It is well-known that the planets in Starfield utilize procedural generation to create various locations for players to explore. This system is cost-effective and theoretically offers an infinite amount of content. However, the actual experience of exploring these planets has turned out to be somewhat lackluster and underdeveloped, resulting in a barren feeling. As players delve into the game, they are encountering immersion-breaking limitations in the procedural generation system.
In a post on Reddit, user “Gregistopal” shared an intriguing experience they had in Starfield. While exploring a world, they stumbled upon a science outpost that was oddly situated near an alien temple where players acquire Starborn powers. Typically, these temples are surrounded by other alien anomalies, so the presence of a different type of building is quite peculiar. Gregistopal rightly questioned the possibility of someone constructing an outpost in such close proximity to an unknown structure without thoroughly studying it first.
The presence of logs or recordings in the science outpost indicating research or experiments on the nearby temple would have made sense. However, this is not the case. The outpost is just like any other science outpost found in regions of the planets far away from temples or anomalies. Despite attempts to find plausible explanations from a lore perspective, it is evident that this discrepancy is an example of the limitations of Bethesda’s procedural generation system.
Discovering the flaws in a game’s development can be jarring, and this is particularly disheartening in the case of Starfield because the planet exploration feature falls short of expectations. From encountering repetitive dungeons on different planets to the narrative inconsistency of having a randomly generated outpost near an alien temple, the overall experience of exploring space feels limited and monotonous.
This only intensifies the desire for the exploration experiences found in Bethesda’s previous games, particularly Skyrim. The thrill of wandering in that game and discovering what the world had to offer was far more exciting, thanks to its carefully crafted design. In contrast, Starfield’s open world lacks this level of attention to detail, and incidents like the one experienced by Gregistopal only serve to highlight this issue.