In a year already packed with noteworthy game releases, two titles have emerged as standout contenders, and they’ve done so in remarkably close proximity to each other. Starfield and Baldur’s Gate 3 have transformed this summer into a battleground for two massive RPGs. What’s intriguing is that both games technically launched on the same day: Baldur’s Gate 3 for the PS5 and Starfield’s full access release both hit the shelves on September 6. But considering the considerable commitment of time required to immerse oneself in two 100+-hour RPGs simultaneously, it begs the question – which one should take precedence? While the ultimate decision may vary based on individual preferences, we’re here to offer some guidance.
First and foremost, your choice may depend on the platform you intend to play on. PC gamers are fortunate in having access to both games with full modding capabilities. However, the console landscape is somewhat different. Currently, Baldur’s Gate 3 is exclusively available on the PS5, with Xbox Series X and S releases scheduled later in the year. Conversely, Starfield is an Xbox exclusive, and the possibility of a PlayStation port remains uncertain.
For PC players, those owning both consoles, or those willing to wait for the games to reach their respective console platforms, the choice remains open.
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The opinions at GamesRadar+ don’t offer a clear-cut answer either. Both the Starfield and Baldur’s Gate 3 reviews received dazzling five-star scores, complete with Editor’s Pick awards.
Regarding Starfield, Leon remarked, “Starfield isn’t a game you play to complete; it’s about living your desired life in the vast universe crafted by Bethesda. The game’s scale is liberating – you’ll probably never see or do it all, so just savor the moment. Months, if not years, of discoveries await, and even after 80 hours, I can’t wait to explore more.”
On the other hand, Baldur’s Gate 3 was lauded, with the following observation: “At a time when Dungeons & Dragons is more popular than ever in its 50-year history, Baldur’s Gate 3 stands alongside the best of the best, including Curse of Strahd, Critical Role, and its own beloved predecessors. It’s not just one of the best D&D games or RPGs ever made; it sets a new gold standard by which the entire genre, if not the entire industry, will be judged.”
In terms of Metacritic scores, Starfield currently holds an 88, while Baldur’s Gate 3 boasts even higher scores – 96 on PC and a remarkable 97 on PS5, making it the best-reviewed game on the platform. While these scores provide a snapshot of their reception, it’s important to recognize that Baldur’s Gate 3 appears to have elevated the CRPG genre more significantly than Starfield has advanced its open-world approach.
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The most substantial differences between Baldur’s Gate 3 and Starfield lie in their gameplay mechanics. To begin, it’s vital to acknowledge several fundamental distinctions:
- Baldur’s Gate 3 is a fantasy RPG, presented in an isometric view with turn-based combat, constructed around the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset.
- Starfield, on the other hand, is a sci-fi RPG with real-time action, primarily in the first-person perspective. It draws inspiration from the Skyrim engine in terms of gameplay.
Both are RPGs, but their approaches differ significantly. In Baldur’s Gate 3, your character’s portrayal is central; background, class, and dialogue choices significantly impact the world. Conversely, in Starfield, it’s your actions, not your words, that shape your journey through the galaxy.
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Another key distinction is the scale vs. density factor. Starfield offers a vast galaxy with many planets that remain largely unchanged even if you don’t explore them. In Baldur’s Gate 3, your choices affect the world from the very start, emphasizing consequences and deepening your relationships with characters.
Graphically, the games diverge as well. Starfield adheres to the traditional AAA open-world approach, while Baldur’s Gate 3, constrained by its isometric CRPG origins, presents a different visual experience. Starfield excels in delivering impressive graphical vistas.
In the end, your choice between Starfield and Baldur’s Gate 3 comes down to personal preference. These games, while sharing some similarities, differ significantly in many aspects. If you seek a sprawling, Bethesda-style open world with emergent combat, Starfield delivers. On the other hand, if you’re looking for deep CRPG storytelling and tactical battles, Baldur’s Gate 3 excels in that regard. If you have the time and resources to play both, you’ll find two massive, inherently replayable games, each offering a unique take on the RPG genre.