Why Skyrim is a Stormcloak in a Teacup

Written 22/02/2012. First posted here.

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MORE SPOILERS THAN WORDS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Skyrim is not a particularly good game.

Not a terrible game, just a lazy one. It comfortably settles for mediocre with the occasional jaunt into pretty good or descent into god-awful. It’s not bad. It’s okay. It’s a horrendous brush to tar any creative property with: not so bad as to be entertaining, nor quite good enough for ‘decent’. The pity-prize of the praise world.

So why has Skyrim earned it? There is a lot about it to praise. Magic is fluid and extremely satisfying, Alchemy and Smithing both made for highly addictive little mini games, the Thieves Guild questline was coherent, and-

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Skyrim Review – Its Problems Are Legion, For They Are Many

Written 21/02/2012. First posted here.

Hesitantly, I pushed open the door. Before me lay a tunnel heading deep into the earth. To my right, about five feet down the passageway, was a door. I tried the handle.

Barred from the other side.

“Oh,” I said, “This’ll be my shortcut out at the end of the dungeon.”

It’s no way to play a game. Catacomb or cave, ancient temple or mystic pilgrim’s path: Bethesda have a formula and they’re sticking to it. It consists of a long crawl through twisty tunnels, the occasional large room to spice things up, and a whole lot of cannon fodder. There will be trippable traps. Even if it’s a sewer.

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