Starfield has now been in the wild for a month and, yep, turns out it’s a Bethesda game. I don’t know why anyone’s surprised really, and surely that’s what we were all secretly hoping for: where’s the joy in a vast, polished galaxy where everything works as intended? Far better to have a cosmos where something like a mop can accidentally trigger a mini-genocide.
This is what player lkl34 discovered when tootling around in Neon and deciding, flagrantly, to pick up a cleaning mop. The reaction of NPCs immediately around them is to shout “thief!” and start running like headless chickens, which is amusing enough, but in that way of bad logic piling upon bad logic, things begin to escalate… and soon enough we’ve got a bunch of NPCs in their underwear, seemingly non-aggroed, just desperate to be involved?
One of the worst crimes you can do in starfield. from r/Starfield
This is the jank we pay the ticket price for. As any Starfield player knows, this ain’t unusual. Bethesda’s space sandbox has the same tagging issues as any of its previous games, meaning you risk a gunfight with security any time you accidentally knock a ball or pick up an incidental prop. It is undoubtedly amusing watching the player pick up the mop again and the instantaneous “oh no!” reactions of the NPCs.
My most well-worn Bethesda story is about how a dragon once attacked me in Skyrim near a small village’s outskirts and, because it knocked over a fence while attacking, the entire village swivelled on the spot (blaming me for the fence) and joined its assault: then the game immediately quicksaved. Mopgate certainly has similar vibes, even if lkl34 can’t quite resist the temptation to chuck a grenade into the hapless NPCs halfway through.
Starfield does have the option to pay a fine, which is how you traditionally ‘escape’ such accidents in the Elder Scrolls games (well, either that or a fireball to the face), but that doesn’t seem to factor in to this situation. Instead, the NPCs run en masse, get a certain distance, and then slowly return to the scene of the crime. It’s deeply odd watching them kind of butt heads with each other in uncertainty, uneasily returning to the mop thief, before all panicking again and running off when the player dares to pick up a cleaning bucket.
As may have been expected, Starfield’s post-launch support is a tiny bit Bethesda, and a whole lot of hero mods: players have already done things like improving the UI and junking the repetitive temple puzzles. Despite that it still feels a tad empty, sociopathic security forces or no. Starfield is a game clearly built for the long haul, and one of the oddest things about it is how things change over multiple playthroughs, but the question remains over whether it can sustain interest for such a long spell: PCG’s Chris Livingston went all-in, but soon enough found it had little to keep him playing. Should have started a fight over some cleaning products, clearly.