Gaming Masala: Elder Scrolls

Gaming Masala is a new blog post type in which I type about certain controversial opinions I have about video games and anything related to video games. First of all, if you disagree with me, I think that’s awesome. I don’t think it reflects poorly on you if we disagree. In fact, I recognize that I often like things others don’t. This means I expect people not to agree with me on some things. I am interested in what you disagree with me about and your reasoning so feel free to comment and rebut. However, I will not tolerate any sort of ad hominems on my character or other commenter’s character. The reflections are on games and not on actual people. So just a reminder.

I do not like the Elder Scrolls series. In fact, I feel Bethesda Softworks is incredibly overrated as one of the big Western RPG giants. The things I remember hearing about the games includes over 90 hours of gameplay time with side quests and immersive worlds. I am a huge RPG fan and a large part of what makes me love RPGs is good stories. Now, I know that RPGs tend to recycle story types and the like but the RPGs that I loved the most had awesome stories and addicting gameplay. Even if the gameplay wasn’t perfect the story would help make up for it. Now, these are games so I understand that first and foremost, the gameplay is the most important thing. Story is secondary but as gaming as become much bigger as an industry, the hollywood like blockbuster quality of storytelling has entered gaming in a big way. Earlier gaming consoles didn’t have the visuals necessary or the technology to make a truly immersive visual experience. So instead, gameplay was the important thing. And it shows, looking back, the quality and care given to games was incredible. Now there were issues but gameplay came first. RPGs however, have always had to balance the two and would normally do or die by the strength of their combat system or other interesting gimmicks. This was meant to encourage replays and give the player more of a reason to spend more time. But the story does matter. If you care about the characters and their journey, it makes the story that much better. Now many RPGs have a create a character option so you can insert yourself into the world. I enjoy that a lot and generally have had a blast. But the world has to appeal to me and while stories are normally not always as important in those kinds of RPGs, they are a bonus. Elder Scrolls boasts a vast world in each of the games and involves character creation. In many ways I can see why the game appeals to people. But I always got bored. I also didn’t enjoy fighting monsters. The third person combat and weapon system was not interesting to me. The world felt bland and boring. Now I am basing my opinions off of Elder Scrolls IV and V. Both were games I tried multiple times and was never able to enjoy. I just didn’t enjoy exploring and getting items. Call me stupid if you want, but I didn’t feel the thrill of adventure. If you give me an open world, give me interesting places and a really compelling reason to explore. If you throw me into a world, I need to understand how to improve my character. Elder Scrolls didn’t have that for me. I get why people say they like it, but I don’t feel the same.

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