By ZZoMBiE13 12 Comments
Of course this may not really be the absolute best thing about Skyrim, but it is a biggie for me personally. I'm the type of gamer who absolutely hates spoilers. I like to watch some vids to get me excited for the design and art style and gameplay of a game, but I don't want to know too much. But in our modern gaming culture, you can feasably end up knowing more than you wanted to know without ever even looking for it.
That's the nice thing about Skyrim though. You could probably tell me the entire story outright, and it really wouldn't much matter. The joy of a game like Skyrim is in experiencing the world. Spending time there, exploring, learning about the lay of the land. Those are the things that make a game like this work so well. The story, and I am looking forward to it, but in this case it's pretty secondary.
Of course a spoiler doesn't have to come in the form of a story piece. Batman: Arkham City was very guilty of giving away too much in the media that was a prelude to release. Honestly, it would have been much much better if I didn't know just how many villains were in the game or which ones were there. If I'd never known (and as hypocritical as this makes me, Arkham City spoilers will follow; get out now if you're sensitive to them) about certain villains their impact would have been far greater had they not been readily advertised beforehand. Specifically, I think it'd have been so much nicer not to have known about Solomon Grundy. The way the game is set up, you hear a little bit about him if you listen to the thugs around town. But honestly, if the ads hadn't outright told us that the Penguin had a Solomon Grundy trap set for you, how awesome would it have been to be dropped down that big pit of the Iceberg Lounge and suddenly there he stands. Like an undead Hulk, waiting to chew on your sensitive areas. It would have been much more impactful than the video where the all but told you he was waiting.
I get how a studio can make this misstep. It's fun to go through con season with lots of goodies to build up the project you've spent over 2 years working on. You're proud of your work and your team and it's nice to pop that crowd with your big reveal. But ultimately, that is selfish on Rocksteady's part (or whoever, they are my example but they are hardly the only offender). It's selfish because when you're building a game you should know that the big pop is going to come to the player in his home. It's not like a film where you can run a test screening and get that elation that comes from a crowd reacting to your work like you may have hoped. But games are different. And getting big pre-release press may be important. But not at the expense of the experience. Which happens more often that I like.
Is it the developer's fault? The publisher's? Maybe it's our fault for wanting our constant need for hype and aksing places like GameTrailers or The Escapist to feed that need. But, it is nice when a game is all but spoiler proof. When "the knowing", doesn't really take away anything from "the doing" which comes after the game drops. And that, for a gamer like me, is the nicest, best thing about Skyrim.