Oh, for Pete's sake, Bethesda... you just HAD to take the lazy approach with the cities, didn't you? I know open cities is impossible on the consoles, but could you have done something a bit more creative than give us some... thing to play around with while the game we are supposed to be playing does its processing?
If this engine is as efficient as you say it is, would it have killed you to implement an immersive load-in? Like double-gating, for instance? Then you could have kept the game flow uninterrupted while the load occurs, at least.
Many of the largest cities in Medieval times were double-gated, after all. A defensive measure, when the assaulting army breaks one gate and moves in to bust down the second one, you slam down a portcullis to block the open hole and dump boiling oil on the now trapped invaders.
Still, I've already alerted the future Skyrim modding crew that Open Cities Skyrim will be necessary. Since I'm going for the PC version, which is not subject to the same memory limitations as the consoles that are requiring Bethesda to load the cities separately in the first place, I'll definitely be going for that mod not if, but when it arrives.
I have to disagree here, I don't think this is the lazy approach. Every game has loading screens, they're unavoidable. It's just something that i've come to accept, and if they have a whole new area loading in, then they can pack more into it, rather than having to work in the constraints of what looks to be an already massive world. If they had open cities such you'd suffer from the freeze screen loading of the new section of the world every couple of steps.
I also think the 3D object explorer is pretty creative, I haven't seen any other game try it, and it sure as hell is gonna beat Oblivions faded paintings or Morrowind's black screen. Being given freedom to either sit back and wait, or immerse yourself in what is going to be a wonderful engine, and from what i've seen beautifully created items. I'd choose the 3D explorer over a loading bar anyday.
Still, I guess it's personal taste, having the freedom to choose is the beauty of the modding community on the PC Versions.
Well, I do understand that screen-based vs. immersive loads is a rather divided issue. Some prefer the load screens, others prefer to stay in the game world. I prefer the latter, but can live with the former.
Make no mistake, the ONLY reason the cities were closed off was because of the consoles, namely that they simply don't have enough memory to handle them. If this new engine is as powerful as Bethesda claims, it should be able to breeze through loading up the cities without any substantial slowdown, especially given how modern PC hardware is light-years ahead of the consoles now (4Gb RAM compared to the measly 512Mb in your standard Xbox 360 being the norm, for example). Considering the game will be constantly and smoothly loading and unloading the game as you go.
Believe me, I do get pretty sick of PC gaming being sidelined by the consoles in this day and age, as it stagnates the tech and causes games to be constructed based on extremely dated hardware specifications, and as a result they fall far short of what they can do technically. However, several firms, like DICE, have found (or rather re-discovered) a solution to this problem: develop for the PC first, then port to the consoles, rather than the other way round.
That way, you can account for all of the advantages PC users have invested to be able to use, and the consoles don't get left out. I really do wish Bethesda took this approach with Skyrim considering all they wanted to do, but sadly they didn't.
Oh well, reality isn't always what we want it to be.
I'm with Ahrenil, I prefer load screens. With the PC I have (and you TK) they should be a very brief interruption in the game.
Fair enough, I also agree that I think games need to be made for the PCGame first, simply because the mod management is a wonderful form of playtesting, and the community feedback I feel is far more full and substantial.
However, I also am kinda glad for the console game development, mainly because it leaves people like me who have very bad computers to still decently run games like this, or so I hope (I swear if this laptop cannot run Skyrim my student loan is going to be spent building a fantastic desktop)
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