Simultaneously Fun and Dull...
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
, 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.