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My Skyrim First Impressions - Problems and Excellence (Xbox 360)

Friday, 11 November 2011

This blog has lately been mostly Skyrim only, but when I'm excited of a game which particularly interests me a lot I'll stick to write about it for a while. So I got my copy today and it's been both rocky road and great experience thus far. Let's start with the problems.

The problems

My copy is XBOX360 version and straight with the first opening problems started to occur. When entering the story at very beginning, you're sitting on sort of a cart with some other prisoners, nobody talked anything. I wondered should it really be this way? No dialogue, 'till we entered town and horses stopped. Waited few minutes and nothing happens. So restart game and again the same. After this I restarted whole console and started new game, this time dialogue during the horse ride was there.

I got to create a character and decided to go agile and thief-ready Khajiit. Modified and saved my character - and again, nobody of NPC's talk. So I saved and reloaded, now dialogue works. The same happened loads of times during the first phase of the game where you escape from the dragon to the caves with that one other guy. Sometimes at waypoint where the other man leading the way stops for a talk, he freezes and doesn't move anymore so time for "reload" and the problem is again gone (his script resets?). Had loads of saving when succesfully getting onward at escaping and loading when the NPC who I was supposed to follow froze.

Also at that phase when following the escapist the game kept freezing like every 3-5minutes making me to restart whole console and load up again. Very annoying. I don't know if the game somehow got corrupted at part of that "escaping phase / script" and made it freeze? Since I have not read any stories alike of Xbox360 version anywhere yet. I also don't have any freezing problems with any other games so my console should be fine - my bet is the beginning stage of game somehow went corrupt particularly on that escaping scripted part.

Well, when I finally got to escape dragon from the starting town to the caves and ran through them fightning a few stormcloaks, I got out on clean. After this the guy who led the way and I parted the ways - result: Crashing stopped and have not had a crash ever since. Weird thing indeed eh?

What I could tell though is that this game is going to be damn good - If Bethesda fixes some bug issues. Also has anyone else have had similar problems? Please post the post and let us know! I'm very sceptical that I would be only one with these freezing problems.

  • Few Hours Later: Game has been running rock solid ever after that first 30minutes of gameplay (escape part) without freezing again - while back then it froze frequently. Hmm.

The excellence

Other than that the freezes now seem to be over after beginning of the game, and what I can tell is following: the graphics, although not totally mindblowing, are better than I expected. I think the Xbox version does very good job on graphical part and difference to Oblivion is actually quite big. Engine reminds Oblivion's but models, textures and landscapes just look very nicely updated though. Same applies than to Oblivion though, some areas look damn good while others just allright.

I would raise up these things improved in graphics: greatly better character models, improved landscapes and "distant landscape" along the high mountain ridges that look great on the horizon, lightning and shadows are far better and create good atmosphere. Also some weather effects and fog fit in very nicely. Dungeons seem to have gone through overhaul, yet not to have crawled through many I don't want to comment on how much better they are in terms of "level design" but they certainly look more spiced up and vibrant.

There seems to be NPC's wandering the wilds more than before so that's cool also. Fightning is quite similar but enhanced by little things making it more enjoyable. Musical score is very nice also. I'll write more in a full Skyrim review later on, and perhaps Bethesda has released another patch by then.

It's true that this series has taken a turn into more Action-Adventure with RPG elements than old school RPG (compare to Daggerfall for instance in terms of character stats). It's not as stat-heavy as some of the other releases. Bethesda have been cutting of some skills / attributes release after another. Yet you still have almost the same basic Skills (some of which have just changed name while basic function is still the same) than Oblivion while Attributes have been cut off - instead of Strength, Endurance, Speed, Agility, Personality, Intelligence, Willpower, Luck - you now have only Magicka, Health, Stamina.

You have more choices than before in some areas though, because perks grant you special bonuses that weren't in Oblivion as well as a few new "Skills" are in also: smithing and pickpocketing. Every skill has it's own specific "skill tree" or "skill advancement tree" where you can follow different paths and make choices to pick bonuses or new ways to use the skill, as you raise your certain skill up - which is very cool.

All in all compared to Oblivion I don't think character statistics are much simplified after all. I mean this isn't probably the best game if we view it as statistic heavy RPG where classes play heavy role, but Skyrim is awesome game on it's own right: large gameworld, good action, a lot to do and discover and fantasy setting works. Vivid gameworld particularly takes the leading role and makes you forget stat and class tweaking of hardcore RPG games - on it's own area of gameplay style Skyrim seems to deliver well.

So I decided to go with Khajiit, and I'm going to train him to be thief-like character. Although full template is not decided yet, I bought equipped my thief Khajiit with two daggers, making him dagger dual wielding thief. I picked the "Master" Difficulty which is the 2nd hardest out of five to crank up some challenge, and I can tell that some events on early level have been hard as hell. Don't know it those were combination of bad luck and less level scaled random events or what, but it's certainly cool - it seems that everything certainly is not level scaled. I'm still to play more to comment better on that. Without further talk, let me introduce Lazareth, Khajiit Thief / Assassin with dual wielding daggers:

(Sorry for bad quality - it's directly from TV screen since I've Xbox)

So far, impressed by game other than the freezing bugs - I truly hope Bethesda cleans out some bugs with patches to increase stability and this game is gonna kick ass. On the other hand I don't see a reason why wouldn't they patch it up quite soon.. still very excited, now I'm gonna return to play some more! Please let us know what kind of character did you pick? :-)


  1. which model of the xbox 360 do you own? I have an Slim and have encountered no issues but a few glitched models (such as a person floating above their chair, etc) while my friend, whom owns the original release xbox 360 is experiencing some freezing issues like you are.. i'm not 100% on this but i'm beginning to notice a pattern with those whom are having these sorts of issues...

  2. playing on ps3 having freezing problems also have to shut down whole system and restart starting to be a problem

  3. Hey, I have the Original Xbox 360 Pro with 60GB Drive.. :-) Have not had problems since the first 30minutes really, but the beginning was full of them - then gone. My brother has it on PS 3 and is experiencing some really hard framerate/memory stuttering time to time. Other than that he loves the game. -Gamers Dungeon

  4. Hello there! I wanted to contact you via email or some other private message, but I couldn't find a way to do so. I want to say thank you very much for linking to my Sentinel Worlds let's play on your "Let's Play Library" page! I've also recently begun a let's play of Skyrim if you want to link to that also. I'm playing a female Breton battlemage. :)

  5. Hey Amy! No problem, you're welcome. That Let's Play listing took me quite a while to make with Excel - it was tiring.

    I'd love to link it but I have a problem. I don't know if Google changed Blogger's behavior with tables but when I try add updated table, Blogger doesn't like the table anymore but screws it up. Thus I cannot update Let's Play library anymore ;c

    Maybe I'll have another look for it some time later if I can figure out what's exactly wrong with linking that large table to my blog.

    Meanwhile enjoy the Library as it is! Last time I checked most links were still valid.. :-)

  6. Btw. considering this post with Skyrim problems - they could had been partly caused with wore off Xbox360 Dvd-drive. The drive stopped reading discs couple of months after this posting totally.

    I've lost it with Xbox quality. The drive lasted about 3 years and not even in overly heavy usage. While my brother god "red ring of death" in less than a year. Damned Microsoft.