes to the quality of its titles.
Fallout 76 launched as a hollow shell of a title in 2018 after months of hype and promotion. Even worse, players who pre-ordered the $200 "Power Armor" edition received cheap nylon alternatives to the advertised canvas bags that came with the game, in addition to some of them having their personal information leaked. After disastrous releases like Fallout 76, it's hard to know if you're getting one of Bethesda's best titles anymore.
Now rumors are prompting conversations about where players can experience Starfield on top of the potential casting of a high-profile actor for the game. What platforms Starfield will be available on is not nearly as important as knowing what Starfield is. Nothing official has been shown off that definitively illustrates how the game will play or even what it'll look like. While exclusivity is undoubtedly possible after Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda, the prospect is exciting people even though they know nothing about the product. The possible casting of Tom Cruise also raises some red flags.
Thinking back to Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red partnered with Keanu Reeves to deliver a cinema-quality narrative alongside the game. Though Reeves' performance in the game was satisfactory, he was used in nearly all of Cyberpunk 2077's promotional material and, in some ways, skewed player's expectations for what they'd get out of the title. Cyberpunk 2077 would go on to release in an unstable state with large advertised portions of the game missing. Seen by many as unfinished, the title became a victim of its own hype.
Starfield may be on a similar path if players don't temper their expectations for the title appropriately. Bethesda games have a history of generating large amounts of hype, but the studio's modern titles aren't of the same caliber as those that came before. Potential exclusivity and star power may be pumping up fans, but players need to remember Cyberpunk 2077 and learn to keep hype in check.