Beat Skyrim - post thoughts

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Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006

I thought I'd start a new Skyrim thread since I've been through the main quest, slaying Anduin...Seemed weird to be posting under "first thoughts."

I feel like I have too many complaints and am too focused on the negatives. So I'll try to start by talking about what I liked about the game.

First off, the gameworld. Feels like a big, big place with plenty (too much, even!) to do and explore. Bethesda put HUGE effort into fleshing out this world, too, with multiple quests, named characters, and so on. There are some pretty places, too, especially when it starts to snow.

Okay, that's about all the positives...Sorry, thought it was going to be a longer list. :)

Clok, you'd better STOP READING HERE, my friend. Don't even read on, I mean it. You like this game and I respect that, so see ya on another thread. :) Warned you!

Overall, I give Skyrim a C-. Not a failure or bomb; just mediocre like Oblivion. Indeed, I'd give Morrowind a B+ and Daggerfall an A to give you a comparison. This game is a big case of "they could've done better" all the way through. The problem here is quantity over quality. I would have been happier with 50% of less content if it meant an increase of even 10% in variety and creativity.

Music - never, EVER underestimate the importance of a great score to make a game. I was reminded of this so strongly playing M&M 6 and SimCity again recently. You take out the music and the soul goes with it. I'm not a professional musician, so it's hard for me to exactly why some game soundtracks work better than others, but I know what I dislike...BACKGROUND MUSIC. Don't be a wussy with your music, people. If you want it, have a good song with a catchy melody that fits the mood you're trying to establish. It's not that Skyrim had bad music, it's just boring and never rises to your attention...Sounds like it was composed by a team more comfortable writing dull movie soundtracks. It's got no soul.

That brings me to my next criticism...this thing is boring! Not "I can't take this, I quit" boring, but more like "What? I'm overloaded again...Oh, geez, gotta go to four different places and take care of smithing, alchemy, ore, enchanting, geesh." This thing feels like work! I actually got TIRED of clicking on the plants and pots and bags and such lying everywhere. Oh, 12 coins...Click. Click. I felt like a zombie playing this. Even my hireling, Lydia, seemed to be YAWNING most of the game! I couldn't tell if that's because I never rested or she was just bored like I was. I preferred to think it was the latter.

It's amazing how tedious this game became after awhile. I started getting frustrated with the load times. They are SHORT. But there are so many of them...Even a tiny little cottage requires a loading screen. The pause is just long enough to make you think you should get up or check your email messages, etc., but then it comes back right when you've got to them.

Speaking of tedium, I know I've kvetched about this in the other thread, but this game is drab. Okay, we get it, it's "dark and gritty." That means everything in gray and mostly covered in snow. Boooooring.

Don't expect anyone to be anything other than depressed, angry, or in dire need of some urgent quest (please take this #quest_item_5322424 to a village on the other side of the map for me, thanks!") What's the reward? Oh, won't tell ya...but expect 100 gold coins (the price of a cup of coffee in this world). I can forgive the fact that same 3 voice actors did 90% of the voices, but come on...Would it have killed them to make the hirelings just a little bit more interesting? Give them a personality, maybe?

The horse...runs about as fast as you can, and gets tired just as quickly. Nope, can't carry any baggage for you. Can't get one for your hireling, either, she just has to run behind you and try to keep up. Fighting from horseback? OF course not. Battle done, where's the horse? Oh you left him WAY back there. Got a whistle to call him over? Nope; gotta run. LAME.

I might have enjoyed the game more as a warrior. I was skeptical about rolling a mage since they're usually bungled in most games and hard to play.. Should've listened to my gut. Out of mana...oh, geez. Better pull out a dagger. Swipe. DEAD. Reload...Even after I finally got powerful enough to take out most mobs with one spell, I was still saving like mad in fear that something would one-shot me. Saving every five minutes...Stupid. I finally ended up decking him out in leathers and putting perks into it, as well as putting more and more points into health (at the expense of magicka). To make it worse, the cool little cut scenes and such only work if you're using melee weapons, and sneak attacks don't work with magic spells (only bows and melee).

Don't get me started on the combat. I've never seen a worst system, ever. First thing--gotta bring up the menu to select the spells. Click click. Out of mana. Okay, now to switch to something. Pause. Click. Pause. Click. Pause, scroll, uh, not there, pause, bring up the other menus, find the weapon...Equip. Pause, gotta eat 32 apple cabbage soups and 500 potatoes to bring my health back up. Damn, still low. Quaff the potion, then. Back to battle, oops--health down to a slice again. Eat everything else. Quaff last potion. Resume...Dead. RELOAD. Forgot to save; starting back at the entrance. Every freaking battle made me pause the game at least twice! And this is supposed to be an action RPG? Don't get me wrong; I love turn-based stuff and even the occasional real-time with pause, but I was pausing the game for stupid reasons. I think the real opponent in this game is the interface. Bethesda has clearly learned nothing here from Oblivion and Fallout 3. Expect all the stuff you hated about those games, unchanged.

