Despite the buzz and anticipation that was brewing at launch, Starfield was notably absent from the Game of the Year nominations at The Game Awards today.
However, its omission wasn’t shocking to die-hard fans who conceded that, although they thoroughly enjoyed everything it had to offer, Starfield fell short of the exceptional standard needed to earn a nomination.
The spacefaring game’s snub from the top award was attributed by some to its lack of refinement. They pointed out the countless bugs and underdeveloped content, suggesting an extra year of development might have turned it into a contender worthy of nomination. One of the biggest criticisms was how little players could do on each explorable planet, making them feel a sense of emptiness while playing.
Others felt the issues ran a lot deeper, and no amount of time or extra development could have saved it. To them, Starfield had fundamental design issues like buildings that seemed copied and pasted, a lack of meaningful exploration rewards, an outdated dialogue system, and more.
Its attempt to capture the awe of space travel was also seen as underwhelming, failing to deliver the groundbreaking experience many had hoped for. Some even drew comparisons between Starfield and Mass Effect Andromeda, another game that faced criticism for not living up to its potential.
Interestingly, Starfield did receive a nomination for Best RPG, but even in this category, fans are skeptical it can nab the award given the likes of Baldur’s Gate 3, which is expected to sweep the awards show on Dec. 7. This nomination, while a nod to its strengths, also underscores how inconsistent it was in other areas beyond roleplaying.
While there’s a clear appreciation for what Starfield could have been, the reality of it has left even its most dedicated fans unsurprised by its absence from the Game of the Year nominations. As one user humorously suggested, it might find its glory in a hypothetical category for games that have been massively improved by unofficial mods a year after release.