When the Skyrim issue of GameInformer magazine arrived in January, I freaked out. The fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls was a reality, and life was sweet. After tearing through the pages to find the article, the first thing I looked for was when the game was projected to be released, expecting a rough estimation like "Q4 2011" or "Q1 2012". But to my shock, there was a concrete date in place: November 11. My first reaction was "Yes! A solid date!", so I pick up my phone to enter it into my calendar(as if I was going to forget). But when the day showed up as "11/11/11", I froze. It seemed like such a marketing stunt. What if they're not done with it by then? What if they have to scrap ideas because they can't finish producing them with that gimmicky ceiling over their heads? What if they don't have time to catch all the bugs that Bethesda games are so notorious of?
Now after playing for over two weeks, I've shelved the game. Not because I don't want to play anymore, either. It would be the best game I've ever played, but the bugs I was so worried about are not only there, they're game breaking once you reach a certain save file size(I'm on PS3 these days). The framerate stutters so badly at times that it takes me twice as long to walk through a town than it should. Dragons don't always give up their soul when slain. Dragon shouts will randomly not work for several seconds, even when the display says they're ready to go. It freezes on an absurd basis, sometimes so badly that I can't power the system down. The list goes on, but you get the point. A patch was issued a week or so back that was supposed to help alleviate some of these issues. I don't know how much it helped, having delayed downloading it long enough to find out it caused a new bug: completely disregarding the player's elemental resistances. WTF?
If I had known the state that the game would be in upon launch, I would have put off buying it until Bethesda had gotten their shit together and released a patch that didn't restrict how long I could play.
I'm tired of companies using the ability to release patches as an excuse to launch a game before it's ready. If your game isn't finished and thoroughly tested, you shouldn't start selling it yet. I hate that it was more important to them to keep a marketable date in place than it was to allow themselves more time to make sure such a massive game was running like it was supposed to, on every platform.
SKYRIM... Y U NO WORK RIGHT?! read