• Shattered Space DLC for Starfield offers a fresh, dark take on the game’s universe with surreal visuals to address player complaints.
  • Bethesda’s shift in style shows a promising future for Starfield, with the game finally embracing elements of sci-fi fantasy and horror in this expansion.
  • With a focus on a mysterious storyline and new enemies, Shattered Space looks set to expand Starfield’s universe in intriguing ways.

From its opening seconds, the first trailer for Starfield’s Shattered Space DLC makes it clear that the upcoming expansion is offering up a new take on the game’s sci-fi universe. Showcasing a decidedly dark tone and surreal visuals that stand in stark contrast to Starfield’s sometimes sterile NASA punk aesthetic, Shattered Space looks to be addressing player complaints that the main game lacked a distinct visual identity. And although giving the game’s first expansion a hefty infusion of the fantastical won’t guarantee success, it could draw in players who’d been turned off by Starfield’s otherwise grounded sci-fi stylings.

This radical shift in style for Shattered Space shows that Bethesda isn’t content to leave the game’s universe feeling static, and this bodes well for the future of Starfield. While the sprawling sci-fi RPG received plenty of praise for its grounded and realistic setting upon release, Starfield’s distinctive NASA punk aesthetic left players who’d been expecting a somewhat more exotic sci-fi world feeling underwhelmed. But by seemingly embracing elements of both sci-fi fantasy and horror, Shattered Space looks set to show that Starfield’s universe may be far stranger than players ever imagined.


Starfield Fans Are Still Venting Their Disappointment With One Part of the Game

Though updates have fixed some of Starfield’s major issues, many players are still upset at one part of the game that fell way short of expectations.

Starfield’s NASA Punk Aesthetic Left Some Players Feeling Underwhelmed

The marketing campaign for Starfield placed a heavy emphasis on how nearly every element of the game was imbued with realism, with Bethesda going to great lengths to detail the game’s grounded, NASA punk aesthetic. And while the end result was a setting that felt fairly plausible compared to many other sci-fi games, it could also feel remarkably sterile at times. Some creative players managed to add a bit of excitement to the game by designing wildly unique spaceships using Starfield’s powerful ship builder, but its overall design could still feel somewhat bland at times.

This focus on grounded realism at the expense of visual flair didn’t stop with the game’s tech, it carried forward to Starfield’s hundreds of planets. Even though players could visit far-flung worlds with scientifically accurate sunrises and sunsets, many complained about feeling underwhelmed after encountering countless barren, boring, and lifeless planets on their journey. But thanks to its darker and more fantastical sci-fi stylings that seem to draw more from Dead Space than the NASA archives, Shattered Space looks like it could give Starfield the makeover many players have been waiting for.

Shattered Space Looks to Embrace Elements of Sci-fi Fantasy and Horror

With a storyline focused on Starfield’s mysterious House Va’Ruun, Shattered Space gives Bethesda the opportunity to show players a new and darker side of the game’s universe. This tonal shift is evident throughout its debut trailer’s three-minute runtime, with the Shattered Space teaser showing off new locations and enemies that lean heavily into sci-fi fantasy and horror tropes rather than the base game’s gritty realism. While some Starfield missions already included elements of these sci-fi subgenres, its first expansion looks to be embracing them wholeheartedly.

As players explore the dark reaches of the cosmos under the control of the worshipers of the Great Serpent, they’re likely to encounter all sorts of unusual sights that feel worlds away from Starfield’s main campaign. From dragon-like creatures flying through the sky, to enemies that look more like apparitions than aliens, to the ominous, mysterious monolith at the center of Shattered Space’s teaser trailer, the Va’Ruun homeworld of Va’ruun’kai looks to be a drastic departure from everything Starfield players have seen before.

By letting players experience a story that fully embraces some of sci-fi’s more fantastical elements, Shattered Space looks set to expand Starfield’s universe in some intriguing ways. With a slew of new guns, gear, and foes to fight, the expansion should also give players plenty of exciting new ways to pass the time. And if Bethesda can deliver on the tonal shift promised in the trailer for Shattered Space, it could even give Starfield the second shot at success it so richly deserves.


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