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Reviews Comments: Simultaneously Fun and Dull... The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim game review by Indikins

I'm really not sure what to think of Skyrim. It appears to have improved on nearly every aspect - environment graphics, bugs, music, enemies, dungeons, magic, animantion, race designs...and the battles seem far more hectic and 'natural' to me. There were many times when I could climb a tall hill and stare out over vast, beautiful plains. The rivers actually flowed along courses, the waterfalls threw up sprays and fish leaped up the rapids. There was mist and light and smoke and rain and snow, all gorgeous to look at. Some enemies, such as giants, spiders and dragons, genuinely freaked me out by their sheer size and power. The people didn't look as though their faces had melted and partially solidified again. The voices were sometimes the same for different characters, but still far better than Oblivion's - and nowhere near as American. I felt a definite sense of achievement after slaying a dragon by myself with a few potions and a bow, and just killing a single giant made me feel great. The battles were always challenging but never impossible. And found myself constantly scrounging for money in any way I could, selling off every odd and end I could get my hands on, in order to save up for that awesome mace or ring or amulet. Getting a house, in particular, and completely furnishing it was very gratifying. Some flaws were that I reached my max carry weight very often, quests often felt kind of brief (despite long, multi-trip hauls through dungeons), I had to same my perks a lot, there were a few bugs associated with loading, and where were all the Khajiit, Argonians and Orcs?

So why didn't Skyrim fill me with as much wonder as Cyrodiil did? Nostalgia Filter? I loved Oblivion and Morrowind, despite their flaws. I play both for hundreds of hours. Skyrim had loads of features, activites, quests and places to explore. Even the skills are better - I've used almost all of them to some degree, as almost all are useful. I think the game was worth my money. But it often felt...muted. Lacklustre in some unidentifiable way. Held back somehow, even though the devs clearly put a lot of time into it. Don't get me wrong. I don't hate this game. I don't even dislike it. On several levels, I enjoy it. Maybe I just haven't played enough. Maybe I'm not playing it right. I hope I'm complaining because I haven't had close to the full experience.


  • Chongomaster
  • 13th Feb 12
I know exactly what you mean! I think the fact that not that much has been changed creates an Oblivion 2: Electric Boogaloo feel, like how Fallout: New Vegas did to Fallout 3.
  • CodaFett
  • 21st Jan 14
Yeah, I'm gonna have to say nostalgia filter. I played Skyrim THEN Oblivion and well....I hated Oblivion, the gameplay was all just so wrong and there were a lot of pointless mechanic.s
  • BonsaiForest
  • 22nd Jan 14
I'm lucky to have not gotten into the two previous games despite my brother owning them. But even though he played Morrowind and Oblivion a lot, he still put a ton of time into Skyrim, and so did I, who'd never played them.
  • methodoverload
  • 22nd May 14
I think its just that there are some things that are common between the games, the mythology somewhat, the large open world and non linear style, the beautiful landscapes (for different values of the word beautiful).

I experienced Skyrim first and then Morrowind. So everything that was good about the series as a whole and about Skyrim in specific, I experienced at once. For me, Skyrim was better than sex. Then I went back and played Morrowind and the graphics were hideous (at least till I downloaded the Overhaul project, now the people look ok and the landscapes look pretty and exotic but still dated) there were lots of mechanics I viewed as needless, the story was a slow starter, etc, etc. But once I modded and tweaked the game and just got used to things I think I see the Morrowind fan's perspective and can explain what you're feeling.

Morrowind is more exotic and has a rougher more distinctive feel overall with its warty game mechanics, complete lack of balance (things go from tooth grindingly hard at the beginning to being really easy once you've leveled past enemies and are running around in the sky like a god). Its also more exotic in terms of the landscape with its giant mushrooms and completely alien monsters. Skyrim is closer to the real world. It still feels mythic but not as alien or exotic. If I'd experienced Morrowind first, I might be left feeling they skewed too far into boring realism with Skyrim (though Oblivion was actually much more generic than Skyrim, so I dunno.) The Dragonborn DLC would have fixed it for me though. Morrowind's exoticness combined with Skyrim's game engine and graphics, that would pretty much be perfect. I'm so looking forward to Skywind.
  • Lakija
  • 22nd May 14
You hit the nail on the head for me. I played Oblivion, and it was absolutely amazing to me. Skyrim was a ton of fun, and I still think about it. But it felt gritty, empty, cold, dull, and lacking happiness. It's most likely because I've had some shitty winters, and that game just reminds me of them. It was just too far into real territory.

But was it bad? Nah. Not by a long shot. It was a mighty fine game; got a bit boring after I finished the bigger quests. But it lasted a good long time, and the gameplay itself was freaking amazing! For that reason alone I actually enjoyed fighting and didn't view it as a chore! So they're all good. I think I will play Morrowind now with a complete overhaul. Go Elder Scrolls! :D

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