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Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

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Sleepy Ben 13th November 2011, 21:57 Quote
Having played the game for fully a day I'm sorry to say I'm rather disappointed with it. Oblivion I found very easy and intuitive to grasp but not so Skyrim. I could easily hotkey items and switch between spells and weapons in Oblivion but in Skyrim you have to add items to a favorites menu and then apply hotkeys plus there's no HUD to remind you of what item is which key. Frankly I hate the new controls and menu system.

Graphically Skyrim looks old - it really hasn't progressed beyond Oblivion - same awkward character models and animation - its just clunky. And why can't they do water better? Just look at the hard straight edge of any river and tell me that looks right in a 2011 game.

95% is incredibly generous. I cant believe Im saying this as I loved Oblivion - put hundreds of hours into that game but Im really disappointed with Skyrim.
jimmyjj 13th November 2011, 22:40 Quote
I am definitely going to give Skyrim a go.

I can however curb my enthusiasm until at least one more patch and a price drop.

I am sure this will be under £25 on Amazon within a month, so I will probably pick it up in a few weeks.

BTW there is a performance test on Toms Hardware:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/skyrim-performance-benchmark,review-32318.html
thehippoz 14th November 2011, 01:29 Quote
it gets better as you get farther in sleepy.. I got a buzz playing it so far

it's almost perfect really =] beat that red bearded corpse and took his swords- just ran into a bandit camp on the far west and one hitting everybody.. looks like my character is on the way to being the ribbeater again

I wish you could have taken his helmet..

http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/2831/tesv2011111311530810.jpg http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/9342/tesv2011111314564678.jpg http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/7357/tesv2011111314565644.jpg http://img573.imageshack.us/img573/3435/tesv2011111315190374.jpg http://img600.imageshack.us/img600/6750/tesv2011111315422981.jpg http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/1285/tesv2011111315424798.jpg
west 14th November 2011, 02:49 Quote
I love people who buy a game for graphics. Watch a movie if that's what you want! :P
feathers 14th November 2011, 09:48 Quote
Let's be clear, I buy a 3d fps for graphics, sound and gameplay. I want movie quality visuals and whether you like it or not, that is what nvidia and Amd are ultimately aiming for. If you have some silly idea that movie quality visuals = poor game design/gameplay then I feel sorry for you.

Why is Battlefield 3 so popular? Because Dice pushed the envelope to bring something much more true to life in terms of visuals. It should be no different for a 3d fantasy rpg.

Contrast BF3 to the latest COD where many people are criticizing the game for bringing nothing new.

Remember Half Life 2? It raised the bar in terms of graphics and physics. Was the gameplay poor because it looked good?

Your belief that visual realism equates to poor gameplay is ridiculous.
Bufo802 14th November 2011, 11:15 Quote
I don't see why people are complaining so much about the graphics, on max settings to me it generally looks really quite nice, especially the weather and mountains. Maybe the close up detail isn't perfect but it runs well and the menu system is ok once you get used to it (only annoying thing is the settings/quests tabs in the same section).

The gameplay and world is so much better than oblivion the spell casting especially works really well, only played a few hours so far but definitely going to be putting a lot more time into it.
Picarro 14th November 2011, 11:21 Quote
Once you get used to the menu you can navigate it really quickly using WASD and Enter.
feathers 14th November 2011, 11:26 Quote
I think the issue is when a game is hyped on it's graphics and fails to deliver especially when it becomes clear the console was the focus of development. The pre-release pics were focused on photorealistic visuals.

The animation system hasn't been improved since oblivion from what I can tell.

To me that is somewhat lazy.
Sleepy Ben 14th November 2011, 13:23 Quote
Hotkeys are bugged - bound a melee weapon to 1 - shield to 2 - bow to 3. Attack at range with the bow and try switching to melee and shield but I find the game has un-hotkeyed the melee weapon! So in combat Im constantly having to pause the game to go into inventory and select the right item which totally breaks the immersion.

In Riverwood I find I can nick all sorts of items from peoples houses without consequence but try out a fireball spell on a chicken and the whole town is after me!

Im sure I'll have a lot of fun with this game but seriously 95%? Bit-tech lost some credibility with this review - they clearly didn't roadtest this game enough.
TheLegendJoe 14th November 2011, 13:56 Quote
I'm really loving it, I thought it would be TERRIBLE and barren (like the fallout series...) and I was impressed to see the level of detail that they've gon into, although I wouldn't have minded the mages guild being a tad longer!
thehippoz 14th November 2011, 15:30 Quote
I have to lay off it.. the game is digital crack- had dreams and the next thing you know I'll be having nightmares of a red headed zombie all up on my backside

@ sleepy.. press the binded weapon or spell twice ;) it took me a while to get that too- if you want to wield 2 heals.. press it twice

it shouldn't be unbound.. least I haven't ran into that with 8 binds
Hovis 14th November 2011, 17:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy Ben
Hotkeys are bugged - bound a melee weapon to 1 - shield to 2 - bow to 3. Attack at range with the bow and try switching to melee and shield but I find the game has un-hotkeyed the melee weapon! So in combat Im constantly having to pause the game to go into inventory and select the right item which totally breaks the immersion.

