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Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

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Jake123456 11th November 2011, 08:26 Quote
Sweet motherlord of Jesus....*Gasm'd...* This is from just looking through the pictures..


I don't get paid till the 28th...:(
DarkFear 11th November 2011, 08:53 Quote
Couriers should be delivering my copy to the office around 2 o'clock. It is taking a lot of will power to even pretend that I'm concentrating on my work today. Luckily I'm going home at 3 o'clock...
andrew8200m 11th November 2011, 08:56 Quote
Cant wait to get this installed :D
Mongoose132 11th November 2011, 08:58 Quote
Always thought Skyrim sounded like an aerial sex move :c
Zurechial 11th November 2011, 08:59 Quote
I never thought about the Death Star construction works before. Thanks for ruining Star Wars for me forever more!

Skyrim's getting a lot of positive coverage, as expected; but I suspect that if it's anything like Oblivion then it's the kind of game that can't be properly reviewed until a few weeks or months after its release.

That is, of course, partially down to Bethesda's track record with bugs and day-zero game issues that often have to be fixed by the community, partially down to Bethesda's track record with retarded game design decisions that have to be fixed by the community and partially down to the ridiculous hype that surrounds Elder Scrolls games due to them generally being awesome-but-broken in various ways.

Yes, they're awesome, but not at release. Is Skyrim different? I haven't seen that much mention of major bugs in the game this time around, even from players (since Oblivion reviews seemed to be written as if the game were a flawless, problem-free masterpiece for some reason) so I've been wondering how it fares this time around.

While others have been planning to buy Skyrim the second it's released, I've been planning to wait a few weeks or months instead; especially since I have BF3 to tide me over for the next while anyway.
On the other hand, I'd love some open-ended RPG goodness..

It's a 95%-er, fair enough; but should we buy it now or wait?
Hovis 11th November 2011, 09:16 Quote
I started to play this last night when I got back from the pub, got past the opening scene and thought, "Wow, I'm putting this away until I can give it my full, undivided attentions, for about three days solid."

Really looks like a winner so far.
Bede 11th November 2011, 09:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial
I never thought about the Death Star construction works before. Thanks for ruining Star Wars for me forever more!

It's ok, they were only droids :p

Nice review to read, probably the best I've seen on the internets so far for Skryim! I am at once aching for this game to arrive (damn you Amazon supersaver delivery!) and a little bit horrified by how basic some of the visuals are in a post-BF3 world.
thil 11th November 2011, 09:20 Quote
Been playing it for a night - Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, for once - and there are few things that bug me.

One, It's a console interface. It takes far too many clicks to set up a weapon, or sell items, which are set out in scroll-through-only list form. The Escape button no longer backs out of everything - you have swing between it and Tab to get out of menus. There's no paper doll, either.

There's less clutter than previous games (once again, aging console hardware...screw you, Pete Hines); not every barrel is searchable.

The "finishing moves" are a cancer. I've seen enough games with that non-interactive, "cinematic" bullshit to know I hate them. The reviewer might like them now, but that may just be because the novelty has yet to wear off. I find them distracting and completely immersion-breaking: one second you're in first person swinging a sword, the next you're watching some movie of a guy running through another guy with a sword. It's probably a concession to the gamers who prefer shiny spectacle over skill.

There are plenty of good points, however. The diegetic gameplay and design is fantastic, and Bethesda really excelled here. There are plenty of times where it's up to you, the player, to find out who to talk to because you've heard a conversation, or found something in game - you're not led around by the nipples with popups and tool-tips, a la Oblivion. It's all done within the context of the game world. I found myself doing smithing training because I heard a guard talking to a women, who was a smith. She seemed interesting, so I talked to her, asked her if I needed help, and she said "Ok, make me a dagger. Here's what you need, and that's where you forge it..." Subtle. Environmental storytelling is what Todd Howard called it.

There are puzzles that can only be solved by paying attention to your environment, rather than a box popping up saying "Hmmm, looks like you need to..." It's great.

I've also rarely heard the same VA twice.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Skyrim does not like one's sound card to be set at anything other than CD quality sound. Make sure you sound card is set to "44.1KHz, 16-bit" in the control panel, otherwise it will crash at the main menu. Having the exes set to Win XP, SP3 compatibility helps, too.
Kiytan 11th November 2011, 09:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thil

...one second you're in first person swinging a sword, the next you're watching some movie of a guy running through another guy with a sword

I Think the fatality/finisher attacks are all from first person, could be wrong, my copy doesn't arrive until later today (wonder how many people will be in lectures today?) but from the gameplay videos, It looks like it's all first person (if you're in First person to begin with)
beckoner 11th November 2011, 09:44 Quote
Made the mistake of telling my boss that I'm expecting it today... now I can't pull a sickie..
yassarikhan786 11th November 2011, 09:54 Quote
Really good review. I like the part about the lock picking feeling genuine, implying that you have tried it, hahaha. Look's like an amazing game, but I've not played any of the earlier elder scrolls (sorry) and I just don't have the time to get properly into RPG games.
TheStockBroker 11th November 2011, 10:15 Quote
So.

Played for about 5 hours last night. Somewhat impressed; although I feel I only let myself down by expecting too much...

Going against the grain here; but I can't help but feel the world is small - contrary to all the reviews I've read. To me, a large world is WoWs Sundered Azeroth, Eastern Kingdoms the Outlands, and Northrend all beautifully stitched together... Skyrim is very small in comparison.

