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  1. #1
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    Skyrim: A mixed bag

    PRESENTATION

    I was anxiously waiting for this game and was one of the year's most anticipated games for me. I think the reason why I'm calling it a mix bag is, not because it's a bad game...but because you have to experience this game a certain way to really enjoy what it essentially offers well.

    When I first received the game, I didn't wanna do anything but venture off into the wild.

    Bad idea.

    My problem was that I was expecting too much. I wanted it to be realistic...I thought to myself, "To hell with fast travel, that's not how you play a game." I wanted to play the game my way...just go wherever I felt like going and experience things along the way. Survive the wild.

    The game doesn't want you to do that...because it's nowhere near as fun when you play it randomly. Of course, you can do whatever you want but expect to be bored most of the time doing it...there's not much to do outside.

    ENVIRONMENTS & TOWNS

    This is one of the best looking games available on the system. The environments are lush and alive but not in a sense that you would see people or animals...or creatures.

    You'll be lucky to find anything during your venture. But I thought to myself, "Oh well, I'll just go to the farthest cities and experience the game that way."

    Bad idea again. While some cities are decently big, and nicely detailed (such as the first one you're in and Riften, a city I'm in at the moment) most aren't...and they look very dull too. On the map, they make it seem like all of those names are actual cities...when you get there, it's a village with about 10 people (if you're lucky, usually it's about 5).

    When I first played the game...I traveled to at least three different cities and could not believe that all of that effort felt wasted.

    At this point, I almost quit the game. Then I gave it some time and went back to the way the developer wants me to play this game.

    Which is to do quests...unlock more things (such as owning a house)...and while you're doing all of this, the walk from one spot to another won't be as boring (though I still use fast travel because there's almost nothing to do during your travels other than the fact that the game looks breathtaking).

    DIFFICULTY

    I'm saddened by the fact that this game is made purely for newbies. That's not to say that Expert difficulty is easy...because it's actually so unfair that you can barely kill anyone without your companion tanking them.

    The only reason I've kept that difficulty is because I chose to be a sneaking archer and it's almost too easy to take people out like that...but almost impossible to take down more than one opponent and sometimes even one...at that difficulty level.

    Then there's that health regen...and I'm going to say that I have double standards here because I totally liked health regen in World of Warcraft but I hate that in this game...because it's a single player game, I feel that I will almost never need to use a potion bottle. I will never need to upgrade anything or go into anything such as enchanting, mining, tanning, blacksmith-ing, fishing, picking herbs, ingredients or any other job they have.

    You just don't need it. You can be overpowered just by leveling up your skills and picking your perks...you just need whatever you scavenge off enemies and bosses. That's it. Anything you need after that is probably because you want the game on EZ mode but not me.

    Unlike games like WoW where your perks, skills, armor and enchants are extremely essential to your survival, they are not so much here. You can survive even on the most difficult settings if you're playing smart. If you play on the lower settings, you don't even need to play smart. So you get where I'm going with this. These parts of the gameplay for me are wasted because I don't need them. I haven't made one thing from any of these jobs...not a single thing.

    Though still an upgrade from Oblivion for those that have played that game.

    The game is far better than Oblivion in almost every single way.

    THIRD PERSON VIEW

    The third person view is decent...it's not perfect...it can be rarely useful. The camera could've been better since in order to ignore clipping through objects, the camera keeps zooming in and out if you're around objects such as trees or buildings...it can be very annoying and pretty much destroys the purpose of having this view to begin with.

    Another thing to add is the failure of this view when you're on a horse. The way Rockstar did it in RDR was perfect...unbelievably perfect. You could look around while you're riding your horse...even better a game did it back in 2004...Shadow of Colossus. You could ride your horse AND use your arrows to take enemies down.

    Why this game can't do either of those things in this game...I don't know.

    ANIMATIONS

    While animations have improved, they still look glitchy sometimes...I won't go into much detail but it's far from perfect...but definitely better than before.

    GLITCHES

    I think everyone knows about the glitches so I won't go into that...but it's hard to believe how they could mess up on glitches that are so easy to replicate and see. It's almost like they just had no time to fix them.

    LEVELING SYSTEM

    The leveling system is actually ingenious...at first I didn't like it because I'm used to seeing how much XP I'm getting and all that. You still get the XP but the only time it will add to your actual level is when you raise your various skills.

