In a surprising turn of events, Starfield clinched the “Most Innovative Gameplay” award at the 2023 Steam Awards, sparking widespread bewilderment among its own fanbase.
Despite its ambitious scope and Bethesda’s reputation for groundbreaking RPGs, Starfield’s recent accolade has left both fans and critics puzzled.
The game, which has seen a mixed reception since its release, was recognized for innovation in gameplay, a decision that seems at odds with the community’s feedback.
The criticism doesn’t stop there. A particularly scathing comment highlighted the game’s perceived shortcomings: “An RPG without roleplaying or story, a BGS game without an interesting world, a space game without space exploration. It’s truly brainbreaking, a new way of playing.”
Despite these criticisms, Starfield’s win in this category is notable, especially considering the game’s current “Mostly Negative” recent review score on Steam. This disconnect raises questions about the criteria used for awarding “Most Innovative Gameplay” and whether it aligns with player experiences and expectations.
Another fan pointed out the irony in the award, stating, “This feels so wrong. I don’t think Starfield is bad, but if there is one area that they do not deserve, it’s innovation.” This reflects a broader sentiment that, while the game might have its merits, innovation in gameplay isn’t one of them.
The controversy also highlights the subjective nature of gaming awards and the potential gap between industry recognition and player perceptions. As one fan succinctly put it, “There’s no reason for it to be winning this. There’s awards it could’ve gotten, but the game simply can’t be ‘innovative’ while also being the game with most loading screens released this year.”
The Steam Awards, known for being voted on by the gaming community, typically reflect the players’ voice. However, in this instance, the decision seems to have diverged significantly from player opinions, adding to the intrigue and controversy surrounding Starfield’s latest accolade. It’s led many to believe that the voting was simply “trolling.”
“In this case, I really believe it’s people trolling, because everyone knows it’s not innovative at all, especially Steam users,” one player wrote.
The debate over Starfield’s award win is likely to continue as players and critics alike dissect what innovation means in the context of modern gaming. Whether this award will impact the game’s reputation or player base remains to be seen.
As the gaming community grapples with Starfield’s unexpected win, what are your thoughts on what constitutes innovative gameplay? Share your opinions in the comments below.