Friday, 30 December 2011

Skyrim - barely scratching the surface?

So I finally caved and bought Skyrim.  With it being on sale on steam, and no boxing day sale on console versions, I went ahead and purchased it. 

At first I was hesitant, mostly because to me, it looked and sounded like Fallout 3, but in a different setting.  I couldn't get into Fallout 3 as to me, it felt too big, and too open.  After playing Skyrim for a few hours, It felt kind of the same, but at least I got to raid a dungeon, and killed a dragon.  So it was somewhat interesting enough to keep me intrigued.  So I will keep working at it to give the game a fair chance. 

First Thoughts:

Graphics are nice, but not the greatest, especially coming from BF3 and its brand new engine.  But for a game this size, I will say its good.  The character anmiations and interaction is definitely better than they were in Fallout3, which at least makes the world more realistic, and a bit more engaging on that level.  There's still the same overwhelming feel to it though, but at least the skill tree is well thought out that there can be some planning done as to what to tailor my character to.  There's perks that I can work towards, so at least I can focus on what I want. 

So far, the story has yet to hook me into the game yet.  I'm used to playing JRPGs, where its about 6-10 hours of relatively linear gameplay to get you involved in the storyline, and somewhat invested in the character you are playing as.  In Skyrim, I have yet to feel this, and to me, the way the game is structured, it does not seem like there is a sense of urgency to move the story along.  For example, in Final Fantasy, the game will hold your hand a bit, and guide you a decent chunk of the story, and thats what hooks you in.  You just spent a couple nights going through the struggles of the main character, and you achieve something, like a new skill, a better weapon, or open a new area of the world.  Here, it seems like everything is open and available.  From my understanding, you can get very deep into a bunch of the side quests without progressing the main story along.  For someone who is always about the main goal of finishing the story, it seems like it can get me so far off track, that may I lose interest in the main story altogether.  I hope that is not the case, and maybe this will inspire me to give Fallout 3 another chance, and actual fair chance.

The province of Skyrim is huge, and you get the senses of how vast the landscape is once you get into the game.  To me, it feels a bit like Red Dead Redemption, in terms of scale and how spaced out towns are, and that is another game that I could not get into, there was too much travelling, do one mission, and end up halfway across the map in the middle of nowhere.   At least in Skyrim, I am happy there's a fast travel system for places you have already visited.  This will definitely make my experience a lot better.  Was there such a system in Fallout 3? 

The combat is nice, having come from Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, it felt somewhat familiar.  At least when I need to use a potion, the game actually pauses.  The animations are decent, although I have yet to try anything other than an axe and a long sword.  I don't think the animation is as varied like they are in Dark Souls, where each weapon has its own animation set.  Still, not a deal breaker, but wouldn't that be cool?  A Dark Souls difficulty level and detailed animations, with an actual deep story?  in a powerful game engine like frostbite 2?  LOL, Someday.. someday. 

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