It’s about time Bethesda did something about their ailing combat system.
Now that Fallout 4 is out, we can focus our thoughts on the upcoming Elder Scrolls game, and speculate about its nature. In 2006, Oblivion was far ahead of its time, and its nuance and depth was reflected in 2008’s Fallout 3; 2011’s Skyrim wasn’t as prescient as those two games had been, but it managed to strike the perfect balance between depth and accessibility, while also seeming fresh. However, last year’s Fallout 4 felt like a last gen game released without much effort on current gen consoles.
A lot of that has to do with Bethesda’s refusal to actually change what they probably believe is a winning formula, and to stick to repackaging the same base game over and over. This means that a lot of their common problems persist across their different games- such as combat.
Take the combat in The Elder Scrolls- it has always been terrible, but as Bethesda moved away from the old, stat driven nature of their previous titles to a more real time, action oriented approach, its shortcomings became glaring flaws, best exemplified by the vast gulf in combat quality between 2011’s Skyrim, and Dark Souls, which launched the same year.
Combat is definitely something Bethesda needs to look at fixing- but how do they go about that?
One way to do so might be to simply add more weapon types into the game. Now, I am hardly the person to suggest that more loot be added to a Bethesda game, which usually already suffer from pointless loot bloat, but in this case, I’m not asking them to add greatsword variant #423 or axe variant #71- I’m asking them to add legitimately new, imaginative weapons, that play far differently from one another.
Consider Bloodborne- From Software’s PS4 exclusive launched about a year ago, and the thing that set it apart from From’s previous games was its weapons, which were imaginative, and which functionally played unlike anything else on the market. I’m not asking Bethesda to copy Bloodborne’s trick weapons wholesale- but maybe look to them for inspiration?
Having weapons like that would probably add more nuance and depth to the combat of the upcoming Elder Scrolls game simply by definition.
It’s just something they should consider.
This article is part of our weekly series on Bethesda’s next big entry into the world of The Elder Scrolls. Through this series we take a look at the possible new features that Bethesda can add into the next The Elder Scrolls game, based on what they implemented in the previous entries and player feedback.