I Snitched To A Cop In Starfield And Now I’m Mad At The Game

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I’m in New Atlantis’ more impoverished lower city, The Well, on a mission from a journalist in one of the upper districts, who’s been tasked with interviewing business owners and seeing how business is going down there, but feels it’s too unsafe for a regular citizen like her to make the journey herself. I’m a good Samaritan, and I doubt it’s as dangerous as she says, so I volunteer.


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I speak to a nurse running a clinic – she tells me that there’s been a stomach bug going around and that lots of children are falling sick, but that overall she’s doing the best she can to keep the citizens of The Well healthy. She seems optimistic, and I tell her I’ll try my best to help her keep her clinic running. I then go to speak with the owner of an electronics store, who seems shady and weird, but I can’t find any evidence that he’s actually doing anything wrong on the premises and I take him at his word.

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Then I go to Kay’s House, a restaurant that was born out of one woman’s desire to feed her neighbours, and talk to both the retired owner Kay and her daughter Theresa. I ask my questions, and Theresa tells me that they don’t face much trouble – business is steady and there isn’t much threat of violence as many consider the restaurant to be a sort of neutral zone where disrespect and any outside feuds are not tolerated. This is confirmed by a very annoying man across from the restaurant I met before entering, who told me he’d been banned from Kay’s House because of his behaviour.

Starfield: Kay's House

Then, Theresa mentions that she’s noticed a new group of customers who have been worrying her. They’ve been hanging around the UC Surplus store, she tells me, and it looks like they’re casing the place. She says she wants to tell the UC Security Office, but she needs evidence, and could I pretty please go and see if I can find anything to report on her behalf? Fine, I say. I don’t think robbing a store catered to an already underserved population is a particularly moral thing to do, so I go on my merry way. I eavesdrop on their conversation, get my confirmation that they are, indeed, planning to rob the store, and go back to Theresa.

She instructs me to tell Karson Endler, a UC Security Officer, and I begrudgingly do so. My other option is to go back and pick a fight with the guys, and considering she’s a member of The Well’s community and I’m not, it seems better to listen to her than to enact some vigilante justice. I’m roleplaying as a person who tries to make the universe better, and I don’t like to resort to violence unnecessarily.

Starfield: The Well Services

Theresa insists she trusts Endler to do the right thing, and for once, the cop does: he says he’ll patrol the area to discourage the burglars, and Theresa gives me a hefty reward. I checked a guide for this later – take matters into your own hands, and you’ll get a worse outcome and worse rewards. As far as I can tell, you’re supposed to snitch. That’s what the game expects you to do.

This outcome seems at odds with the rest of The Well’s attitude towards the UC Vanguard and security officers, as many say that the Vanguard has failed to help the community. Weirdly, Starfield makes another allusion to the idea of the cop who is a “good apple” – when speaking to Sergeant Yumi of the UC Vanguard about some part time security work, my companion Sarah Morgan made a point to tell me he’s one of the best cops she knows. Okay, Sarah. I turned around and walked right out, because like my colleague Ben Sledge, I have absolutely no interest in being a space cop.

UC SysDef general standing at the foot of the Vanguard control room in Starfield

I didn’t want to snitch to the cop, but in the situation’s context, it felt like the lesser of two evils. As I continue through the game, though, I’m starting to get the sense that maybe cops are good in this game, which makes me laugh considering the current political climate of rampant police brutality. There are a lot of ways in which Starfield shows its age – after all, it’s been in the works for over seven years – but this is one of the most unexpected. It doesn’t matter how non-evil Starfield’s cops are, I’m not gonna become one. But I still think it’s weird Starfield is taking this stance.

Next: People Defending Starfield Make Me Never Want To Play It

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