Skyrim- it’s become a word synonymous with a a bottomless time-sink, supreme versatility, and well, spending dozens of hours chasing up some obscure and seemingly minor detail- like i don’t know, doing that final mini quest for the thieves guild that will allow you to become guild master- whatever that means.
It’s hardly surprising that skyrim has acted like a massive singularity in the gaming industry, sucking a huge number of gamers that would regularly be playing everything from COD to LOL to WOW to SC2 down the Skyrim rabbit hole. November is the month of gaming releases, and Skyrim appears to have stolen a whole lot of thunder.
It’s easy to see why. Despite the game’s pretty substantial flaws, including second rate close combat, various bugs, both visual, audio and technical- i think everyone has heard of and experimented with the infamous “fly me to the moon” glitch concerning giants, but it’s far from the only one, or the most annoying. I have a vital quest character in the dragon/blade chain who doesn’t actually say anything although the game thinks he does, leaving me clueless about how the story is progressing except the answers i can give. That same character’s door in a certain sewer also wouldn’t open, leaving me to ragequit to the thieves guild for a time. the Combat cut-scenes which remind one of AC at time more than often glitch, revealing imperfect animation work, and cases of hands going straight through flesh.
Yet for all of that the game has taken on, and some say succeed, putting an entire world in a game. you can do anything in skyrim, and the sky is literally the limit to which path you want to tread. It’s good at nearly every aspect, from the highly detailed and expansive blacksmithing, to the many factions and quest chains that are so well done and long that they could easily as some put it make up the main quest line rather than a side one in a lesser game. In fact in skyrim, you could finger the entire story line altogether and spend hours hunting and trading various animal pelts- literally hours.
That said, the Game just feels like a duck. It does everything well, but nothing superbly.
The Black Brotherhood story, which i have been enjoying immensely, brings back fond memories for anyone who has done AC, with it’s own stealth and detection system, the excitement of assassinating a high profile target in the middle of a military fortress, or a pair of vampires out at a shack.
But the military guards let you into the fortress. the superb detection/stealth system, notoriety and guard AI simply doesn’t exist in Skyrim- it’s good, but not AC good.
Dungeon combat, the singature of the elder-scrolls serries, is still strong, but the sheer number of levels counts against it- there’s a definite case of copy paste, mix and match feel to them and if you get a sense of Deja Vu while in a dungeon, that’s probably because it looks disturbingly similar to 90% of the other dungeons in the game, just with a different lay out. There are simply too many dungeons to make each unique and challenging, and the Boss’s noticeably fall down compared to other games.
Skyrim definitely feels like an unfinished product, a game product that has not yet reached it’s pinnacle. Unlike COD, LOL and even Starcraft each new iteration of what is basically the same game, the elder-scrolls advances in leaps and bounds. Few can argue that Skyrim is a huge leap from Oblivion, which was itself a huge leap from Morrow-wind, which was a huge leap from Daggerfall. All of them are imperfect visions of the massive RPG worlds which D&D people have been dreaming of for decades, and each is constrained by the technology of the day. Mods and DLC will improve it in time, ironing out the console like UI, fixing the bugs and adding more content every time. If Oblivion is anything to off, then it won’t be long before we see Cynodil added, and potentially morrow-wind as well.
But whatever comes next in the Elder Scrolls series, you can expect that it’ll get bigger and better. And i for one can’t wait.