Skyrim Retrospective – Does it Still Hold Up?
On November 11th, 2011, Bethesda Game Studios released one of the best-selling RPGs of all time the:The Elder Scrolls 5 skyrim. The fifth game the Elder Scrolls franchise (as I’m sure you already know and even if you didn’t already know that, if you didn’t figure that out from the title, then I feel sorry for you), this game proved to be not only a hit but a bona fide phenomenon. Not only did this game sell like hotcakes (and continues to sell like hotcakes even to this day), but it revolutionized the way RPGs were seen and developed from that point on. Today, I wish to take an extensive. exhaustive look back at this game and see if this 2011 gem holds up by today’s standards. As you can probably tell from this video’s length, this is going to be the most extensive analysis I have done on a game up to this point. If you’re new to my channel, I hope you’ll agree to stay! First, my background of the subject. I am a huge fan of the Elder Scrolls. When I was 16, I got my first part time job at Sonic Drive-in. I saved my first two paychecks and purchased an Xbox 360 and a copy of the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I have been hooked on the franchise ever since. I was sucked in almost on day one by the incredible stealth gameplay that oblivion offered, the massive world that I could explore to my heart’s content, and the extensive lore that the franchise boasted. Needless to say, when Skyrim came out, I got myself a copy. To say that I loved that game was it understatement. If the video were just a question of whether Skyrim was a good game for its time, then the video was done; the answer to that question is, undoubtedly, “yes.” But I would like to know if it is still a great game by 2019 standards. There have been plenty of great RPGs to come out since then, Including but not limited to Dark Souls and The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt. Skyrim has quite a lot of competition now. Does it still hold up despite the competition? This retrospective will contain massive spoilers for Skyrim’s main quest, faction quest lines, DLCs, and even a few side quests. I feel like anyone who’s interested in a video like this will have already played this game, but I just want to get the formalities out of the way at the outset. Last but not least, before we get to the retrospective proper, I have a minor favor to ask of you: I want you all to post your comments and tell me your thoughts. Not only do I enjoy deep, intellectual, thought-provoking discussion, it also helps me to discover new topics to make videos about. By all means feel free to even disagree with my opinions in this video as long as you’re civil are about it. After all, it is fairly well documented that exposing oneself to different points of view than what you’re used to is a scientifically proven method of coming up with new ideas whenever you’re in a field that requires creativity, such as YouTube content creation. So even if you can’t think of anything to say, be sure to say something. Be sure to comment … comment … comment. So with that out of the way, let’s get this party started. The game starts out with an exposition dump. It’s not very action-packed, but don’t worry; the action will be coming shortly. The opening cutscene provides exposition which is necessary for setting the stage The game is an epic; it doesn’t just take its time to get underway; nearly every line of this opening cutscene conveys some important information First, there’s a guy named Lokir who provides us with the exposition that some people oppose the Stormcloak rebellion, not because they disapprove of the Stormcloaks ideals, but because the Stormcloak rebellion is indirectly causing the very problem it supposedly seeks to rectify by forcing Imperial occupation of skyrim in the first place. Ralof has his finest character moment in this cutscene. ThHe flat-out tells everyone in the cart that they’re being hauled off to be summarily executed, and yet he constantly has a smile on his face! This man is about to die and he couldn’t be happier about it! He knew the risk when he enlisted with the Stormcloaks. He and the rest of his Stormcloak brethren gave it everything they had and they’re proud of the resistance they put up. Of course, death to him is the lesser of two evils compared to a life without Talos worship, so since he believes they’ve lost the war, he would rather be executed than forced to abandon Talos. At the very least, maybe his and Ulfric’s deaths will become martyrs for their causes. As we step off the cart. We get a lot more story when the names are being called off the lists. The player character is not on the list of people to be executed, but Lokir is. Lokir is not affiliated with the rebels though, so why is his name on the list? The only thing he’s supposedly wanted for his horse thievery, and yet he’s still going to be executed for that. While most people often point to the way the Legion sends the player character to his death as a prime example of the Empire showing their true colors, this moment, in my opinion, is equally as telling. The Empire is so fed up with dealing with Skyrim that they’ll just impose summary execution to anyone who’s even a minor a nuisance to them, even if they’re only wanted for horse thievery. God, these people are [beep]! Next, we have the moment that everyone points to as a shining example of why the Empire deserves to be propelled against: Hadvar says point-blank that you’re not on the list of wanted men, but his commanding officer doesn’t care; she orders you to the chopping block regardless. These Legionnaires are so tired from dealing with the Stormcloaks that they can’t even be bothered to spare the life of a clearly innocent person if it hinders their agenda for even a minute. God, these people are [beep]! Hadvar may be a bit nicer to you than the rest of the Legionnaires at the moment, but he is still clearly part of the problem. In only four short words – “by your orders captain” – Hadvar instantly personifies the core problem that the Stormcloaks are fighting against: Complacency. Yes, Talos worship is a major rallying point for that cause, but the ban on Talos worship is only one part of a much larger problem that the Stormcloaks see with the Empire: The Empire’s citizens’ tendency to turn a blind eye to the Empire committing horrible atrocities, as well as the Empire itself being practically a vassal state to the Aldmeri Dominion. The Stormcloaks see the Empire and Dominion as mere bullies, and you know what you do with bullies you stand up to them. So we are taken to the chopping block and the Stormcloaks are given their last rights. There’s actually a very subtle moment in this set piece that a lot of you probably didn’t notice: “As we commend your souls to Aetherius, blessings of the Eight Divines upon yee.” “For the love of Talos, shut up and let’s get this over with!” It sounds like this guy is just anxious to become a martyr and to show the Empire that he has no fear, just like Ralof. But pay attention carefully to what happens just before he does this:The priest says “blessings of the eight divines,” not the “nine divines” As we all know, Talos was banned from the official Imperial pantheon as part of the White Gold Concordat. In other words. The Stormcloaks are being given the blessings of every God … except the one they worship! After his death, the captain calls for the player-character. Some have argued that she should have just executed Ulfric Stormcloak right then there, but I honestly see what the Empire was going for. They didn’t expect Ulfric would be able to scheme. How are they supposed to know a dragon was about to attack? They wanted to save Ulfric for last so he could watch his beloved Stormcloaks soldiers be picked off one by one Until he eventually joined them They were tracking out rooks suffering just to psychologically torment him before killing him So in addition to be colossal ticks They are also psychopaths who enjoy torturing their captives more or less for its own sake a trait we see inside hell can keep when we see that they keep torture chambers in there keeps Hell in the real world when the Roman Empire used crucifixion as their standard method of execution At least it wasn’t primarily for their own sadistic pleasure It was an intentionally long and agonizing death But that’s because the threat of such a gruesome death Was meant to serve as a deterrent to other criminals not simply a means of getting your psychopath jollies off That’s why the crucifixion took place in a public location Here the executions are happening in a public road. Sure But there’s no reason not to take out the leader of the rebellion as soon as possible that much is being done exclusively For their own sadistic ins not any legitimate law enforcement purpose So the player character walks up to the chopping block and a dragon attacks We got another really great character a moment from ralof here instead of running for cover He actually stays behind just long enough to make sure you are able to get your feet He didn’t have to do that It just goes to show how much of a hero real off is Sure hand fire displays some heroics during this set pieces you seen or rescuing children? But ralof also being hero just goes to show that the Stormcloaks aren’t simply villains who only want power for its own sake So we work our way through a series of chaotic set pieces and eventually make our way to the helghan Keep we have to choose how to Valar or ralof to accompany through the key however Whereas before I praised how the cutscenes and dialogue up to this point highlighted the differences between the two factions here I have to complain that the two options are not similar enough Bear in mind that this is the tutorial quest for this game on a first-time play three This is your chance to get used to whatever playstyle you prefer this means You need to be exposed to a wide variety of play styles during the tutorial While they certainly expose the player to lock-picking spell casting and at the end Sneaking they don’t offer a wide enough variety of weapons and armor They have a full range of weapons and armor into tutorial But you have to accompany both had far in rail off to be exposed to them all If you go with rail off you cannot obtain any two-handed weapons If you go with hand far you cannot obtain a full suit of heavy armor only on multiple playthroughs Are you able to experience everything? Well, I normally approve of requiring multiple playthroughs to see everything a game has to offer I do not approve of this tactic in the tutorial dungeon The tutorial serves no purpose after a first play through the tutorial is designed to make a player Familiar with the game mechanics on a second playthrough. They’re already going to be familiar with in fact Not only should the tutorial have covered every play style in a single go Even having the tutorial at all after our first playthrough shut offend optional you could have achieved this by giving us last chance before Exiting the tutorial to change our character in Oblivion. We had this opportunity before exiting the tutorial sewers We could make a hard save just before leaving and on a second playthrough or beyond but I simply booted up that hard save Instantly create our character and we’d be ready to face the world some reason you took that out of Skyrim and it makes no sense Maybe you didn’t think it was necessary because character creation at the start was limited only by your appearance and grace But it would still have been a huge boon for subsequent playthroughs All I can say is thank God you brought that feature back in fallout 4 Speaking of character creation that transitions me to my next point I Should probably Discuss in depth how Skylar’s character creation system works because how well that system holds up will have a huge impact on my overall Thesis for this video of whether Skyrim as a whole holds up in 2019 There are 10 races to choose from that alone is absolutely huge more races than any other RPG I have ever played although I concede to the possibility that there might be RPGs out there I haven’t played to offer even more Rachel for right of Course with such a large selection of races comes the risk that the races will all feel samey, you know the old quantity over quality Fallacy, but fortunately Skyrim doesn’t fall victim to this rut all ten of the characters skills feel nice and balanced this is accomplished by the fact that there are 18 skills that each player has each skill can have a +5 bonus a +10 bonus or no bonus at all Each race will have exactly five Skills that have +5 bonuses and one skill each then has a +10 bonus So each race starts out with 305 skill points Even if they are distributed differently, each race also has a handful of powers and abilities that give them special boosts But none of them feel so overpowered that all play styles will gravitate towards that single opie power The Breton’s magical resistance is the closest you can get to a universally appealable Overpowered ability but that’s counter balanced by the fact that they have a fairly bland radar power that they can only use once a day The argonians have very limited combat skills The baton is counterbalanced by their his skin greater power which effectively grants them infinite health once a day Dark Elves Have a nice balance between magic and stealth making them good mage assassins and parallels. Have a greater power that enables them to even the odds when they’re outnumbered 20 to 1 as Do the wood elves accept that it applies to creatures instead of people also one huge Improvement that stems racial abilities have over previous Elder Scrolls games is that you can’t get them any other way besides it’s using this Race The Imperials Nords and blood elves racial powers work up to level 99 Which are much more powerful than any other illusion spell in the game. Sure you can duel castro illusion spells but master illusion spells can’t be dual cast and Expert illusion spells only effect one enemy at a time if you want the ability to pacify a large groups of people or animals or Get large groups of enemies to turn tail and run late in the game You’ll have to choose these races and there’s simply no way around it Sex is much more relevant in your character choice in Skyrim that it is in previous Elder Scrolls games This is due to the speech perk allure Which allows you to get 10% better prices when dealing with merchants of the opposite sex and the melee damage ability Agent of DiBella which grants 10% extra damage to any enemy of the opposite sex We don’t really select a birth sign in this game. The power is associated with birth signs in previous Elder Scrolls games have instead been Reworked into standing stones, which you can swap out at any point during the playthrough however I am NOT a huge fan of the fact that jet travel all over the game map to find all of these standing stones I would much prefer if all the standing stones were in one location or the very least were easily accessible This would have been a huge boon to swapping out play styles on the fly Which is what Bethesda was supposedly going for when they nixed the class system speaking of the class system That is my next point the removal of the class system is one of the most controversial game design choices Bethesda made when making the game the removal of the class system was but one step in what is arguably Bethesda’s most controversial Philosophy of game design and one that’s going to be coming up a lot in this retrospective Minimalism they want to trim the fat out of the RPG system. They want to strip the game mechanics down to the absolute bare minimum necessary to actually make the game playable we go at at each time with Let’s not just look at the last one and say what does it need? You know, I think most people most fans will look at it and say it’s great You should change the leveling add Spears add crossbows add this and add some more races and I usually approach it from well I want to know what skills are superfluous that we should fold into something else to make the choice of what your character is more meaningful make that choice more meaningful and How are the races different? You know, I think ten races is enough. How is playing an orc? different than playing a high elf or you know Those kind of things there are arguments both for and against this philosophy on the one hand Quality over quantity is certainly a good philosophy to have when making any consumer products not just video games on the other hand sometimes Quantity is equality the various options you have for weapons armor races and even skills and talents as one of the biggest aspects of any RPG the sense of Progression as you level up you gain access to more powerful items and abilities there needs to be a lot of those items and abilities to choose from otherwise leveling up will have few if any Rewards to them Bethesda’s philosophy of streamlining and minimalism will be coming up a lot in this retrospective However for the time being how do I feel about the application of this philosophy to the class system? Honestly, I would say that it was a good move. If you really take a step back and look at the matter objectively I can’t think of any good reason to have classes in an Elder Scrolls game classes in most RPGs Traditionally existed almost exclusively as a game mechanic rather than existing in universe They exist almost purely for the sake of game balance to keep any one player from becoming Overpowered even in single-player only games where you don’t have to worry about other players obtaining an unfair advantage over other players the class system is in place to prevent the player from becoming so overpowered that they can just steamroll through enemies without being strategic about their work in games like Dragon Age, which is Single-player, but allows up to or characters in the party at one time choosing characters based on their classes and skills is important To comprising your army accordingly The delicate game balance would be heavily undermined. If you could simply choose four characters who are all omni’s skilled However in the Elder Scrolls games each player can already obtain the maximum stats in all skills and obtain the best weapons armor spells It items in the game regardless of their class In many other RPGs many skills and talents are class restricted For example in driving georgians only mages have the ability to revive fallen companions While only roads have the ability to turn themselves invisible The game is intentionally set up so that you cannot mix and match these abilities on a single character but in Elder Scrolls games Classes only dictate your starting position all roads in the other Scrolls lead to Rome and Rome is being an all-powerful demigod so since your class does not serve the All-important function of keeping you from becoming overpowered by the end of the game what exactly does the class system do well in essence it restricts what skills you will use throughout the game and It doesn’t really do much in return to balance out that restriction So in Morrowind and Oblivion the class system was just there. It wasn’t doing anything of value It was there simply because that’s just a tradition in the RPG. Genre Tradition for its own sake is not a valid reason to keep a broken or superfluous game mechanic in the game. I Will have mixed feelings about Bethesda’s minimalism philosophy throughout this retrospective in some cases I will eject to it and in some cases are well defended This is an instance for I am doing the latter Because if you really take a step back and look at the matter objectively you realize that the class system The Elder Scrolls really is superfluous and unnecessary Because Skyrim doesn’t have a traditional class system All 18 skills in the game are founded options for leveling up your character This transitions me to my next point the way leveling up works in the Elder Scrolls games in most RPGs players level up after obtaining a certain number of