Why Skyrim is not for Everyone

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It’s not a far stretch to say that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, is one of the best games to come out of 2011. But that does not mean it is a game for everyone. Today I will attempt to explain to you why Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls franchise in particular is a series that you either get it or you don’t.

First things first, why is it that people love Elder Scrolls so very much? There are a great number of reasons, such as the immersive open-world of the game or the unprecendented level of exploration available to players. It without a doubt features a formula that fans love. People love to explore the collossal open-world of the game and watch as their actions effect things around them. However it is that open-world freedom that is the factor that can deter people from the series.

With such immense freedom, The Elder Scrolls fits perfectly in on the opposite side of the open-world spectrum. For arguements sake let’s compare the difference between Skyrim and two other types of open-world games; Grand Theft Auto and Assassin’s Creed.  Now I am not saying that one is better than the other, I am simply stating that each signify a specific type of the open-world game.

Assassin’s Creed sits on the direct opposite side of Skyrim and features an open-world that is backed by an incredibly strong and deep storyline that encourages the player to follow the plot instead of focusing solely upon open-world mayhem. In the middle of the spectrum sits Grand Theft Auto, a franchise that features open-world carnage along side a storyline. The story however is heavily overshadowed by the open-world mayhem, to the point that most people who play Grand Theft Auto only play it to just go on killing sprees and create absolute anarchy.

So how does Skyrim fit into this equation? Well it’s quite simple, Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls series in general does not focus on a straight forward traditional plotline that signifies the games beginning and end such as that seen in Assassin’s Creed. This lack of storyline emphasis or conclusive ending can deter players from Skyrim. However it can also engage them more than any storyline could.

The thing with Skyrim is that you do not play as a character and follow the events unfolding around them. Instead you play as yourself and explore the world as events unfold around you. This is the exact make or break point for The Elder Scrolls series when it comes down to whether a person purchases this or something else. Some people get this concept and they love it, where as others turn away from it like the plague. What is the reason for this though?

This open-world freedom which is unbound from an emphasis on a storyline is both a detriment and an advantage. It is an advantage as it constructs itself as a game without boundaries, challenging the player to explore and see how far they can bend the game’s world as well as giving near infinite replayability. This however is the exact same thing that is a detriment to the title, that is the very fact that it does not conventionally end.

While some may find this to be a shallow reason to not be able to get into a game, it is most certainly not. Some simply do not have the time to invest in a game that they know will not come to a conclusive end (MMORPG’s and the entire RPG genre fit this bill perfectly). In this day and age, gamers attention spans have grown much shorter than they ever were, to the point that a game can be completed in 5 hours and still recieve popular acclaim. It marks a change in the gaming industry and well as a change in what gamers want from the video-game experience. This is not a slight against Skyrim as it is clearly extremely popular, but this is exactly why it is not for everyone nor should it have to be.

So whether you are exploring the world of Skyrim or following a well told story such as that of Assassin’s Creed Revelations, as long as you are enjoying video-games for all the entertainment they can provide, there is nothing wrong with your choice of game. There is simply no game that is for everyone, to claim that there is would be foolish. If someone likes a game that you don’t, it’s not because your wrong, it’s because the game has managed to connect with someone on a level in which it could not with you. With different people wanting different things out of the video-game experience there is never going to be a game that everyone ‘gets’, and that my fellow gamers is the truth and nothing but the truth.

Senior Editor & Anime Specialist
  • Dustin Spencer

    Some fantastic points. No matter what the game or genre, games are not made with all audiences intended.

    With that said, I will say that I feel about the same way with the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I spend so much time killing civilians and hopping on rooftops that I lose focus on my mission. The Elder Scrolls series is more of the same in that manner, but I felt Skyrim provided the most in-depth storytelling this time around as a whole.

    Each character has their own story, their own past, their own motives..ect, and it’s all painted out vividly for the player’s enjoyment. If Skyrim did anything for the Elder Scrolls series, it was to not only push storytelling a step further, but also to make the player feel like they were apart of the vivid world created. GTA isn’t deep. You go around and kill hookers for fun. On Skyrim, you can find a woman who has lived as an innkeeper her whole life and set out with her as she tries to make you apart of her own destiny to stop Dragons from causing chaos. That’s just one example out of thousands, and I think that’s what separates Skyrim from all other sandbox games period.

  • Dustin Spencer

    Also, I think a lot of the hooplah that gamers give other franchises is all due to passion. When you love something, it’s human nature to want to share it with the world. That’s what those who are playing Skyrim are doing as of late. Those who go about this manner in a bitter fashion are doing it wrong and making others frustrated with the one thing they love as a whole. This is exactly why Call of Duty is now one of the most hated franchises on earth, and I hope that doesn’t happen with this game as well.

  • william

    I would have to completely disagree with this article. It sounds like the author is trying to defend his reasons why he doesn’t like skyrim despite everyone around him loving it. I do agree that skyrim isn’t for everyone because the sheer size of it can be daunting. But to say you don’t like it because the story doesn’t have a end is wrong. The central story in skyrim is simply better than assassins creed hands down. The convoluted story in creed is terrible.

    • Luke Halliday

      Hello there mate, I’d have to correct you there buddy. Skyrim is merely a timely example of said topic that I closed off in the end. The point I wanted to raise was that there is no game for everyone. I think you really mistook the overall message of this article. This article was not directly about me but the gaming community in general. Please read the entire article for more insight mate. But thanks for your comment and your opinions are always welcome 🙂

  • Cellophane Girl

    Great article!
    I can definitely see it not being for everyone. I personally like games where I can just run around and do whatever I want whenever I want. I spent half of my time in Fable III just doing the job mini-games.

    I think the reason why I like Skyrim so much is I am slightly kleptomaniac in games, and Skyrim lets me be a thief and sneak around.

    I have barely gotten into the main story because I’m off just exploring and stealing from people, and I LOVE it!

    Of course I am disabled and don’t have a job to have to go to, so my free time is pretty much all the time. And I don’t like playing MMO’s because I get really anxious playing games with other people. So this is pretty much exactly what I want from a game.

    I don’t really care about the story line that much in Skyrim. Though there is a decent story going on from what I have seen. But some people like games to have more focus, and I understand that completely. My favorite games let me just forget who I am, and let me do what I want to do, while being in a whole different world. So once again Skyrim is perfect for this.

    It’s perfectly okay if you don’t like Skyrim, or if you don’t want to play it at all. Games are about having fun, and you shouldn’t be forced into playing something that you don’t like. That defeats the purpose.

  • Thedandyplimsole

    Utter tosh, let me guess, you absolutely love the Assassins Creed series! How can I tell that? For one, you directly compare the 2 numerous times, with only a glancing mention of another open-world game (GTA), you are directly comparing 2 completely diferent games (the crux of your article). The reason (you think) most gamers don’t like having endless choice, and an (almost) true open-world experience is because they are used to being fed a specific story, with minimal gameplay tacked onto the edges of it. It would appear that you are adverse to having one large, almost unending game, and would rather have 4 different Assassins Creed games in 4 consecutive years (as well as the numerous handheld versions). I really hope this article was written for shock value, and is not your true opinion, however I must add that I for one can’t wait until they release ‘The Eldar Scrolls Skyrim:II, Brotherhood, Revelations’.

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