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Default Skyrim - Review @ True PC Gaming

November 28th, 2011, 13:42
True PC Gamer has made their review of Skyrim available. There is no score but they are very positive:
Skyrim, like its predecessors, is a celebration of gratuity: thereís simply an overabundance of everything. Youíll never get to know the thousands of individually named NPCs long enough to actually remember their names. Youíll never be able to read the ~300 dense, lore-heavy books deeply enough to actually remember what they say. Thereís 15 square miles of outdoorsy Skyrim scenery to explore with 70 deep, long-lasting dungeons waiting to be cleared (they actually mark cleared dungeons on the map this time!) Itís enough to keep dedicated players playing for way more than any reasonable amount of time.
Although they do have some negative things to say as well:
Speaking of leveling up, this is actually the most whittled-down RPG experience Bethesda has offered so far. There are no classes, instead you grow into a custom class over time. Weapon degradation is gone, so is underwater combat, you canít fail at crafting attempts and the (admittedly pretty overpowered) magic-making system has been omitted entirely. There are also fewer skills than in previous Elder Scrolls games, and the omission of an acrobatics skill really limits the options for sneaky characters. The blatantly robotic followers were not just bland, but unsettling too
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November 28th, 2011, 13:42
The line about "… blatantly robotic followers were not just bland, but unsettling…" I agree with, except I wouldn't call them robots. You could at least teach a robot not to constantly step on pressure plates that trigger traps.

This game as SO many little things that break the suspension of disbelief, yet I keep playing it.

THAT'S unsettling …
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November 28th, 2011, 15:38
Originally Posted by Fargol View Post
This game as SO many little things that break the suspension of disbelief, yet I keep playing it.
That actually speaks more about Bethesda's competition than about quality of the game itself.
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November 28th, 2011, 17:08
Originally Posted by Fargol View Post
The line about "… blatantly robotic followers were not just bland, but unsettling…" I agree with, except I wouldn't call them robots. You could at least teach a robot not to constantly step on pressure plates that trigger traps.
I agree that companion pathfinding ought to be massively improved, but I really don't mind them being relatively bland. Not every NPC/co-PC/companion (or whatever) needs to be a Biowarian bundle of inner problems, father/mother issues, sibling rivalries, shady backgrounds, hidden agendas, etc. I find it refreshing to have an NPC companion who is there to help you, pure and simple, not to talk you unconscious with their problems, ask you to help them sort out their life and tease you to shag them by the end-game.

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November 28th, 2011, 17:21
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
That actually speaks more about Bethesda's competition than about quality of the game itself.
Good point.
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November 28th, 2011, 17:46
Originally Posted by Lurking Grue View Post
Not every NPC/co-PC/companion (or whatever) needs to be a Biowarian bundle of inner problems, father/mother issues, sibling rivalries, shady backgrounds, hidden agendas, etc. I find it refreshing to have an NPC companion who is there to help you, pure and simple, not to talk you unconscious with their problems, ask you to help them sort out their life and tease you to shag them by the end-game.
Good for you, however I want every co-PC/companion to have a background of a size of mexican soap opera. Father/mother issues… Man that'd be some real stuff if someone finds out he's his own mother and his father is actually his sister.

Seriously. Those followers in Skyrim behave pretty much the same as the summoned mobs (low IQ monkeys that only look dangerous till the fight actually starts), the only difference is they can serve as a pack mule too.
At least they could have added some chitchat there or a reason for you to pick someone. By saying this… Um… Well… There is a certain follower with a background story, I dare to say with an epic story comparing to other possible sidekicks in the game, too bad he's the only one.
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November 28th, 2011, 23:20
Well at least they are more controllable and useful than the followers you could get in Oblivion or Morrowind.

Not sure how they compare with other contempory RPG companions (like Mass Effect 2)? I put the the NWN 2 companions on puppet mode, and same for DA since their AI was so atrocious. Wish I could do the same for Skyrim.
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November 29th, 2011, 00:53
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
That actually speaks more about Bethesda's competition than about quality of the game itself.
What competition? There hasn't been an open-world RPG released since Two Worlds 2, and there won't be another one until KoA or Risen 2.
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November 29th, 2011, 02:52
Good review.

Echoes a similar sentiment I have for the TES games - theyre virtual worlds, and jam-packed w/ just enough to make it still seem natural enough to be believable. Just enough to have you stumbling over something interestling every few minutes or so. I can seldom ever go from point A to B without ending up on some other completely different trail, doing something else.
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November 29th, 2011, 02:59
Yes, just walking from A to B It's a marvelous distraction, until things start getting repetitive. Then I start doing quests.
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November 29th, 2011, 05:06
Originally Posted by Lurking Grue View Post
I agree that companion pathfinding ought to be massively improved, but I really don't mind them being relatively bland. Not every NPC/co-PC/companion (or whatever) needs to be a Biowarian bundle of inner problems, father/mother issues, sibling rivalries, shady backgrounds, hidden agendas, etc. I find it refreshing to have an NPC companion who is there to help you, pure and simple, not to talk you unconscious with their problems, ask you to help them sort out their life and tease you to shag them by the end-game.
This. A million times this.
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November 29th, 2011, 05:40
Wow someone actually had the guts to say anything negative about a bethesda game this soon after release? I didn't think that was allowed until WAY later. What was it like 5 years before PC gamer finally admitted Oblivion had its flaws?

I like Skyrim but it's not perfect so all these gushing reviews make sick
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November 29th, 2011, 05:57
Originally Posted by Saxon1974 View Post
Wow someone actually had the guts to say anything negative about a bethesda game this soon after release? I didn't think that was allowed until WAY later. What was it like 5 years before PC gamer finally admitted Oblivion had its flaws?

