Tagged: Skyrim Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • RedSwirl 9:48 pm on February 20, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Skyrim   

    @bluesforbuddha Yeah… I think that kind of character art is a bit beyond what BioWare intended, but it’s amazing that this is actually possible. It’d actually be kind of awesome if characters actually acknowledged Shepard’s shift in character between games, but right now the system seems to support a binary approach rather than anything in-between. Also, the unique part about Mass Effect is that the Renegade is still a good guy, but if you go all the way Renegade he’s just a jackass about it. I’d rather just go halfway and make my main character come off as a hard-ass who still means well. My first character in ME1 actually ended up being 100% Paragon and around 80% Renegade (yes that’s possible).

    As for “evil” paths, I am currently playing a character in Skyrim that I would call “amoral”. In Skyrim it’s really more about your character’s motivations than good/evil. In my mind my female character priorities start out with “pure looking-out-for-number-one survival” and eventually transition over to “power and influence” around time she took over the thieve’s guild – the very first thing she did after leaving Helgen. I’m thinking of transitioning her into something of a mob boss – using the civil war and Alundin crisis purely for political gain. I actually found out that if you don’t ever talk to the Jarl of Whiterun, Dragons don’t even appear in the game, so I’m kinda just playing a person who is also running away from her destiny as the Dragonborn.

  • impynickers 6:21 am on January 18, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Skyrim   

    @unmanneddrone I chose the recon class. The main downside I guess is weapon degradation, but the perks in health items and armour are nice. Slightly less carrying capacity too, but I like a tidy inventory anyways. I was considering the sniper for range management. That has been a bit of an issue.
    Overall I feel like I picked the right class for my playstyle, but close encounters are particularly brutal. It must be very different as a sniper.

    I don’t know if anyone is playing Skyrim on PC, but there is a mod which is kind of like a ‘Hardcore mode’ for realism geeks. Filling Food and Restful Sleep http://www.skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=3135#content

  • RedSwirl 5:48 pm on January 10, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    Sadly I can’t read any of those stories right now. I’m not even far enough in Dark Souls to even be talking about Sen’s Fortress. Hell I’m still dealing with the Gaping Dragon – and I’ve decided to take a break until I can finish Demon’s Souls, so reading that article is gonna be on hold for a while. What I can say though is that Dark Souls isn’t just about being hard. In my opinion we like Dark Souls because it actually trusts us to use our full mental capacity and figure shit out on our own. It’s a game that knows when to just shut the fuck up and let you play it.

    Also, even though it’s my first Elder Scrolls game, I am personally not having any issue with Skyrim’s storytelling. After about 60 hours of play across two characters, what’s being told might not be as interesting as The Witcher 2, but mechanically it’s technically doing things that it could only do as a game. Nary a cut scene or QTE in the whole thing. It’s even a pretty good balance between pre-written stories that people convey to you, and dynamic stories that just happen.

    I think Bethesda’s games do a good job of conveying narrative to the player the way it would happen normally, all unified in one perspective. This is kind of a stupid example for me to make, but when I first played Fallout 3 I couldn’t help but hear a lot of people keep mentioning a place called “Rivet City” as if it were some far off place, and then actually being able to go there is what finally conveyed to me the sense of place that world exudes in terms of narrative immersion.

  • bowlisimo 5:16 pm on January 10, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Skyrim   

    @beige Holy shit, well that came out of nowhere. I don’t even know what Dark Souls DLC means at this point, unless it’s “Ok, just kidding you guys, now the pendant actually does something”.

    On that Skyrim article (great title ^ ^), he’s right. I haven’t played that game yet, but based on my time with Oblivion, I’m not gungho to jump into Skyrim partially because of the problem he describes there. There’s a shit-ton of story telling, but none of it really worked for me.

    Edit: Also, “More simply put, the stories of Demon’s and Dark Souls are told in a way that only video games can tell stories.” Yes yesyes ye sye ys yes yesyes.

  • impynickers 8:26 am on January 9, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Skyrim,   

    @shingro Fascinating…. my mind feels expanded. This can only be a good thing.
    If your taste for the alternative game experiences isn’t satiated after Katawa Shoujo, look up an unsettling “game” called ‘Hatoful boyfriend’.
    It is a game about a human girl who decides to go to a high school for birds, St. PigeoNation’s Institute. There, she dates pigeons. Yeah.

    Now I would like to finally take some time to toss some memorable video games into the funeral pyre of 2011, and explain what essence of them lives on in me as a humble scribe of 2012. Bare with my belated reaction.

