Zero Punctuation: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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Role-playing someone with a crippling fear of victory and success?

Oh, you played as an Occupier.

It appears that he was nicer to the game then he would normally due to the recent shooter season. That's disappointing, considering that he tends to point out the flaws that no one dares to mention (especially not in such overwhelmingly lauded games like Skyrim). It's even more disappointing when he points out that there are, in fact, many flaws.

I want to kill Godzillas :(

well, best get back to killing or getting killed by these exams...

Yahtzee you do not get to have a holier than though stance when it comes to the child killing mods.

Remember the Fable 2 review you had?

You expressed a desire to kill your own in game child.

Anyway I liked the joke "what if he had a table for a brain" or something like that.

I've done that in rpg's before (not before saving though).

SnakeoilSage:

BlackWidower:
HA! Fanboys prepare to weep as Yahtzee reviews your holy work! HA!

And yet he gave it a fairly good review, so what does that say about posting on videos you haven't watched?

Funnily enough, while I wrote the comment before I watched the video, I didn't actually post it until after I watched it in case I could add something like:

"Oh no, Yahtzee's had a seizure, it's the only possible explanation, considering he just praised it."

So you are saying he gave a good review!? Well, relatively, yeah. But it's still pretty harsh, which was my point.

Father Time:
Yahtzee you do not get to have a holier than though stance when it comes to the child killing mods.

Remember the Fable 2 review you had?

You expressed a desire to kill your own in game child.

Anyway I liked the joke "what if he had a table for a brain" or something like that.

I've done that in rpg's before (not before saving though).

That seemed to be more of a jab at claims the game made of being free and whatnot. He used it only to point out an inconsistency in the game, and, more importantly, to make the point that no game will ever be entirely free. Basically, I doubt he was seriously criticizing the game for not allowing him to murder children and marry his dog. On the Skyrim patches, I believe Yahtzee's points were that, for one thing, the developers did not intend for the protagonist to kill children, for what that's worth. The more important (and subtly put) point, though, was that the patch is not being made of any sensible reason. Sure, you can make an argument for the ability to kill children-I remember one of the comments on the Extra Punctuation article read that a dragon killing everyone in a village except the children doesn't make sense (whether or not that sort of event is in the game, I don't know)-but it goes without saying that that is absolutely NOT why people want the patch. People want the patch just for the sake of having the patch. Same reason for wanting the nude patch, in fact. Putting the patch out just for the sake of doing it, that's bad reasoning right there, and it does sort reflect the community in a negative light.

P.S. To clarify, he didn't express a desire to kill, so I really don't think he's holding a hypocritical stance on this subject.

This game makes me wish that all my problems would go away if I shouted at them.

BlackWidower:
Funnily enough, while I wrote the comment before I watched the video, I didn't actually post it until after I watched it in case I could add something like:

"Oh no, Yahtzee's had a seizure, it's the only possible explanation, considering he just praised it."

So you are saying he gave a good review!? Well, relatively, yeah. But it's still pretty harsh, which was my point.

I think he gave it a better review than Oblivion. I'm wary to say he gave it a good review, because I can't be sure he isn't just really sick of Shooter Season 2011 and thus much more forgiving of a game that his eyes can enjoy without being shoved between an ironsight.

I agree with him, though, the game needs a hardcore survival mode like Fallout: New Vegas. And a "middle-man" options so you can have merchants sell your expensive gear for a small commisssion, allowing you to get a better price for all your loot so long as you're willing to wait a few days (the money could be delivered to your home or by courier).

I hope modders are listening to this.

It's funny that this is supposed to be that game "saving" everyone from the horrible "Modern Warfare 3", when they have so much in common... from the amount of marketing put into it to gain "mass market appeal", to the propensity of Bethesda to keep remaking that one game since 1994 being afraid that if they change too much they could "lose the formula".

image

What it also shares is the amount of fanboyism towards the brand and the ability of people to talk away their continuously broken game mechanics - like leveling systems, scaling, loot systems, UI, AI and whatnot.

But my main problem with their game was and still is this so called "organic world", fun fact: Bethesda didn't even have any dedicated Level-designers till Skyrim came around:
http://www.made2game.com/articles/Features/The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim/26218/The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim-hands-on-What-a-difference-a-level-designer-makes/ (they also said this in their Making Of video that also was on YouTube).

Their way of designing the world and dungeons is still that of the late 80s and early 90s, where you just stick some wall textures and set pieces together, throw it through some randomizer and a few algorithms and maybe let a human being rearrange some of them for a bit and add a bit of fluff and voilá... 120 dungeons to explore!

The only difference between now and then is that they're using higher resolution and higher polygon assets and it looks prettier, but they've basically kept making the same game in different iterations and with a few new features since 1994, although I can give them that they at least made a bunch of progress with Skyrim... and at least discovered verticality and a few other things.

It's fun for a while though till I'm feeling that in my journey through Blandistan they are just starting to waste my time yet again, that I've been to this small village before, that I've entered this house for a few hundred times before with that exact same table and that chair and that armoire aligned the exact same way, that I've explored and killed dozens of moving things in a cave just like this before, that I've endured the inane ramblings of some NPC sounding similar and saying similar things before and that I've done that "fetch" or "kill" quest a few times by now and so on...