I like Skyrim but it's not perfect so all these gushing reviews make sick
It's not perfect, but what is? I mean its got a few niggles here and there…pathfinding for npc's for one. But at the end of the day it is by far the best rpg released this year…it sucks you in and you want to play…and it's fun. I'm not sure why gushing reviews make you sick? I'm thinking they are comming from people who overlook the little things and see it is a marvelous game.

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November 29th, 2011, 07:44
Originally Posted by Lurking Grue View Post
I agree that companion pathfinding ought to be massively improved, but I really don't mind them being relatively bland. Not every NPC/co-PC/companion (or whatever) needs to be a Biowarian bundle of inner problems, father/mother issues, sibling rivalries, shady backgrounds, hidden agendas, etc. I find it refreshing to have an NPC companion who is there to help you, pure and simple, not to talk you unconscious with their problems, ask you to help them sort out their life and tease you to shag them by the end-game.
Oh, hey I agree! But there ought to be some middle ground here. A couple of different dialog lines. Perhaps a dry comment on some very important key events of the main quest. A simple related quest perhaps tied with an "upgrade" for the companion (either in skills or personal equipment).

I think the Companions in Fallout:NV (what I got to see at least) were very close to that acceptable middle ground.
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November 29th, 2011, 08:37
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
Oh, hey I agree! But there ought to be some middle ground here. A couple of different dialog lines. Perhaps a dry comment on some very important key events of the main quest.
Yeah, I wouldn't mind some extra dialogue and a bit of backstory, but even without it I have grown somewhat attached to Lydia (who's been with my character since day 1). That's more than can be said of the many more chatty companions/followers of recent CRPGs. Sometimes less is more.

As to dry comments, there's been a few times when Lydia has had a line (admittedly there are too few of these) perfect for the situation. Like when we were creeping inside a vampire lair/daedric shrine and just before entering the main hall (of sorts) she says, "I've got a bad feeling about this." It was spot on, as few seconds later we were fighting for our lives vs two vampires and their thralls.

I just wish we could see the followers' skills and manage their equipment/inventories better.

Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
I think the Companions in Fallout:NV (what I got to see at least) were very close to that acceptable middle ground.).
Yes, quite true.

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November 29th, 2011, 09:37
Originally Posted by Lurking Grue View Post
Yeah, I wouldn't mind some extra dialogue and a bit of backstory, but even without it I have grown somewhat attached to Lydia (who's been with my character since day 1).
.
Same here, I just forged a flawless set of Orcish for her and she pulls her weight quite nicely too. Just gets in the way when I want to take the slow and careful approach in difficult dungeons so I may leave her home on a few occasions (or when I want to explore off road without having to worry if she can keep up).

I really like how they handled the part where, if I enter a fight with a melee weapon drawn, she stands back and plays support with an Elven bow I forged/enchanted for her. If I have a spell prepared she rushes in close combat (at least thats how it works for me).

Originally Posted by Lurking Grue View Post
As to dry comments, there's been a few times when Lydia has had a line (admittedly there are too few of these) perfect for the situation. Like when we were creeping inside a vampire lair/daedric shrine and just before entering the main hall (of sorts) she says, "I've got a bad feeling about this."
I think this is the standard line when nearing the "Boss fight" of most dungeons. I got it several times (I like that little feature too).
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November 29th, 2011, 13:00
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
It's not perfect, but what is? I mean its got a few niggles here and there…pathfinding for npc's for one. But at the end of the day it is by far the best rpg released this year…it sucks you in and you want to play…and it's fun. I'm not sure why gushing reviews make you sick? I'm thinking they are comming from people who overlook the little things and see it is a marvelous game.
Well, Saxon1974 is not the only one as I am also sickened by all these gushing reviews. I am roughly 25 hours into the game so I still have a lot of things to do but I have mixed feelings about the game. (In fact, my impression during the first 10 hours was very negative, but now after some wandering it is better).

True, the exploration, sceneries and free roaming are good and I like playing as a pure mage (firing lightning caters to my Jedi/Sith fetish ) and I am enjoying the game as an open world RPG but no way in hell is this a 95 to 100 game as there are many mediocre elements such as an overload of generic fetch/kill quests, bad dialogues/writing, and an insultingly bad introduction and story progression. (I just arrived at the Grey Beards but I decided to do sidequests first before continuing with the main story so perhaps things may improve).

And why are most random locations filled with psychopath bandits and mages that will attack anything on sight?

And whose brilliant idea was it to hire Arnold Schwarzenegger as a voice actor?

But as I said, I still need to complete the game and I have a long road ahead of me so my impression can change, for better or worse.
Last edited by Asdraguuhl; November 29th, 2011 at 17:12.
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November 29th, 2011, 13:47
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
What competition? There hasn't been an open-world RPG released since Two Worlds 2, and there won't be another one until KoA or Risen 2.
Exactly.

If there was a serious competition, we'd see another game on 11.11.11. Now, we'll see that game probably on 11.11.12.
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November 29th, 2011, 16:18
No crpg is going to have the balls to release at the same time as TES/Fallout. It'd be suicide. I have a teeny, tiny hope that Reckoning will steal enough elements from TES to be a serious contender, but it might take them a few games to get it right, and I really believe their heart is in MMOs. Time will tell.

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November 29th, 2011, 19:43
I have yet to voluntarily take an NPC anywhere. It's so tedious. I even gave up the horse because the damned thing keeps rushing into combat and getting killed.

My biggest issue with Bethesda is that the designers left so many bad decisions from Oblivion in place, when they would have been so easy to fix. Like barrels full of apples in the ruins of long extinct races. Like ten different containers in a two room house each having 5 gold pieces, like wolves having gold in their inventories.

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