Customer Review

118 of 144 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Tarnished Masterpiece, 18 Nov 2011
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3) (Video Game)
Bethesda create worlds. That world is Tamriel, a land of great beauty and breathtaking spectacle and Skyrim, it's northern province, is no exception.

The art design is fantastic, the soundtrack glorious, the quantity and quality of things to experience within it's cold, jagged enviroment are a testament to the ability of Bethesda to craft a living, breathing sandbox.

Character development has been trimmed and refined, stats are gone but the rpg element is not dumbed down. Progression feels far more natural with no need to game the system to pump up the stats you want, with each level providing an opportunity to increase health, magicka or stamina, along with a perk. Each choice has a tangible effect on how you play the game and beefing up a particular skills' perk tree is very satisfying. Combat, magical and melee, feel the best in the series yet, stealth and archery are also very well done.

Graphics are improved over Oblivion and Fallout 3, but not by that much, yet again it is the art design that is so much better. From the grimy, earthy look of the Nords to the sleek and deadly Dark Elf, the characters look more natural and less plastic wrapped and shiny than those of Oblivion. Voice acting too is better for the most part although there is one awful voice actor who seems a regular in these games who sounds like a teacher reading to a class of infants. Max Von Sydow and Christopher Plummer lend their talents to the game so the bad is certainly eclipsed by the good.

The quests come thick and fast and it is not long before you have a shopping list of tasks to complete and many will lead you to the underside of Skyrim, to the dungeons and crypts. I have enjoyed each and every barrow, temple, tower and treacherous cave i have assaulted. They are well designed and feel hand crafted. Each has a tale to tell and while there is no lengthy exposition explaining the back story it is perfectly illustrated in the details of the surroundings.

The game has the usual Bethesda glitches and bugs. Dragon corpses and other dead bodies you just wish would disappear sometimes seem to drop from the sky right before you, performing a shaky, shaky limb dance before they come to rest. I had one decapitated enemies head thrown at me whenever i re-entered a particular area, flung by his angry ghost perhaps. These, along with some other oddities, are little things and have become part of the Bethesda experience and is an easy price to pay for a game of such scope and depth.

So why two stars for such an amazing game?

Lag.

The PS3 version of Skyrim plays progessively worse the more time you spend in it. The PS3 owners i know who have also bought and played Skyrim suffer from the same problem (we don't have a decent PC j/k) the game reaches a point, after you have sunk many hours into it, where it starts lagging. And the lag gets worse and worse. It effectively kills possibly one of the best, most well crafted and involving games i have played in ages. Maybe ever. Travelling outside or heading into a town becomes unplayable, controller functions non-responsive. It is heartbreaking.

If the lag problem was fixed i would recommend Skyrim without question to those with the time and desire to explore and experience a fantastic world. You still can for the first 20-40 hours of play but just as you start to really dig into the game it starts flaking out on you. Some PS3 owners seem to not suffer the problem as soon as others and maybe there are some lucky owners who haven't suffered at all with the lag. But for me unfortunately Skyrim is a masterpiece of gaming that revealed itself to be broken.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Nov 2011 12:33:59 GMT
Denton says:
Yup, I'm there. 150 quests in and the lag has made the game pretty much unplayable (Bathesda know this which is why they wouldn't let major review companies preview the PS3 Version of Skyrim). I think for games like this we need Sony to hurry out the PS4. The PS3 simply isn't up to it.

the horrendous lag really destroys the game and makes it boring. Taking 5 minutes to walk a few juddery steps makes you want to spit fire and kick the TV in. I have found resetting the PS3 gives you half an hour-ish of relatively un-juddery play, although frame rate problems do persist, just less so.

I will be forced to trade this one in as you simply can't play the damn thing.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2011 01:40:02 GMT
Greycut says:
With the PS3 system tweaks and turning off the autosave it has definitely improved my gametime before the lag gets too much, i can get around a couple of hours max if i'm lucky. Although depending on where i travel and how many times i save i have had it become unplayable at 40mins.