    I willfully discard whatever inner hipster resides in me, as I just passed 95 hours in the popular Skyrim game.
    The fact startles me for a number of reasons. First, that I am still regularly discovering new things.
    Also, that the majority of these new things are given the same level of polish as pretty much everything else, which is to say = shiny. I had been waiting for the game to get boring so I can just finish the main quest and leave the game behind me. In the process I have just given up and become invested in my wandering adventurers throughout the many communities of Skyrim.
    Everywhere I become known as ‘that guy’ that did ‘this’, or ‘that’. It is truly remarkable when you see it, the world here contains a mighty mighty canvas of mythology in which you can paint your own tales of victory. And it will vary. This is the true delivery on the promise of 2 friends talking about the same game, but having completely unique stories.These stories will include encounters with characters, towering monsters, magic, and dark deeds… but they will be yours to tell.
    I am pleased as punch. Great game.

    The battle for praise, if there must be one, is the cage match between Skyrim and The Witcher 2.
    I loved the Witcher 2 a ton. Its deliciousness made me accusingly stare in the recent directions of Bioware, as their offerings appear in places only partially cooked in comparison. It was also an incredible leap from Witcher 1, which had the taste down but lost a lot of points in the course texture.
    Geralt as a lead character just carries an incredible variety of flavours. Enough room for player choice, but with a distinct personality that keeps you coming back. The dialogue as a whole just feels so natural, even when you are forced to make hard contrasting decisions.. its always as if that is what Geralt would have done. I dug everything in the game, even the unbalanced combat. I was fine with all of it. I am just so glad a game as smart as this can exist. However it took a game like Skyrim to take things beyond my reasonable expectations, and truly give me a ride to remember. Skyrim to me was a more addicting and impactful experience, even though I think the overall writing and nuance of Witcher 2 was handled leagues above.

    Trench coat. Check. Augmented sunglasses. Check. Deus Ex- Human Revolution had style and substance, it was certainly a living manifestation of my cyberpunk fantasies. The game seemed to do everything right for me, with the exception of the enemy A.I which seems to have barely evolved from the original game released in 2000. I did find the art style was unique enough to make up for many of the technical shortcomings of the game engine, and all the details of the story and environment felt a part of larger cohesive subtext. I love stealth games, I love RPG’s. This game was clearly made for people like me. I loved the original game, which was a magnum opus for its time. Human Revolution is precisely what a modern version of that game ought to look and play like, with all the modern gameplay strengths and pitfalls. At the end of the day this game filled a missing piece of my soul with delicious story and badassedness.

    Notable Underdogs:

    No other game I have played this year has attracted classic couch co-op like Little Big Planet 2.
    It one ups its predecessor by opening pandora’s box, allowing the community to create basically whatever they want… and its great. The base game mechanics can feel a little loose sometimes, and it certainly doesn’t typically involve a lot of depth, but it actually keeps me coming back every month or two to check out what is new. I would claim that this game is the PS3’s answer to the 360’s indie games lineup.

    Equally intimidating and rewarding, Red Orchestra 2 has given me some of my favourite moments this year. This selection is from the heart, because I know this online shooter could easily get beat up by the bigger games of its genre. For most people I would point to Battlefield 3 as this games superior in a large number of important areas, but for the exceptional few I will reveal that RO2 is the choice with more depth.
    The game strikes a balance between shooter and simulation, and this runs the risk of pleasing neither crowd.
    I found it to be just accessible enough not to alienate me, which kept me interested in mastering the myriad nuances of the games mechanics that lay hidden behind a modern shooter exterior. Once you learn the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of Stalingrad the old habits acquired from other shooters start being transformed or abolished.
    Clever use of movement, equipment and cover systems ensure that you and your enemy are capable of moving without being exposed. You will die really easily. Sometimes it isn’t fair. More than about racking up a kill score this game is about survival, battlefield awareness, and eventually getting the drop on your enemy. You will sometimes die regardless of how good you are. Tanks, Artillary Shells and Machine Gun emplacements can all show up where you don’t expect them and ruin your day. There is also someone more weathered or sneakier than you that can get the drop on you in almost any conceivable situation.
    Other games have this kind of hectic atmosphere, but never has it been so deadly and so reliant on cover.
    The game doesn’t let you shrug off standing near an explosion, or taking a bullet to the leg. You need to act appropriately. That is its appeal, is its unforgiving and visceral war time experience that other games refuse to give you because it is too ‘hardcore’ an experience for most people. I loved the adrenaline rushes, and the moments of sheer panic when allies are dying on mass around you. It is an experience I haven’t found anywhere else.

  • RedSwirl 5:52 am on January 6, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Skyrim   

    @mjpilon If you ain’t in Bayonetta then you might just need to get out right now. That’s pretty much the sole reason why it was one of my top games of that year.

