Starfield fans are gushing over “invisible walls” and the possible limits of exploration

Starfield fans are gushing over "invisible walls" and the possible limits of exploration

Starfield is released in just a few days, so naturally fans are spending the remaining hours picking apart every new leak. After copies of the game got into the hands of some players early, a steady stream of screenshots, videos and first-hand accounts have people discussing Starfield keeps his promises before the match is even, and it’s absolute mayhem.

It all started with one apparent leak on a Chinese forum who suggested Starfield will break players if they try to explore too far in any direction after landing on a new planet. A screenshot showed a pop-up message telling the player “Limit reached, open map to explore another region or return to your ship.” Other seems to be leaking was posted on YouTube before being removed following a copyright strike from Bethesda. It showed one 10 minute time course of a player walking through a desert until they eventually hit a similar “border crossing”.

Rumors quickly spread of “invisible walls” preventing players from seamlessly exploring a planet’s surface indefinitely as in No Man’s Sky. Fans immediately began debating the accuracy and merits of the leaks. Were they fake? Maybe the limit warnings were just for early episodes and didn’t apply to the rest of the game?

“This is actually not entirely correct” tweeted Windows Central co-editor Jez Corden, who is currently playing the game, in response to the invisible wall discourse. “Can’t say more than that really. Wait until the review embargo ends.” Forbes Contributor Paul Tassi warned players with a similarly vague response. “Nobody knows what they’re talking about,” he tweeted. A marketing representative from Bethesda later reminded reviewers with early access to the game to stop talking about it.

The alleged invisible frontier leak might not have sparked so much discussion if Bethesda’s publishing chief, Pete Hines, hadn’t hinted a week ago that planetary exploration would be endless. “When I land on a planet… will I be able to explore that entire planet?” asked a fan on August 21. “Yes, if you wish. Go forth, intrepid explorer,” Hines replied. “Starfield management confirms that full planetary exploration is possible after you land,” read subsequent GamesRadar heading.

Some fans were disappointed this may not have been the case and claimed to feel misled. Subsequent leaked images seems to show that planet maps consist of specific regions that you choose from before you land and explore on foot. Other members in pre-release Starfield the community remains completely unwatched. “This is such a fucking problem, I don’t understand why people are so upset,” wrote a player on the Gaming Leaks and Rumors subreddit.

A number of players have pointed out that 40 minutes to reach the edge, if indeed that is the case, is already greater than the whole Fallout 4 Map, which only takes 35 minutes to reach the end of when starting from the center. Who needs hundreds of planets acting as endless treadmills constantly filling the space in front of you with new randomly generated foliage, rocks and monsters?

Starfield player apparently. Or at least the few of them who hoped that Bethesda’s first open-world RPG in eight years would be perfect, limitless and completely unexpected. “The cracks are starting to show,” reads one of them latest threads posted on Starfield Steam talk page as if it predicted the world-historical fall of liberal democracy in the West. The first point deals with how, at least based on initial leaks, players can’t climb ladders without hitting a loading screen. The machines that cook up virtual fantasies in The matrix would never.

I can’t remember the last time expectations felt so high for a new blockbuster. It doesn’t help that Bethesda breathlessly continues to tout the sheer size and scope of the game, and the fact that apparently you can play for over 100 hours before you even get started. Or that Xbox Series X/S owners are desperate for a Game of the Year contender on the level God of War Ragnarök or The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom– anything to wash the taste off Redfall really. i hope Starfield is good. I’m pretty sure it won’t be a disaster. I’m also 100 percent sure it won’t be as good as the perfect game that some fans have spent the last five years turn Starfield into their heads.

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