The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

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Jumwa:

ReiverCorrupter:

From what Bethesda said in some of the pregame details archery is actually a lot more powerful than it used to be, with only one or two arrows being lethal. So actually a stealth archer might be one of the most powerful classes. The downside being that you can't backpedal quickly anymore so you can't keep running and shooting them as they come at you. Also I don't think you can carry that many arrows either.

The real question is how they balanced the stealth aspect of the game. Remember how you could essentially make yourself invincible in Oblivion by wearing all chameleon enchantments? If your chameleon stat was over 100% you could smack someone in the face repeatedly and they couldn't fight back. I wonder if they fixed that. The NPCs should start swinging randomly or run away if they're getting hit by something completely invisible, but I guess that's a fairly complicated thing to program.

100% chameleon had the same effect as making you 100% invisible, but with the ability to do whatever you cared to without breaking it.

If you stacked enough spell effects to get it, it wasn't unintentional. Not really something in need of fixing, IMO. Don't like it? Don't do it.

No, you didn't get what I was saying. I was complaining about the AI just standing there and taking it when you're invisible. My problem isn't with chameleon itself, it's that the AI has only two settings in regard to stealth: 1) knowing exactly where you are and fighting you, 2) not knowing where you are and standing there obliviously like a human pincushion.

Unlike many other people, I enjoy feeling overly powerful in a game. A challenge is good of course, but in an RPG I like to feel like my high level character is a badass. I don't mind being overpowered, but when I am overpowered I like to play with my victims like a cat does with a mouse. I want to see them run around in a panic or try to mount some last ditch defense. It's kind of boring when the enemies just wait there to die. Sometimes they would run away in Oblivion, but most of the time they would just stand there and shout insults as though they were fighting me. It eliminates any sense of immersion.

Ideally, I'd like to see an alert system for enemies like you see in games like Deus Ex or Metal Gear Solid, where enemies could have different levels of alertness and search for you in an organized fashion. But I realize that's a pretty tall order on top of all the RPG stats and AI already in place in a series like the Elder Scrolls. Alas, we probably won't see really complex AI until at least the next generation. But the least they can do is program enemies to run for help when they're being attacked by an invisible enemy.

ZeppMan217:
But the question is - will Yahtzee review it?

If so, the first thing he will nag about will be the mouse controls.
Sensitivity is fucked beyond measure.

ReiverCorrupter:

I say old chap:

Steve Butts:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

Bethesda's latest is a true RPG epic that asks you what you want and then gives it to you.

Read Full Article

So Steve, you were caught in a battle against two sides, wizards dug-into defences and a dragon, and you survived? I thought as much. This game is pretty to be sure, a great solo fantasy adventure, but it sounds way to easy--none can beat your Mary Sue!

I also really don't like that you can get good at everything over time. So your warrior can also be an arch-mage? And a sneaky thief, and a potion-brewer? This is starting to get a bit ridiculous here, verisimilitude shattered. I knew it wouldn't put any restrictions into place, wouldn't want to risk people being offended or having different types of characters, because by the end of the game, we are all going to pretty much be the same--save cosmetic differences. We will all be warrior-mages-stealth-masters and potion-brewers.

Ptah!

This is a common but misguided complaint. There is an ultimate level cap, which means that you can only unlock a limited amount of perks and only have a limited amount of magic, health or stamina because you can only choose to increase one perk and one stat each each time you level up. Thus once you hit the level cap you're stuck with the stats and perks you have, though you can still level up your skills. That means that if you haven't increased your magic much when you hit the cap, you'll never be able to cast the highest level spells no matter how high your skill in magic gets, nor will you be able to unlock the perks that makes certain techniques like fire or ice more cost effective. Or alternatively, if you focus solely on magic before you hit the level cap then your character will always be vulnerable, no matter how much you increase your melee combat skills. Even if you reach 100 with swords you still won't have the powerful finishing moves unlocked by the perks. Or even worse, you won't be able to unlock the perk that decreases the amount of fatigue when you swing your sword, which, when combined with the fact that you haven't increased your stamina or strength and endurance, will keep your character from being effective with swords, even if the skill level is 100.

Also, if it's anything like Oblivion you should be able to scale the difficulty from the menu. Plus, while most creatures are leveled to you, there are bound to be many enemies and areas that will kill low level players.

yea a tip for everyone beware of ice trolls they are very hard for a low-level theif

Turns out its just awful, if you like the elder scroll series your gonna be disapointed...

well, the one thing I want to know is if they have done something about the way that damage from weapons works, because it just doesn't make sense to be chased by one guy, over several kilometers, when he has 20 something arrows sticking out of his chest. just a little bit of a game breaker for me, although that was oblivion, and this is SKYRIM!

