I really wanted this game to be mindblowingly good. Better than the aborted fetus known as Oblivion, where the latter set the bar so low that the sequel have no chance but to surpass it in every single way. Especially with all those awesome mods around for Oblivion/Morrowind, Bethesda must have took some great ideas from them...Right?
Nope. A mixed bag.
Let's start with the good stuff. Graphics, landscaping and the art on the whole are gorgeous, and this is the most stable and smoothest game from Bethesda at release yet.
Now, the bad.
Almost all dungeons are linear with only one set path, the quests are one-dimensional "talk to X, go to place Y kill/take Z, return for reward" with no meaningful choices that can be made by the player to change outcomes. Nobody in game seems to ever acknowledge you in esteem or fear even if you are the Arch Mage / Thieves Guild boss / Dark Brotherhood leader / Imperial or rebel champion all at the same time. Quest/Dialogue writing are so bland that even the V As
have a hard time infusing emotion into them.
Game mechanics is borked. C'mon, it is really so hard to get a semblance of game balance in a single player game? I'm not expecting World Of Warcraft
-level competitive Pv P
balance here, but things like a single 1-hander + shield doing more overall damage than 2-hander, or the armor/resist caps are bafflingly retarded in 2011. Choices are only valid choices when the underlying mechanics are well thought-out and designed, not tons of useless perks so that the player can gimp themselves with. Leved scaled loot rewards are back, hell yeah! Nothing more insulting than collecting subpar items because you did quest X at a low level.
The UI is an sheer abomination that it makes the 8-year old Morrowind UI look amazing. Obviously, PC displays became smaller and the mouse becamse dead during the same 8-year period that everything was squeezed into long lists that makes the eye hurt.
To add insult to the injury, the 1.2 patch broke magic resistances and made truly awesome stuff happen like dragons flying backwards. While this was fixed shortly by the time of writing, it speaks volumes of Bethesda's sheer incompetence. With Skyrim as it is, I doubt they will ever learn.
Overall rating: 6.5/10, PC version.