the artistry and psychology of gaming

Advertisement

7 Reasons You Should Buy The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (and 3 Concerns)

7 Reasons You Should Buy The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (and 3 Concerns)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the fifth game in the Elder Scrolls series, and it isn’t out until November 11th. But even before if it’s out, I’m already telling you, you should buy it, as it’s going to be a freaking perfect game! Oblivion was a perfect game and this one seems to be even better, so, I’m really REALLY excited about this upcoming game! So let’s see what are we excited about:

#7: Better Graphics

The good old Gamebryo who had long started to look out dated is now changed to a new engine called Creation Engine. Technically speaking, Bethesda games have never been praised for their high graphics but this time this is going to change and Skyrim is going to be the most technically advanced game in the series. Graphics is going to be much more detailed, the lights more dynamic, realistic looking shadowing, storms, snow, rain and trees.

Plus, the new look of all the races is now available and they all look better and cooler than ever.

A great-looking dark elf.

#6: Lovely Looking Menus

Menus are always a pain in the WRPG games, but this time Skyrim menu is an aesthetic work of art in itself. The streaming menu is inspired by Apple’s iTunes interface. The interface is a tangible flowing menu system that arranges the items by type. Here players can browse through weapons, armor, and other items they gather during their travel. Instead of forcing the gamers to look at an item’s name and stat attributes, each enjoys three dimensions which display its own unique qualities. Thousands of items are fully rendered, and you can zoom in on or rotate each one. You can even get an up close view of the flowers and roots you pick for alchemy. In Oblivion, players could select eight items from their inventory for easy access. But now you’re limited to 8 items no more. Instead, you can pauses the game and bring a favorites menu. Anything from your spell library or item inventory can be “bookmarked” to the favorites menu with the press of a button. How many items appear on that menu is up to each player. Bethesda isn’t placing a cap on the number of favorite items, so theoretically you could muck it up with every single item you own. Though you can choose how many items appear, you can’t determine the order; items and spells are listed alphabetically. In short, the menus are more beautiful and offer more utility. Great improvement.

The menu.

#5: Better NPCs

The NPCs and interactions with them are greatly improved in Skyrim. First off, their AI is hugely improved. Secondly, they have their own personalities and world-views, and this will affect how they think of you. They’ll also look more believable than before thanks to the implementation of Havok Behavior. Finally, interaction with them is improved. Conversations with NPCs no longer involves an awkward zoom-in to their faces, and a fixed camera angel and an ugly text box. Now, it’s clean, sharp text floating directly onto the screen, and you’re free to look around as you please. Much of the incidental conversation, such as back stories, can be had while going for a stroll with a character as they chat, rather than standing there clicking through text from a static position because you’re worried about missing something.

An NPC to interact with.

#4: Dragon Shouts

In Skyrim, you get to fight with dragons. How cool is that? Plus, that not everything dragon related, as you have a new ability called Dragon Shout. This special new set of powers stand are separated  from the normal magic spells, offering a broad range of powerful effects. In the universe of the game only you are able to acquire these abilities, and they are merged with the plot and your main quest in the game. Dragon shouts make you as powerful as a dragon and as glorious as an emperor. The game encourages you to learn ever more powerful dragon shouts, and then use these arcane powers to supplement other combat and magic skills. Upon defeating a dragon, Skyrim’s hero absorbs the soul of the fallen creature, which fuels his ability to learn a new shout. Later, you can search out long lost walls covered in dragon script. Upon these walls, individual runes stand out to the hero because he or she is dragonborn. Over time, players will build a vast arsenal of shouts: over 20 complete shouts in all, each with multiple words that must be gathered from different places around the world.

Kick dragon ass, oooooooooh yeah!

#3: Better Combat

You can dual-wield weapons and spells. Or dual-wield spells. Or wield the same spell in each hand, and thus cast a very powerful spell. The combat system is about discovering combinations, fusing different abilities and creating a tactical deep combat strategy.  It’s all about creating a character unique to your taste. There is also a little Mortal Kombat flavor added. You can deliver a fatal blow with style. Depending on the weapon and the attack, you will see various finishing move animations. The problem of backpedaling is also solved. Few studios have rewarded players for backpedaling away from enemies while wildly attacking like Bethesda. But when you attempt that tried and true technique in Skyrim, you’ll likely end up dead. To enhance the defense system, Bethesda has added a timing-based blocking system that requires players to position their shields appropriately to parry incoming blows, and backpedaling has been nerfed so players can’t blindly run backwards as quickly as they run forward. And if you’re struck while backpedaling, your character will likely stumble and fall, leaving you open to attack. The end result is a more balanced combat system that tasks players with focusing on defending as much as attacking.

