First Person: Skyrim is Soulless

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Danyal:

By the time I had logged as many hours into New Vegas as I have in Skyrim, I felt like I had big decisions to make that were really going to change the world of New Vegas.

That's how I felt. Preparing for the big battle, preparing for taking over New Vegas.
Bam, end, finish, a nice powerpoint shows how everything has changed.

That's it, not stop playing the game or make a new characer.

*Sigh*

HUGE disappointment. Really, I loved the game, but I was so disappointed in the end that I have never touched the game since I've seen the end credits.

to be fair I think there was a reason for that...there were so many different outcomes for everything that doing anything after the "endgame" would have been too hard..I think anyway, I think they mentioned it in regards to not having any DLC that takes place "after"

that said my memory may be hazy

if that was the case then I would prefer that, rather than them "overiding" what ever decisions you made just so you could keep playing (and personally I dont often find any reason to continue playing anyway)

I think with fallout 3 there were less outcomes....good...bad...neutral, you were always going to go down a similar path

Speaking of half-naked bodies, I haven't played skyrim, played a bit of oblivion but do they ever clean up the bodies? Dead bandits and robbers just lying in the streets, in shops, at the docks. You'd think they would disappear at some point. Why not have an undertaker guy come out and load them up. When people are wandering around doing their thing and there's some dead guy on the ground and they stroll right by it breaks immersion. It doens't sound like they've fixed this with Skyrim either

After what you mentioned, I do have to agree that the biggest flaw with Bethesda sandbox RPGs is that the actions you take, quest decisions you make, and people you slaughter will seldom faze the world you live in, and aside from a few key decisions, almost nothing will ever change if you do a certain thing or not. I hadn't really noticed it, though, since the thing you pointed out in Skyrim, the trend of going into places, killing everything that hates you, and hauling the loot back to sell again, was the main reason I (or frankly anyone) plays a Bethesda game in the first place.

I do agree that Obsidian took the Fallout 3 game and made it into something unique. While Bethesda is certainly better at crafting a world in general, Obsidian is good in making it feel like you have a reason to be there, and that you have some impact in it. A Bethesda game is a walking build that is constantly looking to add to that immensely broken DPS and reduce the time it takes to kill an orc from 5 seconds to 1 second. An Obsidian game makes you feel like the actions you take could very well change the entire damn world you live in, even if said world is kinda bland.

Although, as an extra thing to note, maybe Agnis was a bit of a fourth-wall meta joke to this fallacy of Bethesda, they pointing out the fact that their games often lack a 'reaction' to your 'action', as she clearly states that the residents of the fort aren't temporary and she's just faded into the background, completely unnoticed.

Dennis Scimeca:
Skyrim is Soulless

Skyrim doesn't seem to care about you or what you do.

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You know what other world doesn't seem to care about you or what you do? The real world.

As for wandering around, looting various dungeons and hoarding the items, that's the choice you've made. If you've neglected or decided not to follow parts of the main storyline and become the Dragonborn of legend, I suppose the world won't care much for you. And really, in a world where there's no phones, no radios, no carrier pigeons (presumably) the only way to transmit information is by horseback or psychic guards. So if the guards got nothing to say about you, maybe that's why no one else does either.

I don't know, maybe Skyrim is soulless. Maybe it comes down to the player to inject some soul into the world, and not expect "soul" from code stored on a disc.

I think I'd like to recant my previous statement. I've had several things happen today where NPCs were definitely acknowledging my accomplishments.

In particular, I was in Radiant Rayment and they were being total bitches to me. I decided to FUS at their inventory, sending it everywhere.

Then I went and talked to the Jarl for them, and when I left the palace, a naked courier ran up with a note.

The note said someone saw me use the Thu'um at Radiant Rayment, and then said I should investigate some location. Sincerely, a friend.

I think that's awesome!

Deviate:
And this is why Skyrim doesn't get my vote for GOTY. There's sadly more soul in a game like Saints Row the Third, which is something for Bethesda to consider.

there is NO soul in SR3, and all the choices in that are just as meaningless, if not more so. the only one that matters is the ending. add to that you really CANT make your character look however you want anymore and the general scaling down of everything in the game, and it just becomes hollow. Yeah, I CAN beat this luchador with a floppy dick, but why? and the last bit pisses me off. You win! now the city is in permanent riot mode! good luck trying to drive around when all the bridges are up, jackass! thanks for the money!

