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Starfield's Gameplay Has Everyone Saying The Same Thing

"Starfield" has remained something of an enigma until very recently. First announced way back at E3 2018, the game has all but eluded curious fans. Thankfully, Bethesda has been much more forthcoming in recent months regarding the scale and tone of the game, and gamers are really digging what they see. From the small glimpses fans have been given of "Starfield," it seems to be one of Bethesda's most ambitious titles to date. Set in the distant future, the game revolves around the last group of space explorers in the midst of a war between two rival factions who both wish to pursue inter-galactic colonization. 

First impressions of "Starfield" – seen at its Xbox Showcase presentation – have been promising, as it claims to provide tons of engaging features, including spaceship customization and outpost building. Gameplay footage has revealed that players can expect to battle both on the ground and among the stars, with one of the most exciting parts of the livestream reveal being a sequence in which players engage in a dogfight in space.

However, not all of the reactions from fans have been positive. Of course, given the infamous debacles associated with the flop of "Fallout 76" and the state it was released in, a project of this scope is sure to be met with at least some skepticism from gamers who are tired of games overpromising but underdelivering. It's partially for this reason that gamers are still looking at "Starfield" with a skeptical eye. One particular criticism, however, accuses the game of imitating another infamous title.

Many are comparing Starfield's gameplay to No Man's Sky

The gameplay reveal for "Starfield" showcased many of the things players look for in a title based on space travel. Be it combat, exploration, character customization, or piloting ships to distant worlds, the trailer had literally everything. Game director Todd Howard did a pretty good job at selling the concept to consumers and media reps, and has promised a game that will exceed expectations. Unfortunately, a number of fans and critics have noted that the trailer also makes "Starfield" look strikingly similar to a similar game based around space travel — "No Man's Sky."

Over on Twitter, IGN posted a side-by-side comparison of the gameplay loop in both "Starfield" and "No Man's Sky." Truth be told, the resemblance is quite uncanny. The comparison was also the source of jokes on social media, with one user on Twitter hilariously posting a meme of rapper Soulja Boy accusing rapper Drake of stealing his flow, comparing this confrontation to possible reactions from "No Man's Sky" Hello Games. It's difficult not to wonder how that dev would feel after watching the "Starfield" trailer. One gamer even called "Starfield" the "poor man's 'No Man's Sky,'" suggesting that Bethesda's new title might not be able to stand up to the years of free updates to "No Man's Sky."

Of course, games being similar to one another isn't anything new, and when tackling the space adventure genre, it's going to be hard to completely reinvent the wheel. However, there are a few major differences between the two titles.

The elements that separate Starfield and No Man's Sky

One difference to note between "No Man's Sky" and "Starfield" that the infinite amount of planets in "No Man's Sky" are procedurally generated, while the 1000 planets in "Starfield" have all been carefully built by the development team. In theory, this should help in making the planets feel distinct and built around specific missions and quest-lines. It's also worth mentioning that the way players get to these planets in the first place will differ greatly in "Starfield."

While talking to IGN about the extensive gameplay reveal trailer for "Starfield," Todd Howard explained that players will not be able to seamlessly go from flying in space to landing their ships inside the atmosphere of their chosen planet. "We decided early in the project that the on-surface is one reality, and then when you're in space it's another reality," Howard explained. He added, "If you try to really spend a lot of time engineering the in-between, like that segue, you're just spending a lot of time [on something] that's really just not that important to the player."

This is a major departure from the "No Man's Sky" formula, which placed an emphasis on the entire experience of space travel, from taking off to bringing your ship in for a smooth landing. It remains to be seen if these comments will discourage any fans from comparing the two games, but at least players now know that they're not a perfect one-to-one match.