Just a few months ago, if you’d ask someone their opinion on Bethesda and their games, they’d tell you they know how to make a strong RPG and are one of the greatest developers in the industry right now.
After the polarizing release of Fallout 76, however, most people are starting to sing a different tune. Fallout 76 was not only a disappointment to the majority of their fan-base but it was also the last straw for what they could settle for in a Bethesda game; terrible A.I., game glitches, and bad textures. These are just some of the cracks in their games that are finally starting to show their age.
Yet, even with all that bad publicity, Bethesda is still hard at work on their new I.P. Starfield and an Elder Scrolls sequel. This got me thinking. There’s a lot of things I want and am excited for when it comes to Bethesda’s new titles, but there’s also a lot I don’t want. Since I don’t know much about Starfield, here’s a list of 5 things we DON’T want in Elder Scrolls VI instead.
1. Old Game Engine
This one won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been following Bethesda’s recent controversy, but one of the biggest problems with Fallout 76 was their game engine. The Creation Engine was originally the Gamebryo engine from the ’90s, but with some tweaking and modding it became their flagship engine for the game Morrowind. The engine was certainly impressive at the time, yet that can’t stop the process of aging. Since the release of Morrowind, better engines have come out and have brought gaming to new heights. Despite all the new engines, Bethesda decided to put new coats of paint on the Creation Engine instead.
Now, it wasn’t all bad at first. Skyrim and Fallout 3 were buggy, but in an endearing way only they could accomplish. This was thought to be the “charm” of a Bethesda game. What it turned out to be was bugs and technical issues dating back to the original Gamebryo engine. Now that the gaming industry is in a far better place technologically speaking, the Creation Engine just won’t cut it anymore. Bethesda has already stated that Elder Scrolls VI is well underway and that they’ll be using their old engine, but wouldn’t it just be great if they didn’t?
2. A Voiced Protagonist
Fallout 4 was a good game. It was different, but I really appreciated all of the changes they made. All except for one, that is. Bethesda knew how to really make you feel like you were in their world. Character creation, endless skill customization, and dialogue options that would make you laugh in games like Mass Effect. With Fallout 4, however, they thought it’d be a good idea to get rid of endless choice and give you a dialogue tree with fewer options than Infamous. This takes away the player’s ability to role-play and really restricts creativity. I don’t blame them for wanting to make a more cinematic experience, but at some point, you have to look back at your source material and think about what it is your fans really want.
3. Lame Main Story
The next one on this list is another problem that has always plagued the series and can’t seem to ever be done properly in a Bethesda game. The Elder Scrolls franchise is rich with lore and their side stories are some of the best I’ve ever seen in gaming. So why is it that Bethesda can’t seem to make a good main story to save their lives? To be fair, their main stories aren’t bad per se, but compared to their amazing and unique side content, it’s hard not to feel underwhelmed whenever the credits roll. I think if they really take their time to craft a well thought out main story on top of their great side missions, Elder Scrolls VI could be in a league of its own.
I know that I’ve been using Fallout 76 as a punching bag for most of this article, but I’m not really mad at the game. They had an idea and they went for it. I can respect that. Yet when you ship such an unfinished product to your fanbase, it’s just really disappointing. I used to want multiplayer in Bethesda games, but now I don’t even want them to try. I want Elder Scrolls to do well and I want you to focus on that. Don’t do some crazy new multiplayer experience to ruin it. I think we’d all appreciate it if you played it safe on this one.
5. False Promises
The last thing I DON’T want in Elder Scrolls VI is the same thing I don’t want in any game. A lack of content you promised to be in your title. I got really excited when Fallout 76 was announced. There was cause for concern sure, but there was real promise there. Todd Howard promised a lot of things and they had me really excited to lose myself in the Fallout world, only to find out they weren’t true and that the game would be collecting dust on my shelf.
It’s okay to not have a game finished. It’s okay to say what your game does and doesn’t have compared to its competitors. It is not okay to make false promises and lie to your fans to sell copies. We won’t fall for that anymore, and won’t buy your games if you try it again. You’ve been warned.
I don’t know how to feel about Bethesda anymore. They’ve given me some of the greatest experiences I’ll ever have in a video game, yet have made such minimal effort to fix their prior and current mistakes. Fallout 76 was the breaking point for a lot of fans, myself included. They need to make a change and start making games the right way, not the “quick” way. I think with all the feedback, Bethesda will do the right thing in the end. It just might take them a while to get there. The Elder Scrolls VI is still a long ways away and they have plenty of time to go back and fix it. I just hope they come to their senses before it’s too late.
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