SR3 is the biggest disappointment i've ever had when it comes to a game

as for the article, this is like complaining about M'aiq the Liar. Just enjoy the little fourth wall joke and move on. quit bitching

Akalabeth:
Speaking of half-naked bodies, I haven't played skyrim, played a bit of oblivion but do they ever clean up the bodies? Dead bandits and robbers just lying in the streets, in shops, at the docks. You'd think they would disappear at some point. Why not have an undertaker guy come out and load them up. When people are wandering around doing their thing and there's some dead guy on the ground and they stroll right by it breaks immersion. It doens't sound like they've fixed this with Skyrim either

I dump the random thieves and such in riften in the river so they dont get in the way.

on my last playthrough, i also started assassinating all the town guards wherever i went

Vault101:

to be fair I think there was a reason for that...there were so many different outcomes for everything that doing anything after the "endgame" would have been too hard..I think anyway, I think they mentioned it in regards to not having any DLC that takes place "after"

that said my memory may be hazy

if that was the case then I would prefer that, rather than them "overiding" what ever decisions you made just so you could keep playing (and personally I dont often find any reason to continue playing anyway)

I think with fallout 3 there were less outcomes....good...bad...neutral, you were always going to go down a similar path

Well, Fallout-dev is so crappy they can't even program ladders, so I can imagine they can't give you the epic options you would have after the end quest. But that's the huge disappointment, they are teasing you the whole game with saving New Vegas and assuming control etcetera, and when you finally manage to succeed, there's no way to interact with what you've done.

Imagine Skyrim. They tease you for hours about the Unrelenting Force Shout


and when you've finally found the ÜberClaw and entered the Ancient Nord Thomb of Shoutery Shouts with it, and you bring back the Elder Scroll of the Force That's Un-Rel-En-Ting to the Greybeards, and then they teach you Unrelenting Force.

And then the game ends, and a Powerpoint comes up telling you;

'Using his new talents, the Dragonborn became immensely powerful and did all kinds of great shit to help the people of Skyrim. This earned him a Speech LVL of 100, and so, he ended the conflict between the Empire, the Stormcloaks and the Thalmor Dominion without shedding blood. The dragons, afraid of this new, strong coalition moved to another place and Skyrim was free. The Dragonborn took control and OMG if you, the player, could fuck around, it would be EPIC!, but you can't, now it's the end and you should create a new character and do boring quests, but, be rewarded with a stupid Powerpoint explaining how epic the world is now the game is finished.

THE END.'

Something to think about:

There's an old RPG, you can get it for the NDS, which is called Chrono Trigger. It's about time travel and you warp around time with a group of adventurers having adventures, solving mysteries etc. There is an extremely impressive part where *SPOILERS* you get arrested and put on trial. At the trial, the prosecution is trying to establish that you're a bastard and a cad, and you should be thrown into jail. Now, at this point (as a player), you're wondering how they're going to do this, as there've been no real "bad karma moments" in the game. Then the game has the balls to start talking about how you stole somebody's sandwich, and declined to rescue a little girl's cat and stuff like that. These were casual acts with no indicator that they would EVER matter (and in other games they wouldn't), but here, at least for that scene, your actions had consequences that you couldn't have foreseen and you are forced to ask yourself: "if I had behaved differently, might I not have ended up in this mess?"*SPOILERS END*

That's something Skyrim could've easily done many times over. And there are many more examples of these kinds of choices woven into the fabric of the entire narrative. And this is an OLD game.

But honestly, I have issues with the games feeling of progression beyond story and NPC response; the simple fact that enemies level up (and that some mechanics are broken) with you means you never really advance. Coming across an enemy that you couldn't beat before, but are now ready to give is come-uppance to comes up far less than it should. If it doesn't lead to overcoming new challenges, gathering stuff is just a hobby for hoarders.

I think that's why we like the giants and trolls so much, because there's an actual point at which they're just too tough to take on. And I think it's why many of us are disappointed with the dragons.

SonicWaffle:

Dennis Scimeca:
Everyone is so impressed with Skyrim, but I can't help thinking about another open-world role-playing game published by Bethesda last year, Fallout: New Vegas. By the time I had logged as many hours into New Vegas as I have in Skyrim, I felt like I had big decisions to make that were really going to change the world of New Vegas.