    @bowlismo Whoa whoah whoah… you DID sit through the credits of each Metal Gear game right?! RIGHT?!

    Anyway, I don’t know what came over me with these last couple days of Skyrim. I decided to reroll my character and got to nearly level 20 (the same level as my last character) in two days. I think I’m ready to take another “break” though since I’ve arrived at a quest where I’ll have to walk a long goddamn way through the frozen northern wastes where I know about 1,000 sidequests are waiting for me. I really need to find a way to play Bethesda games in small bites instead of life-destroying chunks.

  • RedSwirl 11:49 pm on January 4, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    Okay guys I think I’m ready to start Skyrim character number 2. Nowhere near done with the first, but I thought it would be nice to try a different playstyle and I’d like some character build tips.

    My primary character I’m trying to make a balance between warrior and thief – not too dissimilar from Ahnuld’s Conan really. I’m going to try to make a straight-up thief character and would like to know what stats to focus on.

  • RocGaude 8:14 pm on December 19, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    @feenwager I’ve noticed that Skyrim’s success is being recognized by many media types to be an anomaly. Bethesda has built up a following during this generation because of Oblivion and Fallout, both commercial and (for the most part) critical successes. They now get to reap the rewards for their magnum opus. Since Bethesda hasn’t yet ventured into any “social experiments” (poor DLC choices not withstanding) and stayed the course of “quality over quantity” regarding their shipped product, they share rarified air with a small group of developers (including Irrational) who will be remembered as “old guard” that weathered the storm of change.

    Will we see more sprawling single player games? Not necessarily. It takes years of development and goodwill for a developer to create and inspire this level of sales for a $60 epic. With BioWare teetering dangerously close to falling out of favor with people like us, that leaves even fewer dev houses that can invest in this business model.

  • RedSwirl 3:43 am on December 13, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    @angryjedi Okay, three hours of Skyrim (honestly very little more than I did on my Xbox rental), and more than anything else it’s just gotten me back in the mood for Dark Souls and The Witcher 2. That’ll probably change once I really start to explore the world though. Playing it on PC with a 360 pad (doing that with a lot of PC RPGs these days).

    Now I just gotta figure out how to shimmy Rayman in here somewhere…

  • RedSwirl 2:42 pm on December 4, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Skyrim   

    @feenwager I already did. Just haven’t had the time to boot the damn thing up yet. Might have to shimmy it in alongside Skyrim. That ain’t gonna be pretty.

  • impynickers 1:07 am on November 28, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    Skyrim and I have a bond…. a very special bond right now.
    I can’t think of playing anything else. Maybe I just wont ever.

  • Pete Davison 4:54 pm on November 19, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Midnight Club LA, , Skyrim   

    Thoughts on things! I’ve been playing several things recently, so I shall tackle each in turn in a massive wall of text of the kind that used to offend the 1up users so much post-board merge.


    Continues to be beautiful and wonderful. Bethesda have crafted an excellent world filled with wonderful lore, and working out how the game relates to past titles in the series by piecing together the things that people tell you is interesting. Hint: it doesn’t occur directly after Oblivion, not by a long shot.

    Dungeon-crawling remains interesting — I’ve tackled a couple of “plot dungeons” now, most of which are longer and feature more in the way of scripted moments. I’ve also encountered a number of extremely tough fights which should put rest any notions that this is an “easy” game.

    Specifically, one undead-infested dungeon ended with a battle against a creature called (if I remember correctly) the Draugr Dread Lord, or something similar. With a name like that, you don’t mess around, particularly as when you come across him he’s just sitting in his big, ornate throne, waiting for you.

    First time I attacked, I simply charged straight in, thinking it would be a simple case of block-block-slash like his decomposing lackeys I’d been hacking my way through in the rest of the dungeon.

    Not the case. He bellowed a word in the Dragon language (hey! That’s my trick!) that sent my weapon flying from my hand and clattering to the floor, then proceeded to stab me very hard in the face. I died with very little dignity.

    The next time, I tried to shoot him from afar with the bow I’d enchanted myself to set things on fire. I got a couple of arrows off at him before he performed the same Dragon Shout and my bow was sent clattering to the floor. I followed shortly afterwards.

    Several attempts later, I determined that the best approach would be to keep my distance. I did so, pelting him with arrows when possible and then running away like a coward before he could knock my bow out of my hands again. He still did so on a couple of occasions, but fortunately I was able to recover it before he could get too close with his razor-sharp blade.

