Having just watched The Hobbit, I was in the mood for something a little fantasyish so I popped in Skyrim to have another bout with Bethesda’s most current open world RPG. My primary system is the Playstation 3, so I didn’t hesitate to pick it up for it way back. After all, I’ve only rarely had issues with superior ports on the 360 (Bayonetta comes to mind), and it’s not like there haven’t been really well made open world RPGs on the system before. When I played it way back at its release, I was aware of the multitude of bugs that plagued the game, but I really didn’t think much of it. However, apparently in its attempt to fix bugs, Bethesda has created more bugs, and I encountered one of them. The issue I am currently having is that the game freezes up every time I enter water, which is incredibly irritating. A quick google search has told me that Bethesda recommends deleting your game utility data and then reinstalling it, but I’m angry right now, so I’m downloading the most recent Borderlands 2 DLC instead. What I want to talk about today is Bethesda’s treatment of PS3 users. Sometimes there are unforeseen issues that come up in one or several versions of a game. That isn’t an issue, but what is the issue is Bethesda’s unwillingness to do anything about it. This will be a bit of a rant, so bear with me.
|Fus Ro D… damn frozen again. I thought Nords had ice resistance?|
First let me tell you about Fallout 3. Bethesda was able to make this game for the 360, PS3 and PC with a very minor (Considering the scope) level of bugs. Each version worked more or less the same, and each version received four DLC packs. Fallout 3 showed me at least that this scale of game is not impossible due to the inherent weirdness of the PS3. That is the primary argument I’ve been hearing on the internet. Since the PS3 is so weird with its core processor and what have you, companies simply aren’t able to make as smooth games on it. The way I see it, what stops some companies is simply laziness or incompetency. My evidence is that this is a very old argument, which was pervasive before developers really got their hands on the system, and when inferior ports were the norm. Nowadays, the PS3 has a slew of great games and ports that work better on the PS3 than the 360. I mentioned Fallout 3 specifically because the argument that the problem is that it’s this size of game has come up. However, it simply isn’t true.
|Plenty of bugs, but none of them would get in the way of your gaming experience.|
Let me just say that it takes a lot for bugs to get to me and I wouldn’t normally trash a developer simply because the game was buggy, especially if it were a game as large as Skyrim. For example; Fallout: New Vegas is a buggy mess on all systems. It was developed by Obsidian, a developer known for its buggy games. I’ve played through this game despite the bugs countless times. It even has some similar bugs as the PS3 version of Skyrim, such as long save files becoming more unstable. Here’s the thing: no matter how buggy New Vegas was, Obsidian continued to support all versions of the game with fantastic DLC. If there ever was a problem, they didn’t make big whining statements about one system and then fail to release anything for it.
|This seems about right.|
That was a very roundabout way of bringing us to Skyrim. This game, like New Vegas, was littered with bugs. Most of them were tiny and completely ignorable and others were more substantial. Fortunately, aside from the aforementioned unstable save file, none of the bugs were really game breaking, and it didn’t freeze often, for me at least. Some games really get in trouble with game breaking bugs, such as Metroid: Other M, which has a bug that Nintendo will never patch, that will prevent you from progressing at all in the game. So Bethesda released a buggy game. It happens with games of this magnitude, and truthfully, it didn’t even bother me that the PS3 version had slightly more bugs. Patches would fix that, I assumed. It isn’t like Bethesda was going to show itself as a completely incompetent developer.
|And just like that, Samus’ journey ends.|
The patching situation hasn’t been going well, and the last time I played Skyrim, I encountered more bugs than I ever had before. However, that isn’t the biggest problem. The biggest problem, as I’m sure most of you already know, is the DLC. Bethesda has refused to release the three DLC packs they’ve made so far for the PS3. Their reasoning is solid: they don’t work, but Bethesda isn’t some new or small time developer. They are a major development studio that has not only been developing games for many years, but have developed games for both non-Wii current gen consoles. It also wasn’t a matter of a delay. They didn’t discover something and then delay the DLC pack by a couple of days or a week. At this point, there is no word on the release of the first two DLC packs. They have made a statement saying they are going to focus on bringing the third DLC pack to the PS3 first, but this is ridiculous.
|Hilarity provided by Legacy Control.|
When they made the mistake of releasing a buggier Skyrim for the PS3, I didn’t think much of it, but the failure to release Dawnguard for such a long time was damning. Then they continued to release DLC without ever addressing the problem. If they had waited on the rest of the DLC while they fixed the first, or if they had made sure that the rest of the DLC had worked then that would be one thing. Instead, they’re just doing what they know and refusing to address the problem with the PS3. I wouldn’t expect this level of indecency from Capcom and they have a pretty big history of screwing their customers over. Bethesda should have, and should continue to know better than to to what they are doing.
|I can kill countless dragons, but that shallow stream will kill me 100% of the time.|
So what’s the solution as a gamer? Do we boycott future Bethesda releases as so many PS3 users have shouted on the forums? No. Of course not. Bethesda still makes good games, and we should support that quality. Also, don’t think this is a PS3 problem. It doesn’t matter what platform this happens to; it is equally a major issue. Truthfully, there’s nothing to be done on our part. We can only hope that Bethesda learns for the PR nightmare they’re finding themselves in. At this point, I have little respect for the developers. Not because of what they did, but how they are handling the situation. Pretending like nothing’s wrong and continuing to release DLC for other platforms just doesn’t hit me the right way I suppose. Sometimes developers screw up and gamers can’t hold that against them too much. However, when a situation like this is as consistently poorly handled over such a long period of time, then I think we have the right to be pissed of.
– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer