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Default Skyrim - Review Roundup #2

November 11th, 2011, 00:19
Here we go with a second collection. I'm going to take excerpts from a couple and then line-list the rest.
Neoseeker, 9/10. On enemy scaling:
As previously mentioned, human enemies won’t suddenly start wearing Glass and Ebony gear and kick your ass. The game’s difficulty is instead governed by enemy types and how often they're encountered. Difficulty correlates with rarity, so bandits and wolves, for example, will always be easy kills, while vampires and bears provide a greater challenge. Incidentally, the toughest mobs – giants and their mammoth herds – are passive creatures, and neither will attack unless provoked.
GameSpy, 5/5. This one is on PC, so here's a relevant snip:
I was less than jazzed with how Skyrim handled the PC interface. I like the idea of the Favorites system, but would have preferred to be able to assign specific weapons to the number keys or to generally have a different item interface instead of scrolling through rows of item names — if you're going to make the game for PC, you might as well find more ways to take advantage of the hardware than simply tightening up the graphics. The interface works really well if you have a gamepad but I felt it was rather cumbersome with the mouse and keyboard.
GameSpot, 9/10. On lore books:
Skyrim also uses scattered books and references to enthrall you. You may not be a big fan of reading books in role-playing games, but even so, you should make an effort here. If you don't feel like reading up on Tamriel's rich history each time you find a volume, grab it and read it later—there are a lot of narrative tidbits that deserve to be read. Elder Scrolls fans will appreciate nods to events in prior games, and everyone can enjoy the bite-size tales contained therein, about vampires, noble heroes, and gods that bestow their blessings on their followers. Skyrim takes place hundreds of years after the events of Oblivion, and organizations you might remember have been restructured or are shadows of their former selves. But Tamriel's history is threaded throughout Skyrim's fabric, and some quests, such as one that begins with an invitation to a faraway museum, are great reminders of past misfortunes that the world has not forgotten.
1Up, A-. The Radiant Story mostly works, apparently:
Skyrim's Radiant Story system works for the most part; in addition to what Jeremy describes, it also presents itself in ways both subtle and obvious. Pick a side in Skyrim's civil war? Radiant Story makes your allegiance obvious by notifying you that you've just failed the quest objectives for the opposing side. Elsewhere, I'm tasked with investigating a local authority figure, but before doing so I had inadvertently caused a transfer in power via some other quest so that said authority figure no longer had his job. Therefore, a side effect: No need to investigate him.
Destructoid, 10/10. About combat:
[quote]Combat is dramatically improved. Magic spells are similar to the Plasmids found in BioShock, equipped to one of the Dovahkiin's hands and readied for use whenever weapons are drawn. Players can choose to have a sword in one hand with a spell in the other, or even have two spells at once. Some spells issue a constant spray of damage, while others are projectile-based; some have instant effects, and others take a moment to charge up. As with everything in Skyrim, flexibility is the essence of the experience, and players can tailor their combat to suit any preference. A large number of "Favorites" can also be mapped to a special menu that's brought up at the touch of a button, allowing heroes to change weapons and spells and use potions on the fly.

For those not magically inclined, there's a huge variety of weapons with which to dispense death. One-handed and two-handed melee weapons are joined by bows and staves to create a healthy and versatile arsenal. Although combat retains the unwieldy hack-n'-slash flavor of prior games, things are slightly more refined, with blocking and counter-attacking given a greater focus. Fights feel so much more involved than they did in previous Elder Scrolls games, especially since every blow feels like it connects with a migh…More information.
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November 11th, 2011, 00:19
The PC interface definitely looked pretty bad from the video review I saw and gamespy seems to agree. It's unfortunate they couldn't make it half decent and configurable for PC users.
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November 11th, 2011, 00:25
I wouldn't worry too much about the UI for the PC version. That will undoubtedly be one of the first mods released.
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November 11th, 2011, 01:11
I agree the interface looked horrible, but as noted in time there will be mods that will fix that. I won't be picking this up for a year or so, and by that time I expect most of the bugs will be patched and many cool mods should be out by then. So far the reviews sound good, but ya never know if they are over-hyping the game until you play for yourself.
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November 11th, 2011, 01:16
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I wouldn't worry too much about the UI for the PC version. That will undoubtedly be one of the first mods released.
There's only so much a modder can do to it though.. usually the UI mods changes are smaller icons, larger area for inventory etc, the "core" wont change..
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November 11th, 2011, 01:36
I never trust day 1 reviews. Or, in this case, day -1. The UI issues are precisely what I was expecting though, no surprise there.
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November 11th, 2011, 01:40
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
I never trust day 1 reviews. Or, in this case, day -1. The UI issues are precisely what I was expecting though, no surprise there.
Couldn't agree more.

Hopefully I'll find a way to fix UI to my liking and not have it so clunky from the start. I was a bit concerned with it, but I was able to manage in Witcher 2, so I think I'll manage in Skyrim.
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November 11th, 2011, 02:09
If this doesn't work with 3D Vision I'm gonna cry.
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November 11th, 2011, 02:11
Originally Posted by vurt View Post
the "core" wont change..
.. and man, is the core terrible.
I´d wager the UI isn´t very good on consoles to begin with, but after an hour of playing, I think the PC iteration may just be the worst UI I´ve experienced in the last 10 years, at least .
Inconsistent, imprecise, clickety and, most markedly, rabidly anti-mouse.
And the major flaws seem to be of hard coded nature, I doubt mods will be able to do much about it, unless Bethesda patches all the hilarity out.
Not that I can´t cope with it if the game is otherwise good, but I certainly didn´t expect it to be this bad.
Speaking of anti-mouse, even after some fiddling with the ini, I still wasn´t able to come to satisfying level of sensitivity/responsiveness, vertical axis seems to be particularly fucked in this regard.

While I´m at listing more-or-less major flaws, journal is indeed useless.
Miscellaneous quest: have a talk with this guy (period).
Not only markers are absolutely necessary in such case, but since the entry doesn´t even mention who the guy is and why should I talk with him, I can see side questing becoming a real clusterfuck fast. Main quest entries aren´t much better either.

Aaaand, a mandatory screenshot taken after I´ve set everything on ultra (interestingly enough, further tweaking was necessary because for some reason the "ultra" preset left some stuff on medium, etc.):


No complaints otherwise so far, the game looks and sounds mostly great, combat seems somewhat improved (I like the changes to fatigue mechanics, for example), I´m glad to see some interactive Gothic-y features were implemented (crafting, mining ore), I like the game´s overall "vibe", loading times are fast, performance is good (other than the mouse sensitivity issue).

Particularly due the UI issue, the game definitely hasn´t made entirely positive initial impressions.
Last edited by DeepO; November 11th, 2011 at 02:51.
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November 11th, 2011, 02:15
I'm sure how you are having trouble with the UI, it is different, but once you figure out to use the WASD keys and TAB it isn't bad at all….not to mention it lets you know if you have equipment that is better then you are wearing. I do not click with the mouse at all, it is really easy to use if you do it with WASD.

It is actually less intrusive then a lot of other UI's.

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November 11th, 2011, 03:35
"I was less than jazzed with how Skyrim handled the PC interface. [further grumbling about said interface and why it's bad and detracts from the experience]"

So that's why you took a few points off and gave it a score of maybe 4.7/5, right?

GameSpy, 5/5

Oh, I get it now, the game is perfect but has a flaw that isn't considered by your rating system. Cool.
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November 11th, 2011, 04:40
Not having spellmaking just ruined my anticipation since I was planning on going magic and not having the ability to make spells ruins it.
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November 11th, 2011, 04:47
It's dissapointing to hear that the UI is a weak spot for Skyrim. Scouring a few forums however, it seems like a 50/50 push… half the people says it's 'terri-bad' and the other half take a Gothic appoach and say 'when you get used to it it's not so bad.'

But considering all the whaling and nashing of the teeth that ensued over the interface for the PC verision of Oblivion, I was hoping above all hopes that the UI for the PC version of Skyrim would have substantially 'hard-coded' improvements over its console counterparts. In short, it would have been nice tonight to see most comments about the PC UI as positive, instead of a 50/50 so-so response.

Needless to say, if the game is fun, I can adapt to just about any interface. In fact, I have a 3rd-degree black belt in 'Gothic UI' as proof. And speaking of Gothic… back to my replay of G2!

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November 11th, 2011, 05:16
i don't understand it either. if the ui is as bad as they say, how an earth did it get through benthesa's playtesting? it must be other than laziness or lack of time. they likely honestly belive that this sort ui is somehow better than the more traditional click and drop ui.

well I'll get over it and likely mods are going to adress this issue, still its a bit dissapointing to read that ui hasn't been improved much on pc…
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November 11th, 2011, 05:26
It sounds like they tested the UI for the Xbox and not PC.

I really hope the UI can be modded. I wasn't a big fan of oblivions UI either.

I've still got 30 min left till I get to play it
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November 11th, 2011, 05:29
It isn't that bad. It's not a good interface but this "horrible" and terri-bad" stuff is as unreliable as the 1st day reviews everyone is complaining about.

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November 11th, 2011, 05:40
I think many of you will find it odd at first but the more you play the more you will feel it is quick and easy. I find it easy to loot bodies quickly now by using the WASD keys and the TAB key…it's quicker then other inventories. It's really growing on me.

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November 11th, 2011, 05:50
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
It's really growing on me.
But is it growing on you like mold or a tumor? Because that would be bad.


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November 11th, 2011, 05:52
No, I think if people don't try to use it as a mouse interface, and instead think of it as a extension of keyboard commands you may see it is pretty quick to use.

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November 11th, 2011, 05:52
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
…but this "horrible" and terri-bad" stuff is as unreliable as the 1st day reviews everyone is complaining about.
Well said. I picked up on that myself after reading a bit on the official Skyrim forums. Out of one side of the 'collective mouth' you have rants about '1st day reviews' and out of the other side ofhte 'collective mouth' you have some really harsh criticisms.

I wonder if in Skyrim my character can both have cake AND eat it too.

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