Ah, Skyrim. This game has been generating so much buzz. My friends could not stop talking about it before it came out, and this site's wonderful forum's thread on Skyrim swelled to over a hundred pages. However, after playing it for a week, I don't think it deserved most of the hype. Skyrim, while not a bad game like Bethesda's last two efforts, disappoints me in how much better it could be. One of the main problems with Skyrim is that everything feels really brief. The main quest lasts for maybe 7 hours, and each of the major factions can be completed in 2 hours. For a game hyped to have over 300 hours of content, I have completed the main quest and am now the head of every faction in about 17 hours. The quality of writing also leaves much to be desired. In all of the faction quests, you go from recruit to trusted member in 2 quests and guild leader after 6. The main quest is a cliche affair in which you fight an ancient evil dragon intent on eating the world. Barely any motivation is given for the big bad's actions and none of the characters are given enough time to make an impression on the player. The conflict between the Empire and the Stormcloaks is well done and probably would have made a better main conflict. Combat is slightly improved over Oblivion. Dual wielding adds some much needed variety to the combat by giving the player more choices for his play style and gives humanoid enemies more range. However, many enemies are not smart enough or do enough damage to be a real threat. Many of the enemies only get by via having huge amounts of health. Also, the dragons, another highly hyped element of the game, are just plain boring to fight. None of the dragons do anything beyond breathing fire or ice. One wonders why the developers did not give the dragons the same Shouts the player has. The music in this game is outstanding and is one of the few things that did live up to the hype. The sound effects are also very well made and sound fitting. However, voice acting is very hit and miss. Many of the voice actors sound bored out of their skulls and give mediocre performances. It makes me wonder if Bethesda tried to save money by just hiring a lot of random rookie voice actors with barely any experience. In conclusion, Bethesda wasted some good opportunities. Skyrim is highly average, but could have been a superb RPG with some changes.
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