    My companion Lydia went toe-to-toe with him, buying me some time to get back and fill him with more arrows. He always stopped short of killing her, turning his attention to me as soon as she became exhausted. Eventually, I defeated him by luring him into a fast-flowing stream which ran through his chamber, the strong current trapping him and preventing him from getting to me. He died with as little dignity as I did the first time we met.

    Midnight Club: Los Angeles

    Following reports that Need For Speed: The Run was actually a bit poo — something which I am quite disappointed about, given how good Hot Pursuit was and how much I crave a narrative-led driving game — I questioned whether anyone had actually managed to get this concept right as yet, and our own @unmanneddrone suggested Rockstar’s open world racer from 2008.

    While it doesn’t quite offer a full-on story-led experience that I want — a CaRPG if you will — it offers something which very few other racers do: a sense that the people you are racing are, you know, people. Many recent racers have tried to take a sort of “level, level, level, boss race” structure, but the fact that you don’t know who this “boss” is (besides seeing their unique car design) doesn’t help with the sense of urgency you feel when racing them. Blur suffered somewhat from this, but Midnight Club LA takes a much better approach — there’s occasional cutscenes, everyone you race has a name and — get this — they talk to you. Taunts during the race and responses to the things you do make a huge difference in making you want to beat these guys. Rather than just being anonymous cars, they’re people.

    I haven’t got that far yet so I don’t know if the plot develops at all, but I’m happy to dip into this whenever I feel the urge to race around a bit.

    Saints Row: The Third

    My most fondly-remembered Grand Theft Auto game is number 3, largely for the number of times my friend Sam and I got together, drank too much and played it until 3AM in the morning. We rarely did any missions, instead doing the old “get as far as you can on five/six stars” challenge and, of course, trying to steal the tank and/or fly the plane with the stupidly short wings. (I got pretty good at the latter, incidentally — it offered a surprisingly realistic flight model.) Mostly, then, it was about causing random open-world chaos in a world that didn’t take itself too seriously.

    GTA IV presents a beautifully realised world, but it doesn’t feel “right” to cause chaos in it. We’ve talked about the narrative dissonance between Niko the player and Niko the character before, but it stops you from really wanting to cut loose and tear shit up, especially if you’re a “method actor” gamer like me where doing out-of-character things feels “wrong”.

    Enter Saints Row: The Third, the first Saints Row game I’ve played. You start by playing through a mock bank heist which turns into a real bank heist, culminating with the bank vault being airlifted off the building while you stand atop it shooting down helicopters with an assault rifle. Shortly afterwards, this is followed by a No One Lives Forever-style skydiving incident where you shoot down enemy goons while avoiding flying debris that is also falling to the sky. Pause for a quick detour to smash through a plane’s windshield, burst through and kill a guy who’d pissed you off before falling out the back of the plane again, and you’re parachuting to the ground, stealing a car and driving off as if nothing happened.

    I can’t remember an opening of that level of ridiculousness in any game — let alone an open world one. The fact you can play a character with a “Zombie” voice, which means they make Tazmania-style noises while other characters speak to them normally, is a bonus. Also the character editor puts City of Heroes in the shade.

    ‘Tis the girlfriend’s birthday today so Dungeon Defending is unlikely (perhaps once she goes to sleep?) but I’m definitely around tomorrow. Hit me up on Steam and see if I’m around — if Steam shows I’m online, I’m within reach of a message. Usually.

  • Pete Davison 12:01 am on November 18, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    @Shingro: Skyrim certainly isn’t lacking in challenge — it’s just not as brutal as Dark Souls. Usually. If you go in ill-prepared to the bigger dungeons, you will get your ass kicked, however. Spiders, though, are a relatively common “cannon fodder” enemy. Magic-using humanoids, on the other hand, are almost as annoying as they were in Baldur’s Gate. If you want difficulty, you could always artificially make it challenging for yourself by playing it as if it were a roguelike. I was tempted to try that. Maybe on a subsequent playthrough of this or Oblivion.

    The combat is definitely better than it was in Oblivion. Melee in Oblivion felt very “flaily” and while there’s still a little of that in Skyrim, it feels much more like you’re in control with the whole “two hand” system. My character splits his time between archery and one handed/shield fighting, and combat is enjoyable. There’s a nice mix of enemy “levels” too — you come to recognise the different ranks of various creatures as you play through. Low-level ones can eventually be cut down in one or two hits. But higher-level ones require you to fight more tactically and, dare I say it, in an almost Dark Souls style — carefully blocking, looking for an opening, striking, repeating.

    Fighting the aforementioned magic users highlights another interesting thing about the combat in Skyrim (and most Elder Scrolls games in my experience) — enemies are subject to the same restrictions as you, unlike some other RPGs. That means that magic users will eventually run out of Magicka, fighters and archers will eventually run out of Stamina, and you can then take advantage of the situation. Various enchantments you can put on your weapons can assist in this process if you know what you’re doing.

