Spacefem.com

Skyrim: A Spacefem review

Math, science, physics, computers, engineering, and everything else that turns us on.

Moderators: rowan, Sonic#

Skyrim: A Spacefem review

Postby Sonic# » Tue Jan 3, 18:16 2012

So, Skyrim was released almost two months ago, to the noise and fanfare of glorious dragon shouts. Its coming was much heralded and much celebrated. There was even a thread here about it, where many enthused and a few ranted. Rather than make a complete blow-by-blow or go too long, I want to address a few key aspects in particular.

1. Gameplay, or "I like the part where I behead that monster with a mace, and the part where I marry next" :4houses:
So, you run around in either first or third person. You can talk to people and have conversations enabled through clickable responses, learn about quests or build relationships through these responses, you can interact with objects to pick them up or lift them around, you can pickpocket people, and so on. You can have combat with a weapon (ranged or melee), a shield, or magic. It is all controlled the same way, with left or right clicks (on a PC).

Also, there are dungeons, cities, and a vast overland to explore. You're free to kill townspeople, though guards will pursue you. You are free to jump off ledges, though you will die if you fall too far. This game doesn't hold you to one route, or one moral code, but there are limits.

Leveling up is fairly simple. You do stuff. As you do stuff, the skill of the thing you're doing improves. When you do it enough, you level up, and you get to improve either magic, health, or stamina and give yourself a bonus trait, like +20% to light armor or better enchantments or whatever.

2. Story, or convenient excuses for doing things. :5houses:
The main story is that you're a dragonborn in Skyrim, the home of the Nords. But you don't know it yet. You're caught up in civil war between an Empire trying to reassert itself and a native movement that seeks native rule. Cue ambiguous music. A dragon comes in and wrecks the day. You discover your heritage and try to save everyone from dragons.

Or, you know, you can ignore all of that after about a half hour in the game and decide to be a master thief or mage extraordinaire or random wanderer or an assassin or something. You'll still have, like, a gazillion things you can do without ever seeing a dragon again. You don't even have to take quests if you don't want to, though quests, even random ones, will usually point you towards some exciting location or dialogue.

But seriously, the plotline writing is pretty good for even things like the College of Winterhold. And keep an eye out for the Wabbajack.

3. Characters, or that part where I talk to people. :4houses:
They're around. Your own character can be male or female, and split between a number of different races that have certain powers and appearances. If you've played any RPG with different races, you know the drill.

You can talk to other characters. They're rarely memorable as individuals by name, but that's because there's so many of them. On the other hand, you will remember there being a lot of characters, and you will remember some of them by function (the priestess to the Temple of Mara), and perhaps a few names (like Lydia the housecarl) will even stick with you. There's a great breadth and variety of characters, and you'll likely get attached to some of
them, but its breadth defeats my memory.

4. Graphics and atmosphere: it's very gorgeous, especially in how it renders snowscapes. There. Done. :5houses:

5. So, how fair is it towards women? Other races? So on? :4houses:
Pretty fair. To speak of character creation, you can be a man or a woman without any differences in stats. While other races in the game (including several human variants) get different bonuses, these bonuses are slight, such that a redguard mage or a briton heavy warrior are just as feasible as anyone else. Many clothing choices are not skewed towards being provocative for any one gender; the armor I wore on female avatars was always reasonable. Women possessed many positions of power or authority, serving as guards, jarls (think lords), heads of guilds, and the like. Tensions along racial or ethnic lines form a part of the world; high elves are suspect after the Empire lost a war against a country of them, the Nords are often viewed as downtrodden by the Empire, many distrust non-human races by default, and so on. This can put the player in the role of either oppressor or vindicator; while some associated plots are rather tried or stereotypical, they nonetheless made a strong effort overall to encompass the problems of prejudice in a fantasy world.

Undoubtedly, a sharp gamer will spot points in the game that will make them frown. Marriage exists in the game, and is fully bisexual, but it doesn't radically change the game. Alternative genders are, to my knowledge, absent entirely. There's a skill that gives +10% to bartering with the opposite sex, but no equivalent for the same sex. These are admittedly minor points, but ones that prevent it from being perfect.

Overall, I quite enjoyed it. :4houses: or :5houses: indeed. (I spent about 40 hours as a male Nord sneaky brawler, and another twenty as a heavy-armored female elf specializing in destruction and conjuration magic. I did most consistent questlines, though I still have so many quests, dungeons and even a whole city yet to explore.)
User avatar
Sonic#
established
established
 
Posts: 2831
Joined: Sat Nov 7, 9:37 2009

Re: Skyrim: A Spacefem review

Postby Daktoria » Tue Jan 3, 19:27 2012

Neither of your characters are "vindictive" are they?
Daktoria
established
established
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Dec 8, 16:26 2011

Re: Skyrim: A Spacefem review

Postby drunken dragon » Tue Jan 3, 19:43 2012

I'm enjoying Skyrim a lot. And as far as the fairness towards women goes, it's closer to perfect than any other game I can think of at the moment. My bodyguard is a woman, and my character is a man. And damn near 50% of the characters are female as far as I can tell. Also, unlike Fable, I've yet to see a prostitute. Female or otherwise.
It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous.
Resign yourself to be the fool you are.
User avatar
drunken dragon
I like where this is going.
I like where this is going.
 
