6 Things Bethesda Must Fix In The Elder Scrolls VI
Don’t get me wrong. I like Skyrim. We here at GameFront love Skyrim. Console reviewer Phil Owen gave it a 90/100. We’re waiting for our PC reviewer, C.J. Miozzi, to turn in his review — he likes the game so much he can’t stop playing it. Since the Skyrim’s release last Friday, we’ve produced dozens of articles helping users with many different aspects of the game, from speculating on real estate to duping gold to curing vampirism.
One fact remains, however. Despite being epic, engrossing, and beautiful to look at, Skyrim is not perfect. Far from it. Some of its mistakes were major, some were minor, but all of them were avoidable. Thanks to the wonder of PC gaming, most of the especially egregious errors will be modded out of existence. When their next game rolls around, though, we want to make sure that Bethesda knows that some things are not OK. Here are the six things they must fix in the Elder Scrolls VI.
6. Limited Graphics Options
To be fair, Bethesda did a much better job with this than most companies do when they port games with a big built-in console audience. Still, in an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to edit the game’s .ini file to change the Field of View or turn on tree shadows, if that’s what you’re into. And why can’t you change the graphics options while you’re actually playing the game? In fact, there’s no options menu on the title screen at all. Not. Cool.
5. Boring Conversations
Skyrim’s voice acting is better than Oblivion’s, but it’s still woefully uneven. I’m still trying to figure out if NPC’s with different Northern European accents come from different parts of Skyrim. This inconsistency isn’t helped by the dialogue’s tendency towards taking an info-dump.
Still, both these problems could be forgiven if it felt like the conversations you have with people had more of an effect on the game. Most of the time, however, they’re just about moving on to the next step of the quest. Games like Mass Effect set the standard for meaningful dialogue that has a real impact on player experience. The Elder Scrolls VI doesn’t need to rival Mass Effect, but there should at least be some reason to pick one response and not the another.
4. Lame Combat
As games writer Jason Schreier hilariously points out in this post, nearly every reviewer called the combat in Skyrim “visceral.” For the record, it is not. Dark Souls established a benchmark for visceral RPG sword-and-shield fighting earlier this year, and The Elder Scrolls VI has a long way to go if it wants to measure up.
Even during the finishing-move animations that occasionally trigger at the end of a fight, Skyrim only gives the most rudimentary impression of a weapon connecting with its target. Fighting in first-person mode, this inert system looks even worse. You can take a running start and a two-handed swipe at someone with a battle-axe, and they won’t even flinch — your only indication that you hit them is a sound-effect and a cheesy-looking blood splatter. Couple this with the awkward collisions, comical strafing, and firehose-like spellcasting that ensue when the combat gets thick, and you end up with a distinctly lackluster system that hasn’t changed much since Oblivion.