Xbox boss Phil Spencer says the first few hours of Starfield are a little slow, but it eventually "blows up in terms of its epic scale."
Speaking to IGN at Gamescom 2023 during Xbox's livestream, Spencer applauded Bethesda Game Studios for having the confidence to send out review codes to press and content creators a full two weeks ahead of launch - especially since it's a little slow to start.
"It's a big game, and I'll be the first to admit the first three to four hours are a little bit hunt-and-peck, figure out 'what am I actually doing?' Then you get onto sidequests or something, and the game just blows up in terms of its epic scale."
For what it's worth, Bethesda revealed an abridged version of Starfield's opening sequence at Gamescom, and GamesRadar's Josh West was blown away. "Honestly, it's incredibly impressive, and shows a marked improvement on the excellent 60-minute demo which blew our minds apart back in the summer – facial animations look sharper and more defined, the environments look more vibrant, and combat looks really damn capable."
Over on Bethesda's side, the studio's publishing lead, Pete Hines, casually revealed he's already logged 150 hours into Starfield and still "hasn't even come close" to seeing it all. Hines also said his "one piece of advice" on Starfield is to pay attention to your activities, as they'll lead you to "some amazing places."
What I'm taking from all of this is that, like most games of its scale, Starfield is an investment that pays back your hours spent trudging through its beginning in dividends. We'll find out when Starfield launches at long last on Xbox Series X/S and PC on September 6.
Here are all of the other upcoming Xbox Series X games we're excited about.