While I don't entirely agree with your conclusions, I can't help but agree with this point. In Skyrim you never really feel like your decisions are making any differences. With my current character I've won the civil war for the Empire, and nobody seems that fussed. One or two NPCs have additional lines of dialogue and there are more Legion soldiers around the place, but considering that a major event has been resolved there's been remarkably little fanfare. The same goes for the destruction of the Dark Brotherhood. The guy who asked me to do it seemed pleased and gave me a fat wedge of cash, but beyond that nobody seems to give a shit that an ancient and once greatly feared society of assassins has been destroyed.

I think some kind of faction mechanic like Fallout:NV had would have worked well in Skyrim. Maybe not in major towns, but in villages and forts it'd be nice to be associated with a certain group and hated, feared or loved because of it.

Dennis Scimeca:
Perhaps I haven't arrived at that point yet in Skyrim, but I'm finding it difficult to continue caring about a world that feels completely indifferent to me and what I'm doing.

And here's where we disagree. I still care about the world even if it doesn't care too much for me or my mighty deeds. I don't know why, but I have certain NPCs I like and others who annoy me. Favoured shopkeepers, a preferred house, although I'm much less a roleplayer and more a "play the game as a game" type of guy.

There's a certain symmetry to the real world to be shown here. How many people contributed more than their lion's share to: defeating Napoleon, marching with Alexander, fighting in the American, Chilean, or Mexican revolutionary wars, or participated in the French Resistance during World War 2, yet didn't receive any recognition for their efforts?
I can imagine there are many circumstances behind that. The most likely being the main leader taking all the credit(ever see Dragonslayer?) and if that soldier even made a peep about the effort he/she made, they would probably end up missing. The second most likely? The soldier could care less about getting any credit because they achieved what they wanted and would just as soon not be held in the limelight. Hell, George Washington could have been king with more power over Americans than what King George had over the English across the pond, but it was more his choice to make sure that what the Continental Congress was working for was put into action. Then there is the third: obscurity. Nothing is happily ever after when the dust settles after a revolutionary or civil war. There is a lot of work to be done, especially towards making sure that the new state of affairs doesn't appear weak, inviting reprisals. Then infrastructure making sure that the people are fed, clothed, and housed so they don't start thinking that what all happened was a big mistake. In all that, the soldiers and the leaders have too much on their plate to care about who gets recognition for what.
Take the Napoleonic War, for example. During his time, Napoleon did more to upset the state of Europe since when Rome fell to the Visigoths. After he finally was sent to St. Helena, those leaders left in Europe had to get things pretty much back to where they were before it all went to hell. There were some changes. The Holy Roman Empire was no more, replaced by a German Confederation that put Austria in a poor position. Poland got handed back to the Russians after a short time of being a sovereign country again under Napoleon's administration. England ended up top dog for the first time, ending up in a position where it could dominate many parts of European commerce and diplomacy that it was only tasting over in the New World before this. And the seeds were sown for Germany and Italy to become actual nations as opposed to a bunch of different little kingdoms and sovereignties which changed loyalties to other countries every five years.
Anyway, it should never be expected that your hero is going to end up in a ticker-tape parade when the game is over. More than likely, it will be back to the farmstead for your hero, and when you really come to think about it, isn't that what you'd really want?
As a certain heroine once said at the end of her adventure, 'There's no place like home.'

I feel like the example described in the article is down to hardware or engine limitations. This game has hundreds of quests, can you imagine "one more line" or "one more reaction" would do to the over size and complexity of the game? I'm willing to accept these as technical limitations, but not as laziness or oversight of the developer. I actually really enjoy doing the side quests and there are a few times where I didn't do the side quests because I don't want to screw over certain characters.

samsonguy920:
Snip, but I did read it.

Sorry, in all due respect, no, your argument reads an awful lot like you're making some major excuses for something that just isn't there. Someone mention Chrono Trigger earlier, and that game had something like 13 different endings on the damn SNES, and every one of them was well thought out and felt true, as they all reflected what party you did or didn't have or what major quests you'd done. I'm not saying Skyrim should've had hundreds of endings, but a few actual endings would've been better then what seems to be a very abrupt - CONGRATS YOU WIN TEH GAME.

