Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Skyrim Musings

Dark Souls Review is in progress despite a myriad spectrum of delays! Naturally in the meantime I got a chance to play a fair amount of Skyrim and it is pretty fun. Bethesda is actually one of the few companies I still have a lot of respect for, as my experience with Morrowind circa 2004-2005 was wonderful and they seem to have remade that game about 5 times in different environments. Skyrim is no exception, though it does feel better in general. Marginal improvements alongside much better music and voice acting add a new level of atmosphere and pseudo depth to an otherwise unchanged experience.

Skyrim still has the general problem of the overall plot being kind of silly and most of the random events or quests you find being more satisifying. Of note are the Thieves Guild (Fantastic) and the individual Daedric Quests (almost all are great). Of course, if you simply don't find the Thieves' guild for 100 hours you might be left with the mediocre Companions or Mage Guild for your time. There's still a great exploration value in roaming the landscape, and the archaic leveling system is still somehow interesting, despite it taking forever to level most combat skills after about 65.

One huge thing that I have personally is not having played Oblivion at all, I think if I had I would have been bored with Skyrim quite a long time ago, instead it's very immersive and interesting. People like to say that Skyrim is this huge improvement over Oblivion but if you actually go back and look at review scores they're almost identical. Oblivion vs. Skyrim

This situation has almost become akin to the laughable reviews of Zelda games post Ocarina of Time. "Sure it's the exact same game as before but I love it! Wasn't Ocarina the best game ever made!?" Personally I tend to think Ocarina of Time's actually worse than a Link to the Past, simply because it's 3D and has a targeting system doesn't somehow make it untouchable. At any rate Skyrim is still a very good, if largely trivial game and if you haven't played an Elder Scrolls game in years is a wonderfully immersive experience.

Edit: I suppose I should note that Dark Messiah of Might and Magic still has a superior first person melee combat system and is 3-7 bucks on amazon. It's short, linear, and has comparable graphics to Skyrim despite coming out 5 years ago. Best of all it uses VTF files so it's fairly easy to edit random things via console and mess around.

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