experience points the most common source of experience and the vast majority of RPGs is by killing enemies the other scrolls as a novelty in the RPG genre Because it’s leveling system actually works in the complete opposite way that most Arthur RPGs work You increase your skills and those skill ups Enable you to level up you increase your skills by using them making? Potions at the alchemy station and you become more proficient at making potions Fight enemies enough and you’ll get more proficient at using your weapons of choice by its elegance and you get more proficient at trading this is one of the biggest reasons why the Elder Scrolls is one of my favorite franchises this system of leveling up is intuitive and Ingenious, it’s the same way our skills increase in real life through gradual practice This adds a new genius level of realism and by-proxy Immersion into the game while it does break immersion from time to time. For example. How’s that? I can Smith a few hundred I am daggers and suddenly and magically know how to crack Daedric weapons in armor But that is still like use ahead of the contrivance is that you can create in other games that use the experience point system For example in fallout 4. How is that? I can spend six hours building settlements in sanctuary Hills of Red Rock a truck stop and that somehow gives me the ability to create Fragmentation mines and grenades at least with the Elder Scrolls. The actions that you cried are reasonably related to the skills. You’re trying to acquire imagine if spamming the transmute spell Didn’t just give you lots of gold ore to work with but actually taught you new recipes at the forge. Not even jewelry recipes just Increasing your alteration skill made you eligible for late-game parks in the smithing skill tree That would be a thousand times more margin breaking than sky runes current system However file, I love the skills increase through use system with all my heart. It’s not perfect by any means For example heavy on light armor skills both increased by getting hit while wearing that armor type for starters That’s a pain in the ass. You have to put yourself in harm’s way to get armor skill lapse Practicing your skill for lack of a better term is very difficult for this reason You need either high armor rating or high health pool to be able to withstand enough hits to actually gain a level in your armor Skill of choice, but you need to withstand a lot of hits to be able to increase your armor skills. It’s a catch-22 frankly armor skills should go up just by wearing the armor and walking around in it After all if you read the heavy armor skill book or sin IAM in the orcs and I mean actually read the book Don’t just pick it up get the skill up and put it back down again You realize that learning how to move around in plate armor with its limited mobility is the true secret actually using it effectively Like the athletic skill from Ireland and oblivion You can make it go up very slowly to prevent you from over leveling. This skill leaving the other equally important skills in the dust All in all however, I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy the autoscroll system of skill increasing through use I honestly wish more RPGs would adopt a similar system So once we exit the tutorial dungeon We are now free to roam the world as we please one of the biggest draws of the Elder Scrolls franchise Skyrim included is the ability once you’ve exit the tutorial to just pick a direction and head out and explore This is one of the most heavily marketed aspects of the Elder Scrolls franchise And it is also one of the ambitions for the franchise that Bethesda has realized with the greatest degree of success After exiting hell can keep you are encouraged to head to the settlement of Riverwood for supplies and rest This makes sense in universe and it is also heavily advised that you do. So at least on a first playthrough as Riverwood is specifically set up to provide in-game tutorials for various non combat related game mechanics like wood chopping acquiring companions and obtaining new quests however, as highly recommended as it is that you had to rubber wood actually doing that is 100% optional in fact while you’re helghan companion invites you to Riverwood He also tells you that it’s best if you split up there by actively encouraging you to forge your own path after you exit the tutorial you suddenly find yourself in a twenty square mile open world where nearly any sector of the overworld can be Approached from nearly any position with the exception of a handful of quest related Dungeons nearly every dungeon in the overworld can be entered as early as level one If you manage to make the journey there this is in stark contrast to other supposedly Nonlinear games like The Legend of Zelda or Metroid where you were encouraged to backtrack But only because their ability to explore certain sections is blocked from you until you acquire the item or powerup needed to open the way For example, my first zelda game was Wind Waker around the bank of outset island where your character grew up There’s some cracks in the wall If you enter that cave you actually get a cutscene that’s supposed to happen about halfway through the game’s main plot However, you can’t really enter that cave until you get bombs wood You don’t get until about halfway through the game the game actually Railroad you into not getting bombs until the point in the story where you’re a meant to get them because the only merchant in the game who sells them initially charge us so much that you can’t possibly Afford them even if you use cheat codes to give yourself the largest rupee back in the game and give yourself infinite rupees Skyrim by contrast takes the opposite approach to open world to sign your Railroaded for the tutorial quest which takes about 30 to 60 minutes depending on how fast you go But once you complete only that set piece the places you can’t access just yet or rarer than the places you can Whereas zelda and metroid open up bits of the world piece by piece Spreading the unlocking out more or less equally across the game and only after the final couple hours of the game Have you finally unlocked everything? Skyrim unlocks in 99% of the game – you almost immediately and then just tells you that dig in The overworld itself isn’t just a glorified level selector either There are plenty of things to acquire and things to do in the overworld itself bandits and wolves will attack you at various intervals fish Flowers and butterflies can be picked and caught for use in your potions You can randomly encounter friendly or neutral NPCs on the road as well as hostile ones also Because you are travelling the road in real time there is always the possibility of seeing another sight on route to your intended destination and Deciding to put off your current objective in favor of exploring that new location the ability to enter any section of the overworld from any direction in 360 degrees is one of the biggest things that sets the Elder Scrolls games apart from other RPGs, and Skyrim is no exception Most other RPGs usually have tightly focused areas that the player can only enter and exit at certain points as a comparison Let’s look at the Dragon Age games in those games Using the world map fast travel is and not optional the different zones You can enter are not connected to each other the only way to enter various cities or locations such as Dereham wars Ammar or the dalish camp is to select them from the world map like in Skyrim You have the potential to run into random encounters both hostile and friendly, but you don’t really run into them The characters footsteps get cut off midway through your journey and you’re just dropped into this random. There is a clear hard cut But in the other Scrolls the random encounter you get is determined before the relevant npcs come within draw distance Making it look like they were always there the game will load several overworld sectors around your character as well as the center he is Currently and will always try to stay one step ahead of the player this helps to create the illusion that the people you encounter Randomly have always been there and that they reached this position organically instead of just randomly popping into existence Sure in the game engine they are indeed just randomly popping into existence But with games like Dragon Age They make no effort to hide this from the player sky remains the illusion of an organic world and in doing so maintains an otherwise impossible level of immersion to suck the players in All of this talk about exploring the overworld wouldn’t really make a difference. However, if the overworld wasn’t fun to explore thankfully we don’t have to worry about that because star has one of the most Beautiful over worlds in any RPG to come along this entire decade In the opening cutscene where you’re being hauled away to an execution Bethesda Raleigh puts their best foot forward in showcasing their overall design majestic mountains book in both sides of the road Beautiful mountain flowers and thistles dot the size of the road like polka dots during this opening cutscene It is not uncommon to experience some fairly drastic framerate drops because bethesda made sure to pack in as much overall Beauty as they could The rest of the game doesn’t disappoint either the game’s map is divided into nine distinct holes in universe These holes are political divisions similar to counties in the real world, but from a game design standpoint They also clearly divide up the way the overworld is drawn There are occasional overlaps, of course, but for the most part each hold has a distinct geography to it For example, here are four images of Skyrim’s overworld one is in the hole known as of the reach the other is in white one hole one is in the hold of y’all March and the fourth one is in mount recall if you’ve played this game even casually you can instantly tell who which screen shot is which even on a mic for a level the overworld is Absolutely majestic as I said Once in a previous discussion video head over to the Guardian stones stem directly behind the mage stone and face due west Using console commands to ensure the weather is sunny and clear wait for the clock to be at exactly 10:00 a.m. On the nose So that there is just the right glare from the side You will want to print that screenshot out frame it and hang it on your wall of Course the beauty of the overworld is great But that is only one Reason to explore it in addition to the enemies to fight people to meet and items to acquire in the overworld There are also plenty of stories to uncover in the of arc world I don’t simply mean books that you can find lank around. Those are all in the game and they’re handled splendidly But also the overworld itself can tell a story through the strategic placement of static objects Here is one of my personal favorite examples of how pathetic and do this notice this pair of skeletons One of them has its leg broken in several parts. Some of those parts are inside a bear trap There’s another skeleton who appears to have died while leaning by the first skeleton side So clearly one guy got his leg stuck in a bear trap and someone else may be a best friend But most likely a lover refused to leave his side and kneeled before him weaving and comforting him until she too rotted away Until only her bones remained a tragic story of what can happen If you don’t watch where you’re going and a cold reminder of just how quickly life in Tamriel can be snuffed out of course, it’s made doubly tragic by the fact that they were only a hop skip and a jump away from the city of Winterhold knowing This you’d think the unwanted person would have just carried her husband on her back up the hills and gotten him medical treatment Did they not know there was a civilization just up the hill did the city even exist at that time? I mean we have no way of knowing just how old these bones are So maybe there’s several centuries old perhaps they were running from the law and thus couldn’t return to the city or else be executed So they were just going to die. Anyway, so might as well die together so tragic Skyrim’s overworld is absolutely filled with subtle stories like these in Short the overworld has numerous reasons to explore whether you prefer beauty Items to scavenge or if you just enjoy a good story like yours truly Skyrim’s over world has rewards for all types of players to compel you to explore more of Course in order to explore the world you first have to buy the game to encourage people to buy the game You have to make the game accessible to them accessibility has become somewhat of a swear word in the elder scrolls fandom and the term is often synonymous with concepts like dumbing down and Oversimplification to ensure my analysis is thorough I will analyze the game’s accessibility from four different points of view Newcomers to the franchise the veterans to the franchise hardcore RPG fans and casual gamers Newcomers to the franchise have certainly found Skaar around to be accessible to them after all-star game has sold more than 30 million copies to put that in perspective Morrowind and Oblivion both sold 4 million and nine and a half million copies respectively In other words Skyrim has sold more copies than any other game in the franchise Combined so at least a few million people who bought this game must have been newcomers But that still begs the question. How do Bethesda achieve this level of accessibility? there are a thousand little things that a fest it did maybe without even realizing it themselves that ultimately led to scare up being so Accessible to newcomers the franchise for starters. There’s the very first thing you see in the game ralof greeting you as you wake up and Smiling as I said earlier this certainly develops ralof character But real love is also representing Bethesda in this cutscene Because ralof greets you with a small but this tis also welcoming you to the land of Skyrim with a heartwarming smile This certainly makes newcomers to the franchise feel welcomed. It is also a Conscious feeling and when Bethesda may not have even been aware of themselves But it is nevertheless an extremely potent way to welcome Elder Scrolls newbies even after this cutscene the way the game handles the introduction is carefully structured to ensure a maximum amount of excitement and therefore player investment in the game and its plot as the player is being shoved into the chopping block a Forced camera angle forces the player to notice the headsman’s ax Was just about to come down just as the dragon shows up at the last minute as she struggled to get to your feet the screen goes blurry and there’s some intentional shaky cam to add flavor to the excitement as You head up the stairs a scripted event happens where the dragon smashes his head through the wall providing you with a means to escape as you make your way through the panicked as the occasional shaky came to add excitement for when the dragon attacks as You enter the hell can keep the game begins the tutorial proper if you take out the part rate your choice of allies at the beginning has an effect on what items you can acquire during this tutorial Then this tutorial is otherwise a textbook the example of how to do a tutorial in a video game It starts out being fairly Blatant about its needs or us a tutorial in the torture chamber either had far ralof depending on who you accompanied into the keep Hands you a bunch of lockpicks and asks you to try and open the cage there Borderline breaking the fourth wall at this point making it exceptionally clear that this is a tutorial for how to pick locks But at the same time it really isn’t Because they don’t really teach you how to pick locks per se they just prompt you to do So but the actual mechanics of the locks is something you figure out entirely on your own After that set piece you enter a cavern where there’s about six or seven enemy soldiers a couple of them are standing on an oil Slick if this is your first time playing the game and you’re playing is a mage You’ll be showing fire at your enemies doing so in this section We’ll inadvertently trigger the August slick Tramp for the first time players who don’t really know that this oil is flammable This will serve as both a pleasant surprise and a tutorial that oil slicks can be used as weapons But it doesn’t do so by breaking the fourth wall. You come across it organic just by playing the game normally So what about after you exit the tutorial? How does the game make itself accessible to newcomers then well for starters? The autosave feature is a means of newcomers losing consequences for their rookie mistakes Anytime you go through a load screen at any time you fast travel the game Auto-saves because you can store up to three auto saves at one time. You’ve got plenty of wiggle room in case you screw up That’s certainly no excuse for you to be reckless, but it definitely has you covered in case you forget to save Newcomers are also pointed in the direction of franchises. They may wish to join by the game underway to Riverwood either hand vote or ralof suggests you join up with their respective armies as you enter the river would traitor the proprietor there says He sells a few spells but tells you you can get more at the college of winterhold As you approach white run you find the companions fighting a giant a ella comes up and speaks to you telling you about the Companions and who to speak to if you wished to join? Both of these give you guidance on how to join these factions But with the exception of the Thieves Guild and none of them shove the faction initiations down your throat There’s the invitation to join but for four factions out of five actually joining requires the player to take the initiative So what about veterans of the series? How is Skyrim accessible to them? Well for starters Gotham boasts the traditional Elder Scrolls formula that fans the series have come to know and love while they have done away with quite a few favorite game mechanics and policed of which is the ability to make custom spells a Mechanic that has been a staple of the franchise since Daggerfall Bethesda kept enough of the formula to give returning players a sense of familiarity but seems just enough. Did he even feel like a rehash? You still have the open world that is fun and rewarding to explore as I’ve already Discussed while they replaced the fighters and mages guild with the companions and college of winterhold Respectively the tried and true thieves guilty and Dark Brotherhood are kept in the game We still had the day draw at the aedra And while we had new types of enemies, they were similar enough to older enemies. We still felt familiar to returning fans For example, the Falmer were basically the new goblins from oblivion Skeevers were the new rats and the draugar were basically the replacement for zombies, of course It’s easy to say that Bethesda kept just enough, but not too much familiar it’s quite another to break down exactly what they should have kept and What needed to go next in some aspects of the autoscrolls formula was done in the name of the aforementioned? Minimalist agenda which as I’ve established is a double-edged sword I’ll be going into more detail about that throughout this analysis as I discuss where they succeeded and failed in their minimalist agenda As for hardcore RPG themed fans where they come up fairly short, although I used the phrase come up short in a relative sense Follow many hardcore fans love in it – Skyrim just as many stuff at the very supposed attacks of dumbing down of the series Essential NPCs quest markers inability to fail quests the list goes on and on However, if we once again take a step back and look at the matter objectively are these things truly Necessary for a game to be considered a true RPG Let’s look at a few of the other RPGs that are considered some of the best in the genre World of Warcraft in Dragon Age In both of those games, you can’t fight people at all until the game decides you’re in combat with