Monday, February 24, 2014

Hey Bethesda, that's not how you make a game.

It's common knowledge that Skyrim, although great, is a broken mess of a game from a programming standpoint, with a seemingly neverending list of bugs. That's understandable since the game is so bloody massive, but... well, I just ran into one that completely prevented me from watching a climactic cutscene about three quarters of the way through the main questline.

What you're supposed to do is read one of the eponymous Elder Scrolls at a specific location, then watch a five-minute flashback, immediately followed by a boss fight. At least that's what's SUPPOSED to happen. Instead, as the flashback begins, I see some dude run past me, I hear a dragon roar, and that's it. I can't move. At all. Can't hear anything either. I can stand there for ten minutes, NOTHING. I tried a few "fixes" that apparently worked for other people, but they didn't work, presumably because those fixes are for ANOTHER bug later on in the flashback. (Wow, such stellar programmers you have there.)

So I had to watch the flashback on YouTube, then instead of reading the Elder Scroll, input a few commands in the console that would allow me to skip the flashback and go straight to the boss fight, while still learning the boss' weakness in the process (the entire point of the flashback being to teach you that weakness). Fortunately I was playing the one version of the game (PC) that has the console, but I don't want to imagine a PS3 or 360 player running into the same issue and being completely locked out of finishing the main questline as a result.

Still. A game not working properly and forcing me to watch an important scene on YouTube is something that's never happened to me, and probably will never happen again.

7 comments:

  1. I have found Skyrim to be quite a buggy game, even compared to Morrowind and Oblivion, and they were just as big if not bigger than Skyrim. I assume you're playing unmodded, but I've found the community patches for this series to be real lifesavers. I have heard many things about glitching out the MQ, although after a couple characters I still haven't gotten much past the first dragon. Everything besides the MQ is too good to put down.

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    1. I'm using the unofficial patches. That fix list can be condensed in two words: THANK GOD.

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  2. I beg to ask: why are these games more popular and successful than Heretic and Hexen?

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    1. Okay, I understand the HOW, but the WHY is upsetting (gamers are lenient on quality if there's an enormous quantity in a sandbox, Raven became a horrible company after they were bought by Activision, the Doom clone prejudice, etc.)

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    2. Well as you said: Content is very important. People only have money for so many games, so big games=more bang for your buck. That being said, Elder Scrolls lets you do a lot more in terms of exploring, role-playing, etc. even if the combat is not that great. On PC the games can be modded to do just about everything, I believe MW even had a Hexen inspired mod. That's why they are successful. Don't really know much about Raven so I can't say anything about that.

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    3. Hexen has lots of wads and mods as well. Hexen taught me how to program. It always felt like a never ending multiplayer game to me.

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