As I mentioned in my previous post this was the first game I bought for myself in making my comeback in to the gaming universe. In many ways there was no better way to do it. First of all this was one of the most anticipated game in 2011 and secondly on a more personal note, I am a huge Oblivion fan. So my return could not be more poetic. Skyrim is then Oblivion’s inevitable offspring, did it live up to its predecessor, or yet surpassed it as Bethesda promised it would? In my own humble opinion? No, it did not. The following post will consist of a few comments on what I have experienced as the failings of the Elder Scrolls latest instalment.
Now before I go on I would first like to declare a disclaimer of sorts. First off, Skyrim is an excellent game. It got a lot of very good reviews most of which were well deserved. I myself was never disappointed in having coff’d up the R600 to buy it as new. The following then is more like a cry into oblivion(so to speak :D?) of what is wrong and more importantly what caused that by next year this time, Skyrim will be lying nicely on my shelf gathering dust, long forgotten by me. While Oblivion is still gathering flames of life and reminding me of my abundance of visits to fair Cyrodiil half a decade after its release.
One major critique that I had of Oblivion was the fighting. Attacking someone felt like you were beating an empty metallic drum with a poker. It felt fake and hollow. This was one of my most anticipated corrections to Skyrim and they did not disappoint. But as the one side of the scale lifts the other side dips though and they managed to mess up the magic system. Yes some might like it and other would despise it. It looks nice and theoretically sounds good but I have played most of the game thus far with a sword and shield and hardly used any magic. Just because it unpractical, especially on a console. The other thing that irritated me most in this sense is the blocking. Personally I like blocking, it keeps me alive. If I have only a sword in one hand, I can block, if I have a fireball in the other I can’t. What up with that?
The second critique I will deliver is perhaps one of the biggest failings of Skyrim. This is the shallowness of certain parts of the game. Where this is most applicable is in the ‘Guild missions’. A part of the game that certainly was one the favourites in Oblivion, especially the Dark Brotherhood. Where in Oblivion I got so immersed in the Dark Brotherhood’s story, it almost felt like a separate game, in Skyrim it was sadly short, with very unbalanced missions. Some were fun, while others were just plain boring. The same critiques stretches across the other guilds. Ironically the one I did last turned out to be the mage guild and I enjoyed that one the most, even though I mostly sword and shielded may way though it anyway.
The last critique I will deliver is especially relevant to the PS3 community. This is the general state of the game when released and the subsequent upkeep of patches that are supposed to fix things. While Bethesda’s games are a bit prone to minor glitch’ing here and there, this is mostly forgivable because of the vast gaming worlds they create. This does not explain why Skyrim is essentially broken. It had severe lag issues, with a lag that increases the further you get into the game. I am currently near the end now have had to stop playing because it became simple unplayable. It also has a tendency to freeze and the only way to fix this is to actually pull out the power to start up again. A lot of people I know actually stopped playing for fear of damage to their consoles. Bethesda has been very slow in response to this. Patches released so far has actually worsened it. Patch 1.2 promised to address some of the lag issues but merely managed to make the dragons fly backwards and other also seemed to cause more chaos than cure. Patch 1.4 has been released recently and this was the big one supposed to fix the horrid lag that haunts PS3 users. Although I still have to go and check it out one can only hope it actually does something. All I can say is Bethesda, look after your gamers and they will look after you.
What do you guys think?