First of all: this post comprises entirely of my personal opinions. If you disagree, feel free to comment, and contradict me. I really don’t mind that people have different opinions, and I would like to hear yours.
So I’m a little late in the bandwagon with this game. I don’t actually own it either, I’m just borrowing it from a friend. And I was excited when he loaned it to me. It seems that, even a year after it’s release, no one can shut up about it. Sure, I’ve played it a little with friends, but is was my adventure. And I was pumped.
At least for the first ten minutes of the game. Because, if I had to choose one word to describe Skyrim, it would be boring. Bethesda should have just called it Walk-Around-This-Massive-Open-World-For-Two-Hours-And-Do-Nothing. Because that’s exactly what Skyrim is. After the extremely scripted opening, where the game forces you down a certain path, I just got bored. At least that scripted opening was slightly exciting.
But after that, and a few isolated fights, you walk. On a mountain. For thirty minutes. Yes, the game looks awesome, but seriously, they can show me how awesome it looks without making me walk down a set path for half an hour.
I’m going to take a second and compare Dishonored to Skyrim. Skyrim is, essentially, the boring version of Dishonored. In Dishonored, which plays very similarly, you can hardly go five minutes without being presented with a situation you have to overcome. At least you always get a sense of accomplishment in Dishonored.
The biggest accomplishment you’ll make in Skyrim is finding something to do. People tell me you can get hundreds of hours out of it, and I don’t doubt them. It’s just that hundreds of hours of aimlessly walking around doesn’t appeal to me. The other RPGs I play, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Knights of the Old Republic, are nothing like that. They aren’t’t exactly linear, but I’m Deus Ex you don’t have to walk all e way from Detroit to China.
Yes, I get the whole exploration aspect to the game. And I would have been cool with exploring, if there was anything to explore besides the extremely glitchy mountains and extremely boring roads. And the occasional city.
And even the cities are boring. Every single quest has consisted of “deliver news to this guy” or “go talk to this guy” or “go grab some roots for this guy”. The only action I saw was in a cave where I fought three bandits and a couple of skeletons. And even that was boring. You just run at them and burn them. Boring. Very boring.
The gameplay isn’t even that great. The combat system is alright, but nothing all that fun. I mean, when you really get into it the game offers some brief moments of fun, but it’s just not enough. Not enough at all.
And then there’s the dragons, who, at first, are portrayed as being immortal killing machines. Obviously, that isn’t so, as you can take out a dragon with no one dying around you. You just run around throwing flames at it. Bethesda obviously has no clue what a dragon is, because a dragon is an immortal killing machine, not something that just swoops down on you and battle for about five minutes, and then walk away entirely unscathed,
In essence, Skyrim is just a massive, boring, open world. It’s nice to look at, sure, I’ll give it that. But it’s boring. I don’t know about others, but walking around for hours on end just isn’t my cup of tea. And it’s not even written that well. It’s essentially your standard fantasy fare, nothing more, and maybe even a little less. The main quests and side quests aren’t done very well, and essentially just involve a whole lot of walking. Certainly not a lot of fun. Skyrim was an extreme disappointment, especially after playing Dishonored which I really loved. Better luck next time Bethesda.