    The classless system the game adopts is a little strange. While my friends and I started both Morrowind and Oblivion many, many times to try out different combinations of skills, the fact that all your skills contribute to levelling in Skyrim means sticking with your first character is a more plausible option. On the one hand, it makes levelling easier — or at least a more regularly-occurring experience. I remember spending a considerable amount of time in both Morrowind and Oblivion at level 1 because I was training the wrong skills. Conversely, 32 hours into Skyrim and I’m level 25.

    On the other hand, though, the fact that you can level any skill at any time and have it contribute to your overall progress seems to encourage you to be something of a jack of all trades rather than a specialist — though actually in practice, you’ll probably find your favourite playstyle and stick with it. My only hesitation is that it feels like it might remove some of the replay value from the game — if every character can potentially become a badass firebreathing barbarian with a giant axe but nimble enough fingers to pick even the most complex locks… does that mean they will?

    I’m not sure. The way I’m playing Skyrim, I have a “character concept” in mind and am handling situations accordingly, sometimes adapting the things I’m doing as the situation demands it. I started with the concept of a thief-type character, skilled with one-handed weapons and bows. Over time, experimentation with Restoration magic and enchantment have given him a rudimentary grounding in the use of magic which is yet to be explored, though he’s still primarily a combat character. His sneaking is falling a bit by the wayside as his combat skills (and confidence) improve, particularly as (mild spoiler, I guess) he can turn into a werewolf once per day.

  • bowlisimo 7:12 pm on November 17, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Skyrim,   

    @shingro I watched a lot of Greg Kasavin’s marathon and I’m actually kind of stoked for Skyrim…just not right now. I’m content to have caught the Souls wave of discussion this time around, so I’m going to sit this one out.

    For me, it won’t be a lack of challenge, it’ll be getting bored with the Elder Scrolls combat system, which is the only thing I feel Demon’s/Dark Souls has really ruined for me (a little bit of Mount & Blade too). To be honest, I wasn’t too impressed with it back when Oblivion released either. This new one looks marginally more engaging in that regard.

    No, with Bethesda games my course is very predictable. I’ll most likely dig real deep and lose myself in the world, then a point will come (30-50 hours in) where I get sick of the life of a ronin and jump back on the main quest for some direction, which eventually leads to The End…and then me asking myself, “what is the point of doing this now?”. The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?

    @beige I saw that email. Curious. Could be cool, sounds kinda Total Recall-ish, but without Johnny Cab and seeing Richter at the party.

  • Shingro 6:22 pm on November 17, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Skyrim   

    Wheee, I’m back among the living, such as we are. It’ll take a bit to catch up on everything but I imagine the squad is enjoying some Skyrim possibly after Dark Souls and I wanted to poke at a question I had

    So, I was watching the Giant Bomb stream the day before Skyrim came out and the guy was wandering an obviously spider rich cavern (judging by the amount of spider lounges strewn about.) He goes down a spiral route, takes a right through a passage and suddenly SPIDERS, SPIDERS EVERWHERE!! He kills two with a double handed swing each, but more are dropping from the ceiling, he misses a swing, a spider jumps, “You are Poisoned” flashes across the screen as more and more giant spiders rush around him bitting him constantly

    My first thought is “Oh man, this guy is screwed, he is most certainly and irrevocably dead, he just doesn’t know it yet. There’s 6-8 enemies chewing on him, and even assuming he gets past that he’s too fresh into the game to have thought to carry anti-venom… no way he’s getting out of this one” So he flails around… and around and… huh, well he’s got half of them down… two thirds… uh… well I guess he managed to get out of that… but he’s got to be nearly de… *sees lifebar has lost barely 1/4*

    uh… *barbarian two handed sword dude whips out a heal spell*


    For a brief moment I saw a vast 300 hour experience of trivial challenges spread out before me and the thing that shocked me the most was how disappointed I was. Has Dark Souls ruined my taste for challanges in games? Is it like some crazy Jungle Survival experience where even once the guy gets back to civilization he never feels as alive as when he was fighting for life? Am I going to become a “Hard or bust” guy like @beige?

    I dunno, was that an outlier? I loved daggerfall for customization and spellmaking, along with thousands upon thousands of areas… what’s the experience of Skyrim like difficulty wise?

  • impynickers 3:34 am on November 16, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    The UI doesn’t struck me as so bad. On the PC you can assign number keys to your quick menu, and you can fast track to inventory, Journal, Map etc. with single key strokes. It feels like it has covered most of what I want. No complaints from me.

