The Elder Scrolls 6: What Bethesda Can Learn From Dark Souls and From Software

They don’t need to make it Dark Souls- they just need to understand what Dark Souls does right, and then put their own spin on it.

Posted By | On 17th, Jul. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


In recent years, western RPGs have managed to rise the crest of public consciousness and mainstream appeal, owing to their open world and freeform design, led by the rise of the prominence of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls games. Modern western RPGs follow the template that Bethesda set for the genre with their hit games, but especially The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim.

But the one thing that Bethesda have consistently failed at has been crafting compelling combat systems, at least as far as Elder Scrolls goes- even 2011’s Skyrim, for instance, lauded as it was, drew frequent criticism for its combat, which was viewed as simplistic and trite. At the time, it was something people complained about, but didn’t pay much attention to- holistically, Skyrim was a far better game than anything else on the market at the time.

But this is something that definitely needs improvement going forward- particularly as other RPGs are beginning to catch up to, and even overtake, Elder Scrolls games, in all aspects, including, yes, combat. If Bethesda want to remain at the front of the genre they have helped popularize, it is time for them to take stock of their weaknesses, and work on them.

The good thing is, as far as combat is concerned, Bethesda already have some excellent examples within the genre that they can look at emulating. Specifically, From Software’s Dark Souls‘ combat systems seem like they could translate fairly well to Elder Scrolls. Now, this does not mean we want Bethesda to make Elder Scrolls as difficult or unforgiving as Dark Souls is famous for being- it does mean, however, that we want them to take cues from what Dark Souls does do right, from encounter design to responsiveness of combat, from weapon and gear balance, to actually putting skills and stats earned by the player to good use.

Bethesda have shown a better understanding of combat since, as last year’s Fallout 4, for all of its other faults, still managed to create a compelling and nuanced combat system. So there is hope that they can right the shit for The Elder Scrolls 6, too. Because if they do not, the alternative is a game that will seem as behind the curve upon its release as Fallout 4 did last year. And while we are sure that Bethesda’s games popularity isn’t about to wane any time soon, expecting sales and acclaim by consistently putting out inferior products does not seem to us to be a strategy that is sustainable in the long term.

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  • jp

    Bethesda has been around more time, Fromsoftware games are good, but TES is an exploration game where Dark Souls is not, different animal different audiences, if at all TES games could improve combat and weapon feel and contact, the rest is way better than any Dark Souls games.

    • Mimo Stark

      I fully agree. People love dark souls but elder scrolls has much higher quality.

    • nyalalam nyalalam

      Not true, in terms of quality Dark Souls are objectively of much higher quality. Elder Scrolls games have too many flaws to count.

    • SeekerLancer

      From Software may only have gotten popular recently but they’ve been making these type of games since 1994’s King’s Field so they’ve been around just as long as The Elder Scrolls has.

      That said I agree with you fully, Dark Souls and Elder Scrolls are like apples and oranges. Elder Scrolls is an open world RPG, Dark Souls is a tighter, gameplay driven affair closer to Metroidvania-styled games. They scratch different itches. I’m not going to debate quality because different people are going to like one over the other for very different reasons. They’re both fantastic games.

      The Souls series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki is a TES fan though, it was a big inspiration to him.

    • nyalalam nyalalam

      Elder scrolls isn’t much of an exploration game if everything looks almost the same and there are so few enemy variety. In Dark Souls every area looks unique and has new, unique monsters and enemies. You never know what to expect – it’s amazing. A game can be as wide as an ocean, but if it is shallow then all that vast size is just bland and forgettable.

    • jp

      I think all Dark Souls game look the same, the enemies have repetitive attacks, and the lore is shallow, no thanks, Ill stick to TES.

    • KUDU

      Personally I don’t understand how you get so much enjoyment out of TES, especially as you either swing a one hand or two hand weapon left and right for hundreds of hours. The least they can do is to change their combat mechanics to be more like Dark Souls for the next installment. I understand that dark souls is an action game and TES is more of a sandbox, but that does not excuse the combat in TES for being so brain dead.

    • jp

      brain dead?? hahaha omg, all the lore, story characters that TES brings, sidequests, youre focusing on combat and that alone, cant even compare the narrative of Morrowind or Oblivion to any Dark Souls game, personally Dark Souls is just a repetitive grind of not getting hit, period.

    • KUDU

      OK, I think the difference here is that you are what is known as a “casul”, whereas I don’t get fooled by thin veneers as easily. The recent TES games are disappointments and fall short miserably in all they set out to achieve.

    • jp

      and BTW you probebly havent played a TES game buddy, saying everything looks the same? haha ok budz.

    • KUDU

      I’ve played morrowind, oblivion and skyrim plus the oblivion and skyrim dlcs. I stand by what I say: there was some variety in the flora in skyrim, the north being snowfields and the southeast having the yellow trees and the east having the mountains and shrubs… But that is not quite the same as the vastly different environments of dark souls. Also the bethesda rpgs don’t nearly have enough enemy variety and they all attack the same. Fallout 4 has impoved on this though. Elder scrolls need at least 10x the enemy variety that skyrim has to make it worth playing. Otherwise it is just huge and repetitive.

    • jp

      different games.


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