Starfield’s Paid Mods Ignite A Review Bombing On Steam

Starfield’s Paid Mods Ignite A Review Bombing On Steam

Starfield has yet again rubbed folks the wrong way. This time it’s not over what many perceived as a mostly empty initial offering when it launched last year. Rather, criticism is centered on the game’s new Creations mod hub, which offers free and paid mods from both Bethesda and community members alike. Some are so irate over the presence of those paid mods that, in a case of history repeating itself, they’re taking to Steam to make their feelings known by review-bombing the game all over again.

Read More: Shattered Space Looks Like The Dose Of Personality Starfield Needs

Starfield arrived on September 4, 2023 to mixed reception. While its scope was certainly ambitious and, as I argued in my review, it has quite a few clever ideas, it hasn’t been universally embraced by the gaming community. In the months that followed Starfield’s release, the community (particularly on Steam) took to review-bombing it over its milquetoast offerings. Bethesda has stressed that the game is likely to evolve, with support and new features expected “for years and years” after its release. Now, Starfield’s mod hub, introduced on June 9, 2024, offers easy access to official and community-based mods and has proven to be a much-needed and often great addition to the game. That said, many of the mods come at a steep cost, which, predictably, has influenced fans to take to review bombing it on Steam for a second time.

The mods are cool, but ouch, some are real pricey (and for what, exactly?)

Starfield costs $US70 USD. For that you get a Bethesda-ass Bethesda game of Bethesda proportions, just way more barren than you might expect. It’s all cut up into little pieces partitioned off by menus and loading screens. The quests don’t allow for a lot of freedom of choice, despite some neat concepts here and there in the main story.

Like many games with online storefronts, Starfield uses a premium currency: Credits. $US10 USD will net you 1,000 credits, and you can buy as many as 5500 for $US49.99.

Screenshot: Bethesda / Kotaku

Right now, for the equivalent of seven US bucks, you can buy an official mod that adds…um, a single NPC bounty target to hunt down and kill. You’ll get some horse arm—sorry, space suits for your struggles, but you’ll also be out seven bucks. Bethesda also sells a single ship hub for 1,000 credits (or $US10 bucks). It adds 22 decorative items to place in your ships and outposts, but it’s really just one hub. On the cheaper side of things, you can spend the equivalent of $US3 USD for in-game plushies of Starfield’s cast of characters (that Sam and Cora one is kinda cute tho…).

As I’ve pointed out before, there are some great free mods you can snag. On the whole, the community mods are a more-than-welcome addition to Bethesda’s starbound RPG. But many community mods do cost money, a concept that has stirred up rigorous debate and controversy over the years. Regardless, many fans are upset with what they see as a shallow, cash-grab in the guise of a way to fix an otherwise empty game.

Everyone (On Steam) Disliked That

Currently, Starfield’s recent review status on Steam is sitting at Mostly Negative, (which has its overall lifetime reviews averaging out to a Mixed rating). And recent reviews reveal why.

“Broken boring game,” reads one review. “Putting mods behind a paywall is a big no for me.” “Creator’s club is a scam,” reads another. Another states, “Paid mods on top of an already mediocre, $US70 Dollar game? What a joke.” You can see the pattern here.

We do live in an age of good comeback stories, as evidenced by No Man’s Sky and Cyberpunk 2077, games which initially shipped to poor reception but have since patched and updated their way into many a gamer’s heart. Starfield has received some much-needed updates, such as maps and tweaks here and there. And the Creation suite mod hub is surely the most expansive update the game has received yet, one with unlimited potential. That said, it seems to be facing an uphill battle of aggressive scrutiny, and it’s hard to blame folks for that.

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