Anyway, it should never be expected that your hero is going to end up in a ticker-tape parade when the game is over

Nobody is saying that they want a silly parade, but some kind of earned resolution and being basically rewarded for completing a game feels good, it feels like you've achieved something. It makes an experience satisfying, and it's just good design.

Agnis... I remember her.

I could have known this woman, but then she took an arrow to her head.

Dennis Scimeca:

Skyrim doesn't seem to care about you or what you do.

I think you have addressed a really important problem here and I agree with you, although I don't think New Vegas exactly did it right either. I think this is more of an ongoing issue, giving a game a "soul" is tough, especially a game that offers such a wide and varied experience. Other than glitches, I think this is the biggest problem facing these grand open world games and if one is to ever be truly great, it needs to find a way to solve that problem, make things seem real, instead of just endless fetch quest and inhuman NPCs. Here's to hoping Fallout 4 can bring us a step closer to that reality.

I actually had a completely different experience with Agnis, I had to kill her for a side quest, I ran in past everyone, stabbed her in her bed and ran back out without killing a single person, other than her.

Ironically, reading this made me impressed that Skyrim automatically creates a new batch of inhabitants for the Fort, titling the article "Skyrim is Souless" seems really cold since it's at this moment in history the most intricately fleshed out open world ever created.

Your actions have more repercussions in this game than any other piece of software ever developed.

double post

gideonkain:
Ironically, reading this made me impressed that Skyrim automatically creates a new batch of inhabitants for the Fort, titling the article "Skyrim is Souless" seems really cold since it's at this moment in history the most intricately fleshed out open world ever created.

Your actions have more repercussions in this game than any other piece of software ever developed.

image

And if we're counting all software, are we counting the stuff that they use to target ICBMs? That's some major c&c right there, man :)

Dennis Scimeca:
Skyrim doesn't seem to care about you or what you do.

First, yeah it does. It just always has a plan for no matter what you do. Would you prefer her to be like kids and unkillable? Or perhaps you would prefer -10 karma for killing her vs. +10 karma for not killing her?

Second, I find it ironic Minecraft is lauded for this, and ONLY for this on this very website on a regular basis. (Even forums excluded) The difference between Skyrim and Minecraft though is Skyrim is a game of contingencies and this is a result of that. It does take what you do into consideration and adjust the game accordingly. Writing an entire article slamming an entire game using only one NPC example from the game to deem the game soulless is a pretty weak argument. There are more examples you could have used to make a much stronger case and the article a much better read as a result.

My only thoughts after reading this was, "Don't play Morrowind or Oblivion then because they are worse." (Or "more soulless" although that would indicate Skyrim does indeed have a soul.) One could argue that it was not Agnis that was soulless but your character because of how you were playing them and deciding their actions. What you say is "you freed" her and she should go to a nearby town, she openly told you that she was not a slave. For some reason she keeeps the fortress clean. Perhaps her dialogue could have been better about saying that she originated there as a maid and has no interest of going anywhere else. Perhaps her father served in the fort - whatever. She chooses to remain there as a maid. You can't free whatever is not being held captive. This shows a vague resemblance to a personality no matter how vague. However, your character, who views the only reason for his/her actions is how an arbitrary game system will react. Stealing her food or killing her is "OK" because the game won't punish you in any way for it.

I don't see anything here to complain about other than simple bad writing. Agnis is a poorly written character in a great game known as Skyrim. To be fair, at one point she was probably really interesting character and then probably took an arrow in the knee. (Sorry, had to do it.)

gee, the game is "soulless" to you because they disnt give every single one of the literally thousands of characters a complete AI script to respond to everything that you might do around or to them?

puh-lease. this article is really misguided.

Kanatatsu:
gee, the game is "soulless" to you because they disnt give every single one of the literally thousands of characters a complete AI script to respond to everything that you might do around or to them?

puh-lease. this article is really misguided.

Well, Obsidian did an okay job in New Vegas. Although there were still elements of that that didn't respond well to complete freedom, it generally feels like your actions matter a lot more in that game.

souless is TES,ya want soul? go bioware... or make your damn game!

Kahunaburger:

Kanatatsu:
gee, the game is "soulless" to you because they disnt give every single one of the literally thousands of characters a complete AI script to respond to everything that you might do around or to them?

puh-lease. this article is really misguided.

