Comments on: Skyrim Review http://www.manapool.co.uk/review/skyrim-review/ Independent PC Game Reviews & Guides Mon, 12 Feb 2018 08:24:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Bhazo the Mad http://www.manapool.co.uk/review/skyrim-review/#comment-1926 Thu, 19 Jan 2012 21:43:13 +0000 http://www.manapool.co.uk/?post_type=review&p=2820#comment-1926 I hate the fact that modern rpgs all seem to be little more than first person shooters. And Bethesda is the worst offender. I played the hell out of Morrowind, and it bothered me, but the world was large and the NPCs fairly entertaining. So I was distracted. Then I played Oblivion. The world seemed small, the NPCs generic. So I was no longer distracted and the FPSness of their approach to rpgs shone through. Then I played Fallout 3. I wanted to love that game. So badly that I go back to it every few months. But it just feels like a bad FPS. I miss the glory days of rpgs, where getting excited meant that I’d jump up and shoot out my joy, instead of missing my attack…

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By: Evil Tactician http://www.manapool.co.uk/review/skyrim-review/#comment-1925 Tue, 22 Nov 2011 21:36:24 +0000 http://www.manapool.co.uk/?post_type=review&p=2820#comment-1925 Again, great answers Kraken. This is one of your best write-ups yet, and you’re clearly extremely passionate about the game :) I will play it, don’t worry. And I’m fairly good about avoiding spoilers, besides for your review I have read very little about the game other than the stuff Bethesda have been sending over.

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By: Kraken Wakes http://www.manapool.co.uk/review/skyrim-review/#comment-1924 Tue, 22 Nov 2011 14:16:19 +0000 http://www.manapool.co.uk/?post_type=review&p=2820#comment-1924 Weapon selection seems great to me. Axes, swords and maces all have single- and double-handed versions, and all feel slightly different to use. Shields have a great set of bashing perks that makes them deadly in their own right. And there are loads of different styles – the good old iron-up-to-daedric basic material, plus a few interesting side-branches like ancient Nord versions from barrows or Felmer versions made from bits of giant insect. Bows are a little tougher to use, you can’t just run backwards spewing quills like a reversing porcupine any more, but they do a lot more damage than they did in Oblivion to make up for it. Enemy archers are often a real threat.

Same deal with armour – mages can go steelclad, the main difference between light and heavy is now your speed with perks giving all sorts of bonus to reward you wearing matching sets, and you can enchant it all to your heart’s content.

I’ve only bought one house so far, but it feels very much like home! Warm and comfortable, and much more enticingly laid out than Oblivion’s houses, but nothing wildly elaborate.

Dunno about flying. I hope so, but I think might be a late game spoiler thing, and the biggest joy in Skyrim is the discovery! Don’t read up too much before you buy it, is my recommendation. My recommendation is also to stop beating about the bush and buy the game, though, the longer you leave it the more spoilers you’re going to stumble over. Mods and DLC will doubtless abound. I believe Bethesda’s plan is to follow the Oblivion model, and do fewer, larger packs. But who knows – will all be well worth the admission fee, I’m sure. The game is awesome now, and the mods will doubtless be the usual mix of vast amount of boring cheats and occasional spectacular gems!

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By: Evil Tactician http://www.manapool.co.uk/review/skyrim-review/#comment-1923 Tue, 22 Nov 2011 13:52:38 +0000 http://www.manapool.co.uk/?post_type=review&p=2820#comment-1923 Very in-depth answers – my thanks :)

While I’m at it – some more ;)

How do you feel about the selection of weapons? I quite liked archery in Oblivion as a concept, but always felt it a bit lacking compared to swords. In fact, I found all weapons lacking compared to swords.

Same for Armour – there were really only a few viable armour sets in Oblivion long-term. Heavy armour was always a bit too heavy until you were extremely skilled at it, which was a shame. Especially with light armour getting a massive bonus once you were very skilled.

How does armour work for a mage/caster? I assume you can walk around in a full armour set and still cast to your hearts content? On a related note, it’s a pity they removed the option to fly, that’s the one thing that made me feel incredibly powerful as a caster in Morrowind. Same for the layers of clothing, heavily enchanted of course.

In terms of housing system, is there more depth this time around? Mods made the housing system fairly detailed in Oblivion but in Vanilla it was severely lacking. The DLC improved this somewhat but your options were in rather remote locations and largely felt static/dead rather than alive.

I have no doubt I will play this. When is the question though. :( I guess it depends on how much content/dlc they release, when the game of the year edition becomes available and when SW:TOR gives me back a small part of my life. (As I am about to lose a large chunk of it, of that I have no doubt…)

Still, I believe Skyrim will become utterly awesome when the larger and more detailed mods arrive on the scene.

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By: Kraken Wakes http://www.manapool.co.uk/review/skyrim-review/#comment-1922 Tue, 22 Nov 2011 12:27:34 +0000 http://www.manapool.co.uk/?post_type=review&p=2820#comment-1922 Excellent questions all! And in order, here are my answers: -

1. Spell casting has the same slightly clunky interface as all equipment, in that you’ve got so many options that you quickly run out of hotkeys for all your favourites. But it’s not bad at all, and spells in particular are much more visually impressive and hard-hitting than I found in Oblivion. You can also dual wield them, having a ranged blast in one hand and a magical shield in the other, for example, which is great.

2. The inventory is fine by me – a neat scrolling through categorised gear, with the option of carefully examining individual items. Everything appears in your pack with the same graphics they have in the world, so it all looks good. Sometimes it’s a little easy to click outside the menu and accidentally close it, but that’s a minor niggle.