It's also interesting that he poo-poo's the lack of Multiplayer, cause during almost any of those moments I felt that if they at least added Co-Op to their games it might make it bearable for a little longer as I could extract fun out of that instead of the immediate game (which might be sub-par, like a lot of people do in many MMOs).

The Witcher 2 has like 14+ GB of assets, RAGE had 24GB... they've put 3-5+ years of meticulous detail work into making their worlds breathing out of every pore with lots of unique stuff and hand-designed levels and they're both orders of magnitude smaller than "Skyrim", but even one or two major parts of those games contain more "content" than Skyrim does with all of its "large world" and all of its assets fitting in around 5GB, because aside from procedural algorithms to grow that grass and this plant on that specified terrain type, this is how they are likely designing most of it...

Personally, I'd rather play any other number of games, from Batman: Arkham City, Saint's Row 3, L.A. Noire to yes even Battlefield 3 or Star Wars: The Old Republic (I ended up rather enjoying the Beta and Pre-Ordering it) as I was able to extract a lot more enjoyment out of any of those than Skyrim.

You know what I find funny? if you look at the mod list you'll find people are making a hardcore mode, that includes nudity and child murdering.

TehMountainMan:

Father Time:
Yahtzee you do not get to have a holier than though stance when it comes to the child killing mods.

Remember the Fable 2 review you had?

You expressed a desire to kill your own in game child.

Anyway I liked the joke "what if he had a table for a brain" or something like that.

I've done that in rpg's before (not before saving though).

That seemed to be more of a jab at claims the game made of being free and whatnot. He used it only to point out an inconsistency in the game, and, more importantly, to make the point that no game will ever be entirely free. Basically, I doubt he was seriously criticizing the game for not allowing him to murder children and marry his dog.

It seemed like it, at least for the children part. He actually tried to kill his children and then got upset when he couldn't.

TehMountainMan:

On the Skyrim patches, I believe Yahtzee's points were that, for one thing, the developers did not intend for the protagonist to kill children, for what that's worth. The more important (and subtly put) point, though, was that the patch is not being made of any sensible reason. Sure, you can make an argument for the ability to kill children-I remember one of the comments on the Extra Punctuation article read that a dragon killing everyone in a village except the children doesn't make sense (whether or not that sort of event is in the game, I don't know)-but it goes without saying that that is absolutely NOT why people want the patch.

You don't know that. You can pretend you do but you don't, you're not psychic. I've heard people give lots of different reasons for wanting the patch and indestructible kids not making any sense was one. There is no one reason to get it.

TehMountainMan:

People want the patch just for the sake of having the patch.

No one has ever said that. Look if you're going to ignore people and put words in their mouth there's no point in arguing with you.

TehMountainMan:

P.S. To clarify, he didn't express a desire to kill, so I really don't think he's holding a hypocritical stance on this subject.

Watch it again. He decided that he wanted to kill his entire family. He discovered he couldn't kill the kids and got upset.

stupid money in skyrim I stopped selling stuff when I had 50k so my house storage is full whit stuff merchants cant afford to buy, and I got so many dragon parts that if given the option I could build a 1000:1 dragon model (1 is a dragons actual size) if not larger.
oh and I got 200k after buying all master robes, a regular cloth hat for 10k and a bunch of other junk I dont need.

Random Fella:

CODE-D:
Is it wrong that I find skyrim boring and looks ugly, say compared to batman....

Must be fanboy... Must be offended...

Its just so hyped by everyone...Ifeel I must be debbie downer and say its not that great. And the feud between Mw3 and Skyrim fans are ridiculous. Neither games are that great.

cmdrmonkey:

Kanatatsu:
I don't understand how people are so rich in Skyrim if they aren't stealing.

Also, there's barely anything wortwhile in shops, all the best loot comes from adventuring, so I don't really get why being rich is such a problem.

The Dark Brotherhood gives you a fuckton of money. Just one of their quests gives you 20,000 gold.

It sounds like Yahtzee enjoyed Skyrim in his own whiney, bitchy little way.

I destroyed the Dark Brotherhood.

I don't understand why so many people decide to play bad guys in this game. I'd rather be a hero.

SnakeoilSage:

BlackWidower:
HA! Fanboys prepare to weep as Yahtzee reviews your holy work! HA!

And yet he gave it a fairly good review, so what does that say about posting on videos you haven't watched?

I think the brony avatar was a good hint that guy is an idiot.

Kanatatsu:

cmdrmonkey:

Kanatatsu:
I don't understand how people are so rich in Skyrim if they aren't stealing.

Also, there's barely anything wortwhile in shops, all the best loot comes from adventuring, so I don't really get why being rich is such a problem.

The Dark Brotherhood gives you a fuckton of money. Just one of their quests gives you 20,000 gold.

It sounds like Yahtzee enjoyed Skyrim in his own whiney, bitchy little way.

I destroyed the Dark Brotherhood.

I don't understand why so many people decide to play bad guys in this game. I'd rather be a hero.

