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November 10th, 2011, 13:10
I found a chance to try Skyrim's Xbox 360 version. Before you turn your suspicious gazes on me, I admit it's that notorious leaked version. What can I say, curiosity killed the cat.

My biggest worry about the game was the level scaling system. If it would be another Oblivion disaster or not? Fortunately it seems Bethesda have learned from its past mistakes and delivered us a system more towards traditional approach. After I have reached the Riverwood village, I took a quest about finding a golden claw in a cave from the village trader. By the way, I set the dificulty level to Master, highest possible difficulty. The cave called Bleak Falls Barrow, a magnificient looking structure at the heart of a mountain. Bandits took refuge there. I took care of some bandits and enter the cave and killed some too. Then I thought "here we go again, same old Oblivion that everything must be equalled to your level for the newbies, ugh", then I came across a wounded frostbite spider and it killed me with mere two blows, I tried to hit but not a significiant change in the HP. I understood that there's nothing I can do at this level. So, there came my relief. Bethesda took more towards Fallout 3 approach in Skyrim than Oblivion. Even normal foes can hack you to pieces at lower levels in Skyrim's master difficulty (for ex the skeletons in Whiterun Catacombs). One problem still remains though. You level pretty fast, like in Oblivion and Fallout 3. But, I'm sure it won't be long that some modder will make a mod to slow leveling.

At graphics aspect, it's same as Oblivion. But this time with better art style. Oblivion's bloated faces are completely gone, NPCs look realistic, also there're some variety to their bodies. So, now there're skinny or stocky build characters. Also, the locations feels unique, not much copy paste locations like in Oblivion. I don't know the PC version, but in X360 version some textures looks pixelized. If that is the case for PC version, I'm sure some gamers will really piss off. But overall Bethesda was successful about delivering a unique looking world and giving the feeling that we're in a cold, bleak region. I also like the ability to look at the every object in my inventory closely, rotate them, etc.

Oblivion was a great disappointment to me when it was released in 2006 as a great Morrowing fan. But Skyrim have impressed me so far. Impressed me enough that I preordered my disc copy today.

"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man
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