Wednesday 16 November 2011

A bit more Skyrimming

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days, you must have heard all about the release of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The internet is absolutely smothered with reviews, articles, posts and tweets about this hugely anticipated game and I’m sure you will have already seen the great acclaim it’s (deservedly) getting. So I’m not going to bother writing a proper review and will just ramble a little bit, as I feel I would be remiss in my duties were I not to at least say something about it.
It’s bloody brilliant. I’ve carefully removed my rose tinted spectacles about past games of legend and I’m steering clear of the immense stupidity of trying to be cool NME style with their “slag it off cos it’s popular” bollocks. As a result I think it is safe to say that this is the best RPG of all time, one of the best games of any format ever and is certainly the new benchmark in creating a truly organic feeling gameworld. Normally one could assume these would be bold fanboi style claims, yet this time round they’re really not. Skyrim is an exceptional game and one of the best I have ever played.
However, that does not mean everyone will like it. People that like games of little depth or just want constant mob spam gun waving action of BLLLAAARRGHHH!!! may well not get on with Skyrim. That’s not a criticism of their gameplay desires, but it should be recognised that Skyrim is a massive true RPG and as such takes time and effort to play. I’m absolutely loving it and have put almost all other gaming on hold (our KF Bloodbowl league is the only exception).
What I’ve found interesting from my MMO skewed view is just how much Skyrim highlights the abject failure of recent MMOs to create a living, breathing gameworld that aren’t just graphics with sterile feeling spawn points. When it comes to creating a world with an immersive atmosphere, where it actually feels that bit more alive, Skyrim has absolutely nailed it. Nailed it hard... HARD! With a huge bloody hammer wielded by a very angry Viking. It’s so good that despite the game having horse drawn coaches that can take you to towns you’ve not been to before, I’ve actually not used one once. I prefer walking and in fact I’ve not even rode a horse yet. Seriously, I have walked for bloody miles and it was fun. Walking… fun? Unusual I know, but it’s actually enjoyable just travelling through Skyrim’s vast landscape. And there’s a damned good chance that you’ll be having a bit of adventure on the way.
I don’t think there’s any one thing that I could say is the reason the world feels so much more real, it’s more a combination of many factors; the dynamic weather, the way mobs interact with each other, the scale of everything, the way the land has been hand crafted, etc. In theory you could take all of the things that make Skyrim’s world feel so alive and put it into an MMO, but you’d immediately hit big problems when Gandullf and NoobRaper turn up spamming /dance macros and farming mobs faster than they can respawn. To be honest it’s probably unfair to compare a single player game with a multiplayer one, they have very different problems to deal with and I imagine the developers have different goals, but as a player that doesn’t really matter, it’s not my problem. As RPG gaming experiences they are comparable and that difference in immersion and quality stands out like a sore thumb.
Skyrim is easily my game of the year; in just a few days I’ve had more “O M G that looks amaaaaaaaaaaazing” moments and unscripted scenes of epic drama than I have in months of other games. I’m already considering how I’ll replay it totally differently (sneaky murdering rogue style next!) when I’ve finished the game, which judging by the size of the thing I imagine will be sometime in 2013…


  1. Think I got abit ahead of myself today. I was just running around exploring abit on my at the time lvl 3 caster when I found 3 giants looking bored. They decided to chase my ass and after about 10mins of kiteing I killed the first one just to get sent flying to the moon 5mins later by the second one. ONE glancing hit was all it took for my poor little robe loving caster to litterary fly to the moon, the death scene was of a Dark Elf (emo elf) spinning head over heels a mile above the ground :P was awesome :D. Even though I was abit upset for dying after a 15min long fight I then figured out that, hmm, they are GIANTS!!! they are suppose to be stupid and slow but IF they cath up to you it's fucking SUPPOSE to hurt!!! especially when you're a lowbie caster wearing a dress!

    Ps. Love the game.

  2. I also have alot of fun playing Skyrim and I must say that it's much more relaxing then WAR and other MMO. :)

    You dont miss out on anything more then sheer gaming joy when not beeing able to play, so no stress for gaining RR´s etc.

    But maybe thats just me.. :)

  3. I agree 100%.

    Have about 50-60 hours played, lvl 32 Wood Elf and it feels like the surface of the game has only been scratched.

    Even though i am a stealthy thief-like person i haven't touched either the Thieves Guild nor the Dark Brotherhood, there has simply been to much else that has kept me occupied.

    What i probably like the most about it is the fact that you can stumple on some ruins, find some book far down in the dephts and a big quest-line starts. When other developers try to shove the content up in your face and steer you towards the quests, Bethesda has put their trust in that the players will explore and find these semi-hidden gems of quests all on their own.

  4. And regarding Skyrim compared to MMO's i think that it won't really be possible to have the immersion of Skyrim in a game with thousands of players.
    Sure you can have a large open world and beutiful terrain and varried flora and fauna, but as soon as you stumble upon a gathering of players that immersive image will instantly shatter.
    Twelve year old kids bunnyhopping around the terrain and shouting obceneties in chat will just destroy any feeling that you are part of a world.

    I think the only way to make a game like Skyrim really good in multiplayer is to give you the option to play co-op with friends, maybe 10-20 people at max so you can actually chose who to play with and get rid of the pre-pubecent kids from your immersive experience.

  5. COOP with your mate or gf... yummie :)

  6. Overall a very good game, some stuff are very irritating especially when it comes to having the npcs with you. Like Biggsie im doing sort of a Arcane Assasin with Illusion, 1-handed weapons, sneak, lockpicking and alchemy as my skills.

    So when one is hiding and your "tank" with you is in sneaky position and the monsters attacks the tank and the follower dont even attack back. Its very irritating cause the Sneak Attack opportunity gets wasted cause they spot me when being forced to move in before follower gets killed.

    But overall a very good game.

    PS. @Boots, Masseffect series are still my best rpg on the x360 of all time so far. On PC there is sooooo many good ones previous like Baldursgate Series etc, so its a bit more murky there.


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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.