In Riverwood I find I can nick all sorts of items from peoples houses without consequence but try out a fireball spell on a chicken and the whole town is after me!

Im sure I'll have a lot of fun with this game but seriously 95%? Bit-tech lost some credibility with this review - they clearly didn't roadtest this game enough.

Shields aren't unbound when you swap in a bow. So if you hotkey your bow, then hotkey a sword, your shield will be equipped when you have the sword out. It'll still be 'equipped' when you have the bow out too, but it won't be in your hand. So nothing is broken there.

In Riverwood some people are just generous towards you, depending on how you started the game.
Sleepy Ben 14th November 2011, 18:37 Quote
No I've literally seen my melee weapon become un-hotkeyed (if there is such a word).

I assign it to 1 - shield to 2 - Bow to 3 - Heal spell to 4 ... in the Favorites menu and after switching between items I have seen the melee weapon no longer with the number 1 next to it - definitely a bug.
Adnoctum 14th November 2011, 18:53 Quote
Wasn't there a blog in the reasonably recent past where we all agreed that Gameplay > Graphics every time. I seem to remember there was an almost consensus in the comments that we didn't much care about graphics if we had enormous fun playing the game, but that no amount of graphical goodies and visual sweetness can make up for plodding banality in gameplay and a dispirited storyline?

I have to now think that those commenting were just those of us who were inspired by the sheer love of great gameplay and immersive narrative, and the grapho-philiacs amongst us just weren't inspired to comment because there wasn't any discussion of HD textures, shaders and tessellation.

If, three or so years from now, Bethesda release TES VI: Burgle Houses and Sell the Proceeds (Killing Occupants Optional) and it uses the same engine, I expect I'll buy the game and have lots of fun playing a great 100+ hour game. Until then, I'll have forgotten much of the the 170+ hours I put into Oblivion and I'll be inspired to dig it out, add a couple of mods and love it just as much as I did when it was new and it made my GFX cry.
On my list to play again soon: Deus Ex (it has been a good 6 years now), DX: Invisible Wars (I like it. Don't bully me!), FO3 and FONV (in a year or so. Mods are so tempting), and Max Payne and MP2 (bought recently in a Steam sale). At the moment I'm idly playing though Hitman: Blood Money until Skyrim arrives in the mail, and I'm starting to feel a Borderlands itch...

All of these games are either old or have dated graphics. All of these games have provided me with more endlessly entertaining hours of gaming than all the COD games up to MW2 (I have installed MW2 but...I can't raise the enthusiasm. I shouldn't have bought it, which is why CODBLOPS isn't on my wishlist) or the frightening number of multiplayer hours I've dumped into MOHAA or BF2 (and some MW) in the past.

By the same token, no doubt many here will have spent 400+ hours in the next three years bouncing around the same maps in BF3, twitch shooting strangers in a game where you probably didn't even notice the AA and shadows before your head gets blown off and you get to respawn and do it all over again. When you get bored, you can pick up a the Call of Duty: Refresh 5 (or CODRF5) Map Pack DLC for $10 (which contains the same maps you could have got in the Collectors Edition).

Now maybe I'm being nastily sarcastic (or even offensively bigoted) in my previous comment, but frankly, if that is what you want then more power to you (I'm raising my right fist in salute, Black Panthers style!). Gaming is a broad church that can accommodate all.
If you let Bethesda give me substandard graphics, clunky menus and interfaces, and immersive narrative and characters, I'll let EA and Activision give you destructible environments, realistic graphics and flacid, hackneyed gameplay. Deal?
Grimloon 14th November 2011, 20:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
snip

^This. Roll on pay day and I'll be playing Skyrim, it's a good thing I can't afford to buy it now as I certainly can't afford the time I'd most likely be putting in to it!
John_T 15th November 2011, 00:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
...

