Starfield vs Star Citizen: Which Game Should You Play?

Choosing your next galactic adventure.

By GamesRecon

If you are a fan of sci-fi and space exploration, you might be wondering which game to play for your next cosmic gaming adventure: Starfield or Star Citizen. Both of these stellar games are gearing up to take us on an unforgettable journey through the stars, but they’re kind of like distant cousins in the space gaming family – similar, yet with their own unique quirks.

In this article, we will discuss what makes these games tick. We’ll look at them through the lens of genre, gameplay, graphics, story, and how they’re hitting the gaming universe (a.k.a. their release model). It’s all about figuring out which game is your best source to the stars, based on what floats your spaceship.

Starfield vs Star Citizen: Genre

One of the biggest differences between Starfield and Star Citizen is the genre they belong to. It’s like comparing a gripping solo novel to an epic multiplayer board game – both amazing experiences, but with different vibes.

Starfield is the awesome single-player RPG from the devs at Bethesda Game Studios – the same company who brought us the epic “Elder Scrolls” and “Fallout” series. Starfield is set in the 22nd century – a time when humanity’s not just dreaming about the stars but living among them. In the game, you can create your own character and have this whole galaxy as your playground. Imagine hopping from planet to planet, mingling with different factions, soaking in various cultures – all while carving out your path in this massive universe.

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Star Citizen is a massive multiplayer online game (MMO) crafted by Cloud Imperium Games, fueled by a passionate community of backers. Chris Roberts, the genius behind “Wing Commander” and “Freelancer,” steering this ship. We’re jumping way ahead to the 30th century here, where humanity’s footprint in the universe is, well, universe-sized. In Star Citizen, you’re one of the many citizens of this sprawling universe. You can pick what you want to be – trader, pirate, explorer, soldier – you name it. The cool part is that you’re living, working, and playing alongside a whole community of players and NPCs.

Starfield vs Star Citizen: Gameplay

Starfield is more story-driven, Star Citizen is more sandbox-oriented.

Starfield is like being the lead in a sci-fi blockbuster movie – it’s well story-driven. You’ve got this main narrative that’s like the spine of the game, with tons of branching quests sprouting off it. It’s all about making choices that steer your journey and it’s got that signature Bethesda open-world charm. You will be exploring vast, uncharted space territories, stumbling upon hidden secrets, meeting intriguing characters – it’s a universe ripe for discovery. The combat is a blend of in-your-face melee and strategic ranged attacks, with a dash of stealth and a pinch of hacking for flavor.

Star Citizen is about freedom and creativity; you’re not following a set story but making your own. It’s kinda like the game hands you the keys to the universe and says, “Go wild!” Do you want to be a daring space pilot or fancy a bit of space trading or mining? You got it. Or maybe a dash of smuggling? You have it in this game. And the flight simulation is very detailed and realistic. You’re not just flying a ship; you’re mastering it. Every ship feels different, and you can tweak them with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos. Plus, the economy in this game is alive. Your actions – be it trading, mining, or even the shady deals – actually impact the in-game market. And your reputation also matters; your choices shape how the universe responds to you.

Starfield vs Star Citizen: Graphics

Starfield has a stylized aesthetic, Star Citizen has a realistic look.

Starfield is a vibrant, stylized space painting. The visuals here aren’t chasing photorealism; instead, they’re colorful and expressive. It’s like stepping into a sci-fi movie that’s been hand-drawn with an imaginative brush. Bethesda is using the Creation Engine 2 for this – it’s the same engine that brought us Skyrim and Fallout 4 but on cosmic steroids. They’re aiming for a cinematic feel, so expect some pretty slick animations, lighting that sets the mood right, and sound that lets you deep into space.

Star Citizen is like a high-res photograph of the universe; it has ultra-realistic visuals that’ll make you do a double-take and wonder, “Am I actually in space?” It runs on the Lumberyard Engine, which is the tech behind games like Crysis and Amazon’s New World. This means you get excellent details and textures that are a feast for the eyes. But this kind of realism demands a lot from your hardware. We’re talking about advanced features like procedural generation (which means endless unique planets and stars), super-realistic cloud formations, and ray tracing that makes light and shadows in space look insanely real.

Starfield vs Star Citizen: Story

Starfield has a predefined setting and lore, Star Citizen has a player-driven narrative.

Starfield is like diving into a richly detailed sci-fi universe with its own timeline, history, factions, and characters; it’s all set out for you. There is an intriguing main plot centered around the Constellation – it’s shrouded in mystery and ties into the big questions about humanity’s role in space. It’s the kind of setting where you feel like a part of a larger story, and every planet or space station you visit has its backstory.

Star Citizen is like creating your own story in a sandbox universe. It’s dynamic, with events and scenarios that pop up based on what players are doing. It contains a universe that’s constantly evolving, where your actions and those of other players shape the ongoing narrative. Moreover, the game has different modules, like Star Marine for FPS fans, Arena Commander for those who love space dogfights, and the narrative-driven Squadron 42, which features big Hollywood names like Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman, and Gillian Anderson.

Starfield or Star Citizen: Which Should You Buy?

Choose between Starfield and Star Citizen

Starfield was developed by the renowned Bethesda Game Studios and released in 2023. It’s a game with a very good storyline, but it’s like that trusty old spaceship that’s showing its age. The game engine is a little outdated – if you’re playing on a console, you might feel the limitations. When you wrap up the main story campaign, that’s where things get interesting with some specific gameplay mechanics. But it’s a mixed bag – some parts of the game are more fun than others. The combat can be a bit hit or miss, and the character animations and AI movements aren’t exactly fresh out of the oven. The inventory system might remind you of sorting your garage on a Sunday – not the most fun you’ve had. And yeah, there are loading screens… a lot of them. Space traveling, which should be the coolest part, ends up a bit underwhelming. It’s mostly just loading screens instead of epic journeys through the stars. But the ships and space battles can be a blast.

Star Citizen is a high-end, hyper-realistic space flight simulator. It’s all about making flying a virtual spaceship feel as real as it gets. It offers infinite possibilities, but the game isn’t even fully out yet – it’s like that super-ambitious space project that’s been in the works forever. Yes, over a decade and still counting. It’s got potential as vast as the universe, but it’s not without its quirks. To fully enjoy it, you’ll need a beefy PC, and let’s just say it’s not exactly budget-friendly. Furthermore, it’s not the kind of game you just jump into and play; there’s a learning curve steep enough to make a mountain look like a molehill.

Choose Starfield over Star Citizen if you want a space exploration game that is out in the open, transparent about its features and limitations, and far cheaper. On the other hand, Star Citizen could be a good option if you’re ready to put in the effort and cash for a game with a lot of promise.