  • RedSwirl 2:04 am on November 16, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    Sooo… Rock Paper Shotgun is pretty pissed about Skyrim’s UI. You guys?

    Personally I think it’s very elegant… if you only navigate it with a D pad. I understand that the CRPG norm is to have near everything displayed at once so you can just click on it. I don’t know if that’s what Oblivion or Morrowind did, but I’ve played enough console-to-PC ports to say that scrolling around does not feel optimal with WASD.

    Still, I think it’s fine as long as the gameplay itself isn’t dumbed down. Just look at The Witcher 2.

  • Pete Davison 12:59 am on November 14, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    More Skyrim talk.

    One of the things that Bethesda does well, and I have to be in the right mood for it to appreciate it, so YMMV, is stuff happening in the world around you. They’re not cutscenes, they’re things that occur in-world that you’re 99% likely to look at as soon as you start hearing them. These then provide plot hooks for small (or in some cases, large) story arcs. Sometimes you come across these as you arrive in a new place, other times you come across them unexpectedly as the result of something else you’ve done.

    I’ll give you an example. I’ve been spending most of my time in the city of Whiterun so far. There’s been plenty to do there, so I haven’t needed to bust out and go looking for the other cities as yet — my main reason for wandering the fields, fjords and mountains has been to seek out dungeons/caves/bandit hideouts.

    As I wandered into the Bannered Mare inn to get a room for the night, a patron happened to hail me as I walked past. I stopped and decided to chat with him for a moment, and he challenged me to a drinking competition.

    Three pints of strong Nord ale later, he suggested we moved on to another place where the wine flowed freely.

    When I woke up, I was on the floor of a temple in a completely different city, with a very angry priestess chastising me for my loutish behaviour. I cleaned up the mess I’d made and apologised, and she forgave me, as priestesses are wont to do. Leaving the temple, I found myself in an unfamiliar city, struggling to orient myself. Eventually I found my way to the gate but before I could leave town, a fight broke out in the street that ended in the death of an Imperial woman who’d been trying to buy some trinkets from the market. Apparently this was the work of the Forsworn, and thus began a quest to track them down and determine what they were up to. Upon leaving the city, I heard that this wasn’t an isolated incident, with nearby mines also occupied by the Forsworn and in urgent need of some Jedi justice. I obliged, with the assistance of my trusty housecarl Lydia, but I was no closer to understanding the Forsworn’s motives. That is yet to come.

  • impynickers 9:38 pm on November 13, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    @Redswirl I don’t know how to describe the connection I have with Skyrim. The story is alright, but the lore is spectacular. I have gone into dungeons and just sat there reading books. I also tend to dig virtual tourism. Just discovering new places and things excites me. There are lots of little nooks filled with unexpected detail. For me just sitting atop a mountain and gazing at the world, or just running along a mountain stream chasing a fox… these are just subtle beautiful things. Its a vast world full of incredible detail.

    The game keeps a distance from its narrative, so it feels very different from something like the Witcher 2. Most of the gameplay systems have similar counterparts, like crafting,looting,questing etc., but the development your character is all yours. You can try to be a Geralt like character, or you could play as some completely different type of character like Garrett from thief or what have you. Your character in the storyline as a result though is blank and voiceless. A necessary sacrifice I think for the type of game this is.
    It really just wants to give the player as many options and avenues of experience as possible.
    I just end up projecting my own persona onto the character and then they start to become this alter ego. I enjoy that experience in its own way.

  • Pete Davison 3:31 pm on November 13, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    @redswir1 The mind blowing thing about Bethesda games, particularly (for me) the Elder Scrolls series, is the fact that at any point you can pretty much say “fuck this”, drop everything you’re carrying and try to eke out an existence living on things you can scavenge in the mountains. Or you can go cave exploring. Or you can make it your mission to wipe out every bandit fortress you see. Or… You get the idea. Freedom.

    In past games, this has caused the story to suffer a bit and it’s entirely possible it will be the case here, too. That said, there always seems to be something to do, and the new “misc tasks” category of mini-quests means that if you don’t have time for a more lengthy session, there are plenty of things you can do that are still rewarding.

    Combat is similar to Oblivion but has been tightened up, particularly with regard to blocking, wielding magic in your off hand and all manner of other goodies. It’s not as technical as From’s games, but neither is it a simple hack and slash. Levelling up your sneaking so you can slit someone’s throat (in first person) is immensely satisfying.

