Baldur's Gate 3 has sparked in me the desire to mass murder characters in Starfield
I am still at the very beginning of Starfield, which means I have just arrived at the Lodge in New Atlantis and met some of the game's main characters...
I am still at the very beginning of Starfield, which means I have just arrived at the Lodge in New Atlantis and met some of the game's main characters. After completing the required quest and going through the dialogue options, I took some time to chat with all the people in the building. While speaking with a friendly scientist named Noel, she kindly offered me a tour of Constellation headquarters, which I gratefully accepted - I constantly get lost, and a guided exploration of a new location always helps me orient myself.
She led me out of the main room where we had been chatting with other members of Constellation, and I obediently followed. I am still getting familiar with the controls of Starfield, and as I fiddled with my controller, accidentally, I struck her head with my weapon using the thumbstick. I expected her to cry out or shout at me, but she simply stared motionless for a moment and then continued her tour without complaint. My partner, who had an eye on the screen, asked, "Why did you do that?!" and I started laughing. It was, of course, an accident, but it awakened a deep, sinister desire within me. I struck her again and again. Nothing happened.
I know that people have been playing games like this for ages, attacking allies just for the fun of it. I'm aware that in multiplayer co-op games, I've unloaded a whole bunch of bullets into a teammate just to annoy them. But I've never been the type to beat up a friendly NPC in a single-player game. It just seems like a waste of time to me since nothing happens - they might ask me to stop or stare at me motionlessly, but those are the only consequences.
Everything changed when I played Baldur's Gate 3. The certainty that I could murder whole groups of people for fun and that the narrative would take their absence into account made me feel an incredible sense of power. Of course, I would never actually do it - at least not in my first playthrough - but just the knowledge that I could gave each attack a certain significance. I could start a fight out of complete nothingness, and those individuals would remain dead. Quests they could have given me would vanish into thin air. I could search their bodies for loot and dance over their corpses. The story adapts to my actions, not the other way around, which means I can kill without consequence if I feel like it.
Not so in Starfield. Yes, Baldur's Gate 3 and Starfield are extremely different games, but I miss the process of saving and reloading when I do something really mean to the character I'm currently interacting with, and then instead choose to do the normal, morally good, more reasonable thing. I can't massacre the entire Constellation because that would likely disrupt the entire storyline of the game, so... I understand. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy doing it just to experience the consequences and the carnage. Just to see how my actions would change the world around me. Just for fun.