See, I really want to like these games...but I just can't get through the fact that there is no story or world that feels alive. Oblivion had that problem in spades, and it looks like Skyrim has it too.

Your character is completely detached from the world, and seeing as you know very little about the world before the game begins, there is no sense of history or personality to it. You don't care about any of the characters, for they are mostly cardboard cut outs.

What is the point of being able to do anything, if nothing really matters? Sure, you can kill nearly anyone, but why would you want or need to? They have no real impact on you character, and you know nothing about them, they do not feel like real people.
The games of Bethesda allows you to do anything you want by removing anything that might make choices meaningful. Your character can be anyone, but who he is does not matter so it is irrelevant. Story, world and gameplay is completely seperate.

I Have No Idea:
Is it wrong that when I saw the review, the first thing I thought was "Thank God, those damn Skyrim threads will FINALLY STOP." ?

lol you are sadly mistaken my friend. It'll get worse before it gets better. Its always darkest before the dawn. You gotta shit before you can get off the pot.

ReiverCorrupter:

No, you didn't get what I was saying.

You're right, sorry about that.

I've apparently just heard the "I can make the game easy if I want to, so therefore it sucks!" complaint too many times.

Also, it took me absurdly long to respond to this because Skyrim has claimed my soul and shoved it in a gem.

Dott:

ZeppMan217:
But the question is - will Yahtzee review it?

If so, the first thing he will nag about will be the mouse controls.
Sensitivity is fucked beyond measure.

I'll bet you a weeks pay he doesn't!

Not really going to bet money, but he won't nag about that. He'll review a console version.

uguito-93:
Yeah..... my exams aren't gonna go so well.

Exactly. Aww well, community college is certainly not a bad place to go.

fanklok:

WaysideMaze:
The idea of getting lost in the game actually appeals to me. One of the things that I liked about Morrowind.

I remember getting lost in Morrowind too, if only for the direction people gave.

"So I have to go west for about a mile turn right at the rock formation then keep going till I find a tree that looks kind of like your aunt and go south till I find the fork in the road." Then you get hopelessly lost stumble on an ancestral tomb and go looting.

I have memories like that aswell. That game was such fun!

Cody Holden:

Odjin:

Without giving anything away, you really need to kill dragons in this game

This had been the death-blow to this game from the very beginning. Whoever knows TES-lore even a little bit knows how much of a franchise-backstab (TES-lore backstab) this is.

...snippity...

EDIT: And no, retcon doesn't count... retcon is crap, and this game is the pinnacle of retcon <.=.<

Couple of things:

1. You're really not giving the game a chance to explain itself there. Maybe do that in the future? Especially with lore?

2. I'm not too familiar with the lore (only played the games, and only since Morrowind), but it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch, in general, to say that the dragons are mad at humanoids, or Tamriel, or they're just a**holes now. I mean, they're dragons. Unless the "backstab" is somewhere else, in which case please illuminate me.

The only reasons Dragons didn't exist in Morrowind or Cyrodil (oblivion) is because of cliffracers. Morrowind in fact has so many cliffracers because of them exterminating the dragons. Of course the Dark Elf Juib led the cliffracers out of Morrowind and either he did so in Cyrodil too or they just had another person clean them out.

Skyrim has no cliffracers, therefore dragons. As to why they start showing up again, well, you're dragonborne, and due to game spoilers I can't say much else.

Basically think of it like a competition as to why they have returned. At least, that's what I've learned for now.

Cleril:

The only reasons Dragons didn't exist in Morrowind or Cyrodil (oblivion) is because of cliffracers. Morrowind in fact has so many cliffracers because of them exterminating the dragons. Of course the Dark Elf Juib led the cliffracers out of Morrowind and either he did so in Cyrodil too or they just had another person clean them out.

Skyrim has no cliffracers, therefore dragons. As to why they start showing up again, well, you're dragonborne, and due to game spoilers I can't say much else.

Basically think of it like a competition as to why they have returned. At least, that's what I've learned for now.

My theory:
Skyrim is the first province of Tamriel occupied by humanoids, right? So the dragons saw fit to begin the extermination of humans at the very heart of their beginning. Having been around so long, the humanoids here have lived long past due.

