Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim


Skyrim is a fantasy sandboxed action RPG and the fifth major installment in the long running Elder Scrolls series. It can be played in first or third person, but I always play in first person because it makes one of the most immersive experience I ever had.

As A Sequel

In my opinion Skyrim surpasses the previous installments in the series. Sure the Oblivion and Morrowind were great, among the best in their time, but Skyrim is better on every level. One of the biggest improvement is the leveling system. In the previous games, you had to count and level your skills in appropriate proportion otherwise stats points would be wasted when your character leveled. Skyrim ditches the stats, and introduces skill trees for each major skill (One handed weapons, Destruction magic, stealth, ...) and you can level you skills however you want. So its a lot more fun to build a character. 

Huge, Deep (figurative and literal), Fantasy World

As in the other Elder Scroll games, the world is huge. There are lots of dungeons to explore, some of them scale with you level. There are both generated quests and normal "handcrafted" quests. The generated quests are bland and redundant but are optional. The handcrafted quests' quality is very high, so I stuck to those and played 150 hours this year! Some of them have lasting effects as they will make you join factions or will permanently change your character (you can become a vampire or a werewolf for example).

Too Much Undeads

My advice would be to not do the quests you don't want. There are way too many undead dungeons in the game, but the vast majority of them are not mandatory. When you are bored of an area go somewhere else. If an NPC gives a quests you don't feel like doing, don't do it. One quest giver NPC was a cannibal, that does not sit well with me so I just killed him. Don't like vampires? Instead of doing the quests for the vampires, join the vampire slayers!

Mods and DLC

The developers released tools to mod the game and the community really took the game to an other level. Some mods out there are said to add quests of quality as good as the original game (with voice actors and cut-scenes and all).

Make sure to buy the version of the game that comes with the DLCs, some mods require them. The quests and areas added by the DLCs were great. They are far from being as big as the original game (because its so huge), but they are bigger and better made than many full games out there. Its also refreshing to play the game in a different areas.

Mod Links:

Steam Link:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Borderlands 2


I really liked the first borderland game. It was always fun to find better awesome crazy guns. Somehow I can't be bothered to finish the second installment in the franchise. The core gameplay, which is pretty much almost the same as in the first game, is just not fun anymore. I would rather replay the first game that I already finished 2-3 times than continue the quest-line in the second game.

Things I Did Not Like

  1. It takes 1 minute to get into game. There is a series of slash screens, then a "press a key to continue" message and then game pauses and shows a "Searching for DLC" message for 30 seconds. I have no DLC installed, what the hell.
  2. Guns are lacking. I only found one orange weapon and a few purples, and they sucked, because they are a lot of bad weapon mods into the game. Some are written in red and you won't know what they do until you check online. For example one weapon, makes your character throw an explosive while reloading. The reloading is automatic by default and I killed myself once with a rocket laucher and that weapon mod, I had ducked for cover after launching the last rocket ... Also this weapon mod will waste any ammo in the magazine if you reload early.
  3. It feels like you are always reloading. Some guns consume 2 or 3 bullets per shot in the magazine and the magazines are very small. Some actions interrupt the reloading and you end up restarting the reloading animation.
  4. Some zones have ammo crates everywhere but other zones will make you run out of ammo. 
  5. Somehow the quest marker did not always work correctly for me.
  6. The "Badass level" system is not as cool as the equivalent system in the first game.
  7. For some unknown reason, after doing a series of actions (activating ability, reloading, throwing grenade) pressing the shift key does not make my character run, and it must be released and pressed a second time. Annoying when there is a grenade next to you.
  8. Many guns have very bad iron sights. With some your target is completely covered by the gun while you are aiming correctly.
  9. Often the enemies are all hidden in building before you reach the location, Then a first wave spawns from different doors. Then a second wave, and then a third wave. Its a pain and I hate spawning. I often found myself thinking "Are you done now? Can I move on?". If only they would all spawn at once then they would make great grenade targets. Also even if you don't leave an area that is not separated by loadings, all the waves will be reset after a certain amount of time. So if your doing many quests in an area you might end up fighting the same waves in the same areas multiple times as you are going back and forth between quest objectives. I really really hate spawning. The first game had similar spawning too but I did not find it as aggravating.
Otherwise the story and characters seem interesting, the music is good. Its just not fun for me to play.