  • RedSwirl 2:58 pm on November 13, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , RPG GOTY 2011, Skyrim,   

    Okay, a couple hours of a rental copy of Skyrim, my first Elder Scrolls game (but not my first Bethesda game). Game seems really great with a lot of content and even surprisingly good game pad UI. But, I don’t yet feel like my life depends on owning this game.

    At what point do you guys get totally sucked into these games? For me with RPGs (Japanese or Western) it’s when I first see the world map and really get a feel for how big it is. So far I’ve reached River-something and cleared a fairly big dungeon along with a quest (the golden claw thing). Guess I’ll play for a few more hours and then decide how I’ll spend my free time next week, but I can still go towards another game at this point.

    What I wanna talk about here is the controls. How different does Skyrim control from Oblivion? If it’s not the same then I suspect Bethesda took some pointers from Demon’s Souls when designing the combat. This game doesn’t feel too different from From Software’s games when played in 3rd person. How accurate is this assertion?

    Anyway, between the “Great Three RPGs of 2011”, each one has it’s own advantages over the other two:
    Skyrim – Probably as much content as the other two combined. Good enough gameplay.
    Dark Souls – Tightest combat and gameplay of the three. Interesting story, world, and art.
    The Witcher 2 – Best story, world, graphics, and art of the three. Good enough gameplay/combat.

    Between Dark Souls, and Witcher 2 I can’t decide which one is pulling me in more.

  • Pete Davison 11:33 pm on November 12, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    Spoilers, I guess? (Highlight for truthz. Not main quest spoiler, related to Companions questline.)


  • impynickers 8:45 pm on November 12, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    *Emerges from skyrim* Woah where am I? This crummy place again? *Enters back into skyrim*

  • Pete Davison 3:11 pm on November 12, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    Skyrim continues to surprise and delight. Today I have delved into the depths of an ancient tomb to unravel the mystery of a ghost which appeared late at night in a small village; cut down a small enclave of vampires who were hiding themselves in a mountain cave; and climbed the “7,000 steps” to the peak of The Throat of the World (I didn’t count them, but there were certainly a lot, also trolls). The view is nice from up here. A bit cold, though.

    What’s been excellent so far is the variety in the dungeons. Some cave systems are small and pokey, others have large, open areas. The aforementioned tomb was stuffed with a variety of creative traps, and smacking a car-sized spider off the edge of a cliff was hugely satisfying.

    Basically, it’s awesome.

  • Pete Davison 4:28 pm on November 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    @bowley and anyone else curious: Skyrim is the bomb diggity. Combat does seem to be improved quite a bit — or perhaps I was just rubbish at it in Oblivion. There seems to be less “wild flailing” and more “block, then strike at an appropriate opening” in close combat, and archery is as satisfying as ever, with all-new added bullet time perks. Not sure about the dual-wielding facility — that does seem to degenerate into “hack hack hack hack hack” but perhaps I haven’t figured out the nuances to it as yet. Finishing moves are cool, though I haven’t figured out what triggers them as yet. At least they provide a reason to spend some time on the appearance of your character, however.

    Haven’t done much with the magic yet, but the ability to wield a spell in each hand is nice. I believe you can also equip the same one in both hands for super-powerful boomy justice, though I’m not sure if you can do any sort of “crossing the streams” deal with two different spells at once.

    There are many Vikings. All the women are called things like Ysolde and Holda, and men are all called hairy, manly names like Hrothgar and Ulfgart. A lot of them sound a lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m not sure if that’s intentional, but it’s entertaining. You don’t have to be a Viking-type character to appreciate the amount of beards around the world.

    Dungeon-crawling has been rewarding so far. There appears to be a nice mix of “quick delve” dungeons and more lengthy ones with actual puzzles in them. Even underground, the environments appear to be a lot more varied than in Oblivion, which is nice, and I’ve seen little to no evidence of the stupid levelling system, either. You gain a level point every time you raise any skill now, so no more having to focus on things which might turn out to be useless. There are also fixed-level enemies around, too, who will kick your ass (and, in the case of a killing blow from a giant’s club, amusingly whack you into the upper stratosphere — I really hope they don’t patch that out) until you’ve gained a suitable amount of awesomeness to take them on. I made the mistake of pissing off a mammoth a short while ago, and didn’t realise it was being herded by the nearby camp of giants. I was trampled, gored, and then hit for a homerun roughly halfway across Tamriel. I learned not to do it again.

  • bowlisimo 4:03 pm on November 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    @rampantbicycle I approve of the waiting for Skyrim w/mods plan, especially on PC. Also, lower price and DLC depending on how long you wait.

    Game looks rad though, watched Greg Kasavin play a shit ton of it during his marathon yesterday. I wasn’t on board, but now I am. Combat is marginally better, but oh well.

