Games

Fish’s Thoughts: Morrowind and Games Aging

morrowing bannerA large part of my love of games is focused in the realm of RPGs. Among these one of my favorites is the popular The Elders Scrolls series, especially Skyrim. I find the lore and world that exist in them fascinating! That however is a topic for another day. Today I want to talk about one major problem I have with the older games in the series, mainly Morrowind.

Simply put, I just can’t play it for any extended period of time.

It’s not that Morrowind is a bad game, quite the opposite. It’s also not that its characters and story are less developed. No the problem lies in how the game has aged.

gfs_2615_2_20Now I’m by no means a stickler about graphics but I find Morrowind hard to look at. The graphics are just blocky and rather ugly. They’re also one of the first things you experience, so right out of the gate it personally gives me a bad impression of the game. However I can accept that they were made in 2002 and just move one. Heck I’d play Morrowind all the time if that wasn’t the only thing that’s aged poorly.

But it’s not.

Firstly there is almost no voice acting besides a few lines NPCs say as you pass. Again fully voiced games weren’t the norm for the time, especially for a massive open-world RPG like Morrowind. However, having to read the blocks and blocks of text kills me inside. If I wanted to read a book, I’d buy a book. Having to scroll through miles of text just to get any context of what I’m doing or where I’m suppose to go just makes the game tedious.

26818-the-elder-scrolls-iii-morrowind-windows-screenshot-inventorySecondly, the game controls like a tank with rocks for treads. Everything is slow, including your characters movement. Even running you feel like you’re only breaking a brisk powerwalk. Combat feels unsatisfying, as you get nearly no feedback as to whether attacks are connecting. The UI is also very difficult to navigating, with dozens of screens filling your monitor every time you open your menu. Speaking about the menu, get use to opening it, as you hardly do anything without opening it ever 5 seconds. Overall it feels more like you’re taking an advanced psychology course than playing a game.

Well I suppose I should wrap things up, the TES fandom probably hates me enough already by this point. Overall I do understand the root of the problem: I’ve been spoiled by things that have become the norm in games today, like full voice acting and HD graphics…and this upsets me. I want to like Morrowind. I really do. I want to explore its lands and experience what it has to offer. I want to get lost in its lore. But I can’t because the minute I sit down to play it I just feel alienated.

There is a ray of hope yet however. The excellent modding community TES has does their best to make ways for these older games to be more accessible to newer, more modern players. One example of this is the massive project that is Skywind, where they are attempting to recreate Morrowind in is entirety in Skyrim’s engine. Even fully voicing all the dialogue! As you can imagine something like that is a lot of work and they are nowhere near complete. However should they manage to see this thing through to the end I will most definitely be giving to a playthrough and finally experience the gem of a game I know Morrowind really is!

So now I turn it to you mates, do you have any games that you think aged poorly? Let me know in the comments!

Cheers!

~Fish

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4 thoughts on “Fish’s Thoughts: Morrowind and Games Aging

  1. I hated the bow and arrow in morrowind. You would have to use it to level up the skill but at low levels it either missed entirely or did no damage. Skyrim definitely improved on this and I spent most of my time as an archer in that game.

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    1. I really feel that Skyrim just improved how leveling worked overall. Not being locked into a class with set skills makes it so much easier to experiment and find your playstyle. And then there is the perks you can then unlock for the different skills, which is a wonderful icing to an already scrumptious cake!

      Liked by 1 person

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