I first looked at your comment, (large block of text) and thought to myself, here we go, another ranter... but you know what, you were spot on - and you made me laugh. Good on ya! (Is there a clap button somewhere? There should be...).
John_T 15th November 2011, 00:46 Quote
There is!

r3Q 15th November 2011, 01:09 Quote
everyone who is whining about not wanting to use WASD, deal with it. its the best keyboard input, and its the standard for pc gaming.

skyrim is great thus far. ive had about 5 or 6 crashes in about 15 hours of play. once when a booby trap oil\lantern bomb on a trip wire popped, and once when i was stealing some cabbage i recall.

there are quite a few low res textures id like to see crisped' up a bit. there are some cool shadow .ini tweaks, like shadows fall on tree branches, and rocks\earth casts shadows on itself. if you have a mid grade pc, it should handle it.

the fov change is a must, just go in the console by pressing "~" and type "FOV 85". that makes the game much more enjoyable.

the carriage travel is also awesome, i think some of the prices could scale with the distance of travel a little more to make it more expensive to go to the other side of the map.

and the map does piss me off quite a bit. i like how its all 3d and snazzy, but the icons for the cities can be very close and difficult to discern when they overlap.

there are some menu tweaks that i would like to see though, for example when you are doing anything like crafting, the option to craft or do whatever shows up as a key in the bottom corner. pressing E will craft the highlighted item. lets say im going to craft 90 of these things, pressing E, then hitting OK with the mouse is really obnoxious. i think that E should be a button that will also work for OK on the menu stuff. that would be fantastic. also why are there different buttons in menus for doing things? like when you are going to put an item in storage, the button is all the sudden R instead of E.

on the topic of wearing of items... i would like to visually see the items i am wearing move to another menu like in diablo or WoW. just having a little > next to the item is kind of annoying. i dont think you should be able to sell items that you are currently using as well. ive sold my gauntlets or whatever a few times because ive forgotten that they show up on the list.

ive also run into a few cooky menu selection things, like when i was speaking to one of the jarls, it would not let me select a text option even though it was highlighted, and clicked the option i did not want to reply with, or ive sold the wrong item because it did something funny and scrolled up as i was clicking on it. i dunno, i dont like the way context is selected in the menu system.

just some weird things i guess. id like to have seen a larger assortment of weapons\armor stuff though. maybe like light\medium\heavy for each armor type?


but the gameplay and quick menus are great. i love the world so far, but like oblivion its starting to be kind of repeaty... but the dungeons and things do look unique! oblivion was just full of a bunch of cookie cutter mine shafts that looked like they quickly cut the one you just left up into pieces and swapped parts for the next dungeon.

so far, i am very happy, but id like to see some more unique environments as i progress across the world!

IMO - the next TES game should combine all the previous worlds in one world map. that would be awesome.
hexx 15th November 2011, 13:09 Quote
what can i say? royal mail failed to deliver on saturday so I went to local game shop, bought it and since then apart from my day job that's all I do, play Skyrim - I'm addicteeeeeeeed

the game is brilliant, done proper 18hr session with the game and no crash, no bug, nothing, just flawless enjoyment of the game.
Claave 15th November 2011, 15:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3Q
there are some menu tweaks that i would like to see though, for example when you are doing anything like crafting, the option to craft or do whatever shows up as a key in the bottom corner. pressing E will craft the highlighted item. lets say im going to craft 90 of these things, pressing E, then hitting OK with the mouse is really obnoxious. i think that E should be a button that will also work for OK on the menu stuff. that would be fantastic. also why are there different buttons in menus for doing things? like when you are going to put an item in storage, the button is all the sudden R instead of E.

ive also run into a few cooky menu selection things, like when i was speaking to one of the jarls, it would not let me select a text option even though it was highlighted, and clicked the option i did not want to reply with, or ive sold the wrong item because it did something funny and scrolled up as i was clicking on it. i dunno, i dont like the way context is selected in the menu system.

Yers, some key assignments can take some getting used to, but the game establishes R as Give/Drop/Store universally. ie, R = get rid of, so that makes sense. However, the game also establishes Enter as yes and Tab as no, which would have been nice when crafting (ie, you could press Enter to yes to a craft), so you can alternate between E and Enter to batch-craft things.

Then again, you can hover your mouse over Yes and just keep clicking - the game will respond to the click as a 'Craft this' command wherever the mouse happens to be on the screen (as long as the text on the menu is highlighted - again, use mouse wheel to scroll to the right place).

Mouse scrolling also the best way I've found to use the Q favorites menu: press Q, scroll to alternative weapon, click (anywhere on the screen is fine, as the item is highlighted in the menu as you scroll) then press Q. Job done, weapon switched in under a second.

On the conversation thing, it's because the menu wants to respond to both mouse and keyboard - try using your mouse wheel to scroll through menus and then just click. It's the most reliable way to select what want, and do it quickly.

