- The Creation Engine, used by Bethesda for games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim, is showing its age with inferior graphics, technical issues, and limited graphical options.
- Starfield, the first game made on an updated Creation Engine 2, still had many of the same issues and struggled under the pressure of its scope.
- Despite its flaws, The Creation Engine allows Bethesda to create unique experiences with branching stories, fun worlds to explore, a physics system, and easy modding, which may delay the transition to a new engine.
With the release of Starfield, some gamers are once again discussing the longevity of Bethesda’s Creation Engine. While the studio has made some fantastic games with it, its cracks seem to be getting far more prevalent as the years have gone by. Not only do the animations and art style look a bit rough around the edges, but the games are also plagued with technical issues and loading screens. That may not prevent Bethesda from making some fantastic experiences still, however, it may have held back Starfield immensely.
Game engines are the lifeblood of the gaming industry because without them studios would not be able to craft all of these amazing experiences. However, just like with hardware, these engines need to grow and evolve as the years go by. And even with updates, eventually these engines begin to feel dated, and their issues become more obvious. Bethesda may still be able to create some quality games with it, but Starfield showed that it may be time for the studio to move onto something else entirely, or at least go for a major overhaul of sorts.
How Starfield’s Outposts and Fallout 4’s Settlements Could Work in The Elder Scrolls 6
Despite being an entirely different franchise, The Elder Scrolls 6 could have a feature similar to Starfield’s outposts and Fallout 4’s settlements.
It May Be Time for Bethesda to Move On From the Creation Engine
The Creation Engine Seems to Be Showing Its Cracks
Bethesda adopted the Creation Engine in 2011 with the release of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. That was the first game that utilized this brand-new engine, and with the help of the studio’s impressive writing, it made for a fantastic debut. Skyrim is still often considered one of the best fantasy RPGs out there, even though it has been over a decade since it first hit store shelves. And the Creation Engine gave the studio the ability to craft something that many would not soon forget. However, it was already showing cracks from the beginning.
Bethesda would go on to use the Creation Engine for Fallout 4 and Fallout 76. While both games seemed to deliver fun RPGs, they also felt a bit dated the minute they released. Many players pointed out the aging graphics, technical problems, and the abundance of loading screens. Many also found that the engine was limited in its graphical options, it was poorly optimized, and the games seemed a bit rough in places. It felt like the studio was already spreading the engine to its limits, which Starfield further cemented.
Starfield was the first game made on an updated Creation Engine 2, which featured various updates to the visuals and AI alongside a new procedural generation system. However, it was also plagued by many of the same issues that the last three games also had. Additionally, the scope of Starfield made these problems feel even worse. Players could not do anything without hitting a loading screen, the characters and worlds lacked charm, and the game struggled under the immense pressure of its many moving parts. Some have even found it practically unplayable on PC, which has led to extremely mixed reviews.
The Creation Engine is Still Uniquely Bethesda
The Creation Engine already felt kind of dated with 2015’s Fallout 4, and it feels even older in 2023. The Elder Scrolls 6 may also be using The Creation Engine 2, so by the time it releases it will likely feel even worse. However, the studio has made no signs that it wants to move over to a new engine even after fans have been calling for improvement for years, and that is probably because the engine feels like it fits the studio.
The Creation Engine may be incredibly dated, but it gives Bethesda the ability to do things a lot of other games cannot. The branching stories give the RPGs so much content to experience, the worlds are fun to explore, the physics system gives these games a unique flair, and the ease of modding helps keep them alive for years. Because of all of that, it will likely be a while before Bethesda decides to move away from it.
Developed by Bethesda Game Studios, Starfield is a sci-fi action role-playing game where players interact with multiple factions, engage in combat, customize their main character and ship, as well as explore a universe that features over 100 systems and 1,000 planets.
- September 6, 2023
- M For Mature 17+ Due To Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Drugs, Strong Language, Violence
- How Long To Beat
- 20 Hours
- X|S Enhanced
- File Size Xbox Series
- 101 GB (November 2023)