Why? Why not be a bad guy AND a hero? I do that in every game.
Perfect example: Fallout New Vegas

I chose the independant path because i dont like being ordered around by other people. I say play the game for your character and not for the npcs. The entire game is for you to make your character and build it into an unstoppable tank, therefore you should take every path possible to achchieve that goal.

Father Time:

Watch it again. He decided that he wanted to kill his entire family. He discovered he couldn't kill the kids and got upset.

That wasn't specifically because he wanted to kill kids. That was because Fable 2 more or less begins with your character, as a child, being shot in the face and tossed down a tower. Furthermore, it was an efficient dig at Fable 2's "Total freedom, do whatever you want!"-blurb.

Are you joking? For Yahtzee, being immersed and forgiving flaws may as well be as close to his stamp of approval as any game is ever going to get.

Jennacide:
I love in the end credits he knows that there will be nude mods and child murder mods. The second one having been already made. The mod community can be nice, but also stupidly predictable at times.

I really wish I didn't know this, or that this was true. But the first was already made. So many modeling hours that could be used on cool enemies/weapons . . . gone . . .

sooperman:
Skyrim should have been bigger, IMO. I guess Blackreach and all the underground areas make up for it, but the sprawling landscape just doesn't sprawl enough for me.

Also, same glitch happened to me. Mid-conversation, Paarthurnax launched into the the air as high as the skybox would allow, and then slowly descended back down into the ground. Made for a very annoying conversation.

Maybe you should keep on eye on the discussions on the official forums about making a mod that doubles Skyrim's land size. Just make everything x2. Alot of work though to make it function and look correctly. They hope to get it out soon after the Creation Kit is released so that It might become a staple mod.

Hafrael:

Nasrin:
<3

I agree, it hurts my feelings that Ulfric won't pal around with you.

Why would you want to pall around with a fantasy Hitler?!

I dunno, we were in prison together. Prison changes a cat.

Dexter111:
It's funny that this is supposed to be that game "saving" everyone from the horrible "Modern Warfare 3", when they have so much in common... from the amount of marketing put into it to gain "mass market appeal", to the propensity of Bethesda to keep remaking that one game since 1994 being afraid that if they change too much they could "lose the formula".

I can say with certainty that the only thing that has been kept consistent from the 5 games of the Elder Scrolls series is that you are a hero who is special that goes around adventuring and becoming stronger and who solves the problem put forth at the start of the game. Also, its a primarily first person rpg. Other than that, major changes have been made over time to the gameplay, graphics, story, characters, setting, enemies, sidequests and just about everything. If you want to go into specifics, please go right ahead.

Dexter111:
What it also shares is the amount of fanboyism towards the brand and the ability of people to talk away their continuously broken game mechanics - like leveling systems, scaling, loot systems, UI, AI and whatnot.

No game is perfect, least of all large-scale rpgs. I personally got into the Elder Scrolls series around Oblivion and thought it was a nice game. Good, but not even close to great. I then played the shivering isles expansion which I enjoyed tremendously. After playing through oblivion, I was curious about other games in the series and lo and behold I found morrowind. An awful looking game with bad physics(implying of course it had any physics), barely any voiced characters, hilariously awful animations and a bad menu and weapon switching system. But despite all this, its still one of my favorite games of all time. Why? Well, what you seem to have forgotten is that which constitutes a good game: A good or great game is one in which the good aspects make you overlook its flaws and enjoy it regardless of them. I very much enjoyed morrowind because of the design of the world, the writing and the sheer freedom provided. So this part of your post really confused me, because surely games you enjoy have flaws and in conversation you probably attempt to talk them away while emphasizing the good parts, don't you? And if you say: "My favorite games don't have flaws." Then you are simply delusional.

Dexter111:
But my main problem with their game was and still is this so called "organic world", fun fact: Bethesda didn't even have any dedicated Level-designers till Skyrim came around:
http://www.made2game.com/articles/Features/The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim/26218/The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim-hands-on-What-a-difference-a-level-designer-makes/ (they also said this in their Making Of video that also was on YouTube).

What is your point? You seem to be saying that you dislike skyrim and then you point out how they finally decided to start making the dungeons better and more unique. Do you not like the fact that they finally decided to make their dungeons better?

Dexter111:
Their way of designing the world and dungeons is still that of the late 80s and early 90s, where you just stick some wall textures and set pieces together, throw it through some randomizer and a few algorithms and maybe let a human being rearrange some of them for a bit and add a bit of fluff and voilá... 120 dungeons to explore!

And your proof for this is...nothing. Hm, interesting. Also, are you saying Skyrim is doing this or another Elder Scrolls game? Because I could have sworn you just posted a link talking about how Bethesda has been working to improve their dungeons.

Dexter111:
The only difference between now and then is that they're using higher resolution and higher polygon assets and it looks prettier, but they've basically kept making the same game in different iterations and with a few new features since 1994, although I can give them that they at least made a bunch of progress with Skyrim... and at least discovered verticality and a few other things.

You just pointed out how they improved their level designs and now you're saying all they've done is improve the graphics. You really shouldn't poke holes in your own arguments, its unhealthy.
Also, please tell me what new features they have added since 1994.