Dual Wielding. Yeah baby!

#2: Deeper Gameplay

I know this is going to be bitter to Morrowind fans, but I find Oblivion the game with the best gameplay of all times. I think it’s the deepest gaming world possible without becoming less entertaining, and it seems Skyrim is even deeper and more entertaining, and I can’t wait to play this game. A new questing system means randomly-generated stories. If you’re sent on a quest to rescue a kid from a dungeon, though the nuts and bolts of the plot might be pre-written, the game will pick and choose characters and locations from what’s nearby and relevant, rather than have every player retrieve the same kind from the same dungeon. More so than ever, no-one will play the same game. While the game’s pretty much the same size of Oblivion in terms of land mass, the inclusion of huge mountains – all of which you can climb to the top of, as well as often venturing within – means Skyrim has significantly more world to explore than its predecessor. The world is so much more alive. You’ll see packs of wolves hunting mammoths, you’ll see fearsome beasts such as giants wander by without bothering you because they’re off on other business rather than being mindless killers, you’ll see friendly passers-by running up to you with a sword you dropped earlier and offering to return it – or taking a pop at you with it if they have some reason to despise you. The skill and attribute system has been rethought to make it more streamlined yet offer much more varied character builds. We’re down from 8 attributes and 21 skills to 3 attributes and 18 skills, which will probably cause gasps of horror in some camps, but actually the aim is to make character builds even more diverse while getting rid of redundant leveling.

Absorbing Dragon’s energy.

#1: Perks

I know this is related to the above entry, but it’s the single thing I’m most excited about!  They will be similar to the perk system in Fallout which was the thing I really loved about the series. Every time you advance to a new level, you will be given the chance to select a new perk. Each perk will have certain requirements before it can be chosen – for instance, perks after Shield Wall require a Block level of 20, and higher-level perks, such as Shield Charge, require a Block level of 50. Examples of perks include: Allowing your mace to ignore armor, greater critical hits with a sword, bleeding damage for axes, causing your dagger to deal greater damage during stealth attacks, ability to zoom in when aiming with a bow and holding your breath to steady your aim. There are a confirmed 280 perks that will be available in Skyrim. Players will be able to choose one perk per level. However, it is said that it enables the player to feel like they are actually “improving” their skills, unlike previous games.

Perks, baby. Ooooh yeah! (Yes, I’m running out of ideas for captions; why do you ask?)

But….

However, all these said, there are three things I’m concerned about in Skyrim. These are:

#3: Your weapons will not require repair

In Skyrim, weapons and armor will not degrade and become weaker over time. You’ll still be able to create and improve weapons in a multitude of ways, you just won’t have to worry about maintaining them. This is a feature I’m really going to miss and I think it made the previous games a lot deeper and more challanging. This is something I’m going to miss, personally.

#2: Marriage

You can marry an NPC and if you buy a new house, he or she will move in with you. I just think this is going to be half-assed. A game like Skyrim may allow some plot driven romances in the Bioware style, but I’m not at all optimistic about injecting NPC marriage. It will most probably look something like Fable III, buying stupid gifts and going through the same boring routine over and over again, and all this trouble for a brief black out that won’t even show us any tits (although I’m positive this one will be solved by mod writers). Of course, I hope I’m wrong.

Your future wife.

#1: Plot

Now my previous nagging in the above two entries are about minor problems, but this one seems to be a bit major. The story of Skyrim, one the surface, seems to be a bit cliche and uninspiring. Two hundred years have passed since the events of Oblivion, and it is now the year 4E 201. The High King of Skyrim has been assassinated, and the threat of civil war looms over the land of Skyrim; one side wishes to secede from the crumbling Empire, while the other wishes to stay, believing that it is still worth fighting for. To make matters worse, this schism is the final event in a prophecy foretold by the Elder Scrolls that will lead to the return of the dragons under Alduin, the Nordic god of destruction. The player begins the game in prison, being led to their execution as a result of crossing the border into Skyrim. Somehow, through an as-of-yet unexplained event, they are able to escape. Somewhere along the line they learn that Skyrim’s civil war is the last in a sequence of prophetic events foretold by the Elder Scrolls and that they are Dovahkiin – a Dragonborn, born and charged with the duty of defeating Alduin and the dragons. Also at some point, the player meets Esbern, one of the last Blades. Hopefully, I’m wrong about this one too.

Conclusion

Few games make me so excited before coming out, but this one has me in thrall! I really look forward to playing this game, and I already know I’m going to love it, and I can’t wait. I really can’t! It has happened three times in my life to call in sick to play a video game, and I feel the third is coming.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *