I think from any other studio this would've been a 9/10 game but it's defby a Bethesda 7.5 (SPOILERS?!) 09/22/2023, 2:34pm PDT
I don't think it merits 70$. If I was trying to advocate to various gaymers that we need 70$ because of inflation and etc., this would not be the game for it. Much like Bloodlines 2 or Mass Effect Andromeda this game was torn down mid-COVID and rebuilt into something they could actually push out the door. You see it mainly in the vestigial fuel tank system which is basically a joke: With a good enough grav drive and a modest fuel tank you can jump halfway across the map and back.
It feels like this game started out as "We can do No Man's Buy", and then later on they just tried to make Fallout 4 in space. There's a lot of good stuff here. I've STILL never visited Red Mile for more than a couple minutes. I would still buy this over No Man's Buy in a heartbeat 3 years from now if it's marked down.
Todd Howard said they basically felt that refueling was "not a fun mechanic" or some shit. I agree, but maybe you should have just taken out the fueltanks entirely (along with the loading screen tips!)
I do admire them for trying something different, and I'm happy it succeeded in finding an entertainment-starved audience. But I feel like they could've done more with the premise.
The premise being that this game is Rick and Morty without the constant incest plotlines and Justin Roiland's screechy Lemongrab voice. After you get through the first playthrough, you can choose to use the equivalent of the Rick portalgun to take a one-way trip to an 'alternative universe' where everything's basically the same. At this point you have two choices, you can either A) play through the game again just like you did before, but every so often you can choose the Rick Sanchez dialogue option under [Starborn] that's usually some equivalent of "I don't have time for this. Here's what's going to happen" or B) Tell them what happened in the prior playthrough and skip to a truncated main storyline that you can complete in about an hour and thirty minutes, again speedrunning it like you're Rick and Morty.
This was really an interesting hook to me, and perhaps the most meta attempt to incorporate save mechanics into a game storyline since Morrowind's author came up with the concept of CHIM. Unfortunately they don't do fuck-all with it.
Once you're on your 3rd playthrough, all that changes is you get a new Rick and Morty cold open with something weird happening when you barge into the Constellation Lodge to introduce yourself. On one playthrough everyone's dead, killed by your doppleganger. On another, Andreja is there with a bunch of House Va'Ruun flunkies, killing the members and ready to kill you. Another they're all kids, etc. Then queue the same 90 minute truncated main storyline just like above. Each "loop" you go through allows you to retain XP and you get a tricked out spacesuit that continues to improve, as well as a starter ship which is scarcely better than the Pioneer you get at the beginning of your first playthrough. You could at least have let me keep my damn ship.
We're far enough along in game development history that pretty much everyone who works at Bethesda has probably played an Unreal Tournament game with mutators. So I struggle to understand why this is the best they could come up with. How about a universe where all weapons are instagib? Or the Freestar/UC are constantly at war and you're basically shut out of half the settlements? Or one where all the settlements have been obliterated and you have to struggle along with outposts and the generic tiny settlements/unique encounters? Or one where you're hostile to the Freestar and UC but the Pirates, Va'Ruun Zealots, Ecliptic and Spacers are all your friends?
For my playthrough something happened that made it pretty personal. The multiverse idea allowed the writers to do something they don't normally get to in a Bethesda property - kill off one of your followers. Whichever follower you have the highest 'affinity' with will die if you don't go and help them during a binary choice event. Whomever you left behind will die if you go to help them out. Given a Sophie's choice I chose the one that got my character's female love interest killed, and all the autosaves I had couldn't wind me back to that spot. Soon after that the game pulls the curtain away and lets loose the multiverse metaplot, so after that I was basically laser-focused on blitzing through the rest of the story so I could get a do-over and do things the right way. Very poetic.
But sadly, on playthrough #3, I wasn't able to make anything come of it. Andreja-3 looked at me with a mix of revulsion and curiosity, wondering how I knew so much about her. But my only options were to flip her AI switch and make her pretend like I wasn't a starman from another universe, or to say "We shouldn't get too close because you're not her". Goddamnit. What the fuck? Where's the option for "I crossed universes to find you again after you died in my arms"? Fuckin' nowhere.
That's the real frustration I have with this game. I hate the multiverse concept, I hate how it's basically infected most movies and some TV shows these days. But I finally see it in a video game for the first time, with a bunch of mechanics to support it, and the attitude is basically "Nah, someone will mod some content into this". Missed opportunity.
I think from any other studio this would've been a 9/10 game but it's defby a Bethesda 7.5 (SPOILERS?!) 09/22/2023, 2:34pm PDT frontpage NTby laudablepuss 09/23/2023, 5:02pm PDT Hey Hey People by Sseth here, upstaging MischiefMaker 10/27/2023, 8:22am PDT