    This way you can't keep kill things just to level up (of course it still matters), you have to try different things if you wanna get up there quickly because if you're using your bow too much, you won't level it up as fast anymore so that means you won't level up as well.

    So whatever skill you level up, adds to your level and that's how you level up. Interesting idea.

    MENU SYSTEM

    is stupid and actually not made for console...there's nothing about it that's convenient...if they gave me a way to bind things to the buttons on my controller, I'd do a better job than any of this quick-menu crap.

    QUESTS

    Quests are quite simple...go do this, do that...nothing more. It's not boring but nothing intuitive. I think Rockstar is better with stuff like that.

    DUNGEONS

    Bread and butter of this game. No matter how much I dislike the rest of the decisions Bethesda made in the game...this is where they've finally won me over. Due to this, I feel that this is one of the best games ever made. The dungeons are just amazing...truly amazing.

    Everything else feels sorta part of the dungeons in this game and what's good is that there are plenty of dungeons in this game...you never feel like you have to find them. You will run into them every so often.

    Boss fights are pretty underwhelming though but I won't go into that.

    DRAGONS

    They're ok. I was expecting too much out of them since Bethesda made a big deal about them. They're repetitive and if you were actually going against one, you wouldn't survive on the difficult setting. So you never really feel like you did it...you were helping out.

    GAMEPLAY

    They've definitely improved on the gameplay part. The whole idea of having duel weapons is very innovative. You don't need to open it up in a perk or skill...you can just start doing duel weapons from the beginning (if they're both one-handed weapons).

    So the options are endless...though I think duel weapons are pointless unless you do build upon that skill...because it's very slow otherwise, not worth it.

    There's too much to say about the gameplay but I want to keep it short and I guess I can't say enough because I'm only 30 or so hours into the game I think.

    All I can say is that there's a lot of stuff there and you can play the game in many ways...every way is quite fun.

    I feel that being a mage is pretty interesting in this game as opposed to Oblivion...to play as a warrior is quite different and so far I get a feeling that every class holds its own...which is good because most single player games aren't good at doing that.

    I'm sorry I can't go much into it...

    MISCELLANEOUS

    I really wish they had given us more options...such as to turn off the stupid coordinator on top of your screen while keeping the crosshairs...or at least still show me the item details if I'm looking at an item.

    So either I keep the crosshairs and the bar on top or I have nothing. Why even give the option to remove the HUD, I don't understand.

    I wish they had a hardcore mode...Fallout: NV had it, why can't this game? It would make it so much better.

    I love the way they did archery in this game but what I don't like is how you have to listen to the dumb sound effects when you hit someone with a sneaking attack...or a critical hit.

    All I wanna hear when I'm killing someone silently is the arrow going through their chest...not an obnoxious repetitive sound effect every time that I do. Not to mention, they don't even just fall, they fly in the air 40 feet down the other way...seriously tone it down lol. wtf!

    At least give us an option to turn all that $#@! off...ah well.

    All in all, it's a great game, it does have its problems, for which reason it doesn't quite come together as an amazing experience but I think it's still worth playing.
    Last edited by Omar; 04-29-2012 at 21:51. Reason: mixed bag, not mix lol.

  2. #2
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    I do feel like Bethesda could have delayed the game a bit longer to polish the gameplay mechanics and whatnot. For me, personally, I was disappointed in how short the main story ended up being (5 to 6 hours) when you aren't devoting the time to complete repetitive tasks and explore every single nook and cranny of the game world. Hell, Sam Bernstein, a member of Bethesda's QA team, managed to complete the game in just over two hours.

    It's still a great game, but like you said, it could be better.

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  3. #3
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    I agree with Sufi and Blacksite in that, while the game is tons of fun and has improved over its predecessor in several ways, it could have been better in some aspects. I was let down in the sense that there aren't many people, animals, or other creatures roaming the land, because I always found that exploring was one of the most fascinating aspects of the series; it would have been great to come across a wide array of different things along said journeys, rather than simply enjoying the scenery.

    Dragons, too, could have been improved. I love the fact that they're dynamic, and at times, it can really work out beautifully. Other times, however, the dynamic aspect has some obvious downfalls (i.e. dragons flying backwards or abnormally high in the sky).