Well, Obsidian did an okay job in New Vegas. Although there were still elements of that that didn't respond well to complete freedom, it generally feels like your actions matter a lot more in that game.

New Vegas was somewhat more controlled than a traditional Bethesda game; If you tried going to New Vegas immediately, you'd get shredded. You were instead ushered down around a U-bend getting through the main quest-line incidentally as you went. And it ended, preventing the player from picking holes in the post-story world. I ended up preferring FO3 for the experience & freedom, even if NV had the more coherent story. I don't play Bethesda games for coherent stories ;).

Calling Skyrim 'Soulless' is... well, flame-bait, lets be honest.

8-Bit_Jack:

Akalabeth:
Speaking of half-naked bodies, I haven't played skyrim, played a bit of oblivion but do they ever clean up the bodies? Dead bandits and robbers just lying in the streets, in shops, at the docks. You'd think they would disappear at some point. Why not have an undertaker guy come out and load them up. When people are wandering around doing their thing and there's some dead guy on the ground and they stroll right by it breaks immersion. It doens't sound like they've fixed this with Skyrim either

I dump the random thieves and such in riften in the river so they dont get in the way.

on my last playthrough, i also started assassinating all the town guards wherever i went

I'm not sure about Skyrim, but I tried doing that in Oblivion but it was just too much of a pain. That grab mechanic thing is so, useless quite frankly. Some guys died on the Anvil dock and I couldn't even get them in the water. It would be better if it were like Theif and you could just throw a guy over your shoulder and be forced to walk slow as a result.

Or, it would be better if the world took care of them for you.
You'd think that would be a reaaaally obvious thing to add into a game but anyway.

"Skyrim is Souless" is such a silly proclamation it bothers me.

Take for example, any RPG on any system at anytime ever in the history of RPGs:

How interactive were the merchants at the store?
The people in the street with a single line of printed dialog?
The King/Queen on the throne who sits awaiting your quest complete 24/7 never sleeping or taking a bathroom break?

To expect more out of one randomly selected NPC out of hundreds of NPCs and then to pass judgement on an entire game whose scope basically makes it impossible for you to have experienced it all by now makes this article out to be just a "wish list" for RPGs in general and not a legitimate complaint about Skyrim itself.

Jumwa:
snippy

I guess some of those bandits didn't like her cooking, she is the target of a Dark Brotherhood assassination.

ETA: This facebook guy said it best

I observe something similar, I can't care less about games that think they matter, which is typical for RPGS, I stopped playing Witcher 2 after investigating the wreckage left behind Kayran.

I think you care too much, but I feel the same way about the game for a different reason: there's no reason for you, the player, to be there. The plot is tacked on and useless (and nothing happens if you ignore it altogether), nothing you do has any real weight, the combat is there for the sake of being there and no other, and no one reacts to you in the slightest unless you steal from them or attack them, and even then you can do so in ways they won't notice, as if everyone in the world is brain dead. I mean, NPCs are ultimately automatons, but Skyrim does just enough and nothing else to make them feel like it.

What this game lacks more than anything is giving purpose to your character. You're supposed to be saving the world (or at least changing it) and gives you this huge sense of scope to experience it in, yet it feels like the world is exactly the same no matter what you do to it, save that the stuff in it gets relocated by your hand every now and again. Not that anything notices or cares.

Skyrim has no point. That's why some people like it, but that's why I don't, and that's why you seem not to. Simple as that.

So you use only one example that's doesn't prove much. Ever considered that she wants to stay there?

Hafrael:

Jumwa:
snippy

I guess some of those bandits didn't like her cooking, she is the target of a Dark Brotherhood assassination.

ETA: This facebook guy said it best

Your quote is well written, but doesn't really hold weight in the wake of Fallout: New Vegas. There you got a game that allowed you to roleplay just as much as Skyrim, but still allowed for an enthralling story and incredible characters and depth. After coming off of more than 250 hours of New Vegas, Skyrim (while still greatly enjoying it) feels somewhat hollow.

But its a Bethesda made RPG.. wasnt that what you wanted when you got it? I mean if your going into a bethesda RPG and expecting to not fall into repetitive counter immersive gameplay in a land of picking up random bits of useless garbage that dont merit being coded as an pickable item complete with an item name, then what did you expect to see?