them You don’t initiate combat with them by fighting them the game thrusts you into combat, and then you get to attack them So killing entire cities worth of people is effectively impossible in these games so frankly I don’t see what so many people are complaining about regarding the inability to kill quest characters very few RPGs give you that ability anyway, or How about the fact that nothing you do when the game has any consequences? You can’t alienate your relationships with NPCs? You can’t fail quests nothing again. Your actions do indeed have consequences citing that I had a fainting or savanna and their love triangle quest will permanently cause the other to refuse to deal with you if you miss Your wedding with the same person twice that person will forever refuse to speak to you Okay, so the cons quences you suffer may not necessarily be the exact consequences you expected in Maybe they don’t happen quite as often as you might like in that case maybe you need to get your heads out of your asses and Stop acting so self entitled in conclusion. The game is indeed accessible to hardcore RPG fans. Rather It’s not accessible to Self-entitled dickheads who expect they deserve everything to be exactly the way they want it and that every game developer Instead should adopt their development strategies to accommodate their unique tastes at the expense of everyone else’s enjoyment Unfortunately, Bethesda can’t do anything to help those people so we’ve determined that this game is surprisingly accessible to franchise newbies franchise veterans and hardcore gamers who aren’t Self-entitled though not being self-entitled is a huge Condition that leaves casual gamers as the only group that is currently unaccounted for as far as accessibility is concerned Fortunately, this is also the easiest to establish. I have not only Hertz claim described as a game for casuals I have repeatedly heard Skyrim described as the game for the cash flows In fact the arguments. I just recited by so called hardcore gamers are in fact arguments that stem has been cannibalized Compared to earlier Ella Scrolls titles. So clearly Skyrim is indeed accessible to casual gamers This near universal accessibility is most likely one of the biggest reasons why Skyrim is the third best-selling RPG of all time The Elder Scrolls games are first and foremost Dungeon crawlers the dungeons are the primary means of providing challenge to the players in the Elder Scrolls games So how good the dungeons are in Skyrim are a huge factor in the game’s overall quality? The dungeons in Skyrim or hit or a miss to put it mildly some aspects of the dungeons Hit it out of the park while other Aspects fall so short of the park that you have to wonder if they were even trying to clear it as for the layout for the dungeons themselves This is certainly a hit the dungeons are certainly a huge improvement over oblivion to show you what I mean Here’s a screenshot from a cave dungeon in Oblivion This cave dungeon is required for a major Oblivion faction quest line, but can any of you tell me right off the bat? Which dungeon this is or even which quest it’s for or for that matter, even which quest line. It’s for Now here’s a screenshot from a cave dungeon in Skyrim. That isn’t even Associated with any quest let alone major faction quest line Despite its lack of relative importance many of you probably instantly recognize this dungeon One aspect of the dungeon layout that I’ve actually heard criticism About is their linear dungeon progression once in a boil mode you’ll have dungeons that have segments that you can do out of order or Shortcuts you can take but for the most part the dungeons go from entrance to boss chambers Before providing a shortcut back to the entrance or simply an exit to the opposite side of the dungeons Exterior the shortcuts out of the dungeon was certainly a huge improvement over Oblivion’s and morrowind’s dungeons So that’s definitely a point in the hit column of the dungeon designs But as for the linearity this is going to be a controversial call and I’m going to say that this is also a hit Personally, I feel the sense of exploration is at its best in the overworld due to the multitudes of rewards you get for exploring their The dungeons are designed to be more challenged than exploration. And so the linear nature works best However, if it makes you feel better I will acknowledge that the lack of variety in dungeon design is a serious Mis I frankly believe that about half or at least a third of the dungeons should have allowed at least a little bit of non-linearity if anything there should have been optional branching paths the keyword be optional that either offered extra rewards if you went off the beaten path perhaps offered shortcuts to the dungeon boss or maybe even offered paths that were technically just as long But had more booby traps than enemies or vice-versa So while I definitely approve of the linear dungeon design, although I realized that subjective if it’s any consolation to you I definitely believe the game should have given us more variety in dungeon design if you’re talking about the dungeons links, however, I would argue that this is Simultaneously a hit and a miss at the same time If you had asked me a year ago What I thought of the dungeons lengths I would have definitely said that they were far too short, but then I began a blind Let’s play of Dragon Age Origins Which you can watch by clicking on the link in the description while doing the main quest I noticed that there were only four factions I needed to obtain assistance from Obviously, they all need favors for me to resolve their immediate conflicts before they could provide this help However, because there were only four of them the dungeons they had me going through were astronomically long There was too much combat in the main quest and not enough story and it was the story that got me hooked into that game in the first place So quite frankly, I believe the dungeon Sitaram needed to be a bit but only a bit The next part of the dungeons that I plan to critique is its puzzles and you get no argument from me Those are definitely assists honestly there is it much I can say about these puzzles that has already been said a thousand times before So just to sum it up Let me replay a portion from my minis theories of the ideal Elder Scrolls 6 Which you can watch by clicking on the link in the description Anyway, here is the clip from that miniseries Here’s the biggest problem with the puzzles in skyward. The game literally gives you the answer in plain sight Along with the phrase arrow in the knee. This has become one of Skyrim’s most reviled aspects countless memes and YouTube videos have been created poking fun at how Insultingly simple the puzzles are men. Look the combination is on the cloth It’s not the combination what it’s a trick. It’s not a trick It would never make it that easy, but they did though we might make a combination at all. I have no fucking idea and the best part of all this is Instead of fessing up and in pink that you screwed up You actually tried to save face by quietly heading in a book during one of your Batches that said that the puzzles were designed to keep the trogir from sticking Rather than keeping adventures out wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong You’re on your own you’re all Ignoring for a minute that this was clearly a post release edition Meaning it is a blatant cop-out It is still demonstratively false For starters these intelligence insulting puzzles are found in every dungeon in Skyrim Not just the draaga ruins second NPC’s in the game are routinely fooled by these puzzles and Repeatedly commend you for your ability to decipher them? If the puzzles are supposed to be this easy for a living person Why is this guy right here getting killed by the poison darts when he fails? Why is this enemy soldier laying dead at this door? Presumably killed by the poison dart that gave him when he couldn’t figure out the claw combination. Why is my commander? Commending me for my ability to figure this claw out acting like I’m some sort of prodigy and If the traps are for the trogir Why is it when you get the puzzle wrong? You get hit by poison darts when the draugar or immune to poison? If the darts are supposed to just be a means of forcing the trogir to back away from the door like barbed wire for cows Then why do they need to be tipped with poison? Which isn’t going to affect the trogir? Thus they are clearly intended to be difficult aim universe Even if they’re actually easy to an intelligence insulting level Third even if we accept that these puzzles are so simple in universe Because they’re designed to keep the trogir out it ultimately doesn’t matter at the end of the day these dungeons exist for our amusement at the end of the day the bottom line is that Even if there’s an aim universe explanation for the puzzles being so simple That doesn’t make it good game design And no amount of in universe Explanations no matter how plausible they are are going to exempt you from that So, yeah the puzzles and sky rhythms dungeons are a definite Mis and there is no two ways about it Like the overworld the dungeons often seek to tell a story with their dungeon lay out the draaga ruins often have hieroglyphics written on their walls that seek to describe how the ancient Nords handled their funeral and burial Rites also the dungeon layout themselves often give us glimpses into the story The game is telling as well as the lore of the world like for instance in the dungeon of dustman’s Karin Would you complete as part of the companions quest line? The first room of the dungeon has evidence of recent excavation foreshadowing the fact that you’re walking into an ambush Alternatively the dodging offer can dig This has a section laid out showcasing how the dwarves tortured their Falmer slaves These would be great ways for the dungeons to tell stories through their dungeon design Almost on par with the overworld storytelling that I praised so much in the section on overworld exploration However, they fall tragically short of the mark due to one fatal flaw But as doesn’t want to just let this ingenious dungeon design speak for itself So they programmed your companions to spell out the dungeon layout for you like you’re a little dummy It looks like someone’s been digging and really even the farmer don’t deserve the pain. These implements must have inflicted The dwarfs were a cruel race This is a blatant violation of one of the most basic rules of writing show Don’t tell if you collect on the card, I provided to take you to my analysis of the ideal Elder Scrolls six I mentioned that rule of writing there as well for the time being. However Suffice it to say if you feel the need to spell out for us the way your dungeon is set up to tell a story then by your own admission you have failed to tell the story through dungeon design alone at which point You should go back to the drawing board So while the use of strategically placed dungeon statics to help tell a story is a great idea in concept I have to add it to the missed column due to its underwhelming execution This leaves the enemies as the last thing to analyze for each dungeon Unfortunately, I have to judge this one as a Miss as well. The decor of most dungeons can usually tell you in advance What type of enemies you want counter there? For example these black tents and fences indicate that you will encounter Falmer while funeral and grave materials like linen cloths and embalming tools indicate that you’re in a drug or dungeon However, beyond the aesthetic the enemies in the dungeons simply don’t offer enough variety And I don’t mean the aesthetic of the dungeon I mean the aesthetic of the enemies aside from a handful of very minor tweaks to their combat AI Nearly all enemies behave in exactly the same way I will go into more detail about that when I talk about the game’s combat system right now However, suffice it to say as far as the enemies are concerned The dungeons are rarely amount to much more than glorified palette swaps So in conclusion after analyzing the dungeons in Skyrim in great detail I have to say that while they are indeed hit or miss they are clearly more miss than hit sadly the dungeons in this game are one of the biggest strikes against this game holding up in modern times the Cities are the last part of scams rule design that I haven’t yet analyzed since they are extremely important to stir up How they hold up will have a huge impact on how Skyrim holds up There are nine hold capitals in the game ten if you include the Dragonborn deals it hold is divided into two categories major holds in minor holds the capitals of major Holt’s are enclosed inside city balls that you have to pass through a load door to enter My your holds don’t have that and their capitals are also much smaller than major hold capitals being roughly on par with major hold villages like Riverwood Speaking of their size that’s an elephant in the room I need to address the cities in Siam are just too damn small if I can fast travel to solitude the largest city in the game and Sprint my way to the blue Palace aka clear on the other side of the city from where I spawn on only a single bar of stamina That is just too damn small and white run not counting dragons reach Palace There are a grand total of 21 buildings in the entire city Three of the five major hold capitals have only a single blacksmith each with white run and Markarth having a measly two Blacksmiths and there isn’t a single whole capital in the game that has more than one Apothecary the grey quarter in Windhelm honestly feels more like a single bank and leaf than an entire ghetto Neighborhood and if it worked for the Zeeman never shutting up, I would never have guessed that white friend is actually divided into multiple districts Granted I would much rather you have cities that are smaller than normal But still have the cities be handcrafted rather than procedurally generated But honestly Bethesda you could have made your cities just a little bit bigger than that In fact, if I didn’t know any better, I would suspect the Bethesda me the cities this small just out of spite It’s like if I went into a restaurant and got a cheeseburger asked for muster behind got a burger that didn’t have mustard on it Ask them to make it again and then they were like, oh you want mustard you want he mustard? I’ll give you fucking mustard and then proceeded to empty an entire bottle of the stuff onto the bun That’s the vibe I get when I look at the city size and skeleton when I remember the quality over quantity argument So yeah This is definitely one instance forever Fez days minimalist approach to game design works almost exclusively in the games Disfavour. Why do we need more than a single? apothecary in each city well Sometimes immersion for its own sake is a big part of an RPG and you just can’t do that when some vendors hold monopolies on certain services without charging up the ass for their products because you know they have monopolies However, will one advantage that Scotland’s cities undoubtably have over more recent titles like Witcher 3 is the political climate of each town and How these climates actually factored into the Skyrim Civil War questline, which I will discuss in detail much later in this retrospective Each city has unique political beliefs as well as its pros and cons Whiterun is the first hold capital most of us are going to visit on a first Playford its economy is fairly strong as Adrian Ivan egx posits if you ask her about Whiterun most don’t go hungry if they’re willing to work hard sure There’s the beggar a Bren Yuen But he there’s a heavy application that he chooses not to get a job and instead just be interrupted the closest that Whiterun has to a major problem is the y’alls Indecisiveness about the Civil War although that’s pretty tame in comparison to the other sins Frankly white run isn’t meant to have very serious problems. It’s meant to be the measuring stick for every other city in the game At the bottom of the barrel is Martha the most insignificant hold capital in the entire key and easily the second least Significant city town or village in the game second only to stump Hills, which is also in the hold of y’all March Martha is one of only two whole capitals in the game to not have a blacksmith It has a lumber mill an apothecary in in and a magic shop and Then it’s honestly a valiant. It is also played with vampires both next to the city as well as living among Fateh a mystery We unravel through the quest laid to rest the city isn’t even placed on top of limits very suited for farming it’s literally just a giant marsh where poisonous plants grow wild and As far as leaders are concerned McFaul certainly drew the short straw on that as well Who do you guys think is the lesser of two evils here the woman lost in her own head or the woman lost uh peroneus Honestly the closest I can think of to a saving grace for this city is that Because it doesn’t have any matrix services and it’s located in a literal cesspool It doesn’t get a lot of attention from the war effort Morgenthal is the last city the storm plugs attempt to take before merging on solitude And if Martha is given to the Stormcloaks During season on ending it is the last city the Empire seeks to replay before marching on win hell But honestly that’s like telling a person with tuberculosis Well, at least nobody will ever get up in your personal space ever again Polling just ahead of Martha is the city of winterhold This city actually has even fewer services available and more fall does but the one major service it offers the college of winterhold Is enough to save Winterhold from a complete lack of political and socio-economic? Relevance unlike more fall which just drew the short straw in terms of land distribution Winter hold used to be a proud and prosperous city only for an act of God known as the Great Hall ABB’s To destroy most of it the few winterhold residents who remain blamed the College of Winterhold for causing degree collapse Although nobody has alleged a viable motive for when the college would want to do. So aside from the College of Winterhold However, there’s really not a whole lot going on in this city. There’s an inn and a general good store and frankly That’s about it to my knowledge. There isn’t even a single residence in the entire city except for the uros longhouse and if the only hold in the game where the player cannot Purchase a player home or plot of land regardless of what you’ll seize. Um Climbing up the ladder of political and socio-economic Importance we come to the city of Dawnstar It is supported by its fishing and mining industries The latter of which is extremely competitive as the two mines of the city are owned by a pair of former lovers as far as minor holes are concerned the pros of this city are that it has a nice diverse economy with apothecary and blacksmith vendors the smallest old capital to have a blacksmith vendor as Far as cons are concerned its default diol is probably the most unlikable sack of trash the entire game stalled the scene ah at first his Grumpiness may be an tributo to the fact that Dawnstar is currently suffering from chronic nightmares due to a Dietrich artifact that has spiraled out Of control and except that he maintains his grumpy attitude even after that quest is resolved He is so fanatically devoted to Alfred cos that he could imagine why anyone would feel differently as evidenced by the Conversation he has with his pork mage when she tries to explain to scold and that the Wars of no concern to threatens Scold is completely dumbfounded at the very prospect of someone not seeing the obvious glory in the Stormcloaks Agenda if there was anything that would make me join the Legion who would probably be the prospect of getting this die out of town the most Significant the minor holds his probably Falk wreath hold it has major political significance Because it shares a border with the province of Sarah Dell It also has a thriving economy supported by both