    All in all, the game is fun and if you spend most of your time on quests rather than random exploration, you'll get a fulfilling experience out of it.
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  4. #4
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    I feel that if they had delayed it, the game would've been more polished but I don't think they would've made the main storyline longer.

    With GTA5 coming up, I know they will do an amazing job in the entertainment department (as far as side missions and the storyline)...that's what I was expecting from Bethesda and I feel like they didn't really do much with the game where it stands off from others (other than the obvious elements that make the game amazing)...other than the whole "arrow in the knee" phenomenon.

    GTA has done many things in the past that has become cultural phenomenons...they didn't even try with this one. Nothing out of the ordinary.

    And that would've been fine since the game acts like a very realistic and mature game...but then why the new English and not the old one? Of course they wanted to save money on that, it'd be tough to come up with all that and get actors that are good at old English.

    Either way, if they were going for a modern approach, I think they should've poked fun at the dark ages or at least something.

    Speaking about side missions...so that they're funny and interesting. Either way, I'm finding ways to enjoy the game...it should be the other way around where I shouldn't have to struggle to ignore the bad to digest the good but I spent money on it, might as well enjoy whatever I can right lol.

    It's unfair to call it a mix bag because for some the game might still be perfect and they might enjoy things about it that I don't (such as reading those books or learning about the skyrim world) but I think, had they spent a little more time presenting the game in a better way, it would've completely blown me away. The content is there but it's poorly executed.

  5. #5
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    i consider it one of the best games ever made. i never get my hopes way up because then i'd find nothing good. i just hope the DLC is large and well done


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    Currently playing on PC (obtained by particular means), and I'm enjoying it far more now than I was when I first got it on PS3. The first time I played Skyrim I just started running off and find new areas rather than exploring the ones I've been to more. I didn't have much time to play either. Now I've started finding more side missions by talking to everyone just about and looking over my mission log or whatever. I personally think it's an awesome game, much more interesting than the likes of Red Dead Redemption (which sometimes felt empty, dead, and repetitive). I guess I just really love how Bethesda sets up their games. The only games by them I've played are Fallout 3 and Skyrim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Funeralfog View Post
    i consider it one of the best games ever made.
    Oh I believe so too...there are things in this game that will blow you away for sure. Dungeons for one.

    While I was anticipating the game, I was trying not to keep my hopes high but I think because they hyped it up so much...I was expecting some things to be above average...such as horse riding...an essential part of the game if done correctly. But I actually prefer walking instead of riding on that thing that cost me 1000 gold...good thing it's easy to make money in the game and you practically don't need it for anything else other than buying a house or...a horse.

    It's funny because when I played World of Warcraft, once I got my mount, there was no other way around...you had to have your mount at all times or it wasn't fun. I wish they had incorporated it that way in this game...even RDR was heavy on horses. It just felt part of you to ride the horse the entire game.

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    Still waiting on the GOTY edition, as I always do with Bethesda's games, then I can have all the content and all the fixes at once.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronSOLDIER View Post
    Still waiting on the GOTY edition, as I always do with Bethesda's games, then I can have all the content and all the fixes at once.
    Let me warn you though, the glitches were the least of my issues with the game. I don't think they will fix the rest. They're decision issues, not necessarily glitches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronSOLDIER View Post
    Still waiting on the GOTY edition, as I always do with Bethesda's games, then I can have all the content and all the fixes at once.
    That's probably the best thing to do. I think I might start doing that with certain games.

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    I haven't been able to play Skyrim since my gfx card failed (AGAIN) in early january. I really want to

    To be honest it actually exceeded my expectations and is probably Bethesda's least buggy game ever - but that doesn't mean I had no technical problems, I had loads... my main gripes with the gameplay and world are that they just won't push the boat out and try to actually innovate in their games. But no big developer does that these days, too risky

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn View Post
    I haven't been able to play Skyrim since my gfx card failed (AGAIN) in early january. I really want to

    To be honest it actually exceeded my expectations and is probably Bethesda's least buggy game ever - but that doesn't mean I had no technical problems, I had loads... my main gripes with the gameplay and world are that they just won't push the boat out and try to actually innovate in their games. But no big developer does that these days, too risky
    Plenty of them do.