Thats why the Skyrim love astounds me. The game is the same tired mechanics and thematic tropes of Oblivion/fallout. It truly is taking a CoD approach to making RPGs and its very dissapointing. Bethesda actually has a good idea by not focusing on rebuilding gameplay mechanics every game should hypothetically allow them to focus on writing better stories and crafting better sets/events, but they seem bent on squandering that by focusing on a negligble texture resolution increase and copy pasta ing their game to high hell.

So yeah, if your looking for immersion or looking for a soul in a bethesda game, your at best looking in the wrong place and at worse absolutely delusional. Perhaps you should look at dark souls instead. Granted the story is not as good, but when Skyrim is doing the same tedious garbage again, its not like Darks souls really has to compete there, and on sheer gameplay Dark Souls is infinitely greater than Skyrim could ever hope to be.

Now, before the quote/flame war begins, I have expressed my opinion, nothing more. No one will dissuade me on that opinion, and to attempt do so would be wrong and as such I will ignore any quotes to illustrate how my opinion is wrong. Not trying to create a flame war. I just think its irrational to expect something from Bethesda when they have delivered something completely different for the last 4 outings.

Mcoffey:

Hafrael:

Jumwa:
snippy

I guess some of those bandits didn't like her cooking, she is the target of a Dark Brotherhood assassination.

ETA: This facebook guy said it best

Your quote is well written, but doesn't really hold weight in the wake of Fallout: New Vegas. There you got a game that allowed you to roleplay just as much as Skyrim, but still allowed for an enthralling story and incredible characters and depth. After coming off of more than 250 hours of New Vegas, Skyrim (while still greatly enjoying it) feels somewhat hollow.

New Vegas had a more consistent story, but it did so by sacrificing exploration. The game world, as a whole, is a lot more limited than Bethesda's titles; your character is essentially sheperded down a linear valley for the first 2/3 of the game, and the non-story locations you visit tend to feel more shallow, with a lesser focus on the subtle backstories that Bethesda likes to cram into every location. You have places like Vault 11, but they felt few and far between. My opinion, of course.

Story and characterization are always going to be subjective, too. One man's rich and compelling character is going to be the most annoying thing on Earth to another. Personally, while I liked the faction leaders and companions in New Vegas, it really felt like all of the other characters were just there to take up space.

Hal10k:

Mcoffey:

Hafrael:

I guess some of those bandits didn't like her cooking, she is the target of a Dark Brotherhood assassination.

ETA: This facebook guy said it best

Your quote is well written, but doesn't really hold weight in the wake of Fallout: New Vegas. There you got a game that allowed you to roleplay just as much as Skyrim, but still allowed for an enthralling story and incredible characters and depth. After coming off of more than 250 hours of New Vegas, Skyrim (while still greatly enjoying it) feels somewhat hollow.

New Vegas had a more consistent story, but it did so by sacrificing exploration. The game world, as a whole, is a lot more limited than Bethesda's titles; your character is essentially sheperded down a linear valley for the first 2/3 of the game, and the non-story locations you visit tend to feel more shallow, with a lesser focus on the subtle backstories that Bethesda likes to cram into every location. You have places like Vault 11, but they felt few and far between. My opinion, of course.

Story and characterization are always going to be subjective, too. One man's rich and compelling character is going to be the most annoying thing on Earth to another. Personally, while I liked the faction leaders and companions in New Vegas, it really felt like all of the other characters were just there to take up space.

I don't know if I would say it sacrificed exploration. It definitely wanted you to see some things before you really cut loose, mainly so it could establish the NCR and the Legion. Personally I thought doing that That said, you were never really restricted. You could always take those other roads if you wanted. They were much more difficult, but they were still options. And yeah while some of the areas were pretty bare bones, when it was good it was better than anything I've seen Bethesda make in any of their games I've played.

And yeah, there were definitely main characters and side characters in Vegas, but even most of the main characters in Skyrim don't live up to the low standards of the side characters in Vegas. Esbern is one of the liveliest characters in the game, and he has less characterization than The King. Your companions have virtually no characterization and are only there to hit stuff and carry your dragon bones.

Give me more people like Cass or Arcade, people with opinions and histories and a stake in the fight.