I mean, it's a simple theory, but if you ask me, it works. Plus, Alduin is said to create and destroy all of Nirn from the Throat of the World (The biggest mountain in- you guessed it- Skyrim). Therefore, it only seems fitting that he destroy everything immediately adjacent his place of- how would I put this- coming to existence?

Welcome to Skyrim....sorry....Sky Rum

We have 780180472592 lines of dialogue more than Fallout 3!!!

Sadly delivered by 4 people. Seriously its been a few towns now and the same bloody voices. For a company thats all about immersion they know how to completely shatter that dont they and alongside having TERRIBLE animation on character and those bloody awful shaking shadows as the day goes on.

Surely someone in development when "Hey...those shadows are a bit annoying", "lol what? your playing the game we make?"

And one thing thats bugging the absolute balls off me is....No quick spell like Oblivion. I have to put all weapons away...cast spell....get weapons back out. Tedious and mind numbingly boring. You find yourself playing on Very Easy so you have to do this less.

GODDAMN BETHESDA TEST YOUR FUN FACTOR PLEASE!!!

Pretty much all I did in the past 3-4 days was play Skyrim. It's so addictive, more then any other game in my life as far as I can remember. Everything said in this review is true, but the biggest point or most agreeable line in this whole review was being who you want to be. Well, my guy-

So overall... I love this game. You really are limitless when it comes to choices.

Meh, a good beth game is a good beth game. The lack of Multiplayer and the stories just aren't ever involving enough to ever warrant me getting one new. I'll be playing this all through Christmas 2012 though, when the edition with all the DLC comes out...

Skyweir:
See, I really want to like these games...but I just can't get through the fact that there is no story or world that feels alive. Oblivion had that problem in spades, and it looks like Skyrim has it too.

Your character is completely detached from the world, and seeing as you know very little about the world before the game begins, there is no sense of history or personality to it. You don't care about any of the characters, for they are mostly cardboard cut outs.

What is the point of being able to do anything, if nothing really matters? Sure, you can kill nearly anyone, but why would you want or need to? They have no real impact on you character, and you know nothing about them, they do not feel like real people.
The games of Bethesda allows you to do anything you want by removing anything that might make choices meaningful. Your character can be anyone, but who he is does not matter so it is irrelevant. Story, world and gameplay is completely seperate.

Are you serious? The Elder Scrolls series has more depth than 99% of other games out there, and the characted detached from the game world? Compared to again whatever other game, the character is very far from that. But again I assume you really don't know what you are talking about here so I will just walk away slowly now instead.

KillerRabbit:

Skyweir:
See, I really want to like these games...but I just can't get through the fact that there is no story or world that feels alive. Oblivion had that problem in spades, and it looks like Skyrim has it too.

Your character is completely detached from the world, and seeing as you know very little about the world before the game begins, there is no sense of history or personality to it. You don't care about any of the characters, for they are mostly cardboard cut outs.

What is the point of being able to do anything, if nothing really matters? Sure, you can kill nearly anyone, but why would you want or need to? They have no real impact on you character, and you know nothing about them, they do not feel like real people.
The games of Bethesda allows you to do anything you want by removing anything that might make choices meaningful. Your character can be anyone, but who he is does not matter so it is irrelevant. Story, world and gameplay is completely seperate.

Are you serious? The Elder Scrolls series has more depth than 99% of other games out there, and the characted detached from the game world? Compared to again whatever other game, the character is very far from that. But again I assume you really don't know what you are talking about here so I will just walk away slowly now instead.

I completely agree with this above poster. Saying that it has more depth than 99% of other games out there is all well and good, but it's what Elder Scrolls shares that 1% with that makes it feel an inferior experience, even compared to its previous incarnations. For example, everything Skyweir has raised is fixed in other hybrid open-world RPGs like S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and The Witcher 2...

My problem is that, despite being crammed with limitless content, choices... there's very little relevancy for doing any of it. To quote our Yahtzee, "I can, but why would I want to". This is combined with the fact that the world tends to lack any grit; it's all very just there, the characters that populate it feeling like they could populate just about any other relevant world and they'd be write at home. Both Oblivion and Skyrim are "deep without being deep", they're accessible to the layman but not inaccessible to hardcore RPG enthusiasts. But once you start saying it's the "deepest, most immersive RPG ever made" it starts to share space with true PC RPGs. The Witcher series, the STALKER series, games like the original Deus Ex. They have found a true home on RPG, and recent Elder Scrolls games, that focus on working on both console and PC, frankly, have no right slotting in there alongside. They may be deeper than whatever passes for "average" nowadays, but that does not make them truly masterpieces that can go toe to toe with ACTUALLY deep, expansive, PC-exclusive RPGs.

