When the current generation of video game consoles first began we were quickly welcomed to it by The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion. Up until this point, the elder scrolls series had been popular on PC and, even though a version of the third game was released on the original Xbox, the series had never taken off on consoles before. But then of course, came Oblivion, which sold millions of copies on both he PS3 and the Xbox 360, shattering expectations.
There was, of course, a single black spot. The PS3 release of the game was incredibly buggy, laggy, and to a large extent broken. Bethesda never truly completely fixed the game, leaving it broken to this day. Does Skyrim on the PS3 share these issues as well? If it does, can the game's quality otherwise make up for it?
Certainly, Skyrim shares a lot of things with its predecessor. The game takes place in Cyrodil's northern neighbor of Skyrim, making snow and Nordic lore plentiful. The core game play remains very similar to that of Oblivion, creating a open fantasy world for players to explore. While exploring the world, you will stumble upon a seemingly endless number of quests to do, and your map will rapidly fill with places to explore.
The game's combat remains mostly unchanged from Oblivion. While it has been somewhat improved as far as feel is concerned, the first-person based combat still seems a bit clunky, though less so than it did in Oblivion. Of course, Elder Scrolls games have never really been about the combat, they've been about the stories.
Those stories, thankfully, are better than ever. The use of the Nordic aesthetic allows the writers of Oblivion to go in some really interesting directions with both the main story and the side quests. The guilds common to all elder scrolls games, remain at their core unchanged, but they also gain a distinctive Nordic twist.
Of course, none of these amazing pieces of the games are worth anything if you cannot experience them properly, and the PS3 has some serious issues. Sadly, most of the issues that existed with the Oblivion release on PS3 carry through to Skyrim. While not completely broken like Oblivion was, Skyrim has serious problems that include, but are not limited to freezes, textures not loading, and major frame rate problems. In addition, these problems are made even worse the more time that you spend playing the game.
In addition to the problems with the core game that are slowly being fixed, there are other issues with the PS3 release. As Bethesda continues to release DLC for the game, it is coming to the PS3 extremely late, if at all. A worried Sony has begun to help Bethesda with its PS3 issues, and things are improving, albeit very slowly.
At the end of the day, it is hard to recommend the PS3 version of Skyrim until its major issues are fixed, and it could be a long time until it happens.