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Extra Credits: Skyrim's Opening

Dale Weir's picture

Hmmm, criticizing The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim's opening for being lackluster compared to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's now (in)famous opening? Is it fair to compare two games from two seemingly disparate genres like an open-world role-playing game and a scripted, set-piece-heavy, first-person military shooter? Maybe it isn't, but it does sound like something GameCritics would do. No wonder we like this video.

Source: Extra Credits on Blip

Category Tags
Platform(s): Xbox 360   PS3   iPhone  
Developer(s): Bethesda  
Series: The Elder Scrolls  
Genre(s): Role-Playing   Open World  
Articles: Editorials   Columns  
Topic(s): Humor   Game Design & Dev  

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Great points, that intro

Great points, that intro sure is awful in a number of ways. However, here are some counterpoints based on my own experiences with the game:

The cart ride does something very subtle that greatly enhances the feeling of wonder: it only gives you glimpses of the world that you are about to set foot in. As a player, you have probably heard of Skyrim before; you've seen footage and know about it being this wide huge open world, beautiful even from what you've seen. The game teases this twofold: first by the cart ride where you given glimpses of this beautiful forest half covered in snow ("oh I wanna go out there!"), then by the dungeon section where you learn the mechanics before (extremely important) you are thrown to the wolves (literally). You then emerge and the music swells. Mise-en-scéne if I ever saw one.

I would argue that, despite all the problems you have so poignantly listed, that this twofold tease of the world is a fantastic set up for the player to enter that world.

Oh yeah, and a dragon pops by just to say hi. So you got the dragon thingy also. Rebuttal?

He Made A Point of That

He did talk about one of your points. Lack of freedom gives you more of an urge to explore, but he argued that Skyrim didn't do it too well. If they wanted to go with that, they should have picked a more interesting landscape (His opinion, and one I share), like that amazing view you get when you leave vault 101 in Fallout 3.

zellerz wrote:

As a player, you have probably heard of Skyrim before; you've seen footage and know about it being this wide huge open world, beautiful even from what you've seen.

If I was a game designer, I would be a little more careful about that. You can't just assume that when you are making an intro to your game (or any media for that matter). If I was making a game to broaden my audience, I would not assume new players being knowledgeable at all about my game/world. Then again that's just me.

Very interesting video to be sure. As for intros to open-world games, I think Morrowind did it very well (Yes I know; I am seriously not trying to beat a dead horse). There is a very good article that explains it better than I can. Definitely worth a read.

Article about Morrowind's opening.

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