Alas, I truly think its inherent popularity lies in that the "average" experience is so dull and scripted that anything that comes along offering captivating fantasy open-worlds presented in a non-linear fashion feels like a step up, but strip away the hype, the paint and the fanbase and you've got a slightly middling deep-ish experience that has been matched and frequently surpassed by on countless occasions from whatever it wants to consider its "peers".

I've played about 15 or 20 hours of it so far.

It's obviously a Bethesda game, which is both good and bad. You kind of have freedom of choice but it's a very certain kind. You can choose from a really good variety of races, customise the hell out of your particular character and give them a name. Afterwards you can completely nail down how you want your character to fight, what gear they have and the way in which you want to explore the world. The crafting system is pretty nice, too.

The world is believable now, too. As in cities and towns are dotted about with farmland, water mills and little villages around them in a way the makes sense, instead of being like fallout 3 where was random garbage just thrown about everywhere.

But it's only a role playing game in the sense that you choose how to fight stuff. You don't get to make many choices with regards to the quests, the quest text itself is often just one or two lines and your character is basically a cardboard cutout to project on. I also never felt like I was really impacting the world at all. I'd finish this big quest and nothing would change, people would just wander around the same way and everything would look the same, as if nothing had ever occurred.

A lot of the NPC's just felt... I don't know, empty, like in a lot of Bethesda games. It's just a series of sights to see but doesn't have an impact in the same way as say the Witcher or Dragon Age 1 did.

It's a good game, don't get me wrong, but it has a lot of the same problems as Oblivion and Morrowind.

Doesn't really seem like my cup of tea - I think it's neat how the styles and skills you use the most are automatically leveled. But I think it's possible for a game to simply be too big and open.

Deviate:

I just wonder, with all the dragons in the game, will a sneaky archer still be viable, or will it be gimped in such fights?

So far i am playing a wood elf sneaky archer and dragon fights pretty much suck.

"Lucky" the Base Stats got streamlined and i got everything i wanted to unlock for the archer/dagger/sneaky/pickpocketing build and now throw all my points into magic and destruction.

Maybe that'll make the dragon fights more fun or else i have to restart as heavy armor 2h warrior.

We'll see, untill then i avoid dragons as much as i can.

Talux:

A lot of the NPC's just felt... I don't know, empty, like in a lot of Bethesda games. It's just a series of sights to see but doesn't have an impact in the same way as say the Witcher or Dragon Age 1 did.

It's a good game, don't get me wrong, but it has a lot of the same problems as Oblivion and Morrowind.

Exactly. It does not feel like an experience in the same way as DA, the Witcher or even Mass Effect (though the Witcher has the oppsite problem in a way, the character is really too defined and limiting, especially if you have any knowledge of the books).

All Bethesda games have cardboard stands instead of NPCs, and it does not seem like Skyrim has fixed this. Which stops immersion into the world completely, and coupled with the lack of motivation for your character removes most of the incentive to ROLEplay. When it becomes apparent that non of your choices matter all that much to the people of the world you are playing in, the NPCs become irrelevant.

In fact, Bethesda games seems to be very comparable to their character creator. You can spend hours tweaking and change almost every possible feature, but once you start the game, the choices you made are completely pointless since the game is designed to be played in first person. You will likely never see that face again.
And so it is with most other choices in these games too. You can take hours to agonize over them, but in the end they all mean nothing since the game is designed so as to make them meaningless.

Skyweir:
See, I really want to like these games...but I just can't get through the fact that there is no story or world that feels alive. Oblivion had that problem in spades, and it looks like Skyrim has it too.

Your character is completely detached from the world, and seeing as you know very little about the world before the game begins, there is no sense of history or personality to it. You don't care about any of the characters, for they are mostly cardboard cut outs.

What is the point of being able to do anything, if nothing really matters? Sure, you can kill nearly anyone, but why would you want or need to? They have no real impact on you character, and you know nothing about them, they do not feel like real people.
The games of Bethesda allows you to do anything you want by removing anything that might make choices meaningful. Your character can be anyone, but who he is does not matter so it is irrelevant. Story, world and gameplay is completely seperate.

I share your sentiment 100%. If only the spell casting, exploration, and character building wasn't so addictive.

Escapist gave DA2 five stars? There is a reason why I love this site so much! A site that rates Skyrim and DA2 the same way has good taste indeed :)

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