It’s already here. I should have acted…wait I did…and it’s glorious! The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has taken its spot on my hierarchy of priorities somewhere between eating and breathing. I’m pale, malnourished, and sleep deprived, and all I can say is thank Talos it’s finally arrived. As I’ve played through Skyrim, I keep finding myself trying to draw comparisons to its predecessor Oblivion, but what’s interesting is that more often I feel as though I am playing Fallout 3. It would make sense from a technical perspective given that Fallout 3 was the last release from Bethesda, but it seems most comparisons I’ve read have stuck to the Elder Scrolls family. That said, here are just 5 of the reasons that Skyrim is more Fallout than Oblivion.
1. Ruined books:
This one’s easy. They weren’t in Oblivion. They were in Fallout 3, and they are in Skyrim. Not that ruined books are anything exciting, but it illustrates a shared level of environmental detail between Skyrim and Fallout. Being able to interact with time’s slow decay adds a lot to the realism of an open-world game.
It’s been an evolving subject from Obivion (no crafting) to Fallout 3 (linear kind of guided) to Skyrim (from goat to gauntlets). Not only does it give you the opportunity to make some cool unique items, but it just adds another dynamic of freedom to the game when you aren’t simply bound by what items you find.
3. Mature subject matter:
I’m not saying that Oblivion didn’t have it’s dark gruesome moments, but there always seemed to be an overarching cheekiness to the story, especially in comparison to Fallout and Skyrim which both serve more of a bleak and violent outlook on existence in their perspective game worlds.
4. Motion mechanics:
This one comes down to more feeling than anything. There is an indescribable relationship a gamer forms with his controller/mouse/power glove. As I prance about Skyrim bounding to and fro I simply feel like I’m playing Fallout 3. Sorry Oblivion, I just don’t have those kind of feelings for
5. Bigger Badder
In my years spend plundering the planes of Oblivion, the one thing always missing was the feeling of danger, mostly in terms of enemy difficulty. Aside from the occasional surprise clan of minotaurs, nothing in Oblivion ever posed a real threat. Even Mehrunes Dagon wasn’t a real fight, literally. That changed in Fallout. I remember a specific save file where I wound up smack dab in the middle Old Olney, the town choc-full-deathclaws. I had no viable weapons so my only option was to run. After getting ripped apart about 50 times I finally just had to start a new file. To me Skyrim shares that sentiment of constant danger. In my excitement of seeing my first snow bear/frost troll/dwemer centurion/giant/dragon I rushed in to get a closer look only to wind up being thoroughly pwned by all 5 of them.
All of that said it is important to note that I am a much bigger fan of Oblivion than I was of Fallout 3. Skyrim reminds me more of Fallout, but I can already say that I like Skyrim more than the other 2 combined. It makes no logical sense. My brain hurts, and the only prescription in more Skyrim.