lumber and wind game Both of which are abundant in the forests that are so dense that Fault grief doesn’t even need any city walls to protected Just as its main advantage is similar to Don Stark having a variety of industry supporting their economy So too is its main disadvantage a guard who was completely lost up his own ass While he doesn’t appear as homicidal is called the senile he still seems completely oblivious to the fact that his position of yarl actually has any responsibilities attached to it Rifton is easily the most corrupt city in the game and the government makes no effort to hide its own corruption However, the private citizens of Rifton are among the most generous and charitable of any city in the game as evidenced by the fact They are most likely to hand out coins to beggars if you stick around overhear the conversation Hell even bring you off will give coins to geckos bring you off What are the top guys and thieves kill who is primarily responsible for the mass poverty in this city in the first place? And This isn’t even a case of generic dialogue options Being erroneously assigned to the wrong NPC either remember that brainy elf has a unique voice actor This means that Robert Atkin Downes was in the recording booth Recording dialogue for his character giving money to beggars who he probably caught out of just yesterday in universe in full knowledge of the irony of his characters actions as For its leadership Rifton is ruled by a yarol who appears at first glance to be honorable and Noble however, because of her stewards allegiance to the Thieves Guild something you’ll learn about if you can’t correct him for the imperials the yael is Often manipulated by her most trusted advisors to turning a blind eye to the corruption in the city as well as staying inside the palace To avoid her seeing the sheer misery that her people actually live in on the other hand Conquering Rifton and placing it under imperial rule would hardly do much good for the city as Yara Leila will be replaced with stars version of Donald Trump maven black rider So we’ve gone from me y’all blissfully oblivious to the corruption in the city But still having her heart in the right place – we are all who was actively creating the city’s biggest problems in the first place Markarth rivals Rifton in terms of corruption, but the Martha City Guard not only turned up white I to the force one rebellion But actively participating and covering up their atrocities Yael Egmond is apparently in on the conspiracy himself as at the beginning of the quest escape from sydney mine We learned that he ordered a life sentence for the player-character with no trial whatsoever However, if you concur Markarth for the Stormcloaks, the new yard will be thunk or silver blood Despite being from the silver blood clan who was supposedly Spearheaded the force coin conspiracy. There is no indication that thumb form was part of it In fact, he swears vengeance on the forest one for their treason However, if you want my opinion and if you don’t why are you here? Thunk for is still a huge part of the problem in Markarth as a member of the silver blood family He is still very much privy to the many acts of corruption Committed by the silver plans like the extortion of Qarth weston And as well as his brother long arse allegiance with the forsworn now that he is in power. He has the opportunity to bring the rest of his family to justice, but he chooses not to This means that he tacitly approves of the silver bloods atrocities in the reach now here’s an interesting piece of world-building about skyrim cities that I doubt many of you have picked up on with the exception of Whiterun the other Cities are actually meant to be divided into pairs and each city in a pair is meant to be an antenna psious to the other City in its pair in various wings, the yin-yang pairings are as follows first we have win helmet solitude then we have Rifton in Markarth followed by fall tree than dog star and Finally, we have more Thal and Winterhold Let’s start with win helmet solitude as there again gain Relationship is the easiest to notice as the seats of power for their respective civil war armies They obviously could not be further opposed from each other on the question of whether Skype should cede from the Empire They are the only two cities in the game to host abetters who were forced to beg due to being wounded in service of their respective armies and both contain private citizens Possessing such overly fanatical devotions to their respective armies that they aren’t interested in even hearing anyone elses side of the story We have taken aside because it’s not a fight Hey, maybe the reason these phrase guns don’t help in the war because they’re Imperial spies Markarth and Rifton are paired together for this yin-yang system in part because the aforementioned corruption in both cities Both sets of corruption are caused by a single faction that have the guards in their respective cities in their pockets They are both home to beggars who are forced to beg because they are disabled Marquart’s becquer is forced to beg because he became crippled due to some accident and rifton’s beggar EDA can’t get a job because she’s insane Both cities start the game with girls who appear at first glance to be fair and just but who actually are Part of the problem only to be replaced with girls who make no effort to hide their involvement in the city’s biggest woes Martha and Winterhold are both largely and significant to the rest of the geopolitical climate of Skyrim Although as I mentioned earlier Winterhold has a slight edge of who worth all due to its eponymous magic school in both cities Switching up the urals will produce little if any change the policy or improvement in citizens lives Last but not least the pairing of Vale Bri that Dawn’s start both showcase medium-sized economies Supported by two primary industries and several native ones who are naturally protected from foreign aggression by their own natural Environment the thick forests of fall breeze and the frozen tundra of dawn stone both start the game with Girls who are completely lost up their own asses only to be replaced with Charles who put their people and duties first although you can never end any one game with both barrels in power as one requires sudden with the Stormcloaks and one requires signing with the appearance in both cities have Citizens living there who plays huge amount personal importance on the concept of loyalty Steals good, but loyalties better Loyal to den here first in the empire second the legion taught us loyalty and we’re loyal to Don Stark My analysis on the cities of Skyrim have taken up almost as much time as an entire analysis video on my channel of normal length would but the fact that I have so much to talk about Regarding the cities just goes to show how interesting and compelling they are this is certainly a case where having nine cities instead of just one giant city like in The Witcher 3 works in the game’s favor you can’t really have these unique yin-yang pairings by comparing novigrad and say white orchard village Because the two are so leaks apart from each other and not just in terms of distance that there is simply no comparison Even games like fallout 4 which has a pair of cities of comparable size and significance diamond city and good neighbor You can only really do the in-game comparisons once because there’s only two cities worth comparing whereas in Skyrim. You can do it four times This thematic symmetry is one of the things that in my Opinion makes times cities in the world So incredible and is a huge pointed favor of the argument that Skyrim as a whole still holds up in 2019 The cities themselves are great at all, but what’s the point of the cities if there’s nobody to speak to in them? The NPC’s are the primary means of delivering plot next position in any RPG so how well Skyrim handles its in theses will play a huge role in how well startup stands up by today’s standards as Far as the generic NPCs are concerned one advantage that scares NBC’s have over modern RPGs is that eaching BC even those who aren’t strictly necessary to major quests have Personalities and backstories many of them even have hidden backstories if you look deep enough for example in fight run john, battle born an Athena Greymane are shown to be in a hidden forbidden romance with each other that their respective families would never approve of there was no quest Associated with this romance. It’s only there if you eavesdrop and pickpocket the love letters off then Compare that to a game like Witcher 3 where the generic NB C’s in that game served purely and as population patty Now I should point out that I have not yet played witcher 3 So everything I say about which n3 is based purely on what I can find online Well The Witcher 3 wiki says that novigrad is populated by about 30,000 residents 99% of whom served absolutely. No purpose whatsoever This is an argument that can be made for the cities themselves having to be so small if the cities were bigger Bethesda we need to create more NPCs to live in them Otherwise the lack of population density Would be immersion working in its own right and morning PUC’s means fewer in PCs you feel unique and have unique personalities however, as I said earlier I think Bethesda can afford to make those cities and populations just a little bit bigger without sacrificing too much in terms of handcrafted places and people Now as far as the unique NPCs are concerned that is people who serve major roles in major quests or quest lines This is one instance where Bethesda really gets at out of the pot first the fact that most unique NPCs have unique voice actors Helps to give unique NBC’s some individuality and identity to separate them from the pack They are also some of the few characters in the game who actually undergo character arcs and therefore have the opportunity for change very rarely do these characters actually change, but the fact that they have the Opportunity for change is a welcome addition to skies of various storylines Meanwhile the most significant faction of the game that you can’t join yourself The old married men get is perhaps the most interesting and politically compelling faction in the history of the gutter Scrolls franchise Strong believers in high elves in supremacy. They tend to have their heads farthest up their asses of anyone else in the game Unlike the multiple races of Tamriel which are definitively modeled after specific Real-world cultures eg the Nords are clearly modeled after the Vikings The Imperials are clearly modeled after the Roman Empire and so and so forth for the Aldmeri Dominion Bethesda appears to have drawn inspiration from multiple religious or racist radical tyrants from real world history They are part Hitler part Mussolini part Stalin part Napoleon part Genghis Khan and part Osama bin Laden They are also of course blocking embodiments of every stereotype you have ever heard of the snooty rich Snob as evidenced by their behavior at the Thalmor party during the quest a diplomatic immunity Now I say all that to say this I have spent an ungodly amount of time on the cities in the pcs of this game But the primary question for this retrospective is does the game hold up by today’s standards? Well, as far as the storytelling is concerned. Yes it absolutely Does hold up even? Without playing which are three and even if I eventually decide that which a three story is a thousand times better than Scully runs I can definitively say it’s time story holds up simply by reason of the story of being good Now what exactly do I mean by that? Well good stories. Never die I can pick up a story that was written literally hundreds of years ago. And if it’s Translated and updated into a language that I can understand. I could still enjoy that story as much as if it were written yesterday That’s why she experienced as well as the Iliad and the Odyssey All remain popular even to this day despite being written hundreds and even thousands of years ago Are any of them my favorite stories? of course not None of them would even be in the my top 100 favorite stories But it doesn’t matter they are good stories and good stories last forever regardless of what stories may come afterwards Whether style as a whole holds up by today’s standards is still up for debate But the various stories this gaming tells are good stories and therefore Automatically continue to hold up and will continue to hold up until the end of time however, before I end the section on NPC’s I would like to talk about something that is a game mechanic and Therefore may not hold up forever a radiant AI Radiant AI was introduced in Oblivion as a means of created residually generated scripts in game for the AI to follow In layman’s terms this meant that while the algorithm for dynamically creating the AI might have been hell it difficult to program Once that algorithm was set up Bethesda could simply get a handful of general For the npcs and the algorithm would come with various AI for pathfinding combat in the interactions with other NPCs Nbc’s would wake up in the morn He breakfast leave their house lock the front door Head to work and travel to the local bar or even visit another city all before heading home to sleep for the night in Fact radiant AI worked so well that bethesda actually had to tone down the radiant AI Before launching oblivion because they were unable to create world’s Massive enough and quick enough to adapt to actually keep pace with the radiant AI they had inadvertently coded I’ll provide a link to this guy’s video in the description if you’re interested His entire channel is pretty funny and he does it with minimal production value Procedurally generated Anything in videogames is generally treated with an almost knee-jerk reaction by gamers It is often considered synonymous with developers putting less effort into the game design instead Just letting the algorithm do the game design for them this may be the reason why Bethesda marketed their new AI algorithm as a radiant AI rather than Procedurally generated a.m. But in this case radiant AI was truly revolutionary It was crude in its earliest development But now that it exists the possibilities for expanding it are limitless we could assign various personality traits to NPCs and have those personality traits become some of the factors that the Algorithm will use when assigning AI to its various NPCs in order to give each NBC a unique AI to apply to it kind of like when oblivion did with the a nitrate of responsibility but at the moment I’m just thinking about what Brady and AI could become what about what we actually find it’s got him itself Well radiant AI is a double-edged sword on the one end it enables each NPC to have a unique schedule in life Giving them even more individuality in addition to their aforementioned personalities on paper This sounds like a great concept But at the same time this also provides a bottleneck on how many NPCs can be processed at one time This may be a justification for the small populations in cities and by proxy the small city areas I complained about earlier Having too many NPCs being processed at once would simply put way too much strain on console and PC processors Possibly even to the point of overloading them causing permanent damage and in extreme cases literal explosions I’ve entertained in my head the idea of only actively Processing the NPC’s in the load cell that the player is currently in while any time you head through a load or the game would simply calculate where each Idris II was supposed to be and what they were doing before placing you on the other side of the load or Unfortunately, that wouldn’t work because some NPCs are supposed to travel between low doors and even travel to other cities as part of their radiant behind packages However, even if new ideas can be developed to circumvent the issues of too many NPCs being processed at one time the bottom Line is that radiant? AEI will always put a bottleneck on the amount of NPCs We can have this means that as long as the other Scrolls franchise keeps writing at night We’ll never match the sheer population of cities like novigrad and witcher 3 Even if the fez de brother was willing to code individual scripts for each in DC so that begs the question does that make radiant III an Obsolete concept and by proxy causes starting to hold masked by city standards that it would have held up with Alba Radeon AI Well, honestly whether you believe radiant AI is worth the setbacks is almost completely subjective Some population size intensity is more important than each indc being unique for others They would advocate quality over quantity in nearly all things So does Radian a I hold up by today’s standards its controversial, but I’m going to say yes Rating an AI mean, I ve or cup of tea But it’s not broken by any means haven’t gets separately from non radiant AI games like Witcher 3 and Kingdom Come deliverance Just means that it gives Skyrim in each maybe some day some other game will come along and do radiant AI better than Bethesda does But radiant a island will always have a place in the gaming industry just like how turn-based combat engines will always have a place So yes while controversial I will say that rating at AI holds up Artifacts are important in RPG. They simultaneously Serve as one of the biggest means of leveling your character and also the primary incentive to go out and complete quests So it is important that these artifacts and their relative usefulness within the game Hold up in order for Skyrim as a whole to hold up for this analysis. I will divide the artifacts into two categories weapons and armor and everything else For weapons and armor. They are more or less a linear progression Steel is better than earlier dwarven is better than steel Diedrich is better than evety and so on and so forth Generally speaking this linear progression of weapons. And armor is rather simplistic But frankly the system still holds up surprisingly well Compare ascribes weapon and armor scaling system to other games of the year that have come out since then like Witcher 3 r IG ends 2018 game of the year monster hunter world these all have weapon and armor systems that have linear tiers to them higher tier means the weapons and armor a better period So while this aspect of Skyrim does indeed hold up by today’s standards Here’s something you probably didn’t expect me to say through the RPGs of the 2010s even hold up by 1990s standards to show you what I mean. Let’s take a look at the game that I grew up with the first video game I ever owned and the game that made me an RPG nerd and a gaming nerd in the first place the Super Nintendo called classic Super Mario RPG legend of 7 stars In that game despite having an incredibly simplistic Dental system by today’s standards the way you equipped your character actually required a bit of planning and foresight Each character could only wear one piece of armor and one accessory at time while the armor you could get was certainly a linear progression the accessory slot provides a lot more strategy than we see in many modern-day RPGs There were six status ailments you could get in the game Scarecrow poison silence sleep mushroom and feel each had different effects, but there were accessories You could buy that made you immune to the very stay honest ailments However, because you could only equip one accessory at a time you had to strategize about which accessories to wear in various dungeons compare that to modern RPGs Whereby the late game here pimped out so much enchanted armor and clothes that you’re effectively informal to everything all round One set of armor for dungeon delving and one set of clothes for crafting and selling around the city That’s quite literally it In fact lonely to RPGs of the 2010s if I’m holed up by a the standards of all the RPGs in the mid nineties Skyrim doesn’t even hold up against older games of its own franchise Specifically, I’m referring to dagger fall during character creation in that game You have the