3. In terms of a living world, I wouldn’t say it’s a massive step forward from Oblivion. But it’s much more fluid and seamless. Heaps more voice acting, lots of local individual touchs (like the innkeeper in Markath with the nagging wife, or the farmer’s daughter I passed who was arguing about running off to the big city. Not even quest related, as far as I can see, just lovely flavour). So you buy into it that much more, it’s very immersive.

4. The AI still isn’t the smartest, really, but again, it’s better implemented and more believable. Badly wounded guys submit to you, or limp away crying (they always try and sneak back later, though). They heal if they can, about as effectively as you’re able to yourself. They’re not generally smart enough to avoid traps, although some lurk on the far side with bows and try and lure you in. You’ve basically got chargers or you’ve got circle-and-shoot types, on the whole, but all very well animated and a good variety of combat barks. Dragons are the most cunning and variable in their approach, strafing with fire and circling out of reach before landing on your head for a kill!

5. There is now no special class, and the stats are reduced to a bare minimum. The skills you use are the ones you get better at, but this is even across the board, so no need to pick what you’re going to use in advance. Very flexible, but because of the new perk system, you’ll still want to play again with different builds to experiment with other abilities. The old star signs are now located on standing stones throughout the world, and once you’ve found them you can swap about at will. I think this works very well, myself, it’s clear and intuitive whilst giving a lot of depth. To add to this, I think the level cap will probably mean you’ll get more out of picking one or two guilds to finish with one playthrough, then start a fresh character to get the most out of another later.

6. Clothing still a bit basic, no layers. Armour or pants, which means my viking lady flashes an alarming amount of leg for a frozen climate. Lucky she’s a frost-proof Nord. But I don’t find this a big deal, you’ve got so many options anyway that there’s enough to be going on with!

7. Horses suck less. Still feel a bit slow, though, plus I find I get more out of wandering on foot. But that’s fair enough, really, they’re only really there as a faster travel option at the moment. Add in Mount and Blade style combat, and I’d see the point in them. At the moment they feel like expensive vanity items to me. Therefore I have one.

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By: Evil Tactician http://www.manapool.co.uk/review/skyrim-review/#comment-1921 Tue, 22 Nov 2011 12:00:00 +0000 http://www.manapool.co.uk/?post_type=review&p=2820#comment-1921 I could think of a hundred questions about this game, I’m not playing it for a while as I’d like a version with some of the DLC they’ll undoubtedly spawn quicker than I can play through the game.

What is the spell-casting interface like in Skyrim? I found it a bit lacking in Oblivion.

On a similar topic, I’m curious about the inventory system.

In terms of NPC interaction, does the world feel more ‘alive’? In Morrowind, the world felt a bit static at times, Oblivion vastly improved this but still had a fair few issues with the daily cycles of NPC’s. Has the number of voice actors increased vs. Oblivion?

Combat wise, the AI was pretty dumb/straight forward in previous installments, has this got any better?

In terms of creating a spec/build for your character, Oblivion and Morrowind made me re-roll over and over just because I felt I was ‘missing out’. There was some re-playability by playing a totally different class, though I never felt the story / options at your disposal sufficiently differed as a result.

In terms of clothing, are the layers from Morrowind back or do we have a similar more shallow system as Oblivion did?

Horses. Do they suck less.

P.s. I love Morrowind and Oblivion. But the more you love something, the more you see it’s flaws. I am hoping Skyrim at least matches its predecessors.

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By: Kraken Wakes http://www.manapool.co.uk/review/skyrim-review/#comment-1920 Sat, 19 Nov 2011 01:17:17 +0000 http://www.manapool.co.uk/?post_type=review&p=2820#comment-1920 The controls I didn’t have much of an issue with, personally. Maybe I’m too used to the previous versions, I don’t know. There is a bit of frustration with constantly having to open either your inventory or your favourites bar, it breaks up the action and interrupts the flow of the game. But otherwise I found the use of one or both hands pretty pleasing and intuitive.

What’s your beef, chief?

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By: Nick http://www.manapool.co.uk/review/skyrim-review/#comment-1919 Sat, 19 Nov 2011 00:45:19 +0000 http://www.manapool.co.uk/?post_type=review&p=2820#comment-1919 although I agree with most of your points I really miss critism on the controls. They are quirky to say the least, unless you’ve played and reviewed a non-pc version.

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By: Jeremy http://www.manapool.co.uk/review/skyrim-review/#comment-1918 Fri, 18 Nov 2011 15:27:13 +0000 http://www.manapool.co.uk/?post_type=review&p=2820#comment-1918 Excellent review – I had a moment there where I thought you were actually genuinely angry at the game. Brilliant, sir, brilliant.

Weirdly, my defining moment isn’t a set piece. It came just wandering about. It wasn’t a fight or even a dragon. I was nw of Solitude (A city in the game, beautiful too) and swum out to a small island north of a cave. I turned around and just stopped.

In game it was early evening, all grey sky. There was mist. By the cave mouth, a fire blazed, a yellow flicker against the night. And it looked so real, like something out of 13th Warrior. like a set piece. It really was a testament to how well the game has been made that even an incidental GLANCE makes the game look epic.

That one shot made me realise how cold (as in temperature) and isolating the game world can make you feel – that cave contains horrors, the woodland beyond those crags is dark and foreboding, the water is icy and dark. There is no sanctuary here, even with the flame.

Brilliant.

Oh and dragons too. Loves me some flappy lizard.

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