Hindsight: Skyrim



Whenever RPGs and first-person games are being discussed, The Elder Scrolls, and especially Skyrm, is almost always brought as the one on top, and time after time I hear it being praised as the best RPG, the best FPS, the best game ever, the exception to other FPSs as it has more content then any other game.

Looking back on it now, I just can’t see any of that as being true.

Now, before I get flamed let me tell you that i’m not saying Skyrim is bad. The game is good, I know it is, I just don’t think it deserves all the praise it receives.

First of all, its gameplay and content is generic;

generic races, generic enemies, generic plot, generic weapons and armor, generic dungeons, generic characters. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, it’s what I like most about; it keeps everything simplified and easy to understand, and by doing so, the developers can focus on incorporating the leveling up, spell and inventory systems in interesting ways. But using it’s gameplay to praise it as this shining beacon of RPGs? I’m sorry, but a title actually has to have some uniqueness and innovation in it in order to get that praise.

And don’t start that “b-b-but it has more content then any other game!” with me. Yeah I know, over three hundred hours. So what? It’s about how much content is in a game, not how well it’s incorperated? Or what exatly that content is? Besides, at least fifty hours of Skyrims content are dungeons that don’t even have quests, and pretty much every qeust was “Go to this dungeon and either kill these guys or get these items.” Sure there are exceptions, but adding some marshmallows on top of a bowl of peanuts and raisins isn’t enough to make trail mix, you gotta mix it up.

Again, Skyrim is a great game, but if you really looked at it, broke it down and put it back together, it’s really just as good any other RPG, just some key differences to make it stand out from the others. Don’t go praising a game as being the best there is just because you like it a whole lot, it doesn’t take a buddhist monk to tell you that something you like and something that is good are two completely different things.

For the purpose of full disclosure what I like most about the Elder Scrolls games are it skill perks. It’s easy enough to make it so that  you can do more damage by raising attack skill, but unlocking new abilities by raising a skill makes it more worthwhile. Being able to zoom in with my bow, slow down time when I block, make better armor, and cast new spells is something I think every RPG should have, though I prefered Oblivion for that because you could use the perk the moment you unlocked it. Having to unlock the perk by increasing the skill, then having to wait until I level up to spend a skill point to actually use it is annoying. Of course I love the mods too. Why settle for what the game has when you can add your own stuff, or find something wacky or interesting to get a few laughs or enhance the game.

Once again, I’m not saying Skyrim is bad, or that there are better games then it. I’m just pointing that if your going treat a game, or anything really, like some kind of holy artifact, it needs to live up to it 24/7. Skyrim is a great game, but in order for it to be ground breaking, it needs to change the entire landscape of RPGs. All Skyrim does is a nice job of mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges.