Mad Mack: Five Games Skyrim Should Have Sex With

Disgruntled gamer Dave ‘Mack’ McConkey takes a look at five gaming experiences the blockbuster RPG should get down and dirty with, in an attempt to improve everything from its unsatisfying melee combat to its disappointing enemy AI.

I may not have played the latest Elder Scrolls experience for quite as long as some, for whom it has undoubtedly become more of a lifestyle choice than a computer game. But the internet is all about the uninformed making sweeping statements about that which they know little about so, in that grand tradition, here are some games that I feel executed certain core gameplay elements better than Skyrim. While reading this you can imagine what it would be like if Skyrim and the selected item  got together one night, pounded back the wine coolers and decided to have one dirty, shameful night of really freaky sex that they would both rather forget.

It will be worth it in the end

Condemned

I remember playing Morrowind and being totally blown away by it. It was the first game of its kind that I really got my teeth into and for a while all was good. I did always feel that the combat was a little bit stilted and weak-feeling, but who cared –at the time we had just been introduced to games like Everquest, where close combat was more like a series of dice rolls until one side or the other ran out of health. Fast forward a decade and you’d think things would have changed somewhat. After all, it is a fact of video games that what was once considered acceptable is now considered risible today.

What kind of shitty invasion strategy is this?

So what is my problem this time? Well, in Morrowind when you swung a close combat weapon at someone, they didn’t really react all that much – certainly not in the way you would expect someone to if they had just had their heads caved in with a hammer. They just sort of flinched and then hit you back. But that was 10 years ago and there was only so much the tech could accomplish. Why is it then that its more or less the same in Skyrim? I know you can do better than this Bethesda – you gave us full on dismemberment in Fallout 3.

The dark and gritty Condemned managed close-combat pretty damn well. It really gave you a visceral sense of what it would actually be like to crack a homeless person’s skull with a length of rusty pipe. It was so graphic and satisfying that it actually managed to quieten the voices in my head telling me to set fire to things (for a while anyway).

So come on Skyrim. You and Condemned go out for some Mexican food, some tequila and then go home for some seriously nasty sex (obviously Condemned has a sex dungeon but I am sure it will release you relatively unharmed after a couple of days), and before you know it, the next time I swing my Daedric Hammer of Unmanning at my opponent their balls will shoot out of their ears and they will collapse on the floor just like the good doctor ordered.

This should look like it fucking hurts

For bonus (but perhaps unnecessary) gore you can invite Gears of War to the dungeon as long as it is only allowed to watch – I am trying to improve Skyrim here, not make it go full retard.

 

Battlewarfare 3: Return to Black Ops

Really, any of the recent modern war gun-wank fantasy games would do here. Maybe Skyrim could call them up and get a violence bukkake all over its cover. Or they could just run a train on it and worry about who the father is later (the more racist the offspring the more likely it’s BF, while the more mentally-unhinged the more likely it’s CoD).

Anyway, the reason I suggest that Skyrim gets some wargasm action on is not because I think it is too open and should be more like an on rails shooter, but it’s because I feel that the big action sequences lack a certain level of oomph that both MW and BF games excel in delivering.

Shine on you crazy diamond

At the opening of Skyrim, you are saved from execution by the timely intervention of a dragon, which then proceeds to destroy every bit of cover you seek as you do what any normal person would do and simply run like fuck. Now as an opener it’s not bad, it’s just that for a giant, semi-mythical beast that breathes….whatever it is the Skyrim dragons breathe…descending on a village and laying waste to absolutely everything, it just lacked a certain level of impact. Similarly, when you find yourself facing the dragons throughout the game I just felt that a big enough deal was not made of fighting them. Where are the dozens of incinerating guards, where is all the screaming, the terror, the pant-shitting? Fighting something like that should absolutely and utterly overwhelm all of the senses. It should be ear-splittingly loud, it should hit with the force of a freight train and it should utterly dominate the landscape. But it just feels a bit like fighting a slightly larger version of a generic dungeon occupying creature.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the fights are still intense, but when it comes to balls out overwhelming frantic action, you can’t really fault the modern war games. From the escape from the prison in MW2, to the escape from the gulag in Black Ops, or frantic fight against the Russians in BF3, they know how to take a pre-set sequence of events mind blowing or make a set encounter utterly test you at every turn.