Far from perfect i know, but i'm hoping that this is something that can be fixed.

As for new hardware i don't think that will solve the games industries attitude to releasing products that go beyond the need for patching but are broken in someway. And between them and the fanboys willing to heroically throw themselves into a flamewar against any criticism aimed their way and mugs like myself who still buy day-one releases i really don't see it changing.

Posted on 22 Nov 2011 09:34:23 GMT
1860murch says:
I've still got my copy of Skyrim just sitting on the coffee table in its factory seal. I've decided to wait and see what kind of patch is released by Bathesda for this problem before I start to play it. I've also got an Xbox which I mainly only use to play COD online with my mates but I'm beginning to wonder if I should return my PS3 copy of Skyrim to Amazon and buy it again on Xbox. I don't want to do this because I prefer my PS3 and prefer playing games on it but it has been suggested (by Xbox fan boys) that this game was made for the Xbox and ported to PS3 and therefore runs better and even looks better on the Xbox. I'll hold fire for now but I hope this patch arrives soon as I'm very keen to start playing this game on PS3.

Posted on 23 Nov 2011 13:33:08 GMT
K. Wong says:
Apparently there will be a patch released next week sometime that will address "long term play" on the ps3.
I may even stop playing till this patch comes out. Depends on how much my game lags.

Ive found that if you keep your savegames to a minimum (3 or 4 in total) it helps a little.

Posted on 27 Nov 2011 16:23:56 GMT
its players with a saved game over 8 mb. if you are an oblivion player like me and used to just dumping items and making a mess of default item location ie market stalls, the this increases the memory required to save your game. a patch should be out this week. bethesta have said the week after thanks giving, i think that has just gone

Posted on 28 Nov 2011 17:10:06 GMT
K. A. Garvey says:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3)

you dont really describe "flaking out"...the game starts bugging out and post game trauma-where any bugs pre release should have been ironed out!! i had the same prob with drake 2 on ps3..the game kept crashing,shame!! just bought a cheap last week...hope this one ok!!

Posted on 30 Nov 2011 09:58:40 GMT
darkfrankhs says:
Absolutely gutted to hear this - I'm about 20 hours in... so I'm very worried it will happen soon.

Hope it gets patched.

Posted on 30 Nov 2011 22:51:06 GMT
JadedGamer says:
Unfortunately, the patch has now made the game completely unplayable for me as it freezes up constantly requiring a manual reset of my PS3. Avoid this game, at least on this platform.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Dec 2011 15:59:55 GMT
Greycut says:
I started a fresh game before the latest patch and i have had it lock up on a loading screen once. What does concern me is that in the release notes for the new patch Bethesda claim that dragon corpses now "clean up properly" and that dragons will always attack the player instead of just flying by or circling, both of which appear unfixed in my game, so i'm half expecting the framerate issue to resurface when i have spent more time in the game.

I have also noticed that the shadows, which were pretty bad before, now seem to have devolved into a flickering mess of graphical corruption in certain areas, but i'm not sure whether that is just my perception or a result of the patch. I agree though, the PS3 is not the the platform to play this game on if you have other options.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Dec 2011 11:47:07 GMT
Denton says:
The patch, for me, has made the game freeze less, or at least allow me to play for an hour before it chucks a spazz. On the downside, the load times are excruciating now. I've timed them, sometimes a whole minute spent twizzling and rotating an image to stave off the desire to self harm brought on by frustration.

It's made so much worse when you innevitably have to reboot. 3 minutes to load the game...1 minute to fast travel to desired location...1 minute to enter building...two lines of dialogue...1 minute to exit building...1 minute to fast travel to next location...rinse repeat.

This is no longer fun. I'm baffled, after previous games as to why they disable fast travel from a building with no enemies, or the ability to drill down into a towns buildings and select one to fast travel to. It wouldn't be hard to build this functioanlity and would halve load times. You'd have to have discovered the location first obviously, but surely it wouldn't make the game build any harder.
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