Maybe that was never the intention behind Skyrim, but it's been shown to not only be possible, but to be fantastic, and it's omission is all the more noticeable now.

Mcoffey:

Hal10k:
New Vegas had a more consistent story, but it did so by sacrificing exploration. The game world, as a whole, is a lot more limited than Bethesda's titles; your character is essentially sheperded down a linear valley for the first 2/3 of the game, and the non-story locations you visit tend to feel more shallow, with a lesser focus on the subtle backstories that Bethesda likes to cram into every location. You have places like Vault 11, but they felt few and far between. My opinion, of course.

I don't know if I would say it sacrificed exploration... And yeah while some of the areas were pretty bare bones, when it was good it was better than anything I've seen Bethesda make in any of their games I've played.

Players who value story & characterization in games more than freedom & exploration will prefer NV over FO3. I fall into Hal10k's camp though - I preferred FO3 and the mess of a story that went with it.

In order to make the story cohesive, to some degree you *HAVE* to sacrifice exploration. Not sure New Vegas would have worked if the player was able to visit New Vegas from the start, or was allowed to play beyond the end of the game.

The Solitude & Whiterun Thane girls are planks of wood. Some of the mercs you pay for speak enough. Mjoll will talk about herself, but starts repeating lines quickly. Better characters needed, for sure. Construction Kit can't come soon enough!

Levethian:

Mcoffey:

Hal10k:
New Vegas had a more consistent story, but it did so by sacrificing exploration. The game world, as a whole, is a lot more limited than Bethesda's titles; your character is essentially sheperded down a linear valley for the first 2/3 of the game, and the non-story locations you visit tend to feel more shallow, with a lesser focus on the subtle backstories that Bethesda likes to cram into every location. You have places like Vault 11, but they felt few and far between. My opinion, of course.

I don't know if I would say it sacrificed exploration... And yeah while some of the areas were pretty bare bones, when it was good it was better than anything I've seen Bethesda make in any of their games I've played.

Players who value story & characterization in games more than freedom & exploration will prefer NV over FO3. I fall into Hal10k's camp though - I preferred FO3 and the mess of a story that went with it.

In order to make the story cohesive, to some degree you *HAVE* to sacrifice exploration. Not sure New Vegas would have worked if the player was able to visit New Vegas from the start, or was allowed to play beyond the end of the game.

The Solitude & Whiterun Thane girls are planks of wood. Some of the mercs you pay for speak enough. Mjoll will talk about herself, but starts repeating lines quickly. Better characters needed, for sure. Construction Kit can't come soon enough!

Yeah, you do have a point. I suppose that's why I didn't mind the artificial linearity in the beginning of New Vegas because it was good exposition, and I probably would have just gone that way anyway. But you still can do all that though. It's more difficult, but it's there if you want to.

I'm pumped for when the Construction Kit comes out though. The modder who did the Willow companion for Vegas apparently has big plans for Skyrim, and that's just one out of the thousands of modders who've already started without tools.

Mcoffey:

Hafrael:

Jumwa:
snippy

I guess some of those bandits didn't like her cooking, she is the target of a Dark Brotherhood assassination.

ETA: This facebook guy said it best

Your quote is well written, but doesn't really hold weight in the wake of Fallout: New Vegas. There you got a game that allowed you to roleplay just as much as Skyrim, but still allowed for an enthralling story and incredible characters and depth. After coming off of more than 250 hours of New Vegas, Skyrim (while still greatly enjoying it) feels somewhat hollow.

I disagree, Skyrim gives me so much more room to roleplay. New Vegas gives you a well written story, in Skyrim you are writing your own story. Whereas Skyrim thrusts you out into the world with only a fleeting enmity towards the Imperials, or Stormcloaks, New Vegas shows you a guy who shot you in the fucking head and buried you, and then tells you to go track him down. In Skyrim your companions are basically blank canvases, they come in multiple varieties; knight, mage, mercenary, assasin, but they all have little to no character, letting you build them yourself. New Vegas gives you characters with well written back story, special mention goes to Raul and Boon, but sometimes I don't want to hear someone else's heartbreaking tale, I want to create my own. I love New Vegas, it was my GOTY for 2010, and my most played game of all time. But as an RPG it just doesn't measure up to Skyrim.

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