Like, say, a building collapsing. Yes, that happens, and yes it’s awesome.

So, I think Skyrim should go to the warfare frat party, get out of control drunk and let all of the homies train it. It does not matter if it is filled with self-loathing the next morning, as long as lessons are learnt.

 

Gears of War

Now, this is a tricky one. There is literally only one aspect of Gears that I would like to see incorporated into Skyrim, and believe it or not it has nothing to do with chainsaws (though that would be pretty cool). No, this has everything to do with how the enemies fight.

In my experience of Skyrim I have noticed a tendency for the enemies to always do one of two things: either run like fuck at you waving their swords in the air, or stand in one spot throwing arrows or spells at you until you run up and show them the business end of your blade. Now, this opens the whole game to a bit of exploitation. It’s not that hard to clear hordes of enemies as long as you have plenty of room to back off and channel them, so only one at a time can hit you or you just keep backing away battering them with arrows. Now, I know that some of the higher level enemies are faster than you, and some of the dungeons do not allow this to happen, but all the same it worked for me in the majority of fights where I might have otherwise been expected to fail due to the higher level of my enemies. Basically all of the Skyrim enemies tend to operate on martial arts movie logic, attacking you one at a time, perhaps out of a misguided sense of fair play.

One at a time motherfuckers!

Where Gears gets this absolutely spot on is in forcing you to deal with a variety of enemies that take you on in different ways and from different ranges. They send in their close combat troops closely supported with their standard infantry as well as specialists while the support troops hang back and batter you from a distance.  This is a pretty classic combined arms approach that raises the challenge level quite considerably and makes all of the encounters more rewarding.

Believe it or not, this works!

So Skyrim, here’s what you gotta do. You go out there, drink a lot of whisky and throw yourself at Gears. Given its maturity, there is every chance that the encounter will not even last long enough for it to get it in, so you might need to collect the sperm and thumb it in, but it will be worth it. Just make sure you don’t drink a drop during the pregnancy, and make that foetus listen to Mozart all day every day, or you run the risk of producing an offspring as retarded as the father. Skyrim – take one for the team. Your fans will love you for it.

 

Grand Theft Auto

No, not because I like killing hookers (even though I love it!), but because the whole world of Skyrim feels just a little bit sterile and empty. I think this has a lot to do with the sheer size and scale of the game, plus the fact that each of the NPCs can be interacted with at least in some small way (even if most of them have been shot in the knee). It means that it would be impossible to procedurally generate crowds of people to populate the towns like you see on the streets of Liberty City, but that does not mean that we should not aspire to greater things. Like killable hookers.

There is only one kind of love hookers know

I am not blaming you Skyrim, but let’s see if we can’t do something about it. Go out, get yourself a couple of 40s, a 8 ball of H and call round to GTA’s house and get your freak on. Now you need to be careful you don’t OD, and be prepared to move in for a while and suck dick for crack until GTA finally knocks you up – but it will be worth it in the end.

 

An Accountant

Ok so this is technically (there is no ‘technically’ about it Dave, an accountant and a game are very different things – Ed) not a game, but someone needs to sort out that fucking inventory system. Oh sure, you PC-playing virgins probably have the most beautiful inventory system ever made, but for us plebeians stuck with a console, that shit is mental. Maybe instead of just fucking an accountant Skyrim can marry it and together they can raise the brood of alcohol spawned offspring until they grow up to be responsible sequels that will bring together all of the best qualities of our favourite games into a single 1,000 hour experience that will finally bring the human race to a shuddering halt, as videogames finally surpass titties as the number one thing to play with on every mans list (unless you are gay, in which case I assume you can replace ‘titties’ with ‘balls’).

The future of gaming. Somehow.

I think I have probably stretched this analogy a little too far.

On a final note, to everyone who has read my articles over the past 5 months I just want to thank you all. Taking the time to read them means a lot to a fledgling writer like myself who is doing this for the love (and someday the money).

If you ever said anything nice to me then thanks from the bottom of my heart. For all those that said mean things I hope that this Christmas you choke on your own vomit and die.

Merry Christmas Everyone

Dave McConkey is off to sell Skyrim some viagra. Mad Mack will return after Christmas.



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