Fortunately, I only had a few serious glitches and two total crashes on my 360 version. I did have some weirdness with quest givers and such, but that was usually solved by a reload or doing some other quests first. The game seems to get really confused if you start a quest chain and then need to do another quest involving that same quest giver.

Finally, I have one last complaint...spoiler alert. I decided that I was getting sick of this game and wanted to make a mad dash for the ending before I lost interest. So I dropped everything but the main quest line. Got through it; pretty cool. Then I had that awful feeling..."Wait a minute...was that it?" Anti-climactic? You BETCHA. It's like they were too lazy to create a real ending, to give you some real closure, but instead just ditch you with all the side quests. Oh, sure, like you're going to want to keep playing this, making sure you complete all those mindless quests and killing all those bandit lords.

Craft system? Tedious. Combat? Tedious. Exploration? Where's the friggin' door to this place??? Oh, missed that little corridor. Probably because it's so dark in here...better cast candlelight. Pause...go into magic menu...greesashghsghs

Better stop before I start foaming at the mouth again. Down, boy!

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
Big Skyrim patch coming on

Big Skyrim patch coming on the 30th for all platforms:

Nathaniel Tolbert
Nathaniel Tolbert's picture
Joined: 11/06/2010
No expansion packs, only DLC

They aren't planning on doing whole expansion packs for Skyrim yet. As of right now they are doing DLC which will contain a few new quests and maybe a new area or two. They have gone to promote the Console idea on expanding a game to the point where you'll wonder if you are getting enough out of it. Look at the Fallout3 DLC 5 bucks for 2 hours of extra play. Not really worth it. I'm hoping that modders will make a bunch of stuff to make this game feel more in depth. I will say this about the game, it does appear that in some ways the pc version got the better deal. The favorites with quick keys eliminates a massive amount of the menus you have to flick through to do spells and everything else. Assign a quick key for your bow, your hand weapon, all your spells, and maybe a line of potions. Voila! No more pause, shuffle shuffle shuffle, select, unpause, swing, ad nauseum. If I was going to rate Skyrim I would rate it based on several different categories.

Graphics -6.5/10 - The limited use of the color palette does nothing for this game. A splash of more colors than green. grey and brown would be very much appreciated.

Sound - 7.0/10 - The sound effects are nice, the music is good, when it plays (Composed by Jeremy Soule - He did classics like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale.) but the constant repeats of comments and the fact that there is obviously 30 or 40 voice actors only in a cast of over 300 unique characters is still disappointing.

Controls - 2.5/10 - All I can ask here is what the hell went wrong? Menus you can only work through with the arrow keys, mouse controls that randomly disappear. The controls are a disaster and a game of this supposed caliber should not have been released with these hideous controls. The act of sidestepping is broken on the Pc, I hear people talk about sidestepping swings, but you can't, at least not on the PC. A computer game should not require a wired x-box 360 controller to play well. Unacceptable.

Story - 8.0/10 - This is where the game really really shines for me. I very much like the story. It is well laid out and the main quest is thoroughly entertaining. I haven't finished the main quest line, but I'm getting fairly close I believe.

Replay-ability - 10/10 - This is subjective. I say this because for some people they will not want to do the vast amounts of side quests that are available, nor will they want to explore and find all the different places. As of currently I have finished approx. 100 side quests and I have discovered as of last count 230 locations of interest. There is a lot here to see, if you are the exploring type.

Overall - 6.5/10 - Overall, including the replay-ability, the game is merely average. What really destroys this game for me are the sub standard and awkward controls that don't always function the way they should as well as randomly failing completely. The saddest part is, aside from The Witcher 2, this is one of the better PC rpg's to come out this year. So what does this say as a whole for PC RPG games?

-NOTE- This is an opinion review and reflects the opinion of the poster only. As such with all opinions, yours may and most likely will, differ. I hope that everyone who is playing the game that likes it, continues to do so.

Joined: 10/11/2011
Some comments

I don't understand why you rate Daggerfall as an A? On MattChat is seemed like you had never played it before and didn't take it too seriosuly.

And why bother with the music? It's a single character first person view game. Music kills the sense of being there, and the ability to use not only your eyes, but also your ears to detect enemies. Incidentally this is one of the reasons why I hate behind-the-ass-camera, like in the Gothic games.

And do you really have to pick up every friggin' piece of loot? I haven't played it yet, and being a Streamworks game I probably never will, but if Skyrim is anything like Morrowind and Oblivion the economy is horribly broken and you don't need to sell all those items.

It sounds like you are too compulsive about getting all the loot instead of just enjoying the game. Although since you don't enjoy the combat, I guess it's hard to enjoy the game that much anyway.
Too bad Skyrim doesn't model the combat after Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. I understand they bought up Arcane Studios, so Todd knows why they didn't make the Arcane guys do the combat...