option of giving your character various advantages However, the game’s difficulty slider would actually go up making the game more difficult to balance out your Opie advantages You can’t just the difficulty slider manually like you couldn’t morrow endure oblivion And once you created your character, you are locked into that difficulty for the duration of the playthrough You can bring the difficulty bank down during character creation, but only by giving your character additional disadvantages to balance out the advantages This feeling that RPG Protagonists deserve to be this omnipotent Demigod who can’t be harmed is in my opinion total bollocks. It’s called game balance This is game design 101 Characters need to have limitations placed on them. Otherwise the game would provide no challenge That’s why God Mode has traditionally been considered a cheat code But Comparing star only to the games that have come out since then Discuss weapons and armor, hold up. Yes. Yes they do sadly But what about the artifacts and collectibles in scarm that aren’t weapons on armor? Honestly Skyrim has some of the most unique and interesting non weapons or armor Artifacts in any game I have ever played. There aren’t as many unique artifacts as time as other RPGs But this is certainly a case of quality over quantity an unbreakable Lockpick a reusable soul gem a self refilling bottle. These are rewards that keep on giving I Can’t think of any other RPG that provides such great rewards that aren’t related to weapons or armor Granted there are some RPGs from this decade. I have yet to play But I also checked out the wiki’s and other guides as will. I wasn’t able to find any information on games like Witcher 3 Offering artifacts as rewards that aren’t either weapons and armor or means to that end such as crafting materials steinem’s art effects However are not a means to an end but ends to themselves Getting the skeleton key is itself something that people join the Thieves Exclusively for people actively seek out the shrine of Azura for the sole purpose of obtaining the black star So do the quality of non weapons and non armor artifacts actually hold up by modern standards without hesitation I can absolutely Say that. Yes, they absolutely do Stealth in RPGs is very difficult to get right Because RPGs tend to place a lot more emphasis on character scale than on player skill Stealth does not normally mix well with that system in the 20 knots stealth and most RPGs was entirely RNG focused you would activate stealth mode and take on the ghost blank appearance and they C’s were then scripted to ignore your actions unless they Passed a mental resistance check which was entirely outside of your control That is not fun and it’s often frustrating when things don’t go the players way just because some RNG or other than their skill Stealth as a major gameplay mechanic was popularized by the Splinter Cell games of the 20 knots And those games protagonist Sam Fisher had to stay out of the light move slowly Avoid obstacles like broken glass that would make sounds when he stepped on them and avoid using his gun you dealt with enemies by sneaking up behind them and grabbing them from behind and Memorizing enemy movement patterns was critical to finding opportunities to sneak up behind them You were highly encouraged to take out enemies one at a time Since you were normally ill-equipped to handle multiple foes if enemies traveled in groups And you were unable to find moments when they separated you were instead encouraged to bypass them altogether There was no shame in avoiding fights in those games because you didn’t level up in those games Character skill couldn’t play a factor in your success So player skill was the only thing of men were sure if there were gadgets you can unlock that would make an easier time But you still had to take things slow and pay attention Starting with oblivion. However, the Elder Scrolls series juggled the delicate balance between player and character skill almost effortlessly light levels and line of sight factored into the players sneaking ability just as much as his Synnex skill The speed at which he moves combined with the weight of his clothes vectoring how much noise he makes while the characters and enemies Respective sneak skills are certainly a factor I mean if it wasn’t there, I would be an appointment even having a sneak skill in the first place as a separate skill sneaking still feels much more in the players control than in the hands of our @ji because of this it feels Infinitely more satisfying to sneak up on or sneak past and in it But this isn’t an oblivion retrospective. It’s a skyrim retrospective. So what about skull rooms stealth system? Honestly, that’s one of the places where this game falls flat The basic mechanics are still there from oblivion, but scribes execution falls short of the bar due to two fatal flaws The first fatal flaw is that there aren’t enough opportunities to be stealthy while playing the Thieves Guild quest a quest line that supposedly revolves about Stealth I can recall exactly a one Moment when being sneaky actually came in handy and that was right here at golden glow’ estates This mercenary was sitting at a table with his back to me. Clearly. Bethesda wanted me to sneak past him, which I did That’s honestly about it most other opportunities to be stealthy are few and far between And are usually broken up by Segments where you are simply forced to come into the light because there’s no means of staying in the shadows The second fatal flaw is that it is too easy to obtain gear that completely bypasses the various factors I mentioned a moment ago that makes stealth such an engaging experience Muffle enchantments are ubiquitous in the game Which completely negate one of the biggest factors that makes stealth a player skill based rather than character scale based game mechanic noise from Movement when you don’t have to worry about making too much noise from your movement stealth becomes graciously unbalanced What’s worse custom muffle enchantments always illuminated? 100% of the movement noise Regardless of your enchanting skill or the strength of a soldier and being used now Maybe that was an oversight on Bethesda’s part But if it was it’s an oversight Bethesda still has not patched up all these years leader So if it wasn’t intentional at first, it has become such In 2018 Kingdom Come deliverance was released and it has a much better stealth system than Stockholm does Instead of just enchanting whatever boots you want with muffle you instead have to wear clothes that complement a stealthy lifestyle Aka those that have dark colors, of course This can be circumvented in the early game Simply by not wearing any clothes at all and just becoming the naked bandit But at least then your movement noise isn’t completely negated which along puts it above Skyrim stealth system If your Plagueis a stealthy character, you are also probably playing a criminal character as well Stealing lock-picking and pickpocketing are the primary actions you are going to be performing while you’re on your stealthy crime sprees Honestly, however, these mechanics don’t hold up really well either Stealing is well did justice Mew in a sneak mode You make sure you’re not seeing and to be an opiate X of stuff It’s mechanically no different than looting in a dungeon except that you have to make sure nobody is seeing you before to do it It’s quite frankly a very simple mechanic but in its defense I can’t think of another RPG that does this system much better Nor can I even think of a hypothetical way it could be handled better? So at the very least I have to say that it holds up Pickpocketing is just boring It’s basically the same interface as taking stuff out of a container or looting a corpse the only difference Is that whether you successfully acquire the item or not is dependant under a pickpocket skill and an orangy the only wait a minute the pickpocket system in your favor is too quick save just before you enter the victims inventory and Loading the save if you failed but that’s not engaging. That’s the equivalent of using save states to win at gambling minigames There’s nothing remotely engaging fulfilling or rewarding about this system This is another instance where Kingdom Come deliverance blows Skyrim out of the water It begins the same way you talk to a person clown Crouch So instead of initiating dialogue you pull up their inventory But instead of simply selecting the item from their inventory and then sang a Hail Mary You actually have to pull the item out of their pockets in a system similar to the old board game Operation for regulars on my channel. You may recall me suggesting this very system doing my series on the ideal elder scrolls sex well after playing Kingdom Come deliverance, I can personally attest that this system is ideal for Pickpocketing now if only everything else about Kingdom Come deliverance wasn’t good. The game might have been a matched base in a bonafide Skyrim killer Lock-picking is atrocious Oblivion’s lock-picking minigame held up. Just fine. I can see why bethesda felt the need to over hold the system for sky from Basically, you’re searching for a sweet spot in the lock. However where the sweet spot is located is entirely random Especially on expert in master locks. You can very easily break a totally fresh lockpick so fast You don’t even have time to take your thumb off the analog stick think about it this way if you were playing a platformer and Obstacles appeared on screen as fast as you can break your lock picks and Skyrim that platformer would be almost Universally criticized for its unfair difficulty a moment ago I mentioned house crimes skeleton key is often the primary reason people join the Thieves Guild Well, the reason the skeleton key is so universally sought-after is because scams lock-picking minigame is a pain in the ass That is the complete opposite of how crust rewards should feel Once again, I have to give the nod to came to become deliverance for coming up with a better mechanic for picking locks sure, your tendency to break lock picks is influenced by the character skill but a player with enough skill of his own can Make it entirely unnecessary First when you enter the lock picking err face The sweet spot is randomly determined but hovering your lockpick over the sweet spot will cause it to turn gold However, as you begin to turn the lock with the other thumb stick the sweet spot moves Forcing you to adjust the lock picks position on the fly While a higher lock pick skill will reduce the penalty you get for going out of bounds whether you even go out of bounds in the first place is Still entirely in the player’s control even if getting the hang of the mechanic might take a little practice This is a hard one from me it really is Because the incredible stealth system in Oblivion is the main reason I got into the Elder Scrolls games in the first place Before I got oblivion, I was a huge fan of his Splinter Cell games So when I first got oblivion stealth was my primary build focused for at least my first dozen playthroughs of that game I joined the Thieves Guild in Dark Brotherhood because those were the factions geared towards stealthy players because I initially exposed myself to the best and funnest to faction quest lines in not only that game but the entire Franchise I fell head over heels in love with this franchise almost overnight and I’ve been hooked ever since I have since discovered a lot more of this franchise to love So I no longer needed the great stealth to continue my love for this franchise But I really really wanted stealth to be a window here. I Really really wanted to say that the stealth system and scope still holds up But alas I have to look at the matter objectively and looking at it, but those little personal bias as possible I have no choice but to acknowledge that no, it does not hold up here’s hoping that Elder Scrolls 6 could have a stealth system that makes Elder Scrolls the undisputed king of stoke the RPGs once again And its core Skyrim is a dungeon crawler The quests almost always send you to dungeons and there are plenty of dungeons that you are encouraged to explore independently But these dungeons need enemies in order to pose a challenge I mean, it’s either that or challenging puzzles and Skyrim does not do that very well at all for reasons I already discussed in depth Combat can be divided into three different categories melee archery and destruction magic Stealth can augment both melee and archery based combat Using what’s known as sneak attacks to deal massive an opening damage and sometimes one hit your opponent’s meanwhile You can also attach Potions which you can create using the alchemy skill to your melee and archery weapons to service one-time buffs to your weapons attacks Archery is honestly the easiest to pin down you fire an arrow and it shoots its target There’s honestly very little to say about it. Other than that I would definitely argue that archery takes more player skill than in other more recent games like Witcher 3 or Dark Souls because you actually Have to aim your bow Other RPGs have lock-on which takes out all the aiming that comes with using archery as a combat skill Well, the lock own ability might be a welcome addition to melee combat a system. I’ll go into more detail about bub terribly I’ll definitely believe that it feels out of place in archery sing as knowing where to point your weapon is the whole point of that skill Melee combat is honestly the biggest lost opportunity in Skyrim as far as combat is concerned There’s no way a sugarcoat it melee combatants die for sucks Okay, I could go into a great amount of detail about what sucks about storms mainly combat system But somebody has already done a bang-up job of describing the flaws in the system already Regulus of my channel might remember mr. Caption and one of my earliest analysis videos I included clips from his analysis fallout 4 and my response to those clips became the basis for that video Well, I’d like to play a statement from another one of his videos this time. I’ll review of skyberg releases Ookla explains. Why stoves? Combat system is so terrible now personally I have a bad feeling in my gut that Scarves a list of bad guys may not be all that up to snuff parts Linfield I’ve already done all the research but for the sake of the audience Let’s do what we did before Fallout 4 and list out all of the enemies in Skyrim and compare it to a few other games from around Skyrim this time Though that we won’t be counting alternate versions of a single enemy as a new entry So for example polar bears and bears discount as one bear enemy and all 800 versions of drogar only count as one as well Alright, let’s start we have bandits for swarm Ghosts warlocks and/or other associated mage bandit type whatever you want to call them afflicted vampires drogar bears chorus wolves SaberCats skeevers mud crabs ice rates porkers werewolves trolls giants mammoths dragon priests wardens spheres spiders and golems Falmer spiders skeletons hag ravens shades Spriggans wisps Daedra Firestorm and I Safran ox slaughter fish and gas and Dragons, of course Okay. Now, let’s see here. That’s Thirty-six enemies at my counselor table not bad scar. At least it is for now while we amid all of the little details Now let’s peer into the list of enemies provided by another Open world dungeon crawling action RPG from around Skyrim’s time that features dragons as a major antagonist Dragon’s Dogma Dragon’s Dogma has chimera garm worms woman’s ogres cyclopses cockatrice hydra Griffin’s skeletons harpies gargoyles evil eyes nameless men phantoms dragons of various sorts saurians Lich’s goblins golems members of the salvation which is a cult Drake’s wolves zombies bandits, which includes various types of bandits like bandit mages and that comes up to a total of the 25 enemies after filtering out any enemies that have at least Sort of similar function to other enemies now you might be asking caption. You just said Skyrim has more enemies what’s the problem here the problem here is that not all enemies are created equal and this is very much a case of quantity over quality Let me ask you what’s the difference between fighting a common drogar and a bandit in terms of strategy? They are both normal human enemies whose primary methods of threatening the player are they’re either swing a sword at them or they shoot arrows Which is also the same tactics that skeletons use Also happens to be the same attacks forsworn can employ Which also happens to be what? Jhamora do and is also what ghosts kill people with hell vampire isn’t afflicted or the same way if you take off their one extra spell in a spit attack Oh and in the vampires case, it’s literally just a spell that makes your health mark go down So like you can prevent it or anything Let’s not forget the foamer yet I think you get the point Skyrim is full of enemies suffers from multiple problems having to do with Repetition and a lack of different strategies among enemies that belong to the same category Not only does Skyrim have like 4 risk inversions of many enemies to the game’s levels scaling nature But like we’ve already established many enemies function in the same way regardless of being different enemy types Different enemy types said with some air quotes by the way oftentimes the differences between enemies are either negligible or so minor that they don’t even shake up how the player deals with the new enemy or it doesn’t even make enough of a difference to be noted in the first place Let’s go back to our example of drug or and bandits the difference between a level 1 bandit and Lobo and drugger is that drug are immune to poison and Have a 50% resistance to frost magic which is something many bandits can also have depending on which race they spawn as That doesn’t change how you deal with them. All it means is that you just may as well not apply your poisons You’re still just gonna run up and hit it until it dies or of course die to wait if your numbers aren’t big enough the AI itself is also unchanged the drogar and bandits both run up with their weapon and attack you and maybe block on occasion or Do a strong attack It’s not like bandits make use of extra tools like bombs or something or a drug or make use of the fact that they’re dead To do anything special nothing at the sword They’re the same game thing just as they were with the forsworn and all those other enemies we listed above for except for maybe Vampires because they occasionally bring something back to life to help them just for comparison’s sake let me compare a basic undead and Dragon’s Dogma To just the fighter class Bandits – L thought there are three other classes of bandit while they’re on the unique weapons and fighting styles to each other The basic zombies in Dragon’s Dogma have two attacks they can slap at the player or whatever else with their gross uncut mail things to deal physical damage and have a grapple attack where They stun the target and bite them until they break themselves free multiple Zombies can join in on the grapple and pile onto the damage that this attack does Unlike bandit zombies are most commonly found at night and are especially immune to damage when they’re getting and are especially vulnerable to fire Holi and taupe or tax since they shamble very slowly and making them any slower may as well just stun them coz there’s zombies Sometimes they even outright crawl on the ground to get to the player They try to swarm the player as well as they came their AI is a little bit mindless Cuz they’re zombies though often times the only players they’re gonna be able to out swarm are people who are melee attackers cuz they’re slow like zombies in Comparison bandit fighters are the tanky estab. They’re kind employing either a sword and board sword shield for those You don’t know that means or a two-handed weapon Bandit fighters can have up to seven different special attacks that they actually share with the players pool if you’re on a warrior class Though they can’t use them all