Dexter111:
It's fun for a while though till I'm feeling that in my journey through Blandistan they are just starting to waste my time yet again, that I've been to this small village before, that I've entered this house for a few hundred times before with that exact same table and that chair and that armoire aligned the exact same way, that I've explored and killed dozens of moving things in a cave just like this before, that I've endured the inane ramblings of some NPC sounding similar and saying similar things before and that I've done that "fetch" or "kill" quest a few times by now and so on...

I don't even know what to make of this part. You can't honestly tell me you've played skyrim and thought it was bland. It sounds like you're playing a completely different game, to be quite honest. It genuinely sounds like you went inside and outside one house and one cave a few hundred times. Also, if you truly want to boil it down, most quests in video games are "fetch" or "kill" quests.

Dexter111:
It's also interesting that he poo-poo's the lack of Multiplayer, cause during almost any of those moments I felt that if they at least added Co-Op to their games it might make it bearable for a little longer as I could extract fun out of that instead of the immediate game (which might be sub-par, like a lot of people do in many MMOs).

I would actually like to side with yahtzee and agree with a phrase he said but a few videos ago. Something along the lines of "We don't want multiplayer twats walking in and ruining our nice little singleplayer game." I personally equate the Elder Scrolls series to a series of storybooks in which you write your own story. If you don't enjoy story and immersion and lore in a game then I don't think the Elder Scrolls Series is for you. You seem to enjoy other people more than a good story, so maybe you should just play TOR or some other MMO.

Dexter111:
The Witcher 2 has like 14+ GB of assets, RAGE had 24GB... they've put 3-5+ years of meticulous detail work into making their worlds breathing out of every pore with lots of unique stuff and hand-designed levels and they're both orders of magnitude smaller than "Skyrim", but even one or two major parts of those games contain more "content" than Skyrim does with all of its "large world" and all of its assets fitting in around 5GB, because aside from procedural algorithms to grow that grass and this plant on that specified terrain type, this is how they are likely designing most of it...

As long as we're making stuff up or assuming things like you did with this statement, maybe we can pretend The Witcher 2 and RAGE were both good games. Also, I would once again like to bring up the link that YOU, YOURSELF POSTED THAT SAID BETHESDA HAD IMPROVED THE QUALITY AND UNIQUENESS OF THEIR DUNGEONS. http://www.made2game.com/articles/Features/The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim/26218/The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim-hands-on-What-a-difference-a-level-designer-makes/
You can't imply that Skyrim's dungeons and world aren't hand designed or good when you previously posted a link that contradicts you.

Also, for the part in which you say that parts of those two games have more content than skyrim does: Ok, I'll bite. Tell me what content these games have. Please then tell me if they were well done and if they added anything to the games, either story or gameplay wise. And you might as well also write me an essay on it followed by a nice 3 course meal.

Dexter111:
Personally, I'd rather play any other number of games, from Batman: Arkham City, Saint's Row 3, L.A. Noire to yes even Battlefield 3 or Star Wars: The Old Republic (I ended up rather enjoying the Beta and Pre-Ordering it) as I was able to extract a lot more enjoyment out of any of those than Skyrim.

Then go play those games. Obviously the Elder Scrolls series is not for you.

Kanatatsu:

cmdrmonkey:

Kanatatsu:
I don't understand how people are so rich in Skyrim if they aren't stealing.

Also, there's barely anything wortwhile in shops, all the best loot comes from adventuring, so I don't really get why being rich is such a problem.

The Dark Brotherhood gives you a fuckton of money. Just one of their quests gives you 20,000 gold.

It sounds like Yahtzee enjoyed Skyrim in his own whiney, bitchy little way.

I destroyed the Dark Brotherhood.

I don't understand why so many people decide to play bad guys in this game. I'd rather be a hero.

They aren't really bad guys, more like anti-heroes. You're assassinating bad people. In the world of the Elder Scrolls, it seems like you have to be a gigantic douche to have someone turn the Dark Brotherhood on you.

Also, they share a common objective with the Stormcloaks, but I'll let you find out what that is by playing their quest line.

Ryvaken:

Plurralbles:
oh, and now those resist potions don't even work. Fuck you bethesda.

Not really. Snowberries (easy to find) bonemeal (also easy) and hawk beak (so hard to find your eyes will bleed, but there's a mod for that) creates a resist all elements potion. Much higher magnitude than the easier to brew resist magic with largely the same net effect. Really cuts down on damage from enemy mages and enchanted weapons.

Also, restore magicka potions are even more important when playing a mage. Destruction has a few issues and magicka regen is strung up by its toes and beaten to death as soon as you enter combat. Invisibility, always a good panic button.

Everything else is pretty much crap though.

I dont' need a potions lesson after playing 85 hours.... They. Don't. Work. The patch deleted resistance. Werewolves get vampirism, mass hysteria.

DeliciousCake:
I can say with certainty that the only thing that has been kept consistent from the 5 games of the Elder Scrolls series is that you are a hero who is special that goes around adventuring and becoming stronger and who solves the problem put forth at the start of the game. Also, it's a primarily first person rpg. Other than that, major changes have been made over time to the gameplay, graphics, story, characters, setting, enemies, sidequests and just about everything. If you want to go into specifics, please go right ahead.