Posts: 1722
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 18:21 2002
Location: the bar on the sketchy side of town

Re: Skyrim: A Spacefem review

Postby cwbyrvr » Tue Jan 3, 19:44 2012

I like the part where you can marry anyone of any gender regardless of your own.
spacefem wrote:incidently, hearing "i love you" doesn't count if you're naked. it's just too easy to love a naked person.

Rainbow Dolphins wrote:My armpits are the only area of my body that almost always stays clean-shaven, because if I let it go I feel like a 15-year-old boy trying to grow a beard. In my armpits.
User avatar
cwbyrvr
Phil
Phil
 
Posts: 6310
Joined: Mon Nov 3, 13:32 2003
Location: A Box of Fermented Grape Juice.

Re: Skyrim: A Spacefem review

Postby rowan » Tue Jan 3, 21:08 2012

Dangit, this is making me want to get it... I wonder if it'd be all right if I wore a brace on my wrist...
Global warming is intricately tied to the decline in the pirate population. As the pirate population goes down, the average global temperature goes up. Ergo, pirates are cool, and we need more pirates. :pirate: ARRR!
User avatar
rowan
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
 
Posts: 7048
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 11:01 2004

Re: Skyrim: A Spacefem review

Postby drunken dragon » Tue Jan 3, 22:57 2012

cwbyrvr wrote:I like the part where you can marry anyone of any gender regardless of your own.

They did that in the Fable series as well.
It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous.
Resign yourself to be the fool you are.
User avatar
drunken dragon
I like where this is going.
I like where this is going.
 
Posts: 1722
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 18:21 2002
Location: the bar on the sketchy side of town

Re: Skyrim: A Spacefem review

Postby LunchBox » Wed Jan 4, 13:16 2012

Skyrim is a comprehensively good game. I wish I owned a legal copy although that'd likely mean the further demise of my GPA.

What has disturbed me about the game is the cackling out of my roommate at wee hours of the morning because she killed her game wife for being alone with men in the house...
LunchBox
established
established
 
Posts: 608
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 16:15 2011

Re: Skyrim: A Spacefem review

Postby Wynne » Wed Feb 1, 17:27 2012

I LOVE Skyrim. It's seriously awesome. I haven't had this much fun with a Bethesda game since Daggerfall! I do love their gender-equal universe; it feels believable to me. There's a tiny bit of sexism in Mass Effect--good old Harkin, and how lame Chora's Den is gets nicely summed up by Ashley--because it's still our universe there will always be throwbacks, so it's refreshing to play a game like Skyrim where it's just flat-out equal. And it makes sense, because in this place those attitudes just didn't come about. Different biology, different society, the influence of magic... yeah, there are prejudices and bad attitudes, but not related to gender or skin color. I love that. It feels really unique.

The only thing that bugs me (besides how awesome vampirism and werewolfry aren't; I loved being a vamp in Daggerfall and I loved being a werewolf in Solstheim) is how marriage, like you were saying, not only has little effect on the game, but worse--it turns an interesting personality into a Stepford Spouse! I didn't want Onmund to be my little stay-at-home shag toy, and my boyfriend was disappointed when independent Aela who loves being a werewolf suddenly wanted to stay home, cook for him, and run a shop. It's more a gimmick than a Bioware-style relationship.

Ah, well. The graphics are gorgeous, the gameplay is fun, the quests are much more interesting than those in Oblivion, and the whole game has undeniable charm. Give me a good vamp/wolf mod now that the modding tools should be out, and I'm one happy woman.

I just love their character creator this time around! There could always be more options, like EVE online, but I still really enjoyed playing with it. I love that you could adjust body type; I prefer that. I hate it when female characters all have to be skinny; variety is much more fun, and I don't like it when a game essentially says, "here, play this tall, skinny model." I find it offensive and dangerous--health is important, but an emphasis on being perfect or conforming to a single standard of beauty is harmful. (For the record, I hate the big, buff, testosterone-sweating space marine stereotype as well. A man doesn't have to be on steroids to be male.)

Skyrim is a true breath of fresh air. I hope Bethesda keeps moving in this direction, topping themselves... Oblivion seemed like a step back; this is a definite step forward.
User avatar
Wynne
Monkey Waxer
Monkey Waxer
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 12:50 2011
Location: US originally, Belgium now.

Re: Skyrim: A Spacefem review

Postby Epicenity » Thu Feb 2, 18:57 2012

Skyrim is epic. I didn't mind being a vampire in it. I've cured myself so many times when I get bored of being one, it's fun.
User avatar
Epicenity
established
established
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 0:07 2012
Location: Australia

Re: Skyrim: A Spacefem review

Postby Luke27 » Mon Feb 6, 16:03 2012

I have played the series from arena to skyrim(not including redguard). I have to say that daggerfall is undoubtedly my favorite of the series. I can't wait for the creation kit to be released, it will make everything so much better.
Luke27
Monkey Waxer
Monkey Waxer
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 6, 13:52 2012

Re: Skyrim: A Spacefem review

Postby 08lightning » Fri Feb 10, 14:50 2012

150 hours later....*puts joystick down*...for now.
08lightning
established
established
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 10:04 2011


Return to Science & Technology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest