What We Can Expect in Elder Scrolls 6 from Starfield

Starfield, which has been the hallmark moniker for “Toddslop,” has set the bar for future Bethesda games fairly low. Starfield’s launch has been met with a considerable amount of negative reception and I fully expect that Elder Scrolls 6 will meet the same fate. To succinctly put my point: Skyrim will remain the gold standard and Elder Scrolls 6 will fall as flat as Starfield has. That is unless Bethesda does some major restructuring with their creative design.

Skyrim is where this series will rest on its laurels forever, unless innovation comes fast. Starfield gave us an inferior experience to Skyrim, even with the wealth of new technology and learnings from Skyrim and Elder Scrolls Online, along with Fallout 4 and Fallout 76.

Elder Scrolls 6 Statement
Elder Scrolls 6 Confirmed

Starfield Sets the Bar Low

Starfield should have been the latest open world RPG that players flock to. A space setting, with the Bethesda world building and content replayability, along with mod support should have been a slam dunk. Much like Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, it was able to overshadow the already amazing Red Dead Redemption.

What Starfield gave us was No Man’s Sky mixed with Fallout and then an extra dash of unimaginative planets that are more like small maps you can load into than fully formed planets you can explore. No Man’s Sky does it so much better and it’s so much older that it’s difficult for players to get excited to see what’s out in the universe of Starfield.

The quest log doesn’t motivate, there’s fewer sidequests than older games like Skyrim and the weapon variety is lackluster, with ballistic weapons far outnumbering more fun laser style weaponry. It’s a sci-fi world that takes too much inspiration from other games, like Mass Effect, and loses its own identity.

Content is also nowhere near as satisfying. In Skyrim, at level 14 you can qualify for “A Night to Remember” which can occur at any tavern in the world. It’s one of hundreds of sidequests that are triggered by just exploring the world and going about your business. It makes that Dragonborn feel like they’re the titular main character, whereas Starfield approaches it differently.

In Starfield, the entire world is set up for the ending which allows you to reset the world and start again. Upon world reset, the game is randomized and you can encounter various NPCs with new or changed affiliations or have them removed from the game.

This is to entice you to play through the world again and find new things, but the aforementioned lack of motivation or excitement in doing so falls flat.

Generative Content at Scale for Elder Scrolls 6

Starfield feels more generated than built. Skyrim’s world is lovingly hand crafted and built to entice the player to explore every bit of the map. Fallout 4 was very similar, the world was built less for the main quest and more for you to explore, find side quests and see what shenanigans you could get up to.

Starfield is lots of planets, with small maps and a huge drive for you to keep repeating the main story over and over again to see the world changes on each new universe you transverse to. This causes quick burnout and game turnover.

I expect that Elder Scrolls 6 will keep having similar issues, where the world won’t be as lovingly polished as previous games. I hope that’s not the case, but it is entirely possible.

Elder Scrolls 6 Will Be Huge

There’s no denying it that fans will purchase the new game and they’ll play it. Looking at Steam stats for today:

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Even with the mixed reviews and general negative community sentiment, Starfield still is being played. Skyrim, a game that’s over a decade old, still holds its own in player count. Yet, neither game (as of the day of writing this editorial) has the power of a more indie game like Helldiver’s 2:

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This means that no matter the investment, unless they can really change the momentum, games like Fallout 4 are going to still be more favorly played:

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To put that in perspective, Elden Ring still dominates in players online:

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That’s just on Steam, Elden Ring is a very popular console game as well (so is Fallout 4). Indie games, highly polished open world RPGs and more are going to compete for player’s time. Unless they really step their game up, Elder Scroll’s 6 will likely disappoint, but still be played.

Hopes for Elder Scrolls 6

I hope that they take the time to lovingly craft the world like they did in all of the previous games, especially Skryim and Morrowind which have some of the most beloved open world maps out there. I hope that the Starfield mechanics and lack of diversity in gameplay changes. There’s also the need for motivation to explore and not just focus on the main story, a hallmark of the series.

Only time will tell though what will be what when it comes to Elder Toddslop 6. Many of these same critisisms apply to Fallout 5 as well, if and when it comes after the upcoming TV show. Which, I mean, always another consideration: now that they’re big on multi-channel (TV, games, etc.), will that also play into the world?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Check out our commentary from 2019 on Bethesda as well to see how things have transversed the last five years!

David Piner, an accomplished video game journalist since 2001, excels in developing comprehensive guides and engaging content to enrich the gaming experience. As the esteemed former Managing Editor at TTH (as David "Xerin" Piner) for over a decade, David established a strong reputation for his perceptive analysis, captivating content, and streamlined guides. Having led skilled teams of writers and editors, David has been instrumental in producing an extensive collection of articles, reviews, and guides tailored to both casual and hardcore gamers aiming to enhance their skills. Dedicated to player-centric content, David meticulously crafts guides and articles with the players' interests in mind. He is a proud member of OUT Georgia and fervently champions equity and equality across all spheres.