You'd be surprised, for instance it's almost a tradition for them to have the main character be some sort of backstory-less prisoner that gets freed at the start of every game and stuff like horseback-riding and dual-hand casting was already there in Daggerfall, also barely anything has changed in regards to main game mechanics from having HP/mana and a compass, to being able to hit with the sword and cast spells etc.

image
image

Of course there's always refinements and improvements and at least they take several years to iterate but it basically is the very same game concept over and over again...

What is your point? You seem to be saying that you dislike skyrim and then you point out how they finally decided to start making the dungeons better and more unique. Do you not like the fact that they finally decided to make their dungeons better?

My point is that despite, finally deciding to employ such outlandish things as "level-designers" very large parts of their world still looks very samey, I posted the link just for the fact that it is the first game to have done this not the guys opinion on it. Almost every dungeon and cave in Skyrim is still comprised of almost the same basic few tile sets that are repeated... it gets really boring after a while, even if they decided to not actually copy/paste the very same layout like in their previous games.

Dexter111:
The Witcher 2 has like 14+ GB of assets, RAGE had 24GB... they've put 3-5+ years of meticulous detail work into making their worlds breathing out of every pore with lots of unique stuff and hand-designed levels and they're both orders of magnitude smaller than "Skyrim", but even one or two major parts of those games contain more "content" than Skyrim does with all of its "large world" and all of its assets fitting in around 5GB, because aside from procedural algorithms to grow that grass and this plant on that specified terrain type, this is how they are likely designing most of it...

As long as we're making stuff up or assuming things like you did with this statement, maybe we can pretend The Witcher 2 and RAGE were both good games. Also, I would once again like to bring up the link that YOU, YOURSELF POSTED THAT SAID BETHESDA HAD IMPROVED THE QUALITY AND UNIQUENESS OF THEIR DUNGEONS. http://www.made2game.com/articles/Features/The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim/26218/The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim-hands-on-What-a-difference-a-level-designer-makes/
You can't imply that Skyrim's dungeons and world aren't hand designed or good when you previously posted a link that contradicts you.
Also, for the part in which you say that parts of those two games have more content than skyrim does: Ok, I'll bite. Tell me what content these games have. Please then tell me if they were well done and if they added anything to the games, either story or gameplay wise. And you might as well also write me an essay on it followed by a nice 3 course meal.

I'm not making stuff up... I just happen to know how some of this stuff works, you can't make a game with the land-mass of say Oblivion or Morrowind without procedural algorithms and it's a rather easy way of doing it by specifying a "area/land-type" to a certain land mass and the computer will do the grass and plants and similar from there, or do you honestly believe that they put every blade of grass into the game itself?
Just Google it for a bit, there's articles about it... for instance here:
http://www.mxac.com.au/drt/OblivionProcedural.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_The_Elder_Scrolls_IV:_Oblivion

There's also a pretty good nice looking Oblivion "Google Earth" type map here, which makes this obvious: http://www.uesp.net/maps/obmap/obmap.shtml
There's a clear separation between area types and within those area-types there are clear recurring patterns over and over again.

Also the actual size of a game (neglecting the amount of compression, assuming that most games compress on a similar standard because they want to fit on less disks) is a very good indication of how many assets were actually created by hand and more importantly how many different assets (like textures/sprites, models, sounds etc.), Bethesda was always one of the developers that would rather recycle a table, a chair or any other object in the world instead of creating a varying amount of different ones, this was especially obvious in Fallout 3, where everyone apparently drove the very same car, had the very same work-desk with a console on it and every house had the same architect designing it.
I also wasn't talking about how "good" a game is, but about the amount of work that went into its creation and while every indoor and outdoor environment in The Witcher 2 and RAGE is truly different looking and also feels different that can hardly be said for any of the Bethesda games, including Skyrim (although as I said, they improved slightly... for instance they had a few different city types for once).

I also included that video just because it describes rather well how a "brush" tool for plants, trees and rocks etc. works too as that is what is being used in most of these "Sandbox" games, I could obviously not find a video of a Bethesda developer creating a level for Oblivion or Skyrim... if you can find any you're welcome to show it :P

Then go play those games. Obviously the Elder Scrolls series is not for you.

I am and I will, I played Skyrim to about the part where I was supposed to collect some Horn for the Greybeards and had explored about 3 of the main cities and quite a few of the caves etc. till I got bored by it and moved on to other titles, I've played through both L.A. Noire and Saint's Row 3 (in Co-Op by the way, which improved the enjoyment of the game a lot) and also played the SWTOR Beta amongst other things... still haven't started Batman yet as I'm waiting on a clear up about their DRM and the DirectX 11 support and I don't think I'll be returning to Skyrim at any time.

Yahtzee, you devil! i think this might actually be one of your best reviews to date. i havent commented in probably well over a year. its nice to see you still havent lost your spunk (its just in your hands!). and i gotta agree. the best way to end Shooter Season 2011 is be more like Skyrim.

