07 May 2012

Skyrim is a Major Dissapointment

So like thirty minutes ago I uninstalled Skyrim. The amount of crashes were horrible. The framerates went down and down despite my high end machine. And finally, the cherry on top, just when I had the hang of every aspect of the game, being a High Elf level 30, I couldn't load the most recent savegames.

Yes, I had the latest patch 1.5. Yes I tried the orignal version and some mods for high definition graphix. It all worked OK-ish in the beginning but the stability of the game went from mediocre to unplayable. The maker, Bethesda Game Studios didn't learn anything from their previous versions like Oblivion. Many of these bugs were also to be seen in the Fallout releases. Fallout is made and produced by the same company.

For Bathesda, making their games playable just enough is good enough for them. There isn't much competition. They know. There isn't much competition when it comes to high quality Role Playing Games. At my age, 44, I know RPG's of these days are a joke compared to what has been. Young 18 to 24 year old players think this is the creme de la creme, along with Oblivion and Fallout. Well, today with these standards - high graphix and neat sounds - it is. A good story line and consequent use of logic and cleverness in general is rarely to be seen.

It's not merely the crashing and lack of performance this game suffers. Story wise, whatever your main character does, it just doesn't have consequences. I can murder persons for the ego of others. I'll receive my XP. I can kill the director of an orphanage, leave the children behind. But I'll get my XP. There's no evil, good or neutral. Just kill kill kill for the XP. No consequences.

The game looks non-linear but it isn't. In the long run you just can't go wrong. You'll be directed towards the expected end one way or the other. There is one major plotline (quest) to do and many other side quests. You can do anything in any order almost. This gives a false feeling of non-linear gameplay. However, every quests is basically a stand alone quest with a linear approach. I did like 40 quests. They all look the same. Kill that, bring this, activate so. Seen it done it.

And finally, the acting voices. I hear the same voices for all kinds of characters throughout the world of Skyrim. It feels like they only have 4 voice actors. At one point I didn't buy it anymore. At one point, I didn't buy anything.

And then there's the battles. It's a plain joke. If I would to use everything I had I'd be more lurking in my inventory and magic screens then watching and enjoying the view of the battle and the game. I'm stunned Bathesda didn't hear of hotbars, quickkeys and whatnot. Sure, it offers a quick menu but the items in that menu are ungrouped. I had potions, offensive spells, healing spells, weaons and armor all mixed up in the quick menu because the game doesn't allow any structured setup of your stuff.
So I decided to level up my archery and conjuring an destruction spells only  and used only these three things throughout the game. Boring! Simplistic UI design.

Games like Skyrim are milking a good start (Elder Scrolls). These days it's all about cool graphics and quantity. There aren't many games that specialize in single play. So there's not much competition. But the young of these days don't know any better. They think that the modding community is an integral part of all this. The modding community who will make these kind of games much more interesting. Remember the Desert Combat mod for Battlefield 1942? In fact, many players don't even look at the game primarily. They look for modding options... and downloadable content... Now that's saying something.

Lurking the internet learns that many more players gave up on this game. The crashes along with decreasing rendering performance and various other nasty bugs makes this game unplayable for many of us. But nobody has an interest in finding out the percentage of very unsatisfied customers.

But as long as games like this are being hyped Bathesda won't have a reason to improve their products in a significant way.

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