    Irrational Games, DICE, ND, Lightbox, LBP dev, Rockstar to name a few.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronSOLDIER View Post
    Still waiting on the GOTY edition, as I always do with Bethesda's games, then I can have all the content and all the fixes at once.
    I would have done the same, but after several years of speculating and waiting, I couldn't wait.
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    This game was awesome, never thought I would have poured the amount of time I did, into it. When my wife was playing Oblivion, I swore I wouldn't play it, then when she bought Skyrim, I gave it a try and wound up hogging it. One very engrossing game, would keep playing, but then I took an arrow to the knee...


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  16. #15
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    Skyrim surpassed what I was expecting of the game. It's undeniably miles head of Oblivion, I think, and it feels like Bethesda has done a great job with handling patches and how buggy it is at launch. Though, I've never been one to be hit by a Bethesda bugs, so I'm always lead to believe that they're incredibly exaggerated to begin with. I've placed over 50 hours into the game last Christmas and I barely did anything. I traveled, I explored, I fought, I read, and I traded where I could. I normally play on expert or the difficulty right below, and I have to say that it's a blast to play. I actually have to use the environment and my wits in a fight to survive, and that feels special.

    Now that my semester is over with I can finally get back into the game and really enjoy it. Plus, there's lots of amazing little mods out now, and that's just additional icing on the cake. Bethesda treats the modding community so well, and the modding aspect here is improved from Oblivion's and the Workshop is awesome. I can understand how for some Skyrim may have some faults, but for me it does exactly what I wanted: provide many, many hours of entertainment.
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  18. #16
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    @Sufi When i first started playing oblivion thats exactly what i did, wander around doing whatever i wanted to do and didnt pay any attention to story lines or quests or anything, and i ended up putting the game down a month or two later until i got it for the PC and started using all the cheat codes i had found online. Then once i got into Fallout 3 i actually started doing the quests and found that it would make you explore more of the wasteland by doing quests, so thats pretty much how i approached skyrim.

    Its interesting because following the quest lines, you get sent out to locations youve never been to before almost every time which is one thing i really admire about this game. Unlike fallout theres no perk that lets you see every location on the map, none of the dungeons are the same unlike in oblivion, and sometimes the quest rewards are genuinely pretty decent.

    The crafting system and skill trees definately make you OP'ed, but when i see things start to get a little too easy for me, i just bump up the difficulty a little bit. I actually find myself using healing potions and resistance potions quite a bit as i like to tank mobs. ( i have Aela the huntress as a support companion).

    I actually havent noticed too many glitches. Ive never seen a dragon fly backwards. I thinki the wierdest one i saw was when i fast traveled back to a town where i just recently killed a dragon and all of a sudden the dragons skeleton was spasming all over the place, which i thought was pretty funny.

    Im much impressed with the horse mechanics in this game, as oblivion SUCKED! I was kind of hoping for something a little closer to the assassins creed kind of horses, but this does fine.

    What bothers me about the game you touched on a little bit as well, not being enough creatures in the wild, (gimmie some more wolves and squirels and birds and $#@!, take a chapter out of RDR's book)

    I wouldve liked the crafting to be a little more in depth as well. Being able to choose what you want your final product to look like, (I.E. Blade style, hilt design, grip design, and colors) and also being able to Dye your armor different colors. I run around in full on dragon bone armor, and i would love that to be black and red. I know this can be done with mods on PC, but my comp cant handle skyrim (tis be old)

    I also wanted capes. (yes im stealing most of my ideas from dark age of camelot =P) where you could put nordic symbols and stuff on them.

    I never really played the game in 3rd person, as youre right, its still feels pretty clumsy. I do have to give them credit however, they did vastly improve on the animations greatly compared to oblivion and fallout. (i cant wait to see what fallout 4 is going ot look like)

    All in all, this is one of my favorite games not just of this gen, but of all of them, and id be lying if i didnt say this made my top 5 of all time. I loved it.