Dexter111:

You'd be surprised, for instance it's almost a tradition for them to have the main character be some sort of backstory-less prisoner that gets freed at the start of every game and stuff like horseback-riding and dual-hand casting was already there in Daggerfall, also barely anything has changed in regards to main game mechanics from having HP/mana and a compass, to being able to hit with the sword and cast spells etc.

Crap, forgot about the prisoner thing. Yeah, its true that you start these games as a prisoner. If by dual hand casting you mean using both hands for a spell, that's different than what was done in skyrim and oblivion. In skyrim, you can use both hands for a spell at the same time to overcharge them into a costlier, but more powerful spell. You already know how you can only equip either a spell or a weapon, which is what morrowind and I suspect daggerfall did, but you could only have either a spell or a weapon in your hands. I really enjoy Skyrim's system of switching between both hands for spells and weapons: as in having a sword in your left hand and a fireball spell in your right. Oblivion's system just equipped a spell, similar to equipping a piece of armor and allowed you to cast it regardless of what you were holding or doing. But see? That's three games with very different casting systems. I really think you are oversimplifying things when you talk about game mechanics not changing at all. I mean, if you boil it down, yeah, you swing swords and cast spells. But that's basically any fantasy game ever. If I said in Half Life 2 you just shoot guns and walk around I would also be technically correct, but I'm ignoring everything else that's going on, similar to how you are ignoring the details in Skyrim.
Also, are you implying HP/Mana bars and a compass need to be changed? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Bars are a perfectly fine way of showing you status effects without having to go into menus or pause the game to figure out how you're doing.

Dexter111:
Of course there's always refinements and improvements and at least they take several years to iterate but it basically is the very same game concept over and over again...

Well, yeah. If, of course, by "same game concept" you mean "Fantasy RPG set in the land of Tamriel wherein you play a character." I don't see a problem with the concept, but the actual games are quite different, in spite of having the same concept.

Dexter111:

My point is that despite, finally deciding to employ such outlandish things as "level-designers" very large parts of their world still looks very samey, I posted the link just for the fact that it is the first game to have done this not the guys opinion on it. Almost every dungeon and cave in Skyrim is still comprised of almost the same basic few tile sets that are repeated... it gets really boring after a while, even if they decided to not actually copy/paste the very same layout like in their previous games.

I'm pretty sure they had level designers before, just not very good ones (especially the ones in Oblivion). I've played upwards of 100 hours and I can honestly say no two dungeons have been exactly alike. If you're complaining about the dungeons and caves having the same theme, I'm going to have to stop you right there, criminal scum.
Of course, they're going to look similar, otherwise it would be silly to walk into a dragr tomb full of stone nordic carvings and then walk into another dragr tomb full of wooden anime carvings. They need to feel similar because they were made by similar people. Now, the layouts for every dungeon are different, that's just fact. Some of the dungeons might feel the same because of the theme, but hey, its either that or silly, glaring stupidity. I guess if I can sum up the four basic types of dungeons they would be: castle ruin, nordic ruin, cave and dwarven ruin. But between these four basic types, there are also loads of subtypes and details between the subtypes. Hell, at times these dungeons run into each other. That's not even counting all the things you can find by trekking out in the wilderness.

Dexter111:

I'm not making stuff up... I just happen to know how some of this stuff works, you can't make a game with the land-mass of say Oblivion or Morrowind without procedural algorithms and it's a rather easy way of doing it by specifying a "area/land-type" to a certain land mass and the computer will do the grass and plants and similar from there, or do you honestly believe that they put every blade of grass into the game itself?
Just Google it for a bit, there's articles about it... for instance here:
http://www.mxac.com.au/drt/OblivionProcedural.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_The_Elder_Scrolls_IV:_Oblivion

Obviously I don't believe they hand plant every blade of grass. I just disagree with your implication that they arranged the whole game by putting down a big "X here" stamp and then didn't even bother to look at it.

Dexter111:
There's also a pretty good nice looking Oblivion "Google Earth" type map here, which makes this obvious: http://www.uesp.net/maps/obmap/obmap.shtml
There's a clear separation between area types and within those area-types there are clear recurring patterns over and over again.

That doesn't mean the developers pressed the "Make the game button" and fucked off to twiddle their fingers. Also, to be fair, the mapping in Oblivion was quite bad, there wasn't much flow when you went between two already mapped areas, it always seemed to snap into another territory, but I never felt that way when I traversed around skyrim, so I don't think the oblivion map really applies.

Dexter111:
I also wasn't talking about how "good" a game is, but about the amount of work that went into its creation and while every indoor and outdoor environment in The Witcher 2 and RAGE is truly different looking and also feels different that can hardly be said for any of the Bethesda games, including Skyrim (although as I said, they improved slightly... for instance they had a few different city types for once).

I completely disagree with your supposition that less work went into Skyrim's creation than W2 and RAGE. As for the few different city types, there were always different city types in Morrowind and Oblivion. You're being a little deceptive here: Every main city in Skyrim is unique. There are some similar looking towns in terms of their style that varies throughout the landscape, but that's kind of dependent on where you are, although there is always an underlying theme between all of them: they're nordic. They were built by either ancient nords or current day nords, so of course they have to look similar.
I understand complaining when everything looks the same, but to complain that everything doesn't look different is kind of silly.