I can't remember who said it, but relegating equipped items to a sub-menu would probably be worse. Either it'd be a main menu item (like Weapons, Apparel) which would make it hard to compare a new item with an equipped one, or there would be a third tier of sub-menu (ie main list - apparel - equipped) which would break the interface.

personally, with mouse wheel-scrolling and left-clicking anywhere on the screen, I find the menu system really quick and elegant to use. can't see why anyone would bother with key-binding kit at all, tbh.
thehippoz 15th November 2011, 16:17 Quote
have a end goal in mind.. best damage in two hander wearing hand crafted dragon armor, honed, and then enchanted.. pretty much just like did in oblivion.. went briton for the 50% vs magic perk (went orc in oblivion same reason.. mage killer)

just working on getting smith, enchant, two hand, and heavy armor up.. forget the rest.. found some really cool stuff to improve smithing too- been destroying any items with enchants I don't have yet.. haven't bought one set of armor- running around in found stuff self enchanted- same with my pack mule (the tank)- think he's australian with that accent

this dwarven guy gave me a bit of trouble though last night.. died a couple of times- then downed some potions had saved up and roid raged him to death and put the mule on wait so he wouldn't die

http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/8466/tesv2011111416552418.jpg
Sloth 15th November 2011, 20:02 Quote
got a chance to play this game as I was too scared to buy it before playing, this post basically summarizes my thoughts.

Granted, playing an Elder Scrolls game for five hours is not a good picture of the whole game, but there are some things which are more or less not going to change until mods start coming out. For starters, the UI is terrible on PC. What bothered me the most was how half the time you need to hit enter and the other half you need to click. Various other things such as the skill trees were an absolute pain to navigate as well. Once I finally started getting out in the world and playing I was again let down: the combat system is painfully dry. Bland, unsatisfying swings, random critical hits which were no where near as cool as they looked because they take only luck to activate, defensive manouvers which are best summarized as "Hold M2 and S", and casting that made everything melt before me. Of course, that's when I got a chance to actually fight. A laughable number of enemies bugged out and were unable to attack me, including the "boss" undead guy just before you get the Dragonstone. Upon finally arriving in town I was greeted with the all too familiar occurance of every NPC within 20 meters staring at me with their cold unblinking eyes, even as they were holding conversations with each other. One woman was so intent on staring at me that she walked through the wall of her house in order to get a closer look, apparently using the door was out of the question. Now, I notice that I said NPCs hold conversations with each other... that was a bit of a joke to myself. What I meant to say was NPCs will occasionally say various lines with so little enthusiasm or with such unfitting tones that one has to question how much their voice actors were being paid. Similarly spoken replies can be expected a couple seconds later, those witty responses require some time to think, you see! One such witty comment was a young boy saying to me "Another wanderer here to lick my father's boots. Good job". Let me tell you, this one really set me off. Immediately hit F5 and took the biggest swing with the biggest weapon I had only to find that kids are invincible. Whaaaaat? Seriously Bethesda? I'd rather be asking "Why does this world have no kids?" than "Why are all of these kids the sons and daughters of Achilles?". So to get away from all that negativity I decided to head back out into the world where I prompty discovered that a single giant is many times stronger than any dragon. Now, a lot of people have said the game is too easy. I agree, particularly because quicksaves take away any downside to dying, but that's just part of the game's design, some others might like the difficulty. Instead, the difference in strength between mystical creatures of legend and the relatively common blokes strolling around the world is what bugs me. It takes away all of the epicness of killing a dragon. At this point I decided I was done, it was time to go play BF3 instead.

So while that's just a list of complaints, keep in mind that this is from the viewpoint of someone clutching his hard earned $60. Simply not yet worth it in my mind, all of the complaints are minor but there are so many of them that I can't justify getting the game, so while a couple of problems could be overlooked that isn't possible because everywhere else I look there are just more problems! Probably end up doing like I did with Oblivion: waiting until it's $20 on a Steam sale and the mod community has fixed 90% of the problems.
LordPyrinc 15th November 2011, 21:04 Quote
23 hrs so far of gameplay and only one crash. The top center of my left hand is killing me though. Not used to using the keyboard so intensely in a game. Otherwise the game is extremely fun. I don't even think Diablo had me this hooked from the start.
XXAOSICXX 15th November 2011, 22:49 Quote
I've just rage quit (again) and am likely to smash to pieces a very expensive gaming keyboard in the immediate future if a patch doesn't arrive mighty soon to fix this abortion of a game.

One word: re-binds.

<epic_rage>
thehippoz 16th November 2011, 17:46 Quote
really enjoying the game so far.. have to say it's been a while- since crysis warhead since I've had a buzz playing a game.. used to be daily with quake 2 but I'm too old now for shooters anymore xD so anyways

they did a good job on the lighting at least.. like how much content there is- I'm still on the misc list of quests

check out this blind guy in the cave- I wiped out the bandits in front and when walked in- he's all.. is that you filippe! and the book on the table is blank xD

but it shows a bit of the lighting that does a really good job at keeping you amazed- and that could be the problem.. people are turning the lighting off and can't keep a steady 60 fps with a 8800gt- which probably really blows

http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/2324/tesv2011111516531228.jpg http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/3461/tesv2011111516530044.jpg http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/1718/tesv2011111321475830.jpg
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