Having played Dark Souls, I can attest to the fact that Skyrim lacks even that better-than-average level of combat finesse. It feels quite clunky at times, even as a caster. Again, this is despite the fact that the 'Q - favourites' feature was mentioned - it's an improvement on Oblivion, I'm sure - but it's just not up to par otherwise. Maybe this is something I'll get used to, or will be modded in due course.

Additionally, so far at least (I'm level 7), it's quite easy - even at the highest difficulty setting - although this is perhaps just indicative of how OP a destruction specced mage dual-wielding spells can be.

Last complaint are the graphics in general, it's no BF3! I expected this though, there'll be a much needed high texture pack along before long!

Minor niggles aside, I've really enjoyed it so far - the story, characters, events, voice and general atmosphere have contributed to a really immersive experience good enough to make me think twice about stealing from the poor couple at the inn, or murdering a lonely fisherwoman for that fat coin purse she keeps in her tent.

I'm sure I'll report back after some considerable more hours of gameplay this weekend with more thoughts.

TSB
Ajhayter 11th November 2011, 10:22 Quote
My disk turned up and I tried to find a free Aussie VPN to unlock the game with but didn't have any luck. I'll be twisting the throttle a little more eagerly than normal on the way home I think :p

Still, in the retail version the map is nice. Printed on much higher quality paper than previous revisions.
Picarro 11th November 2011, 10:27 Quote
The biggest surprise for me was the installation size. Only 5 gb? I am getting used to the 12-15 gigs of Rage and GTA4 and the like.
yassarikhan786 11th November 2011, 10:29 Quote
Yeh, 6GB seems very low compared to games with seemingly smaller worlds, lower graphical quality, etc.
DwarfKiller 11th November 2011, 10:30 Quote
My copy got delivered whilst reading this review. It's a nice review and all... but Skyrim calls.

*And the map that came with my PC copy is larger than the one that came with my brothers PS3 copy.
Claave 11th November 2011, 10:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial

snip

On bugs
I encountered a couple of teeny-tiny ones (some textures not loading or clipping weirdly) but as we were playing pre-release code, we gave the game the benefit of the doubt. We found nothing that should delay your purchase (well, nothing intrinsic to the game anyway, your social life may think otherwise) so we didn't mention it for fear of conveying the wrong idea.

I respectfully disagree with the menu system comments from thil too - you can quickly navigate the menus via the WASD keys, making it much quicker and more precise than mouse-based click-and-dragging. They're visually clean and neat and I found them a delight to work with.
Jedibeeftrix 11th November 2011, 10:47 Quote
good review bit-tech,

have you any thoughts on eyefinity performance?

i have 3x 24" 5760x1200
X6 1090T at 3.6GHz
2GB VaporX 5870
8GB DDR3
Bindibadgi 11th November 2011, 10:54 Quote
Worth waiting for an UltraHD texture pack and more patches?

I'm not in a huge rush.
Sensei 11th November 2011, 11:04 Quote
So, perhaps this is the game that finaly pushes me to shelve Shogun TW2, for a little while anyway.
tad2008 11th November 2011, 11:19 Quote
Clive that was a great review and kept me smiling and even made me laugh when I read: "Lydia seemed unable to die unless we accidentally hit her while she’s low on health, something that only happened once, and we reloaded anyway, so she’s none the wiser."

Skyrim is already on my list of games to play and now you are on my list of writers to read more of.
Zurechial 11th November 2011, 11:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claave
On bugs
I encountered a couple of teeny-tiny ones (some textures not loading or clipping weirdly) but as we were playing pre-release code, we gave the game the benefit of the doubt. We found nothing that should delay your purchase (well, nothing intrinsic to the game anyway, your social life may think otherwise) so we didn't mention it for fear of conveying the wrong idea.

That's fair enough, cheers for the response. :)

I'll probably still hold off on Skyrim for a while anyway. Between work, a PhD and Battlefield 3 I think I have enough on my plate for now..
Claave 11th November 2011, 11:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Worth waiting for an UltraHD texture pack and more patches?

I'm not in a huge rush.

Honestly, I was really impressed with the graphics. The low-poly rocks are a slight lowpoint, but it already looks ace in non-modded form. The way the snowy wind howls over bluffs, the oppressive murk of night, the way spires and mountains lose themselves in mist and cloud... Wish I wasn't at work right now!
feathers 11th November 2011, 11:56 Quote
I can't comment on the gameplay but I am sick of console ports. The textures and animation look ugly.

Graphics arent everything but when I buy a 3d FPS as hyped as skyrim I want groundbreaking graphics as well. Not some fecking console port with low res textures and the same dated character animation we saw in the days of Oblivion.

I have a lot of respect for DICE because they put so much effort into making games first and foremost for the PC. The situation we have had since so-called nextgen consoles infested the gaming world is insane. Game developers making games for the console then upscaling to the PC. PC games have suffered enormously as a result. I wouldn't pay for skyrim anymore than I'd pay for RAGE. I will be buying BF3 though.
Bauul 11th November 2011, 12:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by feathers
I can't comment on the gameplay but I am sick of console ports. The textures and animation look ugly.

The textures and especially the animation have looked relatively ugly in Elder Scrolls games from long before they were launched on consoles - that's more a reflection of the engine and the quantity of individual content in the game.

Question to everyone: buy this now for the 360, or wait until mid December when I can afford the i2500K necessary for completing my new build?
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