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December 31st, 2011, 16:31
GameBanshee's Steven Carter has penned a reasonably critical review of Skyrim (though he acknowledges some personal preferences that set him at odds to Bethesda's approach) after 100 hours of play. A sample:
Unfortunately, the quests in the game have two major problems. First, they have almost no impact on the world. No matter what you do or don't do, nothing much will change. This is most noticeable during Skyrim's civil war, where the Imperials want the status quo and the Stormcloaks want more religious freedom. You can pick a side and end the conflict violently, but afterwards you might not be able to tell the difference. Worse, during the war itself, you're allowed to walk right up to the enemy faction leader and talk to him, and not only will nobody think to stop you, the leader will calmly exchange pleasantries with you, even if you've been cutting down all of the soldiers in his army. Other than some random comments here and there, the game just doesn't notice what you've done.
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December 31st, 2011, 16:31
Skyrim is the most immersive when you're out there in the middle of nowhere and you aren't interacting with any NPC's who have anything to say. I was tasked with stealing something from someone, so I broke into his house in the wee hours, and of course everyone is awake (not expected or realisic) and walking around. They notice me and threaten me unless I leave (which I would expect).

I see the NPC from whom I'm supposed to steal something, and while he's advancing on me threateningly I strike up a conversation which is quite civil and polite. He offers ME a quest, which I accept, and after closing the dialogue, he picks up where he left off and demands I leave his home.

Another huge (and sometimes hilarious) hole in the AI is when there's two or more bandits, and you snipe one of them whilst sneaking at a distance. The others go on alert looking for you, but if your skill is decent and you're hiding, they won't find you. I love it when, after you go 'hidden' again, the NPC willl utter something like "I thought I heard something; must have been my imagination" while his/her comrade lies dead nearby with an arrow through his/her head.

It's weird that despite Skyrim having a gazillion AI holes, bugs and glitches, I still can't stop playing.
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December 31st, 2011, 18:09
Most of the negative stuff I've read about skyrim is 100% true. The bottom line though is that skyrim is just plain fun. Which to me is the most important factor in any game.

I just logged my 100th hour in skyrim last night. That puts it up there with bg1&2, Iwd 1&2, nwn, Wizardry 1 & 8, the witcher and dao as the only games I liked enough to put that many hours in to.

That makes it a top 10 of all time for me, despite it's flaws. I could easily see myself putting in 500+ hours with expansions, dlc and mods. Not a bad investment.
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December 31st, 2011, 20:06
This review just reflects my feelings for Skyrim 100%. Glad I am not the only one (and yes I liked Hellgate: London as well ).
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January 1st, 2012, 22:52
I think this is the first review that points out that the game spreads what unique content it has too thinly.
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January 1st, 2012, 23:05
There are working on the content
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January 1st, 2012, 23:13
There are even working on a C64 version:

Skyrim - Review @ GameBanshee discussion
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January 1st, 2012, 23:53
All the TES games, and Fallout 3 and even New Vegas have the same flaws when it comes to the idiotic behavior of the sandboxy and scripted AI. AI comes from 3 sources in these games: Scripts and Quests (really one source since Quests are scripts, but NPCs can have scripts without quests too), the AI packages they are configured to run which are generic package types but can be fine tuned per NPC, and the dialog tree (which actually belongs up there with scripts since anything meaningful that results from dialog does so via script commands embedded in the actual dialog tree). Bottom line is that NPCs are only self-aware. They are oblivious to anything that doesn't happen within their "awareness" radius. Via scripts the players actions in regards to one NPC can effect other NPCs but that's a lot of work and so they don't do it most the time, and even when they do make the effort they screw it up more often than not.

However, I agree with Fargol. Bethesda's games and Obsidian titles based on Bethesda's games are the only RPGs I still play because they are the only ones that even vaguely feel like RPGs, these days. I think it's pretty pathetic that the first very successful action RPG Diablo II would be considered a full blown RPG without the "action" part by today's standards.
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January 2nd, 2012, 15:09
Skyrim has major flaws in AI, scarce choice-consequence events that realy shape the world, horrible bugs, poorly optimized engine, poor main quest, broken balance etc.

But, i've spent over 100 hours in it already, havent finished yet, having major fun all the way, had over 50 hours of fun modding it and i'm already planing another playthrough due to curiosity with another class (magic next time).

Most games in the last 5 years i havent spent more than 20 hours in them, some not even 1 hour! Loads and loads of games, some over € 50,00, some bought on sales, but never realy peaked my interest much.

So, something must be realy realy realy good in the game. I think its the sandbox freedom. I spend hours just walking around waiting for something random to happen or to stumble upon a new place to explore. The sheer beauty of a heavy modded skyrim is unpararel in the games' industry atm. I don't even use fast-travel anymore, i just want to immerse myself into the world.

Weird, strange, even hilarious that sometimes i have to backpedal hours and re-load a savegame because a bug happened and i can't progress in a quest, but frankly i dont even care, its more hours to explore stuff.

I love skyrim. I must be crazy because realisticaly i should have put it aside by now saying its a "broken game", but i havent. I still play it. Go figure
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January 2nd, 2012, 21:57
That review is nice and detailed. I played Skyrim for 180 hours and enjoyed myself, but it does have extreme amount of repetition and very bland quests and characters.
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January 2nd, 2012, 23:00
It's a good review, but I don't agree on some points. First the difficulty: I'm playing the game on master difficulty and it's quite challenging. The game can give you a sense of achievement and can be challenging at the same time. Secondly about the repetition part: I don't agree with the review about that too. Most of the dungeons are different and it's a real paradise after DA2. Of course they have to use same textures at some point, every game does that.
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