I’ve played Skyrim (PC) for 7 hours, so now it’s time for a first impressions post (Basically a review).
Installation went quite smoothly, I extracted all the files into the Skyrim folder with Phoenix (Probably not the proper way but it worked). Running the Steam pre-load after this only took about 10-20 minutes, verifying data and downloading anything missing.
Graphics & Animation
I can’t say anything other than that the graphics simply look great, they aren’t the pinnacle of textures/graphics quality, but the style is consistent and it’s up to par with today’s standard.
The feel/style has changed quite a lot since Oblivion. Skyrim feels more like Morrowind to me, everything is a darker and more serious compared to Oblivion. This isn’t bothersome though, for me it makes Skyrim more immersive and I prefer it over the “happy happy” graphics in Oblivion.
However the animations are still behind compared to other games, Bethesda has been known to not always be up to par with other games and this game is no exception. The most bothersome thing is that the facial expressions (Well the lack thereof). Next to that there are some small clipping issues but those aren’t that bothersome.
I can’t say much about this, the music is solid (produced by Jeremy Soule so no surprise there), and the sounds, well I can’t really judge them, they fit.
The combat system has been changed compared to Oblivion, you can now equip an item/spell per hand and attack with either using the left or right mouse-button. And when you dual-wield spells (needs a perk in the specified tree) the resulting cast is more powerful.
There are also satisfying finishing moves, kind of similar to some of the Deadly Reflex finishing moves in Oblivion, however without any limbs actually being separated.
The controls work good, not many complaints, though not all key bindings are properly configurable.
There’s some small annoyances with the UI, if you change a keyboard shortcut the old key will still show in the UI, and if you want to hotkey things you need to add them to a favourites list first, then open that list, and use that to assign hotkeys to them.
The levelling system has been changed again from Oblivion, and they’ve simplified it. You don’t pick a class in the beginning, so no minor/major skills, and no birth-signs either. The total amount of skills has also been reduced to 18.
Instead of having major/minor skills help you level up, all skills will help you. And instead of the old attribute system you now choose whether you want to improve your magicka, health or fatigue, and you get a point to put into a perk for a skill (Which gives you all kinds of bonuses for that skill).
I’ve only played a handful of quests, so I can’t speak for the quests as a whole, but the ones I did complete play I enjoyed. The quests on average feel more interesting than the ones in Oblivion. There’s the “Radiant quest” system they implemented that is supposed to make quests more dynamic but as this is my first playthrough I can’t judge how that works.
A list of some other changes:
- Lockpicking now uses the system that was also used in Fallout 3
- No barter when trading (discounts depend on speech level/perks)
- Persuade/intimidate/bribe/brawl dialogue options like in Fallout 3 (The Oblivion disposition system is gone)
Even though the animations could use some improvements, and even though they simplified the levelling system I am still very much impressed by this game, and at the moment I consider it just as good as, and perhaps even better than Oblivion. So if you enjoyed Oblivion and/or Morrowind I can definitely recommend this.