Skyrim reviews are in: you might never leave home again

By on November 10, 2011, 3:59 PM

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is only a few hours away and being one of the year's most anticipated titles, it's no surprise that the wire is buzzing with launch info. There's so much news, in fact, that we'd be doing you an injustice by focusing on any given topic. Instead, we've compiled a list of noteworthy happenings around the Web that should help keep your eyes off the clock if you've already preordered or help you make a final decision if you're still on the fence.

Podcasts and Videos
Gone are Oblivion's awkwardly rigid character movements. The fourth installment of the Skyrim team diaries podcast was posted this week, offering a look at the development of the game's animation engine. "It was really tough trying to imagine how you kill a dragon. It's pretty much a dinosaur," said  Jangjoon Cha. "How do you kill a dinosaur with, essentially, a toothpick?" The podcast is accompanied by a video clip that showcases various combat animations.

Skyrim Animations Demo 

(more official videos herecomical community videos here)

Developer Interviews
Wired and Joystiq have published two separate, yet equally intriguing interviews with Bethesda. The former reveals that Skyrim can produce an infinite number of quests based on your game status, while the latter covers a smattering of topics, including the challenges that studios face when creating a PC game. "From a technical standpoint, yes, the PC is a headache. It just is. A million different possibilities of hardware, drivers, etc." said VP of Marketing Pete Hines.

Review Roundup
It seems the embargo date on reviews has lifted with more than a dozen sites sharing their perspective on the game. The consensus? It's everything you've been dreaming about and more. Or as Videogamer puts it: "if you have any long term commitments like say, a job or friends or a significant other, we suggest you ring them to make your excuses now..." Here are some review links: GiantBomb, PC Gamer, Joystiq, Game Informer, RPGamer, Eurogamer, Shacknews, Wired.

Preorder Deals & GeForce Beta
If you haven't preordered yet, there's still time to save a few bucks through Direct2Drive, which is offering Skyrim for $53.95. We haven't found any other preorder deals (share them if you have), but it's worth noting that if you purchase the game through non-digital channels, you'll get a free map. If you've already pulled the trigger, you might want to install the GeForce 285.79 Beta (32/64-bit), which has a SLI profile for Skyrim and an "excellent" 3D Vision compatibility rating.




User Comments: 39

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Guest said:

I loved Arena, Daggerfall and Morrowind but Oblivion kinda put me off the Elder Scroll Saga so i might pass this one up or just wait for a sale.

Guest said:

Gotta love when u ask marketing guys about Technical challenges, when they not even technical to begin with.

And pc headaches? Dx9 is a standard, doesn't matter what plethora u have, but just specify minimum CPU and gpu and game will play fine regardless. Sheesh.

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/pete-hines/1/713/698

Staff
Shawn Knight Shawn Knight said:

Amazon has a $10 promotional credit good towards the purchase of items shipped and sold by Amazon.com

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Good thing I am off tomorrow.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm ticked - I pre-ordered Skyrim from Amazon with game-day release delivery guarantee. Only one small problem...tomorrow is Veteran's Day and no mail delivery. Oh well, as a veteran I'll just have to take in all the love on Friday and get my game on Saturday.

Lurker101 said:

Guess I have to stop messing around and finish New Vegas then.

I wonder how many of these reviews are bought...

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

I'm getting this tonight at midnight...can't wait!

Guest said:

Tom, usually Amazon uses UPS or Fedex, neither of which are closed tomorrow. I am a bit worried though, as I haven't received a shipping notice from Amazon yet!

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

TomSEA said:

I'm ticked - I pre-ordered Skyrim from Amazon with game-day release delivery guarantee. Only one small problem...tomorrow is Veteran's Day and no mail delivery. Oh well, as a veteran I'll just have to take in all the love on Friday and get my game on Saturday.

I think you are confusing the USPS, with UPS/FedEx. As far as I know, both companies recognize Veteran's Day, but don't actually observe them. So you might indeed get Skyrim tomorrow.

Guest said:

I wonder how many of these reviews are bought...

Probably not many outright bought (although it isn't like there is a controlling interest preventing this..), but any review done in time for launch is pretty sus.

Launch reviews = good traffic, so sites want them. PR wants them too, but ideally only if they're positive. If a PR company finds a particular outlet is not overly friendly with launch reviews, then they may start to see less and less of them. It's an eco system designed to produce good publicity. While I'm sure there are plenty of launch reviews that aren't entirely positive, the outlets that do them have to have a good enough relationship with PR to do so, so put two and two together - they'll always approach them from a positive standpoint. You can read it in the tone of most launch reviews that aren't A+ or 9/10 etc - excuse making over criticisms.