at once It’s dependent on their remember they do however always spawn being able to use the one slot and impale abilities which allow them to respectfully perform the Warriors basic three attack combo Perform a strong stabbing attack that can knock back small targets and in addition to that they may of course Also spawn with another or multiple other special attacks from the remaining five leftover special moves that they can perform Fighters also have a special charged up heavy attack that can devastate targets health bars Sometimes outright one-shotting whatever they’re aiming at ad but are easy to block or dodge Bandits unlike zombies go about combat with some hesitation most because if they all attacked it and a huge swarm It’d probably be a little bit difficult to dodge your blog properly. But the important part is that they’re not slow They don’t just swarm the player as much and they have totally different techniques to the zombies and mind you This is just the fighter bandit. There’s four classes totally bandit packs can spawn with fighters warriors Striders and mages all of which have different tactics to one another and that’s not even bringing up the part about the scarrans combat where every single creature In the game does battle by running at each other and slapping their opponent with their weapon or spamming magic and arrows until something die Which is just one of the deep-rooted flaws the way this engine handles combat. Melee long story short stylism melee combat system has Practically no strategy to it honestly The reason so many Skyrim fans eventually gravity to a stealthy Archer isn’t because it’s the most powerful Most for as a combat scan can to shot most enemies if there are a high enough level most people gravitate with stealthy Archer play style because it combines two police dogs that actually require the player to pay attention and be Skillful with their actions the aiming of archery and the situational awareness of stealth This is the most popular playstyle because it’s one of the few play styles in the late game. That isn’t Superboy There were actually several games to have come out since Skyrim that have combat systems that can dance circles around Skyrim which are three the entire Dark Souls trilogy Kingdom Come deliverance hell even Bethesda Themselves have made combat engines that dance circles around Skyrim in recent years with the release of Fallout 4 Honestly melee combat not only does it hold up by today’s standards, but it doesn’t even hold up by 2011 Dragon’s Dogma as mr. Caption points out in the clip I played for you as a combat system that is leagues better than Skyrim and came out the same hero Skype discards melee combat system holds up by today’s standards no with our capital in Last but not least we have destruction magic Arab mage destruction match this wouldn’t be your primary means of dealing damage against other enemies Unfortunately destruction magic on its own is simply not a viable option Simply do the balance issues the spells you need to cast are way too expensive and you simply don’t have a large enough mana pool Potions to restore your magic ax are a pain in the butt as well since ingredients to make them are hard to come by Red Mountain flower is all over the place But you need at least one other ingredient to make a potion with so in a majority of cases you’re going to be waiting Patiently for your magic R to recharge on its own all while being completely helpless Seeing as you need a good to deliver both offensive and defensive spells Running around like a jackass is your only means to staying alive whenever you’re out of Magica Now some of you starve and poised right now are probably thinking well You can just get summon chains and armor that will reduce the cost of your spells and even eliminate them altogether So your complaint is invalid by the way I can call you guys skywrath fanboys because I am a Skyrim fan by myself. I have gained word privilege I’m looking at the game objectively, but I definitely love this game to death Anyway that just highlights another aspect to Stiles combat engine that I have to complain about Just as oblivion had skilled its enemies on the assumption that the player was consistently obtaining plus five plus five plus five attribute bonuses with each level up Causing the enemies to become too powerful for you After about level 10 unless you’re doing efficient leveling and Skyrim’s combat engine the White Plains Seems to be balanced around the assumption that the player is going to be making maximum use of head crafting skills Daedric and dragon weapons and armor are not impossible to find in dungeon loot, but they are extremely rare They were super rare in morrowind, but at least they weren’t random drops So despite being so rare You could get them pretty early in the game if you already knew where to go and what to do In Skyrim if you want the best weapons armor in the game smithing is the only reliable way of obtaining them This wouldn’t have been much of a problem. If playing the game at later levels with inferior gear was a viable option But the enemies just take away too many heads to Cowtown unless you’re maximizing. Corchia also, the game is balanced on the assumption that you’re going to be tempering your weapons and armor before actually using them and then putting In shape mats on them The game is simply unbalanced if you’re not doing those things and it’s way too easy at higher levels if you are doing those things Smithing was a huge addition in Skyrim But it’s one that should have been optional instead like efficient leveling and oblivion It’s a mechanic that’s touted as optional for a min/max in playstyle But is in fact mandatory just to keep pace with the rest of the game has anyone ever actually made a serious bid to play Skyrim at low levels and Not using smithing at any capacity just use the up any weapons You loot off the trogir without tempering them and use only the armor that you can find as loot Fights take forever and since melee combat is pouring the fights feel a lot longer than they actually are hell maybe the fights are Difficult per se but they are certainly monotonous and using smithing and enchanting is the only viable means of making them Mercifully short if it weren’t for the crafting system fights in stone would be absolutely unbearable now if it’s any consolation I personally find that the crafting systems in sky taken in a vacuum to be perfectly serviceable The feeling of heading to a mine digging up or smelting them into ingots and forging those angles into your own handmade weapons Gives your newly crafted gear a sense of personal touch to them Even if as far as the game engine is concerned these items are the exact same items that you can find out in dungeons I still get the feeling that these items are my bait because I made them myself Rather than finding them the problem here. Isn’t that the smithing skill is a fun of rewarding The problem is that it’s mandatory when it should be optional that without it combat is boring Unbalanced and takes forever and even where that combat is still boring just mercifully short Soda Skyrim’s combat holds up by today’s standards hell No So what about the game’s aesthetic presentation does that hold up Well, there are two aspects to a gameis aesthetic presentation the graphics and the audio For a game that came out in 2011 the graphics hold up surprisingly. Well Frankly were rapidly approaching an era where advancements in graphics technology as producing diminishing returns in terms of the improved visuals that we can actually see with our a Milad guides in 2016 bethesda released a remake for Skyrim known as sky ms. Special edition the primary aim of this release was to bring Skyrim to the next generation of consoles and in the Process give console gamers for the first time ever are the power to mod their games Yeah, we’ll get to that near the end of the retrospective however while these special editions certainly requires quite a bit more graphical horsepower than the 2011 release does I have to ask Does that increased GPU requirement actually translate into better visuals? To show you what? I mean. Let’s look at some side-by-side Comparisons between the original Skyrim and special edition. Here’s one. Here’s another one Here’s a third. Honestly, I can’t tell much difference The special edition certainly has some increased levels of glare from the Sun But as far as looking more realistic as concerned the differences are negligible at best The increased glare from the Sun comes off more like an artistic choice by the graphics team Rather than a genuine leap forward in making the graphics more realistic compare that to the graphical leap that oblivion made compared to morrowind or the leap that Morrowind made compared to Daggerfall the difference is night and day As I said a moment ago We’re rapidly approaching a point where graphics are being bottlenecked by the human eyes ability to distinguish an increase in graphics I remember something that the at the time president of Nintendo The late Satoru Iwata said at one of the 2005 Game Developers conferences he was defending Nintendo’s at the time new and reversal corporate agenda of innovating new ways for the player to interact with the game like the newly released Nintendo – yes and the in Development Nintendo Wii rather than focus on increasing graphical and processing power of their consoles in defense of this controversial policy Aguada said the following Some day our games won’t look any better What will we do then? If we aren’t already knee-deep in that era right now that era is certainly just around the corner So discards graphics still hold up. Yes, I would say they do But what about the gans audio presentation unlike the graphics the technical ability to present audio reached its plateau long ago For the entirety of the 21st century audio presentation has been exclusively artistic rather than technical on one hand It makes the question of whether the audio presentation holding up an entirely subjective one on the other hand just like with the section regarding Stamps stories it saves me from having to compare Skyrim to other RPGs Audio quality can be divided into three major categories Music sound effects and voice acting as first music Skyrim certainly has one Oblivion of an edge on its competition because its music is composed by a master composer Jeremy Soule Souls talent for video game music knows no bounds in addition to the songs He wrote being objectively good they have a distinct advantage over most other video game soundtracks They are emotionally neutral Whatever your feeling as you boot up the game scums soundtrack will somehow make you feel more of that Had a bad day at work. I need a catharsis killing bandits soul Soundtrack will make it that much more satisfying to chop. Someone’s head off Just got out of a really terrible breakup Souls soundtrack will make you even sadder that you’ll never see her again Just got that from an intense workout Souls soundtrack will help you relax Without the slightest hint of hesitation. I could safely say scones music holds up splendidly The sound effects are a little bit tougher of a nut to crack They don’t have Jeremy soles Master Hand behind them But fortunately I would have planned they are certainly adequate for what they set out to do However, I wish to reinforce what I said a moment ago that this is all subjective That just leaves voice acting Skyrim boasts an all-star voice cast Nearly every NPC who is important to a major quest line has a unique voice actor But what about the G American pcs, you know, the guys who aren’t part of quests are are part of a minor quests They usually share a small pool of generic voice actors however The voice actors Bethesda selected for them are so skilled at what they do that even though they technically have the same voice You honestly don’t notice that unless you’re paying really close attention Because the voice talent Bethesda hired for this game is so damn good That they’re able to convey a completely different personalities with their voices just by carefully controlling the tone and flexions in their voice To show you what I mean. Here’s a series of voice clips from generic voice actors in Skyrim There are seven different clips across three different voice actors one male and two female Despite not seeing any visuals on-screen I think the majority of you can instantly tell which characters these people are Just by the way, their lines are delivered. Are you ready? Okay, here we go as the whole city lost their brains I’ve been scrying and augering to find the murderer myself This isn’t over I Catch you sending one letter to general tellus I’ll have you both executed as my Thane I’m sworn to your service I’ll guard you and all you own with my life Splendid there’s a house available right now. It was difficult. At first the Nords of this city are at best suspicious of outsiders in fact I once took a seaside stroll on a moonlit night and discovered a unicorn which I proceeded to stabbed in the throat with a crochet needle It is clear that bethesda spared no expense with their audio presentation with an all-star voice cast a serviceable selection of sound effects and a score composed to lay one of the greatest video game music composers to ever walk the face of the earth Skyrim is an audio Masterpiece with every fiber of my being I can safely give scythes argue thee holds up by today’s standards seal of approval a Massive world is great No, but RPGs are boring if there’s nothing to do in the games other than just run around like a jackass and raid Whatever done did you come across? Fortunately Skagen boasts the massive quest log with literally hundreds of hours of quest content counting radiant quests only once each Skyrim boasts an astonishing 453 different quests that can be completed by contrast a comprehensive list of quests from Witcher 3 suggests that the game has only 358 quests to complete that is certainly an impressive number, but Skyrim still has witcher 3 beat However, that’s only a case of quantity. What about the quality of the quests? I have actually hurts games quests be criticized as Heavily boring and repetitive I would like to play another segment for you from mr Captions scarred on the analysis, you know What sounds more interesting than talking about a quest where we go get a thing Talking about all of the quests where we coincidentally go in get a lot of things I do not understand the appeal of these quests of all the quests I’ve played and I tried to play a lot of them I found myself doing a lot of either walking into a dungeon or fetching a thing and oftentimes a combination of those two The amount of fetch quests in Skyrim is insane and often times quests that should in No way be either just a dungeon crawl or a fetch quest are Like for example, this Dawnbreaker sword thing. It makes zombies explore King. Awesome. How do I get it? Your one throw dungeon You run through a dungeon and you kill a guy at the end who has a bunch of pet ghosts And he also turns into a ghost which is really nothing more than him getting a second health bar not cutting Okay, what about this szura’s star thing. It’s apparently a soul gem that allows for an infinite number of souls to pass through it a Massively useful tool for enchanters. Where do I get that? Dungeon king surprise. Am I right? That’s not to mention all the other quests for example right now, right and white one I can remember at least three quests where I had to just go somewhere get a thing or a person in one case and come back and that was the quest I tried specifically finding cool quest by asking people on Twitter where to look and Honest-to-god the only answer I actually got was quest mods mods However, I would have to respectfully disagree as far as gameplay is concerned score may have a formula to it for better or worse But this formula is merely a skeletal structure that is fleshed out with the individual twists and events of each quest To show you what? I mean. Let’s take a look at one of my personal favorite side quests missed watch which begins when you approach the fort of the same name an Ordnance star believes his wife viola has been kidnapped by the bandits of this fort And asks you to rescue her because he has no combat skills why he didn’t hire a few mercs before coming here Is anyone’s guess but that’s not the point anyway You worked your way through the dungeon and ultimately meet the Bandit chief who is actually Fiola Herself not kidnapped by the bandits, but having joined them willingly Now I will be the first to admit that the dungeon itself is nothing to write home about It’s basically just your standard style and being a dungeon crawl, but that’s not the point What makes this quest memorable is the story being told? The set up and plot twists that book in the dungeon author real focus of this quest then again, it is important for me to emphasize that this is Subjective. I love a good story in my video games. And so I’ll forgive a slightly dull dungeon layout if the story is good You may feel differently about this however If you enjoy a good story as much as I do there is definitely a praise I can give to the vast majority of times side quests that is far less subjective the branching paths at least half the side quests in the game will offer you the opportunity to betray the original quest giver and it’s dead side with His enemy promises to keep too late burial the jacket crown a lovely letter publicist goes on and on Honestly, the only quests that don’t appear to have a branching path are those that don’t have any opposing parties you’re trying to screw over in the first place The blacksmith and white wound wants me to deliver a sword to the steward I can’t betray her but only because there’s nobody else I can resolve that quest in favor of He sold him once a mammoth tusk so she can convince the Khajiit Raiders to take her on as an apprentice Well, unless there’s only one mammoth tusk in the game and there are multiple people who want it I don’t know how you even could betray her in that quest other than just not doing the quest Next we have one of the most controversial additions to Skyrim the radiant quests I have heard that they are merely an excuse to pad out the game indefinitely without having to actually make indefinite content However, I wholly disagreed once you’ve completed the faction quest lines. Those quest lines are basically over. Yes, you can Continue to do radiant quests with those factions But only if you choose to raiding quests are not required to complete the game Raiding quests are just like survival mode in Fallout 4 and sky a special edition. They are 100% optional. You don’t wanna don’t go on But what about the radiant quests you need in order to unlock the next question in the faction quest line for example The Comenius quest line is only six quests logged but is padded out with radiant west that you do in between the six main ones Surely this is just padding, right? Honestly, I would still have to disagree Well, let me clarify you disagree with the accusation that that padding insofar as the word padding is used in a pejorative sense Sometimes padding is actually good like on a bed for example compared to Oblivion’s Mages Guild quest line You make it to the arcane university and you’re immediately sent to acquire on mages staff The game presents this as standard for any new arcane university Baku’s but from that moment on the quest Lane just moves at Mach 10 It’s just necromancer’s from now until the quest line ends We see some apprentices actually attended classes in the arcane universities courtyard yet here We are the Archmage of the arcane universe name. We’ve never actually attended such a class ourselves in Skye where most of the factions require a you to complete in question or to unlock subsequent major quests in those factions? But if we think about it, doesn’t that make sense? It makes sense that we would need do the dirty work in order to earn the trust and respect The faction leaders who call the