  • RedSwirl 3:27 pm on November 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    @bluesforbuddha @rampantbicycle WHOAH WHOAH WHOAH HOLD UP BEIGE. Wagner’s Ring Cycle References in Skyrim?! Sign my black ass UP.

    You’re talking to someone who had to learn Der Ring Des Nibelungen in the original German, and has never actually read it in English.

    Now I am seriously considering checking to see if the game has the option for German voices.

  • rampantbicycle 2:54 pm on November 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    P.S. Though I will totally wear a winged helm if they give me one. That shit’s awesome.

  • rampantbicycle 2:53 pm on November 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   

    @beige Hey, man, I merely announced that my intentions re: Skyrim are to wait until the modders have had time to have their wicked way with it, and then play the game the way I damn well please, regardless of your opinions regarding thews.

    If you want to roll up a heavily-muscled axe-wielder and grunt your way through conversations, be my guest. ;P

  • Pete Davison 12:51 pm on November 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Skyrim   


    That is all.

  • Shingro 8:27 pm on November 2, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Skyrim,   

    Just so folks know, Youmacon is this weekend, so if any of the squad is attending a michigan based anime convention, we should totally talk some old games. Look for the person who lacks enough shame to cosplay Vincent. He’ll be accompanied by both a K and a C -athrine and look like a goofball. =P Pics will probably be posted, to the possible ruination of my good name and temperant appearance. Can’t wait!

    As for Dark Souls, We should probably strike soon on that sidemission squadcast, while people are still involved and suchlike. Plus, I expect we could actually get a shout out on Weekend Confirmed if we brought the activity to Garnett’s attention considering the unfinished Dark Souls tales from Jeff/Garnett. It would also be an excellent lead in to encourage Jeff Cannata to weigh in with another Dark Souls story and form an excellent common base for them to discuss the weapon combat in Skyrim.

    That’d encourage us to look at somewhere between the 7th and 10th (they record friday yes?) I suppose I could bring a microphone to Youmacon and try to manage through hotel internet, but I don’t think that’s exactly a winning proposition >_>

    Naturally if we aren’t particularly needy of a new influx of Peoples or don’t want to inject into that particular WC discussion (which I expect Dark Souls will actually come out ahead considering the variance of the weapon combat styles, prereqs, custom move sets etc.) then we could do it afterwards and do our own comparisons, trouble is I don’t know what Skyrim penetration around the squad is so the discussion might be more limited. (I myself plan on maybe poking at a demo, but not being week 1 on it, got a limited game budget and DS sucked a fair piece of that away)

    Just a random train of thought, what do people think?

    Also: Quick Dark Souls update, Got past Four Kings and then Seath, finally acquired sorceries I’ll need to level some to use. Great fun! I guess now I get to see what’s past Ceaseless Discharge

  • impynickers 7:54 pm on February 24, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Skyrim   

    The trailer for Skyrim seems as impressive to me now as Oblivion was when I first saw it. Its easy to beat Oblivion down these days for being ugly and buggy, but it was damned impressive when it was released.
    Will Skyrim be as glitchy though? That’s what I want to know.

    Played the Dragon Age 2 PC demo, I liked it enough.
    Yes I had a cutscene stuttering bug that was solved via
    Also, with all the customization, Leveling, and inventory cut out of the demo,
    it is really just a rollercoaster ride. You really were given no sense of how linear/non linear the final game is.
    However, despite the problems it gave me some hope: I didn’t hate the combat.
    Sure, it seems flashy and actiony … but that just comes off on the surface.
    It honestly plays mostly the same but with a quicker pace. The depth will come in the skill/spell trees.
    Much like the beginning of origins, many of the starting characters feel like blank slates.
    Luckily most seem to stay starting characters.
    It seems this time around the classes are fairly even in terms of power.
    I am actually looking forward to playing more. The demo just leaves so many unanswered questions.

  • bowlisimo 5:57 pm on February 24, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Skyrim   

    @RocGaude Fingers crossed for Skyrim. Might be the first game in quite a while to force PC upgrades. The jaded gamer in me thinks he can still see the subtle influences of the Gamebryo engine in the latest gameplay trailer, but I’ll let a random Kotaku commenter take it from here;

    “NPC models that don’t look so terrible you’re nearly forced to get a mod… no, even better, they actually look great! Now as long as they don’t have the broken physics, where you touch something and everything in a 10 foot radius shifts, this will likely be a landmark in game quality.”

  • RocGaude 5:10 pm on February 24, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Skyrim   

    Regardless of what happens with DA2, we still get Skyrim this year. Bethesda has yet to bow to marketing’s beck and call, it seems.

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