Friday, November 11, 2011

Skyrim First Impressions

Just my very, very first impressions.

1) I move way too fast when I run and way too slowly when I walk. There's no way to look around while running, because you are racing into obstacles if you do. While walking you die of boredom.

2) One of the very few games where I have problems with motion sickness. That happens very rarely! I can play Quake Deathmatch on a 30" without getting motion sick! But Skyrim somehow causes me a headache.

3) TES games are about freedom and yet the game starts with a super-scripted scene that lasts for many, many minutes. I don't need no stupid NPC who constantly tells me to "come on" while I explore a cave! I feel like playing Call of Duty! Oh, of course there is no reason to hurry.

4) This UI cries out console so very loud it hurts. If I ever needed another reason to hate consoles, here it is. If there is any reason to like Facebook games then that they hopefully kill consoles.

5) Gameplay as a mage feels awkward so far. The game seems to be made with melee characters in mind.

6) When I want to look at my character's stats I gaze to the heavens. Also works in caves. Oh, and it's super-difficult to even get an overview of all your skills, because this is a game for players who have never seen a mouse in their life.

7) After having successfully escaped, that stupid NPC tells me that he could never have done it without me. A blatant lie that kicks you out of the immersion one last time before he vanishes "because it is better to split up". I don't see why that would be better, really. I try to pretend that the NPC was just polite. I try to forget that this is a dilettantish attempt of the game to make me feel like a hero who I, so far, just haven't been - fortunately.

8) The very first guy I meet in the very first town has three options: 1) What is this place?, 2) Where to get supplies?, 3) I heard you and XY like the same girl.
20 seconds later I am to carry a love letter. First, I can't remember where I heard that. Second, the lighting-conjuring Nightelf, ten seconds after you met him, is helping you with the love of your life ?? /facepalm

9) Nice graphics.


  1. That's too bad. I despise lazy console ports to the PC - Borderlands was practically unplayable without a mod that allowed you to actually use the scroll-wheel.

    Unfortunately, consoles aren't going away. Arguably, the only reason a PC market exists at all is because of MMOs and Facebook; the console market is an utter behemoth in comparison.

  2. I wouldn't call it a lazy port. E.g. the mousewheel works. But it is still quite obviously a port.

  3. I'm a little surprised you're sounding so negative. After reading a first impressions on the usually very good Rock, Paper, Shotgun, they seemed to think it was very good and more towards Morrowind than Oblivion. A lot better than what I was expecting anyway and certainly better than Oblivion. At least that was his opinion. I was almost tempted to buy it immediately rather than waiting for patches/mods/price reductions like I usually do with these kind of games. Anyway, I can wait to hear a few more reviews before I pay full price for a game. Especially considering the backlog of unplayed games I have on Steam.

    Also, just a little niggle but haven't the TES games always started with scripted scenes? At least since Morrowind when I started playing there's always been a little lead up before you're set loose to do what you want.

    And finally, I'm sure you've already tried this, but have you changed the FOV? Any game with a low console type FOV I cannot play for more than 20 minutes or so due to feeling sick.

  4. I always sound negative, Gabbastorm. If I considered the game bad I wouldn't play it.

    That having said, it is indeed a bit of a disappointment so far. The graphics, for example, are nice when you look at landscapes, but otherwise I run it at ultra setting at 2560x1600 and the resolution of textures is, well, console resolution. It runs at 60fps and I don't use no SLI/crossfire.

    And the gameplay thus far is:
    Press both mouse buttons until the enemy dies to your magic fire. If you run out of magicka before the enemy runs out of health points, run away until you have enough magicka again ...

  5. Gee talk about negative city.

    1) Soon enough you get a horse. As for running I never have an issue with it and looking around. You can always run for a small stretch then stop and look. And third person lets you do both.

    2) Try third person. No one else has mentioned motion sickness so you may want to see a doctor.

    3) Every single TES game had a scripted start. The jail/dungeon of Oblivion, the ship custom house of Morrowind. this one is just a little longer and you have a companion.

    At some point the game has to teach first time players how to do things. Not everyone has played a TES game before. So basing a review on a tutorial is really silly.

    4) As for the port that was said for over a year now. But we have a magic bullet called mods that will fix it. Yes it would be nice if Beth did it but mods work for me.

    5) Mages are always harder at the start and easier at the end. Every sinlge TES and non TES game is that way. Managing your magic pool as you know is the key.

    6) This is a very valid point. But a mod might change this and maybe after playing for a bit it won't matter. I was skill checking because thats what Oblivion required.

    7) What do you expect the NPC to say "Go F off"? And didn't you kill most of the mobs in the cave anyway so this is bascially true. And if he didn't split up you would complain that you were FORCED to go to some town instead of doing whatever you wanted.

    8) Again I see a no win situation here. Do you want a quest from him or not? BTW I think the option to deliver the letter isn't available if you didn't hear the other conversation. Now if that guy and all the others didn't want to give you a quest after hearing them talk for 20 seconds you would grumble that you had nothing to do.

    So maybe Skyrim isn't your game.

  6. Don't act so hurt, Goodmongo :). I love all Elder Scrolls Game. They are the only of their kind.

    But that doesn't mean that I won't write down what I think. I'll make an analytical post about this soon enough. Right now it's about emotions and facts.

  7. The NPC was being polite when he said that he could never have done it without you. In fact you were a liability to him. That's the real reason he wants to split up. You might get him killed!

  8. I've never played an Elder Scrolls game and have spent the last few days trying to figure out if I would be able to get past the extremely foreign (to me) interface and game mechanics and be able to enjoy the game at all -- obviously not a question anyone can answer for me.

    From what I can tell so far, it has literally none of the things I like about other games (almost all of which are mmos).

    In your standard mmo I like the fact that combat is mostly staring at bars (de-)buffs and timers and clicking buttons in rotation. I also like the fact that its easy to play an mmo with the sound turned off and while watching tv. And I like grinding and watching my numbers go up.

    I'd love to break out of my mold and enjoy a game that wasn't like that at all, but I'm wondering if I would just suck so badly that I'd get frustrated and not be able to enjoy it.

    I'd hate to die because I didn't have the hand-eye co-ordination to position the mouse pointer at the correct part of the screen. Or even worse, to die repeatedly and not be able to understand what I was doing wrong because there was insufficient feedback to tell me what to do differently.

    Anyway, your post has discouraged me even further, but I have nothing better to do this weekend so I'll probably try it despite all this.

    And I've been completely absent from the mmo-blogspace for a few months so I thought I might just say hi as well.


  9. If my post discouraged anybody from playing Skyrim, I would deeply regret it, John.

    It's a wonderful game about exploration and immersion. To 'fail' is mostly impossible; especially if you lower the difficulty setting. Everyone who likes computer games, and especially any kind of RPG or MMO schould definitely try Skyrim.

    I probably have to be more careful about what I write on the blog. You can always assume that I don't write about 'bad' games - really.

  10. Console UI is imho biggest flaw of Bethesda games. Mods fix it somewhat but not really well. As far as other things go imho they are best single player sandboxes on market (combined with mods)