Bethesda games

I noticed a few people listed games from The Elder Scrolls series in their top 10 lists and thought it would be interesting to create a topic to discuss Bethesda games in general. The nice thing about Bethesda games is they generally take place in a sandbox; there’s no requirement to follow the main quest, you can just go and do what you want. That can also be a detriment; the lack of direction can make them feel more like a set of tools than a “complete” experience. A bit like fighting games in that regard.

I recently starting playing both Skyrim and Fallout 4.

Regarding the Elder Scrolls, I tend to agree with @frelled that Skyrim is the peak of the series. The world of Skyrim is quite immersive and diverse, plus the gameplay has been refined a lot. I can actually see myself putting a decent amount of time into Skyrim, even if I don’t complete the main quest. I tried both Morrowind and Oblivion back when they were released, but didn’t get heavily into either of them. I liked the combat in Oblivion, but found the world too repetitive, and lost interest. Morrowind was more immersive, but was let down by some of the more “clunky” gameplay elements. I’d be interested in revisiting the world of Morrowind, which I might do depending on how Skywind turns out.

I bought Fallout 4 because I wanted to play a new release, high production title that would push my hardware to the limit, but without having to commit myself to a lengthy gameplay experience. Fallout 4 was actually my first Fallout game. It obviously looks good, but the world feels quite immersive and diverse too. The addition a Mass Effect-style dialogue choices is nice, even if they’re often not very consequential and lack the depth of more story driven RPGs. I like how there’s normally an option to be sarcastic to NPCs who they try to send me on fetch quests. :wink: There’s also the option to have a companion follow and aid you on quests, and this provides room for more personal dialogue options to unfold. I can’t comment on previous Fallout games, but the dialogue system certainly feels like a step up from any of the Elder Scrolls games.

But other aspects of Fallout 4’s gameplay do make your actions feel consequential - ammo and items are rare, there are trade offs for using items (e.g. consume particular items and you’ll increase the amount of radiation in your body). I’ve barely scratched the surface of Fallout 4’s quests, but just wandering around the world is enough to make me feel like I’m a survivor in a post-apocalyptic world. It’s a hazardous world and there’s a sense of accomplishment just crossing the map even if you’re not actively pursuing a particular quest. I think that’s what I like about this game; I feel like a part of the world, despite the lack of story or quest direction. I’m an explorer and a survivor with the freedom to do and go wherever I want to, not bound to follow a set of tasks laid out my some NPC on high, but at the same time feeling finite and vulnerable because of actual environmental constraints. Its an experience that can feel both belittling and enpowering.

It remains to be seen whether Fallout 4 or Skyrim will hold my attention all the way to the end of their main quests. But since there isn’t a “right” way to play Bethesda games, perhaps the point to take away is that this doesn’t matter. In any case, I think Bethesda games are evolving in a positive direction.

I played probably 400 or so hours on Morrowind, just at the same time a friend at school was doing the same. I had a lot of fun both playing the game and talking to him about it, as well as learning all the secrets from the GameFAQs board.

Oblivion was one of my driving reasons for buying an Xbox 360 - in fact, I bought the game before I even had the console! The gameplay didn’t feel as polished as Morrowind, and although I liked the main quest, I felt that a lot of the side-stuff just felt like filler material.

Skyrim was definitely a step up in all aspects. I could get lost in that world. It was so very well done, and so deep and complex that I never stopped finding new things. I just wish I had the time to play it like I did Morrowind.

Elder Scrolls games take up so much time to play, that I could never play a Fallout game in between. I’d have no time to do anything else! Besides, the Fallout series never really appealed to me. I find post-apocalyptic games are much better in linear format, but perhaps that’s just me.

I’m not sure what’ll be next for the Elder Scrolls series, but at this point I’m not sure if I’ll pick it up. At this point, can they really better Morrowind/Skyrim?

You can just “chip away” at Bethesda games, playing a small amount here and there, so I don’t see the time requirement as a big issue. Compare that to a lengthy, linear RPG (such as a JRPG), where you may need to keep a complex story in your head for a 40 hour duration, there’s a less of a commitment with more sandboxy games. That’s one reason why I picked up Fallout 4 instead of The Witcher 3, even though some say that latter is the better game.

Perhaps we can look to Fallout 4 for hints of where the next Elder Scrolls may take us. More work could be done to improve the characters within that world. Perhaps more could be done to make you feel like an inhabitant of the world, rather than just a visitor. I don’t think the games need to get any larger in terms of map size.

Post-apocalyptic fiction is my favourite genre, so Fallout 4 resonated with me, perhaps more so than the Elder Scrolls, all things considered equal. I’m not sure why I waited so long to play a Fallout game. IMO the non-linear aspect doesn’t let the game down.

It isn’t necessarily the story that I most identify with this Skyrim(though it was passable), it was just the level of polish. I didn’t encounter too many bugs which was counter to my experience with Oblivion. I liked the freedom that Morrowind gave you, but some of the game mechanics really distracted from enjoying the world. Skyrim just got a lot of that right.

I played and enjoyed Fallout 3, but it wasn’t for the story. To be honest, I am in no rush to play Fallout 4. The Fallout world and stories just don’t grab me like the Elder Scroll or Witcher games do.

I guess I can lump Doom into this since it is a Bethesda game. I am interested in seeing how the new Doom ends up. I thought it looked fun, but for a FPS, they better get the shooter mechanics right. I see some Gears of War resemblances that I could do without. I was always an Unreal fan more than a Doom/Quake fan, so we will have to see how it plays.

I thought Skyrim was very well done. I did get lost for a time, in that world. I really enjoyed the download content as well.

Going into that castle frozen in time with all those skeletons was awesome! I spent at least 90 hours with Skyrim. Although I do admit I used a glitch to max out my constellation stats. And that item duplication glitch was fantastic as well!

I’m bumping this old topic due to the release of Skyrim: Special Edition. I installed it yesterday (it’s free on PC if you own the original + all DLC, so why not) and played through the intro dungeon and explored the area just outside of it. Overall the graphics are a decent step up from vanilla Skyrim, even when set to low compared to medium in vanilla Skyrim. It brings the visuals closer to those of Fallout 4 (indeed, the system requirements are identical). That comes at a performance cost though, so I might continue to play the original version for those extra frames per second. The game also crashed twice on me which isn’t a good sign, and the sound isn’t perfect, but I imagine patches will fix these issues. Has anyone else tried the special edition?

Also, a few months okay I tried the demo of Doom, @frelled. I wasn’t expecting much, but thoroughly enjoyed it. Unlike many modern big budget games, they’ve nailed the pick up and play nature found in those old FPSs from the 90s, while still keeping the production values high. It feels unrealistic, but like you’re always in control (no quick time events that I came across), and there’s a sense of keeping any narrative exposition to the bare minimum. I’ll probably play the full game at some point.