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    I love skyrim, and it met my expectations on every level. If I didn't feel this way, I would not have pour over 500 hours into it.
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  20. #18
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    personally it didn't feel as big as oblivion.
    oblivion was a lot more open then skyrim is. skyrim boils down to (for me at least) a willingness vs boredom juggling act, as you always go the long way around those stupid mountains (as pretty as they are there's a reason we invented the tunnel!)

    also, i played through the main quest line and wasn't even taken to the other cities. just back and forth between the huge frikin mountain and whiterun and the spoiler temple for anyone who hasn't played the game.

    my biggest gripe though. housing!! WTF!! you have like 20 people in one tiny shack! as opposed to them having there own place to live. everyone in oblivion had a key to their own house.
    and the guilds.... i suppose this is because skyrim is smaller, the guilds must therefore be sucky!

    overall though, i still like the game.

    on the difficulty though, my mage must really suck because she's essentially canon fodder. i end up running out of caves looking for help
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    I'm afraid you lost me at:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sufi
    because it's nowhere near as fun when you play it randomly


    Currently my battle mage-bow and arrow based-sneak Khajit assassin is around 52 hours in and I've only done about 3-4 parts of the main story. The rest of it has been random events, wandering the land etc and I'm not finding it boring in the slightest. In fact, I think it's definitely up there as one of the better games I've played over the last few years. Which I don't take lightly as I'm quite critical of Bethesda's love of unfinished games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sufi View Post
    Plenty of them do.

    Irrational Games, DICE, ND, Lightbox, LBP dev, Rockstar to name a few.
    Irrational and Media Molecule are not big devs at all. They make very high quality but all the same niche games, they're just under big publishing umbrellas. Lightbox? They're barely 3 years old and are just releasing their first game.

    Dice, ND and Rockstar are no more innovative than Bethesda. In fact Rockstar in particular have been one of the least innovative devs this gen (don't say LA Noire, they didn't make that)

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    Quote Originally Posted by *goo View Post
    I'm afraid you lost me at:
    Currently my battle mage-bow and arrow based-sneak Khajit assassin is around 52 hours in and I've only done about 3-4 parts of the main story. The rest of it has been random events, wandering the land etc and I'm not finding it boring in the slightest. In fact, I think it's definitely up there as one of the better games I've played over the last few years. Which I don't take lightly as I'm quite critical of Bethesda's love of unfinished games.[/COLOR]
    I'm not far into the main quest either...but you can't tell me that you've been doing all this without doing side quests at least.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn View Post
    Irrational and Media Molecule are not big devs at all. They make very high quality but all the same niche games, they're just under big publishing umbrellas. Lightbox? They're barely 3 years old and are just releasing their first game.

    Dice, ND and Rockstar are no more innovative than Bethesda. In fact Rockstar in particular have been one of the least innovative devs this gen (don't say LA Noire, they didn't make that)
    DICE made Frost Bite 2. Rockstar made RDR. ND made UC2.

    How else would you innovate?

  24. #22
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    I would of liked to see more enemies I came across the same ones over and over wolfs mudcrabs and the Dragons at first where cool then they just got very boring because the animation was always the same but a different dragon skin depending on the level I was. I hated the bit where you got a kill cam and your character jumped on top of it's head and slash it pathetically when you know that dragon could just throw you miles away if it wanted.

    Only one I liked and it only happend once when fighting on was in Whitrun some guards started firing arrows at it, it landed next to one and I watched how it crabbed it and chewed him and lobbed him miles away but it only ever happened once. Fighting could of been better the sword animation is very dull and the swords feel like there just sliding off the enemy, I love bows but I haven't tried the new 1.05 patch with kill cams yet so dont know what thats like. If you complete the main quest straight away your slightly overpowered because of the special thing you get, speaking of that I wish when I did miles better animation when dragons fight another dragon I was expecting something good but all it did was fly in circles fire breathing while the other was on the ground running at me trying to swallow me whole.


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  26. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sufi View Post

    DICE made Frost Bite 2. Rockstar made RDR. ND made UC2.

    How else would you innovate?
    Don't mistake good games that are fun to play with innovation. Like I said none of those devs are innovators. RDR is essentially a sequel, Rockstar have done nothing new for years and years. Why would they? Their tried and tested franchises sell by the bucket load. The Uncharted games are genre defining, but ND did not create that genre or do anything new within it, it was already a very well beaten path. A new game engine, lol what?

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    This game is ambitious as $#@! and may just be my fav game ever. Bring on all that DLC My Bethy $#@!es! Thinking of waiting for the GOTY edition then trading in my standard version.

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