Guest said:

i quit my job for this game :L

Guest said:

So the first 3 were amazing, and the fourth one was just okay, and that's your reason for not buying number 5. Good reasoning there buddy.

PinothyJ said:

Guest said:

I wonder how many of these reviews are bought...

Probably not many outright bought (although it isn't like there is a controlling interest preventing this..), but any review done in time for launch is pretty sus.

Launch reviews = good traffic, so sites want them. PR wants them too, but ideally only if they're positive. If a PR company finds a particular outlet is not overly friendly with launch reviews, then they may start to see less and less of them. It's an eco system designed to produce good publicity. While I'm sure there are plenty of launch reviews that aren't entirely positive, the outlets that do them have to have a good enough relationship with PR to do so, so put two and two together - they'll always approach them from a positive standpoint. You can read it in the tone of most launch reviews that aren't A+ or 9/10 etc - excuse making over criticisms.

Considering a LOT of the 100% reviews have a negative mentioned in the blurb on Metacritic is a testament to these reviewers inability to properly and accurately deliver their ratings.

Hmph...

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

You guys are right - I got my shipment notice from UPS and in fact, will be delivered by UPS. Woot!

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Tom, can ya fill me in on what is so great about this one?

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

There's an epic theme song for starters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLlRaJkMNlE

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

There's an epic theme song for starters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLlRaJkMNlE

Okay, that was pretty cool.

Guest said:

No one has said really that much about the hand to hand combat. I understand it still exists but the skill has been removed and no one can give a good answer on what new category governs it if any or how its damage is influenced by level or health ect. ect .

motrin said:

time to tank up my sneak again.. (that was the first attribute I maxed out in the last game) I guess you could say, I'm a sneaky snake

Guest said:

No tessellation

Lurker101 said:

Tessellation is an over-rated gimmick that you stop noticing after 10 minutes

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Game is looking way better than I anticipated, might have to go pick it up later today . I am reading about some binding/mouse issues with the UI though, but doesn't appear to be that bad. Hopefully they will patch it asap.

treetops treetops said:

I think ill give this genre another go, thought it was like wow single player last time I checked it out. Go kill 5 wolfs and report back! Bleh!

Guest said:

Im probably going to get burned at the stake for daring to insult this game, But after playing for several hours today dissapointment is an understatement.

After fighting a troll across a small shallow river, i discovered he was scared of the 1 foot deep water and providing i stood in it i could happily shoot arrows at his head while he stood on the bank, scared in case he got his toes wet.

First epic dragon fight!!! Dragon flew about for a bit, eventually he landed and sat nice and still till i put enough arrows in him till he was dead..

Horses it seems gallop at the same speed as a human, And being presented with a hill causes them to gallop on there SIDE up the hills..

Control interface is truly truly awful, consoles have a lot to answer for...

General collision detection, Can jump on to some rocks, but cant jump while on it? Running in 3rd person sees my chars legs dissapear in to the scenery, Cant jump over 2 foot high fences.. ect ect

Dissapointing dx9.c graphics.

I could list probably another 50 things, Parts are so bad its almost funny ( exept i paid for it)

Nostalgia and sentimentality aside, this game sucks.

venomblade said:

The in game menus where you access your inventory/spells are so....consolized :/

Guest said:

Menus are awful and laggy, they are far from intuitive and clearly made for console

Graphics especially textures in places are awful

Sound is too quite on some PCs, config file editing is required to fix it.

However it's still a good game, from what I've seen so far, but I am annoyed that the menus in particular weren't improved before release, a vaguely competent games tester would have screamed about how poor they are.

Guest said:

Dont listen to the guy above me he a complete *****. I got off work at 10pm and played into my next shift which was 6am the next day. This game is pure crack. The graphics are amazing the sound and music compostion are on par with any great game and more. I seriously just got into the main story about 6 hours into it and I only visited 2 towns and 2 dungeon ( 1 took an hour and a half and a decent speed) all I have to say is get this game now. don't wait GO NOW!!!!

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Tessellation is an over-rated gimmick that you stop noticing after 10 minutes

yes...along with those other annoying things like lighting,textures and shading.

Guest said:

People clearly aren't looking at this objectively, the game feels very like Fallout 3, it's got a lot of bugs for a game that's been in development for so long, such as crashing when entering Skyrim, yet you reload and it works fine etc.

The game is very good but it should have been much, much better and on the PC it shouldn't feel like a console port -which it most certainly does.

Guest said:

I pre-ordered from Amazon on a guarantee of same-day delivery as the store release. It never happened. Amazon screwed up. When they called me they said they hope I'd have it by November the 17th.

I did, however, take people to Best Buy at midnight to purchase it and I was with them when they installed. The first one had to downgrade the audio system in order to get it to run at all on a brand-new, top-notch computer that I personally built for gaming power. The second one had hours of problems I had to fix in order to get Skyrim to play.

When I saw the game itself, I saw it stutter visually on a 16GB computer with an XFX Radeon 2GB brand new graphics top of the line card on an Asus V mb with an AMD Phenom x6 processor. The required patch also took 45 minutes to download on a system with a 25mbs connection. Setup was annoying and we repeatedly had to reinvent the wheel to get it to run on either of the two computers.

I'm sure I'll bond with the game once it finally arrives, but I am put off by how much it looks like a very poor console port rather than a game built for the PC from the ground up. They also bragged that they were using an entirely new game engine, but I tested it and it has the same exact console/cheat commands as Fallout 3/Fallout New vegas and Oblivion. It looks like the same EXACT buggy game engine to me. I did not like the communication, level up or inventory systems. I did not like the same limited number of races to play as in previous Elder Scrolls games.

I HAD hoped that Bethesda would go to the Nexus and see what kinds of MODS were the most used in their previous games so that they might launch a game with somethings like dozens of playable races, for instance.

Before you bash, remember that this is just based on an hour's or so play on other people's computers after spending hours changing things to get Skyrim to run. Once I get this thing on my own system, I'm sure I'll find plenty of things to like about it. I LOVE the Elder Scrolls. I'm sure the storytelling, graphics, quests and locations will make this game a worthy use of my time.

fimbles fimbles said:

Quote :

"The game is very good but it should have been much, much better and on the PC it shouldn't feel like a console port -which it most certainly does. "

+1

Great game, slightly spoiled by some lacklustre beta testing.

Guest said:

You claim how bad it is, when it's reviewed about 60 times already with an average score of 9.5....quite the irony.

Guest said:

The immersion is gone! I will not buy this game.

treetops treetops said:

Half the time I have to use my keyboard to sift through my inv\menu and the other half I am forced to use my mouse. Most games you can use both anytime you want. I am like ok up arrow enter, enter again oh wait I cant press enter now I have to switch to the mouse. Mousing click click hmm ok I have to use the keyboard now...

Butch said:

Played this for about 4 hours and decided to uninstall it until the mod community turns it into proper PC game rather than an awful kiddie-console port. Oh well. Bethesda just adds to the long list of console sellouts. Not that I blame them. It's just business and the consoles make the money for them; but it sucks for us PC players. Luckily there is a active mod community out there. Get to it guys and accept my thanks in advance....

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

and just like that BF3 takes the back seat... now if i could only find the time to play this beast :/

Guest said:

Well, I took a chance and I love it.

Pros: Good voice acting (not perfect but good), Beautiful immersive scenery, Good level designs, Crafting system, engaging underlying story.

Cons: Buggy, Menus, textures

Summary: Story and game mechanics are more important to me than graphics nuances. This game has it and by my standard still looks beautiful, I actually feel cold when I am running through higher elevations in the mountains. Even the clunky console menu doesn't stop me from liking it. There are weeks of exploration and dungeons waiting to be discovered. The amount of design hours put into making these dungeons is just amazing.

I have been starved for a good rpg, this is it.

Guest said:

oblivion was week

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

My review so far:

Just got my first shout and so far I really like the game. Don't say anything Relic I don't think it's the most beautiful game in the world, but it does occasionally have scenes that are jaw dropping, especially sunset and sunrise. I dislike the menu/inventory system though I've started getting used to it and I agree with treetops's complaint about occasionally being forced to use the mouse to click on menu items.

I've got solid video performance (always 60 and don't have any crossfire issues) but I wish there were options to make it look even better. I also have this nagging mouse smoothing issue where it feels like the mouse just isn't smooth. I've tried addressing that by turning hardware mouse acceleration both on and off to no avail. It's also not always an issue so I really don't understand what's going on. The issue is most prevalent when I'm changing my height like going up a hill or spelunking, but when I'm running on level ground it's almost always smooth.

The story is very engaging and really doesn't require a working knowledge of previous Elder Scrolls games in my opinion. The voice acting is decent and the sound effects are pretty good everywhere. I really like some of the little touches like people complaining about ear pain when I use my shouts indoors. I'm also trying something different from my other times in the Elder Scrolls universe - I'm playing all magic this time. It's actually not bad and pretty much what I've expected - range/dot everyone and run like a little girl away from melee. You get good at walking backwards with this method.

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