Dexter111:
I also included that video just because it describes rather well how a "brush" tool for plants, trees and rocks etc. works too as that is what is being used in most of these "Sandbox" games, I could obviously not find a video of a Bethesda developer creating a level for Oblivion or Skyrim... if you can find any you're welcome to show it :P

I can't find one. Neither could you. So maybe we should not assume that Bethesda made skyrim on a glorified MSPaint until we either see direct evidence or the game designer flat out say how they made it.

Dexter111:

I am and I will, I played Skyrim to about the part where I was supposed to collect some Horn for the Greybeards and had explored about 3 of the main cities and quite a few of the caves etc. till I got bored by it and moved on to other titles, I've played through both L.A. Noire and Saint's Row 3 (in Co-Op by the way, which improved the enjoyment of the game a lot) and also played the SWTOR Beta amongst other things... still haven't started Batman yet as I'm waiting on a clear up about their DRM and the DirectX 11 support and I don't think I'll be returning to Skyrim at any time.

Don't get me wrong, you sound like a fair, upstanding gentleman who obviously knows his way around video games, but its just so very strange to find somebody with a perfectly opposite opinion of a game. I truly enjoy skyrim, from its art design, to gameplay, to sound, to story, to even giants that can catapult me up to the sky. In fact, it has become one of my favorite games of all time from the sheer amount of fun, immersion and story that the game has presented to me. I have argued with friends about character motivations, story elements and even the large number of grey moral choices that the game presents. The gorgeous sweeping landscapes, the interesting tomes and notes from those long or recently dead... To find somebody who calls it bland and boring is just something that strikes me dumbfounded. My experience was so positive and enriching that to hear(or see, in this case) somebody saying things that are literally opposite to things I had experienced is just beyond my ken.

Missingno? Is that you?!

That last line made me laugh so much, combined with the little Yahtzee with his face in his hands it was beautiful. Skyrim does have a few glitches, my biggest niggle is that the shops and inns have the same layout whichever town you're in, but I'm still having mighty fun with it.

Bows and arrows are the way forward.

All this glitch nonsense must be on the PC. I have the 360 version, played for over 48 hours, and have yet to see anything more than a dead headless witch standing up. Maybe I'm just awesome.

Elmoth:

I really wish I didn't know this, or that this was true. But the first was already made. So many modeling hours that could be used on cool enemies/weapons . . . gone . . .

You mean time that could of been equally wasted porting Oblivion models without consent or making yet another Sephiroth outfit/sword? :p You know that's where the bulk of modeling effort goes to outside nude skins. The number of unique models tends to be pretty scant, unless it's mild pornography, otherwise it's just porting stuff from other games.

My hope is guys that worked in Oblivion days, like Martigen, Quarn, and for the custom modeling section Skeleton_K, come back. I'd love to see a new version of MMM, and we could stand to get one of those big old Unofficial patches.

Yahtzee is right: most of the potions, scrolls, and status aliment spells are pointless. That's what happens when you have a real-time action RPG instead of a turn-based one - it's easier to just spam the attack button or the same two spells over and over until whatever in front of you dies.

Combat remains my least favorite part of the TES series.

I just watched his oblivion one for some perspective. Skyrim suffered from much of the same problems as Oblivion that Yahtzee pointed out but he let slide in this one. I'm chalking this up to Skyrim being a reprieve from his shooters.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/75-Oblivion

Jennacide:
I love in the end credits he knows that there will be nude mods and child murder mods. The second one having been already made. The mod community can be nice, but also stupidly predictable at times.

While it's predictable, it also kind of makes sense. You have a game that lets you do pretty much whatever you want, EXCEPT a few things. You tell a human they can't do X, and they'll try do it. Then Bethesda has the cruel sense of humour to make kids jerks who are also invincible.

Example: Fallout 3 has a place called "Little Lamplight", it is tied to the main quest and it features a bunch of shit-talking little kids (and no adults) who are by FAR the most annoying NPCs in the game. Yet they are untouchable. You can't even land a bullet or blow on them, it's like trying to shoot/beat up a ghost. Well, in my mod for Fallout 3, I made them not only killable, but made it so you can complete the quest without them.

As for the female nudy mods... Well, it's the internet. I'm surprised those aren't already here.

I haven't played Skyrim yet (waiting for the Creation Kit), but more realistic damage values and killable kids is definitely high on the priority list for my mod. I hope this game doesn't steal as much of my time as Fallout 3 did.

DeliciousCake:
Of course, they're going to look similar, otherwise it would be silly to walk into a dragr tomb full of stone nordic carvings and then walk into another dragr tomb full of wooden anime carvings. They need to feel similar because they were made by similar people. Now, the layouts for every dungeon are different, that's just fact. Some of the dungeons might feel the same because of the theme, but hey, its either that or silly, glaring stupidity. I guess if I can sum up the four basic types of dungeons they would be: castle ruin, nordic ruin, cave and dwarven ruin. But between these four basic types, there are also loads of subtypes and details between the subtypes. Hell, at times these dungeons run into each other. That's not even counting all the things you can find by trekking out in the wilderness.

