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  1. #1

    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

    Playing this on Xbox 360. The first thing I have to say is this isn't as big a step up from Elder Scrolls IV as I was hoping. The combat still feels rather unsatisfying, the voice acting, like Oblivion's, at it's best adds nothing to the game, but at it's worse detracts from the overall experience and atmosphere. There are still loads of American accents, something I dislike with a passion in traditional RPGs, and the animation and framerate remain nothing to write home about.

    The music, so far, has been pretty typical too and certanly sounds unaffecting after Dark Souls' beautifully organic, traditional and sparingly used score. Graphics are decent enough with some nice lighting effects. And the skies are as beautiful and believeable as ever

    Not progressed very far into the story yet but that seems pretty much like Oblivion's too. Haha. Basically if you liked Oblivion then you'll probably like this. If you were expecting a substantial improvement over Oblivion then you'll be disappointed. So shelf those expectations.

    Looking forward to getting out into the countryside and exploring the world as that to my mind is when the Elder Scrolls series shines. When you just go off on your own, ignoring the main quest, stumbling across old ruins and forgotten dungeons ripe for exploring. That's when the game creates that special feeling in the player.

  2. #2
    First hour and half on PC. So far so Elder Scrolls.

    The good:
    Looks better than ever.
    World feels more connected.
    Menu system streamlined. Picking things off quick menu is speedy once you get the hand of it.
    No need to make hard decisions about character type up front. 1 hour in and I can use a bow, sword, axe and cast spells. Specialisation comes later.

    Less good:
    Voice acting poor by today's standards. Perhaps forgiveable as I expect there's a lot of it needed for a game like this.

    Can't wait to play more tomorrow.

  3. #3
    Only played this for about an hour so far, on the PC. Excellent, and runs very nice even on my lowly laptop. Visuals are superb, and the beginning is much more engaging than Oblivion (which took a while to get going). The main negative is that the voice acting is typical Bethedsa, quite mediocre and sticks out like a sore thumb when everything else displays such high production values.

  4. #4
    Made it out into the world proper now, have done a little wandering, and thankfully the landscape is beautiful and enchanting and begs to be explored. And the skies at night are just stunning, love how the stars pan across the sky as the planet rotates; they're even prettier than Oblivion's.

    Pity things like the character design, combat and voice acting are so weak, especially coming straight from Dark Souls where those elements are superb. Imagine a world as detailed and varied and large and beautiful as Skyrim's with the combat mechanics and voice talent and artistic design and flair and mystery of Dark Souls. Now that would be an RPG to savour.

  5. #5
    The voice acting isn't really any worse than in Fallout or Oblivion though. It should be better though, of course. My biggest problem is the seemingly-random array of accents used by the voice actors - very strange when you have American and British accents in the same hamlet, real lack of consistancy.

    In fairness though, this is merely an anacronism in what is overwise a very decent progression for the series. Only scratched the surface, but the whole world feels so inviting and warm in the same way Oblivion did, and so full of life in a way that Fallout never was (perhaps inevitably, given the setting). I can already feel myself getting sucked into the world and side-quests just like what happened with Oblivion, and never really felt with Fallout.

    I'm still very impressed with how it runs on my relatively lowly laptop (Core2 Duo T6600, GeForce 240m). At medium settings, the framerate is perfect, could probably turn it up a notch. Definately seems like it doesn't need a beefy system unless you want to run at Ultra settings.

  6. #6
    I have an i5 OCD to 4.5ghz and a 6870 card and am running at 1080p on ultra settings and it seems like its hitting 60fps. I'll run fraps on it at some point. Oh, load times are faster than they were in oblivion too.

  7. #7
    It is a warm, rich and inviting world, granted, but I'm undecided on whether it's a decent progression for the series. The gameplay so far feels identical to Oblivion's and while I can understand them keeping it the same (afterall why mess with a formula that so many gamers seemingly adore) I find myself asking the question why bother making a new game at all if you ain't gonna evolve and improve it. Oblivion, Fallout 3, Skyrim, I get the impression Bethesda like to play things safe, like to ensure those millions of dollars keep rolling in, rather than trying to make the best game they can. Because if they genuinely wanted to make the best game they can they would surely have tinkered with the combat which remains unchanged and remains wholly unsatisfying - a crying shame considering it's a cornerstone of the gameplay.

  8. #8
    I find the combat very satisfying, as I have with the previous games. Making it multi-platform obviously imposes some limitations I should think. It's no surprise they're after more money. The multi-platform nature is probably what holds it back the most I think but really most people just want a new story, new locations, new things. Deliver that alongside other improvements and you have a great game.

  9. #9
    I mainly agree with the comments about voice acting. Some of it's OK - pretty good even - but I've certainly noticed a few dodgy bits. One that springs to mind is the

    Jarl's court mage in Whiterun

    . Seriously, at times his voice is OK, a bit stilted but OK, but there are points where it really does sound like the actor just reading the lines off a page with no thought. Jarred a bit that did.
    The mix of accents is a bit strange too. Quite a few people in the early game sound vaguely Scandinavian, but sometimes wobble over into semi-Irish, which creates a slightly odd effect.

    Combat seems OK, though hardly evolved from Oblivion. That said, I didn't think the combat in Oblivion was bad, so it still feels fine here (though having been playing Dark Souls a lot lately, I did notice a big difference).

    I put a good few hours into this last night, fully expecting to be blown away, seeing as Oblivion is one of my favourite, if not outright favourite, games this gen. In the end I wasn't quite as blown away as I expected. I'll give it plenty of time over the weekend and see if it comes alive any more. I think it probably will since the mountainscapes are as epic as you'd imagine and the score is amazing.

    edit- and I did think the opening was really nicely done. Great when the

    dragon shows up and creates pandemonium

    Last edited by endo; 11-11-2011 at 12:10 PM.

  10. #10
    My first Elder Scrolls game, this. I borrowed Morrowind back in the day but never got past ridding someones pantry of giant rats.

    I agree that the voice acting is the main negative - I never did take to Dragon Age 2, but by comparison, Bioware's voice work and character design is outstanding. Not sure I like the nearly constant presence of music either, seems a little invasive after Dark Souls' sparing but greatly effective use.

    I've enjoyed what I've played so far though, and I can already see it's really going to deliver when you're out exploring the world. I love the feeling of stumbling upon little events (in this case 3 warriors of Alderaan or something, taking out a giant) and that they very naturally lead to more goals in your quest log. The one dungeon I've explored looked stunning too, and there's a level of detail in the interiors I really wouldn't expect in a game so big. There's a great, realistic clunkyness to the combat, though it's not nearly as convincing in third person.

    I think the main problem I'm going to have is comparing it to Dark Souls, as it's basically that game but padded out with the stuff in games I find less interesting. But yeah, good stuff thus far.

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