Skyrim's use of action set pieces and big flashy interest curbing is a far cry from a good design choice in an Elder Scrolls game. TES: Oblivion's strongest design points were its lively game world, immersing roleplaying mechanics, and its approach to player freedom. Skyrim does its damnedest to give the player a free and wide open world, but robs the player of the ability to make mistakes and take actions that have consequences. In Oblivion, the quests were full of choices and decisions you could make that would affect the outcome of the quest. Even if there was a straightforward job like The Arena quest where you had to fight a bunch of pre-set opponents, you still felt like you were doing more than just continually fighting opponent after opponent because it made sure that the player always had some form of agency in the affair. A particular design choice that comes up with the arena questline is subtle, but very effective at giving the player the feeling that his choices matter: If you take off the arena uniform, you are disqualified. You aren't told that taking off the uniform is illegal in the middle of a match via a popup, you just get disqualified and booed out of the arena. Skyrim, for all its merits, has lost the epic scale open world roleplaying aspect of its predecessor. The game is constantly holding your hand streamlining every moment between big fancy dragon fights and cinematic battle. The player's freedom and immersion is an afterthought to Skyrim's insultingly linear action RPG wannabe moments. The dragons are cool and all, but is fighting them really that fun or engaging? You're just pressing the L or R buttons to make its health go down until it stops moving, occasionally making sure that yours doesn't go down as well. Oblivion didn't NEED dragon fights: It had a vast, living, and diverse world that Skyrim seems to lack. Skyrim, while far from a bad game, has lost its soul as an RPG.
Ok I understand the arena part but when you said when you're fighting a dragon you only hit the buttons Lb or RB it's the same with oblivion you fight until you're oppenent stops moving.
In oblivion all you really do for activities are shoot,stab, fight in the arena and kill animals. I'm pretty sure in skyrim (considering I play it) for activities you can kill,create (armor, leather, and weapons) not only that but in skyrim you can make ore into ingots.
In skyrim when you begin in Helgen (imperial city) you technically go up against a dragon showing what you're up against.
In oblivion the introduction is a major let down because of what that creepy high elve dude saying you're going to die.
My point with my critique of the combat is that TES's combat isn't fun or engaging by itself. Skyrim, however, focused on the series' uninteresting combat by adding things like fancy dodge roll skills and frustrating random instakill animations. Even these pointless additions are flawed. They added to the AI a system of "surrendering" when their health gets too low, but you cant really accept this surrender; you can either execute the wounded enemy or Oblivion's "activities" are far greater than just shooting and fighting. The point of a ROLE PLAYING GAME is to ROLE PLAY. Skyrim's dumbed down approach to RPG mechanics is an insult to its players, and to the labor of love that was its predecessor. The dragon sequence at Helgen was as robotic and boring as the rest of the game. At one point you can just stand right under the dragon while it stares at you and does absolutely nothing. At least in the intro of oblivion, it made an attempt at immersing you in the game world by having the guards relocate your teeth if you decide to walk away from the game without pausing it. The busywork trade skills in Skyrim add nothing to the game. Sure, you get the satisfaction of making your own items, but can you customize them? No. Is there some cool smithing minigame? No dice. Is there any advantage to spending more money on the materials to make armor than to just buy it from a vendor? Not at all. Oblivion made for an infinitely better RPG experience than Skyrim, if Skyrim can be called an RPG with all of its AAA bell and whistle setpieces and obligatory action focus. I feel insulted that I was marketed Skyrim as an elder scrolls title; It bears no respect nor resemblance to any Elder Scrolls title before it.