Day three of my daily blogging. Moral is low, but caffeine supplies are high. I think I finally realized the problem with blogging every day: I actually don’t game enough to talk about stuff daily. Even if I did, I rarely game on the PC and that’s the only system I can get reliable screen-shots from.
So instead, I am going to talk more about Skyrim, because I want to, a lot. Here’s more game-play, it’s about 14 minutes long with a bit of overlap. Totally worth watching, even if you have to ignore the annoying presenters.
So. Before I continue let me go over some of the biggest complaints about the last game, “Oblivion”. The biggest was the voice actors: There were hundreds of Non Player Characters but only about six or seven voice actors, so everyone started to sound the same. On top of that, when talking to people the camera will zoom in close and force you to stare right at them while they stop everything they are doing to talk to you, which was a bit unnerving.
Other than that the only complaint I ever heard was that all of the dungeons look the same. The other complaints were minor ones: the graphics weren’t good enough (I disagree), the combat was a little meh, and the AI was semi retarded.
Now. Skyrim. First up if you watched that video I have up there you saw that the conversations are already much better. Dude was busy sharpening his axe when you got there, and damned if he’s going to stop just for you! Also they mention in the video that you can also take part in the economy, so you too can spend time ignoring people while you sharpen your axe! As for voice actors, its been mentioned that they have over 70 this time around, so that’s kind of awesome. The AI seems better, but maybe that’s just the dragons… which is kind of all I care about.
As for that problem with the dungeons looking the same, I guess that won’t really be a problem this time as there are 150 dungeons, all hand drawn and crafted. That must have taken a frankly ridiculous amount of time but whatever I am so in for that.
Also the new animation system seems to be much better. They showcased it a few times, and I have to say, the third person animations are great. I don’t play third person a lot, but I do every once in a while just to see how awesome I look. In general the graphics got an immense overhaul, and I am shocked it looks this good on the Xbox360. No word on the PS3 yet but some people think it will look better there, which is rarely the case (a fact I find hilarious because it makes no sense at all, it should be the other way around), and the PC will have HD textures and other options. In general it looks much prettier…so that’s good.
The final doubt, combat, has barely been addressed. Sure, they fixed the weapon system now, so you can dual-wield or just faff about with sword and shield (or dual-wield two shields if you are feeling silly), but I noticed that blows still seem to just kind of bounce off opponents. They seem to have no response to the fact that I am cutting at them. There are some context-sensitive kills which are cool, but unless there’s a couple-per-monster those are going to get old fast. I have a feeling I will be using a lot of spells (just like last time, actually) as they always seem to have a huge impact. In general, combat actually doesn’t concern me in these games. I have far more fun exploring and doing nothing productive. One of my favorite things on the internet is “Living In Oblivion” written by one of my role-models Chris Livingston. It’s about a guy who isn’t the hero in Oblivion, he is just trying to get by day-to-day. It’s amazing because he has to go out of his way to avoid adventures, and it seems like in this game it will be much easier to just get by. He had to resort to Alchemy to make a living, while in this game you could just be a lumberjack. I know that sounds stupid: I am praising the idea of not having to play the game, but I like the idea of working in a lumber-mill, when suddenly my beloved town is under attack by a dragon.
So do I think Skyrim will be good? That’s a stupid question! Of course it will be good, I have sunk more hours into the original Oblivion then I have into exercise. I guess the question is how good do I think it will be. They seem to have fixed all the problems I had with the last game, even some problems I didn’t even realize were problems. As well the graphics seem to be quite nice, and if I were to get it for the PC the modding tools sound really powerful. While the combat looks weak the rest looks very strong and I am very pleased by that.