shots. It also makes sense that you should have to do odd jobs So the faction can continue to earn revenue so they have the financial means to pursue whatever goals They are working towards in the actual quest lines As for the quests being randomly generated, I quite frankly consider that to be an improvement to show you what I mean Let’s take the Oblivion’s Fighters Guild quest line as an example there’s a question that quest line known as more unfinished business and it you visit an apothecary at the préval mages guild who needs 10 income but the exception of Nathalie are having jumped ship to your competition Which does advance the quest lancets tres all-out This quest could very easily have just been randomly generated aside from AG leaders jumping ship There’s hardly any real story being told here However, this quest is handled far worse than the equivalent quests in Skyrim because it is at random you always go to this specific location always speak to this specific person who always needs specifically in Gaul and Always be ten samples Overall they approve of these sorts of dirty work quests because they add to immersion they make the faction feel like it’s having to do Jobs in or turn a profit in order to stay alive These jobs may not be the most glamorous jobs in the world, but they add to the immersion because they are so dull however I much prefer Psalms system of Randomizing these odd jobs sending you to random locations and giving you different objectives that helps to add to immersion in its own, right? Of course the side quests are meant to be self-contained The faction quest lines are the ones that tell the largest and by-proxy deepest and most interesting stories how well steyr handles its various Faction quest lines is also a huge factor in how well Skyrim on the whole holds up The various different factions all blend together in one specific area with the exception of the Dark Brotherhood The other faction quest lines all fall into a standard dungeon after dungeon a formula Even when the quest lines don’t immediately appear requirement I should warn you out the gate that I do not plan on giving in-depth analyses of any other function quest lines in this game as This is an in-depth analysis of Skyrim as a whole I’ve already given a three-part analysis of sky whose Dark Brotherhood quest line if you’re interested and I may give analyses of the other faction quest lines in the future But this is merely a retrospective of how the fact Shin quest lines Contribute to Skyrim holding up in the modern day. So an in-depth analysis of each faction is not Anyway the college of winterhold Questline is the one that caused the most attention to this Unnecessary dungeon formula for a faction that calls itself a college there are surprisingly few Actual classes in this quest line you start the quest line by attending a single class. Where the teacher Shows you how to use wart spells. That’s Honestly about that there aren’t any classes after that Once you learn a wart spell he decides to put these rookie mages in unspeakable danger by having them explore a trogir rune Well that rocker are still walking the halls and attacking people on sight It’s clear the way this supposed field trip is set up The Bethesda felt like they couldn’t afford to go more than a few minutes Without giving the players action or alts the players would lose interest like a cat destructed by a laser pointer From there you come across the eye of Magnus aka the gods Elder Scroll reader from there on out classes appear to be canceled You don’t attend a single class after that as if that weren’t very enough After you’ve resolved the immediate Conflict regarding the eye of Magnus the centric order shows off and appoints you the new arch means the College of Winterhold And this makes absolutely no sense The citric order are not in any way affiliated with the College of Winterhold but gives them the right to appoint This new Archmage. I mean, can you imagine if someone walked into a restaurant? They didn’t own fired the owner and then turn to some other guy and said hey Jimmy, you’re the new manager here Seriously who has the balls? Slightly better than the College of Winterhold quest line is the Civil War quest line earlier I opined if the College of Winterhold quest line cost the most Attention to the dungeon after dungeon formula with hardly any real story to break up the monotony However in my humble opinion the Civil War quest line is the worst offender of this formula It just does a much better job of hiding the formula upon closer inspection However, this quest lands offenses begin to show as far as the gameplay is concerned It’s basically just for bad laughter for battle They do make some attempt to break up the monotony by having us do sabotage and blackmail missions But at least half the questline that going to be fort backhauls When half of any quest line is composed of one specific think it’s time to rethink the quest line So what about the story? Well, I’m about to shock you so put your drinks down for a minute because you’re not gonna believe what I’m about to say are You ready? Okay, here we go the story for scarves Civil War quest line is practically non-existent Wait, what how can that be? political intrigue and political conspiracy on this game is one of the game’s most universally praised aspects and That is true. However, here’s something that you probably never really thought about until now 99.999% of the story that the Civil War supposed to be about Is completely divorced from the Civil War quest line Yeah, think about it sees an unending were the big players in the Civil War actually get the bulk of their character moments That’s part of the main quest the part where the Thalmor are actually driving a wedge in between the Stormcloaks and Imperials Encouraging them to fight each other to weaken each army in the process Yeah, we learn about that during the quest diplomatic immunity which again is part of the main quest Not the Civil War quest line the way every NPC and especially the Jarls feel about the war and whose side they’re on Hnpc who has the appropriate dialogue option available Can be asked about their opinions regardless of whether you join either army or no army at all. I Have played the Stormcloaks Multiple times and I’ve seen multiple playthroughs of the imperial quest line as well and I can recall precisely One moment in both quest lines when I learned something about the Civil War that I would not have learned had I not done the quest line This is when I am sent to mark hearth to dig up some dart on the steward there and blackmail him. I Search his drawers and find it that he’s a closet Tallis worshipper however That heart comes as a shock. If you have played the rest of the game extensively we learned that ball gruff Whiterun is a closet tell us where shabari if we do the Dave’s request the whispering door We learned that hiking Touareg was a closet Tallis worshipper If we do a mini quest line to become thane of solitude Hell even mark off has a side quest where we dig up evidence of another closet Tell us worship are right there in Markarth So frankly having another closet Tallis worshipper is not that big of a deal to me It certainly is not a game changer when it comes to the Civil War quest line Now the equivalent imperial mission is a different story when we dig up dirt on the rift in Stuart. We don’t find that She’s a closet Tallis worship her. She’s a dumber. So that wouldn’t even make any sense Instead we find that she’s actually in league with the Thieves Guild Ok credit where it’s due. I did not see that coming not only that but it actually makes a lot of sense it offers an explanation as to how Repton can be so corrupt and Crime-ridden when the yarl who supposedly cares about law and order Appears so blissfully unaware of the corruption happening just ten feet outside her palaces front door However, I would argue that this is more of a contribution to the Thieves Guild story than the civil war Now some of you may think I’m nitpicking Arguing that it isn’t that big of a deal that the story of the Civil War is primarily being told outside the Civil War You of course have every right to feel this way However, I don’t see why we couldn’t have our cake and eat it too once we’ve chosen a side Is there any reason why the storytelling had to come to a screeching halt to that point? Can there have been new story developments at each new leg of the quest line? for example imagine if at some point during the storm cloak West Lane We get the opportunity to bring some evidence to Oliver’s attention that the Imperial City had already been conquered by the Thalmor Before he was tortured into giving up the information. So he’s blaming himself for a problem. He didn’t actually cause Imagine if Ulfric forgives himself for spilling the beans but decides to continue the war effort nonetheless Arguing that there is more to this war then simply rectifying his betrayal of the Empire this would have been a great character development for all Frick or Imagine if upon joining the Legion there is a quest that forces you into a trolley problem We are forced to choose between killing an innocent bystander in giving all FERC the chance to escape once again Such a moral conundrum would certainly have put the Imperials decision at the beginning of the game to summarily execute you despite your name not being on the list in a whole new light, but knit the possibilities are endless for opportunities to tell stories and debulk the characters even after you join one of the two armies I Don’t know maybe I am Nitpicking, but bear in mind that the story that a quest tells is a huge factor in the quests overall quality I personally feel that it’s only half a quest if it only tells a story for as long as you’re not Actually doing the quest The Thieves Guild Dark Brotherhood in companions will be analyzed simultaneously As they are similar enough in their structure that separate analyses of them for the purposes of this retrospective Would result in a lot of repeating various points as I said earlier I’ve already done any in-depth analysis into the dark brotherhood story if you’re interested These quest lines are structured much better than Civil War quest lines for starters They each tell stories that you have to actually join the faction to fully experience That alone puts them above the Civil War quest line structurally speaking as far as falling into the dungeon after a dungeon formula the Dark Brotherhood as I pointed out before Falls into this rut the least which of course makes sense seeing as the vast majority of targets you need to eliminate can be found In urban and suburban areas the Thieves Guild falls into this rut, but it is saved by the various radiant jobs You can do the take place entirely within the major hold capitals The companions are probably the worst offender of these three for falling into the dungeon after dungeon for me life but like the Steve’s guild the Variety of raiding quests the faction offers elevates this faction above the college of winterhold and civil war quest lines Yes these radiant quests Have you heading into dungeons to kill at stuns boss? But they also involve us giving kidnapped civilians walking up to troublemaking civilians and bar brawl with them Clearing out civilians homes that have been overrun by wild animals and many many other types of quests story-wise I find it interesting but not Necessarily in a good way that both the Dark Brotherhood and the Thieves Guild both have the plot twists of the guilds leader betraying you That’s a perfectly fine plot twist for one factions quest line But to do it twice in one game just feels repetitive and it shows a lack of imagination on Bethesda’s part If companions are safe from this repetition by having a storyline that doesn’t revolve around betrayal Even the main source of the conflicts the Glen Morel witches gift of like a trophy Isn’t even a betrayal per se they just didn’t give all the details when they gave the gift The companions likewise provide a fairly interesting contrast to the traditional thickness eat robes The companions are werewolves by the way spoiler alert yet. They still fight for good This isn’t stark contrast to traditional phoenix interrupts Where are those afflicted with curses such as the cantor being VMP IRISA are treated as complete Outcasts by society the Elder Scrolls franchise. It’s itself not exempt from this trope So that leaves us with just the main quest Honestly forming an opinion on the main quest is a tough one when I first played this game back in 2011 I essentially played very little except the main quest The reviews from back in 2011 built up the dragon fights Shouts as being the most badass Saint, in gaming in years, and so I didn’t really care for anything else However, nowadays the main quest is just kind of there one might argue that this is just an indication that the main quest Doesn’t hold up, but then why should I find it? So compelling when I first came out? It wasn’t just the advertising either I very distinctly remember playing the main quest in 2011 and enjoy the hell out of it So it wasn’t just a case of the critics hyping up the main quest beyond its entrance Gameplay wise the main quest revolves around learning various dragon shouts boots grant a variety of effects These shouts are germane reward for killing dragons as by killing them you absorb dragon souls Which have the currency’s vent to unlock dragon shouts that you learn this system is a rather interesting one because it encourages both Exploration and fighting dragons as you need both to earn your rewards you need to explore to discover new words power You need to kill dragons to get their souls in order to unlock those words However, I’m making this idea sound like it’s executed a lot better than it actually It’s that’s the part I hate see the idea of giving you a two-fold reward to encourage two aspects of gameplay is a great idea on paper But there are several key problems with the way sky actually execute that idea as far as the words of power are concerned the mass majority of word walls are located in either draaga ruins or dragon mounds and That gets repetitive pretty fast while this certainly makes sense and more that the word walls would only be located in those two locations Simply being Lauren friendly doesn’t necessarily translate a good game design in addition to that the dragon souls also suffer from a repetition the novelty of finding a track in its time was a phenomenal Bank in 2011 but after you kill your 500th dragon across your 10th playthrough you start to realize the core problem Literally every dragon fight is the same Once the benefit of novelty wears off the repetition of each dragon fight starts to wear on If you can avoid the repetition That accompanies our firing these shouts once you actually get them the shares themselves are certainly interesting Unfortunately, the clunky interface requires you pause the game and go into a menu every time you want to change a sound since you will Only have 8 keys on the PC that you can use to hotkey your items and on the console You’re even more limited. You are probably just going to be gravitating almost exclusively to the few shots that are most useful Unrelenting force dragon rend and become a theory for surviving fall damage honestly, the game should not have gone you unrelenting force as your first shout because it’s one of the most universally useful shots in the Game working on nearly all enemies by the time you have logged even 30 hours into your first playthrough You’ll be firmly entrenched down here a pattern dragon written for dragons and unrelenting force for everything else this program could have been severely alleviated if there were dungeon puzzles that actually Utilized other Shone’s like the puzzle a new Stan Grof that required through whirlwind sprint ship or perhaps a puzzle that requires the becometh The real shout to enable you to pass through spike pits or acid pits without taking damage The story of the main quest is heavily inter woven with Skyrim Civil War Quest Lane Which leaves me to believe that? Bethesda originally intended for the Civil War to be the main quest or at least part of the main quest however The main conflict of the main quest is that the dragons are attacking Indiscriminately and everyone wants you the Dragonborn to put a stop to the dragon attacks so they can go back to killing each other Unabated it’s basically a case of hey, these guys are really really good in our favorite game So we don’t want to play with them anywhere because they make us feel inferior Much bigger than y’all Okay My cuts double the size that yours is so you kill your first dragon and get summoned by the Greybeards to learn how to use your Shout ability for what they consider to be good Delphine of the blades gets in contact with you by breaking the laws of physics Both in real life and E universe for full details. See my list of 5 Elder Scrolls quests that make no sense Anyway, she and you find as burnwell okie You find Esbern while Delphine just sits around all cozy in her Inn And the three of you decide that we need to stop Alduin from destroy the world you now finally have an actual dole But the main quest rather than just nyan during around from one reference to the next This is certainly a huge strike against the main quest The first half of the main quest is honestly just you working your way through a series of contacts You side with the guy in hell kin who introduces you to our relative of his in Riverwood who refers you to the girl Whiterun who then tells you about the Greybeards who indirectly and then it certainly causes you to meet Delphine who directs you to rift in to meet as Bert It’s only when you finally meet as Byrne at the end of this Breadcrumb trail that we finally get to the a plot of this quest line You ultimately work your way through all these contacts how most of them ultimately approve superfluous. There are several of these contacts I just mentioned that you could remove from the quest line entirely and it would change very little about the quests if Anything at all, for example your hell can campaign You could be the one to advise you to bring news of the dragon to the gara loved white one Completely bypassing his River would contact with no impact all I mean block whatsoever While as Rana Delphine may be considered essential to the plot. There was no reason for them to be introduced separately They could very easily have simply been introduced at the same time together Recruiting you as dragon born then the first half of the main quest wouldn’t have felt nearly as padded as it currently feels Granted having Delphine and Esbern introduced at the same time would require you to cut out the diplomatic immunity quest and therefore lose out on a lot of the political injury that this game is so widely praised for but then again, Bethesda could very easily have reworked that question to the Civil War quest line Not only would it have given that quest land some much-needed story after starting the quest line But from a gameplay standpoint, it would also have been a nice change of pace in a quest line That is bogged down like fort battle after fort battle Granted I am currently speaking from a position of high insight, but then again, isn’t that what retrospectives are all about? But now that you have a main goal if you thought the superfluous plot devices and chain of unnecessary Contacts were finally over you are dead wrong as soon as you recruit esperan He helps decipher in a Kaviri Stonewall that says that the ancient Nords used a shouted a feat ultimate Delphine randomly decides that this shout is One that cannot get dragged it out of the sky even though s fart didn’t say a damn thing about knocking trocken out of the sky Rather Joan Allen knew that this was the gameplay related effect that the dragon grin shot would have and so she had Delphine say knock a dragon out of the sky even though Delphine had No way of knowing that So we go on another Breadcrumb trail working