I completely disagree with your supposition that less work went into Skyrim's creation than W2 and RAGE. As for the few different city types, there were always different city types in Morrowind and Oblivion. You're being a little deceptive here: Every main city in Skyrim is unique. There are some similar looking towns in terms of their style that varies throughout the landscape, but that's kind of dependent on where you are, although there is always an underlying theme between all of them: they're nordic. They were built by either ancient nords or current day nords, so of course they have to look similar.
I understand complaining when everything looks the same, but to complain that everything doesn't look different is kind of silly.

Don't get me wrong, you sound like a fair, upstanding gentleman who obviously knows his way around video games, but its just so very strange to find somebody with a perfectly opposite opinion of a game. I truly enjoy skyrim, from its art design, to gameplay, to sound, to story, to even giants that can catapult me up to the sky. In fact, it has become one of my favorite games of all time from the sheer amount of fun, immersion and story that the game has presented to me. I have argued with friends about character motivations, story elements and even the large number of grey moral choices that the game presents. The gorgeous sweeping landscapes, the interesting tomes and notes from those long or recently dead... To find somebody who calls it bland and boring is just something that strikes me dumbfounded. My experience was so positive and enriching that to hear(or see, in this case) somebody saying things that are literally opposite to things I had experienced is just beyond my ken.

Eh, RPGs are my favorite genre (from the Baldur's Gate Trilogy, over to Planescape, the original Fallouts to KOTOR, Witcher 2, Drakensang, the Gothic series to Risen etc.), even Reviewed a few here on the page in the User Review section.
What almost all of those story-based plotline games have in common is a carefully hand-crafted experience, and even in the case of the "Open-World" RPGs I actually like, like Gothic or Risen there's a high degree of care that went into the level and game design.
For instance, every single dungeon is an entirely different experience for itself and wasn't just put there because "you can enter it and kill some undead", they are all different and offer a challenge, different puzzles and a goal, which I find a lot more fun and interesting, even if that means it's "only" ~10-15 fully-built and designed dungeons instead of the "amazing" number of 120+ that all look and feel almost the same (or have no point to them) I'd take those over the others any day.
It's easy to create an infinite amount of dungeons, games like Diablo could already do it ages ago, it is hard to create interesting and exciting ones enriching your experience.

Never could particularly get along with Bethesda games because of the reasons above, if a (inherently not very creative) computer algorithm can create something, why should I waste my time playing it? Most of that stuff seems like padding to me.
And I keep hearing that argument about "it plays in the same xxx region, of course it looks the same" and it just sounds like an excuse for laziness and lack of creativity, as they are completely open about how to design their game, what to include and where to set it etc. or also how the landscape will look from the very start... kind of like saying "my game plays in complete darkness, of course you're not able to see anything!" just on another level to get away from actually doing the work xD

As for the city types, the same applies, sure they're going to have a different-looking layout, that's the least you can ask from them, but the base building-blocks (like the models of the houses and other buildings outside... for instance those windmills are like everywhere are usually the very same and they barely put any work into it, the few taverns I entered also all look the same (from inside), they just have different NPCs walking around and as I said most of the homes of a lot of people also are, there's basically small/middle sized/big house.
Again, it is rather easy to make a "town" with an infinite amount of houses lined along a street you can each enter as long as they don't have a distinct quality to them, it is hard to near impossible to make those interesting and have something different happen in all of them.

Bethesda loves to employ those techniques in a lot of what they do (from terrain generation to loot, enemies, generated quests and a lot more), same thing with the "infinite" amount of dragons that can spawn everywhere... just because there's *more* of something doesn't make it better, I'd rather have had just a few distinct and very different fights than over a dozen/hundred samey ones...

Slayer_2:

Jennacide:
I love in the end credits he knows that there will be nude mods and child murder mods. The second one having been already made. The mod community can be nice, but also stupidly predictable at times.

While it's predictable, it also kind of makes sense. You have a game that lets you do pretty much whatever you want, EXCEPT a few things. You tell a human they can't do X, and they'll try do it. Then Bethesda has the cruel sense of humour to make kids jerks who are also invincible.

There is nothing cruel about it though. Bethesda wanted to play it safe since games have come under a ton of scrunity lately. Fallout may of allowed child murder before, since you could kill anything, but that was when it was a niche game and went completely unnoticed. After fiascos like Fox News and Mass Effects 'explicit alien fornication' Bethesda hedged their bets, and I don't blame them one bit.

Brawndo:
Yahtzee is right: most of the potions, scrolls, and status aliment spells are pointless. That's what happens when you have a real-time action RPG instead of a turn-based one - it's easier to just spam the attack button or the same two spells over and over until whatever in front of you dies.

Combat remains my least favorite part of the TES series.

Honestly, from the review I assumed he played the PC version. Otherwise I'm pretty sure the terrible, time-wasting awkwardness of the spell-swap "quick"select would probably have been brought up.

Hey, Bethesda, give us four pairs of slots in a menu, and let us set a spell to each slot. Pressing d up sets our gear to the first pair of slots, d right the second, etc. There are only about 300000 games that have figured out that this is the most logical goddamned way to do a weapon quick-select... if you have to pause the game to do something, there's nothing quick about it whatsoever.

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