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
I don't know. If I boot it up

I don't know. If I boot it up again I'll be sure to write it down, though. :)

I agree there's too much repetition in LOTS of CRPGs (and all games). Repetition is fine most of the time. It's just boring repetition that is the problem. M&M 6 is a great example--oh, poisoned/cursed whatever, have to go all the way back out an empty dungeon, back to town, etc. It's a waste of time. To Skyrim's credit, fast travel eliminates a lot of that, but the incredible number of loading sequences bogs you down. If you could just go inside a cottage without having to wait for a load--that'd make this ten times more enjoyable IMO. I don't see why it's necessary, either, since they can have the whole world available, but as soon as you go into a hut--gotta load going in and out of it.

My impression is this game lavishes you in some ways and starves you in others. The content is LAVISH. So much stuff to do, places to go, quests to find, etc. No problem there. The problem is all the unnecessary tedium and unpolished parts...Cooking is a waste, for instance. Why have you picking up all those ingredients and recipes and such, and then not having an associated skill or proper bonuses? It gets ridiculous when you're carrying 100 potatoes and can't make anything with them because there are only 3 piles of salt within fifty miles. (Apparently even a chicken breast takes a whole "pile" of salt.)

Does that sound like nitpicking? SURE. But when you add up all the little issues like that, it gets BIG. Pretty soon you're spending more of your time doing un-fun things than fun things, and that's the rub.

I get that items have weight and a character can only realistically carry so much. But does that mean that it SHOULD be implemented realistically? Does that make it more fun? Is it somehow more fun when you're at the bottom of a dungeon dreading that you'll find something cool because it means having to go back into your inventory and search (for the hundredth time) for the least valuable junk to throw on the floor?

If you're going to put so much loot in the game, give me a damn pack mule like Dungeon Siege. Or bags of holding like in NWN. Having to back to a village and do the whole craft grinding and selling thing every time you kill a dragon or find some ore is ridiculous. I came to dread dragons--easy to kill, sure, but then you have the choice of leaving behind their scales and bones (valuable!) or making a special trip just to sell them off.

Holy @$#@ Bethesda, come on, how hard would it have been to make a transmute spell that converted whatever you find into a small amount of gold? See, I thought of that in 5 seconds. Your whole 2#$@! team couldn't do that?

And why do all the buffs only last 60 seconds? Granted, you can get perks to double that, but big whoop. It still means you have to switch in and switch out every couple of minutes if you want stuff like stoneskin. Why not have it like in Dragon Age, where you have spells that are "always on" and reserve a certain amount of your mana? That's a great solution to this problem; but do we see it here? NOPE. Why not? Because apparently the designers think you ought to have to cast the same spell every couple of minutes...I'm guessing that's due to linear thinking in their leveling system..

In many ways they just ripped off WOW and not in a clever way. Why couldn't they do things BETTER than Wow? But no, gotta do'em worse. Now you need to find a special table (behind loading screens) to do alchemy, another for enchanting (good luck finding them close together), a pot for cooking, four different areas needed for smithing...WTF? You're the freakin' dragonborn and you start a cookfire???

I wouldn't pay two dollars for an expansion for this. Even if I got it for free I wouldn't bother with it. The only way I'd make an exception is if they overhauled the interface and addressed all of these issues, and you know that won't happen. What's even more disgusting is that there's sure to be another Fallout game with this same crappy engine. Sigh.

Joined: 01/21/2009
main quest takes about 20

main quest takes about 20 hours, and yes it was painfully short (im on last part but new that was it, so left it unfinished, huge neagtive the game "locks" dungeons and quest at the level you take um.. so I will be 20+ levels over him when i do kill him)

No problem not liking it Matt.. we all dont like the same things.. I can see some truth in some of your stuff, I dont feel the same.. but understand it.. I think you did a fine job with how you saw it...I do find it amazing you say it repatative when you just played M&M 6 the first duungeon (well and all otehrs) has you running out (or back to start) to rest about every other battle.. that I find repatative. I must agree the horse is worthless, Agree with the menu system.. but that part of the consolization.. it was way better swapping in the early PC made games. potion poping was hotkeyd.. weapons swapping was too. I wont say its the problem with movine games that work better on a pc to consoles, but they are limited on keys. I have an adventure spirt.. any game that has a bunch of places to find.. HEAVEN for me.

I guess im glad it "seems" most peope like it.. I'm looking forward to more. and the expansion packs..I am sorry .. not becuase you didnt like one game.. but you havent seemed to find much you care for lately.. I think thats my plus (and minus pocket book wise) hardly any games I dont like. NO interst in text, or old school Kings Quest style games (anymore- well thats not true I playe all the new sam am Max games) but pretty much anything else.. I can get inot at least a few hours..

good examiniation of the game. i only dont agree with the repatiative.. no game doenst have you doing the same thing over and over.. its just how you view the game, if you like it you wont see it that way, if you dont care for it.. you will.. I do have a qustion what was your time played at the end then?

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