our way through another series of superfluous contacts from the Greybeards to Paarthurnax to that orc Librarian at the College of Winterhold to Septimus Cygnus in the northernmost border of the game map We finally get a quest to obtain the MacGuffin that we were looking for an Elder Scroll that way we can go back to the point of anta wins original defeat and learn how the ancient Nords defeated him so we can Do it again We go there learn the Drago grin shout come back and Alduin gets away Who trap one of his minions inside dragons reach head to solve on guard and kill Alduin for realsies? Well, it’s not entirely clear if he actually dies, but his body is certainly destroyed Maybe he’ll pull a Voldemort on us and get his body back in a future game someday. Who knows? If it sounds like I made alder words defeat just now seen kind of anticlimactic That’s because it is the boss fight itself has nothing to write home about it has a higher helpful than most other dragons But that just means he takes maybe one or two more hits to kill He gets as much longer in to run out cutscene for his death than a normal dragon But again, it’s only about ten percent more epic than the death scenes for regular rackets but the real kick in the nuts is that there’s no closure to the main questline your achievement is hardly even recognized by anyone except the blades and Greybeards more importantly dragons continue to attack Indiscriminately in cities on the roads all over the place There’s no real incentive to destroy all doing because its defeat doesn’t really amount to anything contrast that with Oblivion’s main quest where the completing of the main quest Absolutely has an effect on the main conflict because of living games will no longer be active in the game Bethesda’s decision to make it so the charkas will continue attack attack after the main quest is completed was made in response To faint complaints that completing the main quest in Oblivion forever cut you off from obtaining essential stones and Daedric alchemy ingredients By having dragons continue to attack after the main quest is completed The player can still obtain an infinite amount of dragon bones dragon skills and dragon souls However, I feel that they went from the freezer to the frying pan er, this was spent a much better middle of the line approach would have had two only dragons appear in a handful of Guaranteed but responding locations all of which were far away from civilized society Thus ending the main quest would have provided the benefit of ensuring that cities and quest Essential NPCs were saved from being indiscriminately killed outside the players control But still gave us the ability to continue to farm bones souls and scales In conclusion sky moves main quest is poorly plotted poorly paced and poorly resolved This is certainly a downside on the game as a whole and a huge strike against the game holding up in the modern day After you complete the main game there are three DLCs to give you extra replay value Well more like two and a half DLCs or rather are more like 2.1 DLCs the hearthfire DLC isn’t even a true DLC. It’s more like a micro transaction It has horse armor beaten that it actually provides some utility But it’s so it’s substantial that it doesn’t really deserve any real discussion beyond this one paragraph The first DLC to be released was dawn guard basically it’s taking the one interesting thing about the companions that those with cursed beast kill existence are actually the good guys and Basically just chucks that out the window the dawn guard are the good guys and they’re hunting vampires now Either on is a pretty interesting character. Also. Cerana is one of the most well done companions in the entire game She was created in direct response to fan complaints But the followers in Sky didn’t have enough personality and individuality to them and boy Does she deliver in order to find that problem with the vanilla tea? Right out the gate. However this quest line falls flat on its face To initiate the quest lane. You have to go to fort dog guard and speak to ease Rock Hill sends You want a mission to a cave to see what the vampires there are up to there? You meet cerana who insists you take her back to her father when you meet Lord Hawk on Then and only then does he give you the option to choose one side or the other? This setup works just fine Provided that the player character isn’t already a vampire to begin with if you are a vampire However, his run will still let you join the dawn garden completely I heard on Konquest Lane and never once make even the slightest reference to the fact that you’re the very thing the Dawnguard is Dedicated to fighting against you can’t simply go straight to the dim. Hollow crypt rescue Saranda and join up the vampires directly it’s not even like as Iran is willing to accept a vampire if they’re willing to fight for the dawn guards cause a Big part of Iran’s character arc is coming to terms with the fact that Serrano isn’t evil Despite being a vampire. So no is ron is simply not programmed to recognize that you’re a vampire Which is just dumb hell even serrano says that she expected you to be a one of her Aka a vampire zoo even she is at programmed to recognize if you already are one Beyond that the dawn guard quest line is surprisingly interesting well it falls into the dungeon after dungeon formula that the Videla faction quest plans fall into it is saved by having each dungeon look and feel unique dim Hollow crypt initially appears to simply be a draw to ruin at first glance But it quickly takes on a new aesthetic the puzzle you have to solve to open sir on his coffin Actually requires some brain work to pull off not a lot of brain work But infinitely more brain work then the Dragon Claw not puzzles that we seen at like half the dungeons of the vanilla game We also get a surprising amount of character development from E strong Not a lot but a surprising amount What’s even better is that this character development has shown to us rather than told he actually have to be paying attention or else you very easily can miss it when Saranda first shows up at fort Dawnguard each one refers to her as it and refuses to call her by her name However, just before kindred judgment is run wonders if Sirona is prepared to commit patricide during this conversation However, he not only calls Serena by her name but even refers to her as her rather than it Suggesting that he has grown to respect cerana for sacrifices She is made for their cause it’s a level of character development and a level of subtlety That I have come to not expect from Bethesda And I hope that this fans skill and writing character development will bleed over into the Elder Scrolls six after Dawnguard bethesda released the Dragonborn DLC honestly, I wish the DLC was given a unique name rather haven’t named it after a concept that already existed in the vanilla game because Now we are forever confused I must specify which dragon board were referring to the vanilla concept or the DLC But aside from that blunder the Dragonborn DLC is honestly the better of the two scarm DLCs It’s not Shivering Isles by a longshot, but there is definitely a lot to like about it Taking place on the island of solstein, which was also the setting for more ruins blood moon expansion This DLC had serve as a throwback to morrowind fans. However, this is an example of a throwback done Right because you are only missing out on a few tidbits of nostalgia If you haven’t played morrowind like yours Truly the Dragonborn DLC may reuse some background music places and NPC names from the Blood Moon expansion But it is still its own steamed alone experience even without the throwbacks It also avoids the pitfalls that Dawnguard falls into when it comes to actually who initiated the questline The quest only initiates after you trained with the Greybeards by that point your status as the Dragonborn is publicly known Saving us from the contrivance of ease run looking into your vampire eyes and never realizing that your vampire Of course, you were still free to explore soul time to your heart’s content even before the Dragonborn main quest activates There are new quests to complete independently of the main quest there are new items to acquire new places to explore new people to meet and yet None of this is actually required to play in complete vanilla sky bruh But this ladies and gentlemen is a lost art not the idea of DLC in general But the idea that the DLC should be independent of the main game Interacting with the main game only insofar as it’s neither to make the DLC feel Connected to it and most importantly it doesn’t give us anything that was taught from the main game This is the ideal way to do DLC Ladies and gentlemen is an art that has sadly been lost on many game publishers in recent years and just all not alone I would argue that the dip Dragonborn DLC Definitely holds up, of course, despite all the flaws I have given about Skyrim all the complaints I mentioned about where I point out that it doesn’t hold up All of that is seemingly negated by one important factor. You all know what it is If you made it this far into this video then you’re a nerd so I don’t need to explain to you What a mod is but their contribution to making some the household name. It is today cannot be overstated Skyrim has hands-down of the largest modding community on the internet and by quite a large margin Bethesda not only permits mods, but actively supports the modding community Actively providing the tools needed to make modding as quick and easy is physically possible by releasing their creation kits for free download And even providing tutorials on their own YouTube channel for how to use them granted these tutorials are pretty shallow and don’t go into 1/10 the potential the creation kits have But the important thing is that pathetic goes out of its way to support the modding community Not simply taking a passive stance and allowing modest to do their thing. But at their own risk Literally every single flaw I have discussed with Skyrim and Any you can think of yourselves? Can be fixed with a mod The modding community for the Elder Scrolls practically has its own version of rule 34 if you can imagine it there either is a mod For other eventually will be one made Now granted such extensive mod support is a bit of a double-edged sword For every person who praises Bethesda for their extensive support of the modding community There are plenty others who accuse Bethesda facility using their mod support as a crutch They don’t need to put any effort into making the games that are good on their own merits because they expect Modders to clean up whatever messes the games are on launch day There is some new fuel to the fire added in recent months but the release of fallout 76 unate aureus ly buggy in the moe RPG many of these bugs are grandfathered in from fallout 4 only this time around there are much worse because don’t have the simple expedient of Modding the game get rid of these bugs quickly and painlessly However, I find that accusation to be not only an accurate but insulting ly short-sighted as I have demonstrated This entire retrospective. There’s just as much to like about vanilla scheme as there is to dislike People need to remember that scheme was originally released on the Xbox 360 and ps3 Before being ported over to the Xbox one and ps4 Those consoles did not have mod support at all for five years the PC version of the game was the only way you could play Skyrim with mods and Yet the game still sold like a mother effer on all three platforms Skyrim is the third best-selling? RPG of all time Having sold 30 million copies as of the time of this recording it would not have gotten the cult status It currently has if it was only good on PC Besides if the game wasn’t good on its own merits I highly doubt there would be enough people who cared enough about the game to Actually hack upon the active mana community Bethesda support for the modding community Doesn’t mean Jack’s squad If there simply are enough people interested in modding the game but have to even be a modding community for them to support This is why super mario world for the SNES as an active sprawling romhack community while shack foo. Well doesn’t But even if we accept the Bethesda Really are just using mods horked as a crutch so they can half-ass the rest of the game design I’m not entirely convinced that this necessarily translates to an unethical business practice to show you what I mean Look at Super Mario maker That’s a game that by its very design relies on user-submitted content There is no game at all Unless the players are designing and uploading new levels and yet it’s one of the best games on the Wii U Perhaps the only reason to continue to own a Wii U so in conclusion The fact that storm not only has not support but has the largest modding community in the world is an incredible Boom, it is not an excuse for releasing a crappy game But it does cause an overall good gain to come ever so closer to the impossible threshold of being perfect How well Skyrim holds up and the modern day depends largely on how much it is Influenced games that have come before it for better or worse scams runaway success has no doubt been a game changer in the RPG genre And in numerous games have come since then that are clearly inspired by slim scope and scale Grand Theft Auto 3 was one of the first major players in the open-world sandbox genre of gaming in recent years the Assassin’s Creed series has arguably made the best use of Sandbox world style by having every piece of architecture climbable like platforming obstacles Around the time that Assassin’s Creed was making its mark RPGs for likewise gravitating towards this style Bethesda along with Bioware and Blizzard devote strong role-playing Portfolios of open-world sandbox RPGs, but as far as told to hard sales Brooke concern First-person shooters like Call of Duty Halo and Gears of War were still the undisputed kings of the 29 But in 2011 Bethesda released Skyrim and its runaway success would result in an RPG Renaissance for the gaming industry Just as platformers ruled the 1990s and first person shooters ruled the 20 knots RPGs appeared to be dominated in the 2010s. Thanks in no small part to the runaway success of Skyrim Bethesda had been known for several years by then up for its Elder Scrolls series featuring Experience of fantasy worlds and was continuing to push the boundaries of scale in RPGs with a plebeian and Fallout 3 rather than focusing on complex narratives and interpersonal relationships like Bioware and other developers were doing Bethesda focused on creating massive worlds that beg to be explored Bethesda couldn’t have missed surge of popularity that open-world sandbox games was suddenly Experiencing so I have to imagine and they wanted to take that new rising trova. Crank it up to 11 This style of game design not only paid off in spades for Bethesda But actually set the bar for how 21st century RPGs should work developers to this day take the template Skyrim left for them and built off of it rather than building their own games entirely from the Ground up mixing them with some of the character development moral ambiguity and so much more that the developers like Bioware and obsidian have Created put simply scheme is basically the blueprint for the RPGs. We played a day years later we see evidence of this in games like The Legend of Zelda breath of the wild whose developers have freely admitted to using Skyrim for Inspiration as is explained by this games cannabis article Nintendo are usually the guys who get copied not the ones who do the copying Considering they set the standard for 3d platformers in much the same way that Skyrim set the standards for 21st century RPGs They also invented the d-pad they invented shoulder buttons think about how many Mario Party clones have come and gone over the years and do I even have to explain how the PlayStation all-stars battle royale is just a blatant ripoff of famous Nintendo franchise I mean that game is atiba trying to hide how much of a rip-off it is even in the RPG genre They invented the use of time to button prices to do extra damage based on player skill rather than character skill so for Nintendo to freely addicting inspiration from another game that Is high praise indeed? As a result of this Skyrim’s legacy cannot be called into question Regardless of how the game may hold up as a standalone game it absolutely holds up just on legacy alone So now that I’ve analyzed the Skyrim from top to bottom with a fine-tooth comb What is the final verdict we’ve discussed what holds up and what doesn’t hold up but to Skyrim on the whole still hold up my final verdict is Yes, it does hold up But only for a blind playthrough Yes, Skyrim stories holds off because they’re good stories and good stories lasts forever But that doesn’t mean that being told the same story Over and over again is very much fun after I’ve seen a movie or read a book I very rarely have any incentive to see that movie or read that book ever again except to pick up on subtle clues in the story such as Foreshadowing a symbolism that I didn’t catch her name consumed it for the first time There’s a reason why spoilers are usually frowned upon unless they’re protected by a spoiler warning The world is also great to explore but the world explore implies that you don’t already know But you’re about to find that you’re only truly exploring the world on a first playthrough every play for after that It’s just starring for whether you might have missed the first time around that leaves the gameplay combat and dungeons as the only thing that can hold up on subsequent playthroughs and Unfortunately, I simply cannot defend those There are plenty of RPGs out there that have much more engaging combat Ones that actually rely on player skill as much as leveling up your character Games like Dark Souls and which are three all blues times combat engine completely out of the water While their dungeons may not tell a story using the dungeon layout like Skylab does that’s just part of these storytelling gasps effectively Which again only holds up if you’re experienced again for the first time? Meanwhile, Kingdom Come deliverance has a vastly superior stealth system to star as much as it pains me to say it However, you are absolutely free to disagree with I still love scheme to death despite acknowledging that it Doesn’t hold up. Is that just my nostalgia speaking? Maybe it is but then again why judge me for nostalgia if I’m having a good time And I’m not infringing on the rights of others. Why should I pass myself by feeling guilty about my own enjoyment Whether Skyrim as a whole holds up in the modern day is mostly a matter of your personal preference Only in terms of whether each individual element holds up But also in terms of how you prioritize each element some may consider Dungeon layout compact to be more important than story and they are absolutely entitled to their opinions Some may priority has combat over character development but feel that this times combat does fold up while its storytelling does not Again, those people are 100% allowed to have their appendages in short while I have given my opinion about storms holding up It is only just that an opinion only you can decide if stardom still worth a purchase in 2019 Although if you haven’t already purchased the game I hope this retrospective has enabled you to make a well-informed decision about this purchase if you have already purchased the game I hope this retrospective has given you a lot to think about so, please remember what I said at the beginning of this retrospective about commenting and That will do it for today’s video If you guys enjoyed this video be sure to give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends Also check out some of the other analysis videos I have made as well as my Let’s Plays where I take a more lighthearted Approach to these games and just have a good time in the meantime. However, I am a sore thorn and I will see you guys