Despite having new game plus and no level cap, players might be ready to play something else. If you’re looking to give that galaxy a break, we have gathered a list of other games with similar aspects for a smooth transition. These games have expansive and alien worlds, enjoyable combat, and entertaining stories.
The Outer Worlds
Probably the most similar game on this list is The Outer Worlds, as it is the most recent Bethesda RPG release prior to Starfield. You still get companions to fight with you as you grow your relationship with them. Just about everything at the core of Starfield can be found in The Outer Worlds. The biggest differences are the lack of space travel and that, while you visit several different planets, they aren’t quite on the same scale. Plus, with a sequel coming, you might as well try this out now.
The story opens with a scientist finding the Hope, a colony ship that went missing and is now being quarantined. The scientist sends you onto a nearby planet to seek out a captain to take you elsewhere. When that captain, Hawthorne, doesn’t quite make it, you need to figure out for yourself how to get off the planet. Unfortunately, the deceased captain’s ship is in poor shape, so you’ll have to deal with the locals to fix it.
Though admittedly, Cyberpunk 2077 had an extremely rocky release, the game is incredibly stable and playable at this point. Night City feels completely fleshed out at this point, similar to the more densely populated sections of Starfield’d planets. A similar level of player choice exists, letting you truly craft your character. The main difference is that you are only one set character, though you can choose from three lifepaths that determine your background.
You play as V, a citizen of the rather dangerous Night City. Set in the year 2077, body modifications are a complete cultural norm. Do you want stronger hands? To run faster or jump higher? The allure of Night City and Cyberware can grant your every wish. However, there’s also the shady aspect of the city. Everything is run through a shady megacorporation, and those who can control the net can make or break everyday life.
No Man’s Sky
If you want more of the exploration aspect of Starfield, there’s truly not a better game around than No Man’s Sky. Similar to Cyberpunk 2077, this game experienced quite a lot of player backlash at first due to unfulfilled promises. However, in the last 7 years, the game has been almost completely overhauled and is an entirely different experience from launch.
There’s less of a story to the game, with the main goal is getting to the center of the universe. If you were overwhelmed with the number of planets in Starfield, No Man’s Sky blows that out of the water. As you journey closer to your goal, planets can be dangerous or safe depending on many factors. You’re able to mine as much as you want, and elements serve a distinct purpose in either building or refueling your ship.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Though it certainly shows its age at this point, Skyrim is a prime example of a Bethesda RPG. Mixing melee, magic, and ranged attacks, players could truly build out their dream warrior. If you would prefer if a planet were more densely packed with things to explore, Skyrim is the right choice. You can also craft your character from several different species instead of just a yucky human.
You have been sentenced to death before a dragon appears, giving you and a local captured leader time to escape. They are then tasked with informing the Jarl of the town Whiterun about the dragon’s presence. Over the course of the journey, they learn they are Dragonborn and the only one capable of killing a dragon that is wreaking havoc all over Skyrim.
Fallout 4 represents the other end of the Bethesda RPG spectrum. Instead of shockingly medieval or far future, Fallout is kind of in the middle. It has a more retrofuturistic feel because, though it has robots, everything still feels mid-1900s. In contrast to the somewhat empty planets, you won’t go too far before running into some exciting new areas to explore. Also, you get a dog companion, which is something Starfield did the opposite of by possibly making them extinct.
You play as a resident of Sanctuary Hills on the day nuclear bombs drop. You are either the mother or father to a newborn baby and have made a deal with VaultTec to be sheltered in Vault 111. As their experiment, you are cryogenically frozen along with everyone else. Some number of years later, you wake up to witness strangers breaking into your spouse’s pod, murdering her, and kidnapping your baby before you fall back asleep. You awaken sometime after that when your pod malfunctioned, and you set out to find your missing child.
Subnautica offers purely exploration, with a large chunk of the story left for players to discover as they go. Instead of a world populated with enemies, players will have to survive crushing ocean depths and territorial marine life. There is a lot of the planet 4546B to explore, even if very little of it is actually above sea level.
The story follows Ryley Robinson, the only survivor from the crashed Aurora that was brought down by a mysterious energy pulse that came from 4546B. Using all of her wits, players will have access to her escape pod’s fabricator to create necessary tools for survival. There’s a much bigger situation at play on the planet than the crew of the Aurora ever knew about, but it might be key to getting back home.
Red Dead Redemption 2
No one ever said a game had to be first-person to share similar ideas with Starfield, right? So with that in mind, I’d like to propose Red Dead Redemption 2 as a reasonable follow-up to your space adventure. You get a massive open world to explore with plenty of unique characters to meet. It might be a level of shock to go from a game with crazily futuristic science to a technologically void one, but it is worth it.
Arthur Morgan is a lieutenant in the outlaw Van der Linde gang. After a botched job, the gang starts to accept that the world is advancing to a point where outlaws no longer have a place to settle. A separate job gets members of the Pinkerton Detective Agency sent after them, and their possibilities start to slim. Set before the events of the first game, players get to see exactly what all John Marston went through.
Going to continue the third-person trend and offer a decent open-world sci-fi experience with Elex II. The map in this game is massive and will certainly have you exploring every corner for upgrades and new weapons. Plus, you get a jetpack for quicker exploration that is likely one of the best in-game jetpacks I’ve ever experienced. Elex II is also great for those looking for a bit of difficulty, as enemies don’t scale; different areas just have tougher enemies, and it’s easy to find them accidentally.
Elex II once again follows Jax, the protagonist of the first game (which you don’t need to play). After being shunned for doomsday warnings of an incoming threat, Jax is proven correct as an invasion starts right at his doorstep. In the ensuing chaos, he is bitten by an alien monster and falls into a coma. Upon waking, he is informed the bite has infected him and will cause a transformation. To abate this, he makes a deal with a doctor to gather the world’s factions for help.
Okay, so it’s a slight step down that you can only explore a space station, but at least it isn’t another Earth-based game. Instead, you deal with rather claustrophobic sections of the station with creepy aliens around every corner. The only bit of help is that there is a good number of weapons to find, and you can take on characteristics of the aliens.
Players take on the role of Morgan Yu as they are recruited for a spot on the Talos I space station. However, the recruitment facade soon drops, and it is revealed they have been on Talos I for quite a bit of time but can’t remember due to experiments. An AI awakens you to this and also tells you that an alien species, the Typhon, has taken over Talos I. You must find your own way to different sections of Talos I to combat the Typhon. The coolest part is that you’re also playing Prop Hunt, as the Typhon can disguise themselves as inanimate objects.
Our last pick is for those who want better space combat than what Starfield offers. Not that what Starfield gives players is bad, but rather basic in comparison to other games. Everspace is all space dogfights, without any of the terrestrial gameplay elements. You are only a ship, and your goal is survival, so you can customize your ship and fight some more.
This is the biggest divergence from the rest of this list, as there’s not much of a story to Everspace. It is a roguelike title, meaning you play until death and then get a new run with that obtained knowledge and new tools to ensure victory the next time. When it comes to space-based combat, there aren’t really any other games that do it better than this one. Plus, the roguelike aspect means you can enjoy it in bite-sized chunks without investing in a lengthy storyline playthrough.
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