The people who love Skyrim will defend it until their dying breath! And why not? It's hard not to marvel at the grandeur Skyrim creates. Bethesda truly did pull out all the stops to make a graphically-rich game where players can become immersed in a fictitious world.
Skyrim was hotly anticipated, and for many lived up to their expectations.
But with such blinded adoration, fans seemingly miss the faults of their beloved Skyrim and lack the ability to be objective when it comes to discussing it's problems.
Sure, the forum goers have been vocal, but they only make up around 1% of the total sales of this behemoth (although forum folk often think they're the majority!).
So let's do the unthinkable. Instead of living in an ignorant bliss, let's speak the truth. What's the worst that could happen?
Onto the words!
|Where did that axe come from?|
When I first heard about dual wielding, I was ecstatic! Even though I've been dual wielding in other games, Bethesda made it seem like a completely new concept that hadn't been done before. This both excited and intrigued me. That was until I started dual wielding.
As the name suggests, dual wielding allows the user to hold a weapon in each hand. Sadly this isn't the case 100% of the time. As you're walking around, exploring the world, despite having two weapons equipped, you only have one sheathed at your side. Then, to make matters worse, when you pull out “both” your weapons, the one in your left hand magically materialises out of thin air.
Did no one in the beta phase notice this and suggest flipping the right hand animation so that we can have one weapon either side of the player? Poor form Beth, poor form.
|He sounds like a Nord|
One of Oblivion's biggest critiques was that there were only a handful of voice actors, which meant every race sounded the same. This problem was tackled in Skyrim, boasting more than 70 voice actors in total.
With a cast of over 70, the races and characters should mostly feel different. Instead, I still keep hearing the same four male voices on repeat.
Here's an example. Walking through Riverwood, having just escaped Alduin with Nordic Dracula voice, the first person I come across is another Nordic Dracula voiced character. I move onto Whiterun. Guess who I meet? Nordic Dracula voice once again. I then decide to go and see the Jarl as instructed. Low and behold! My good friend Nordic Dracula is doing the voice over!
What are the chances!?
This coupled with whiny shop keeper, Schwarzenegger/McBain and the blasted town guard voices, ruin what should have been a world full of diversity and flair.
Fallout: New Vegas, which was admittedly not made by Bethesda, changed the way we viewed followers. Each had it's own story to tell and when coupled with your own badassery, made you a force to be reckoned with!
In Skyrim they're used as meat-shields.
Gone were the interesting back stories, identity and helpful mechanics. What was in place were bland looking meats who rather than aid the player, are a massive hindrance.
If I pay someone to follow me around I expect their help. If I'm attacked it would be nice if they reacted. If I'm sneaking, shut up! If you're standing in a door way and I'm trying to get through, It would be nice if you moved slightly, instead of spawning the ten minute mini-game “Let's nudge them out the way!”
Less is more in my opinion. Making so many followers meant that the majority are bland and forgettable and if you do plan on including followers, then for the love of god, make sure the AI does what it's supposed to!
|Drag .. Oh wait, false alarm|
It's a Beth Game
I covered this before and I'm more than happy to cover it again!
This phrase used by gamers is not a valid excuse. For some reason unbeknownst to me, Bethesda get a free-pass when it comes to making RPGs. If your game crashes during the middle of a quest, it's okay, it's a Beth game.
Trust me, it isn't!
I don't mind that games crash, it happens. But the sheer volume of crashes in Beth games is becoming ridiculous!
If I've paid the full retail price on a title, I want it to be a smooth as possible and if I decide to spend over two hours exploring the wilderness, I don't expect the game to crash and force me to replay everything I've just lost.
It's 2012 guys (or 2011 at the time of release). Why can't you catch crashes pre-launch? Why is it okay to ship a game to the public with the intention of patching it? Should it not be patched before it's shipped?
I suppose I should ease up. It's not like there was a game-breaking bug that rendered PS3 saves unusable …
Before 11.11.11 Todd Howard explained to fans how they could mix up their classes as they saw fit. Play as an archer and want to be a mage? You can. Just drop the bow and start casting and you're on your way to becoming a magic-wielding montser!
This was great! If only quest worked in the same way.
You see, some of us (and there's a lot!) like to create different characters for different quests instead of a one-for-all toon. Sadly, in Skyrim this just doesn’t work.
Want to go after the Dragon Priest masks? You have to join the collage of Winterhold. Want to make a Daedric scholar? You have to become a thief to be able to visit every shrine! Want to be the Dragonborn and find all the dragon walls? For this you need to be a mage, a thief and an assassin …
This breaks the immersion for me. Sure I could make a character who is so great they accomplish all of this, but I don't want to. I enjoy playing as different races, making a class and maxing it only to make another class that plays differently. This is one of the reason those of us sink so many hours into Elder Scrolls games, so why are we forced to play it in this linear fashion?
Todd said that we can pick and chose and change it up whenever we want, but we can't.
With all this behind me, I want to make one thing clear. I love Skyrim! More so than any other Elder Scrolls game. These problems I've highlighted don't ruin the game for me. They just antagonise me enough that I feel the need to turn it into an article. Maybe Bethesda didn't catch all of these faults before launch.
Or, just maybe, they don't care? I'll leave you to make your own minds up.
UPDATE: Following the release of this piece Wesley Copeland was attacked by a rabid fan with a bow in a Dovah-hat. He has since decided to quit writing and take up the position of Town Guard following a knee injury that he will never recover from.
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