In my recent post, I spoke about the fact that I've never played Morrowind, which Internet opinion (and objective analysis of a slew of various reviews) tout as the best game in The Elder Scrolls series.
For a long time, I've been vocal about the fact that an awful lot of modern Bethesda open world games suck. In particular, The Fallout series (if you want to read what I wrote more than two years ago!) is guilty of committing some cardinal sins, which I won't go into here, because, I'm writing about Morrowind.
By all accounts, a beautiful game, with a sprawling, enormous game world, writing and world building that is exceptional, dense, and filled with thousands of pieces of in-game fiction and walls of text, it doesn't stack up to the expectations of a modern game for several reasons.
Some of which, @kaelci raised on my recent post:
... it didn't age well at all. It's very... jarring to play after playing new and recent games.
Jarring is a good word. You can do that in Morrowind. There's ingredients, alchemy, magic, and the ability to brew potent, noxious poisons (or nourishing) potions to help your character navigate the dangerous land, and uncountable assailants you could encounter, depending on the choices you make.
While a role playing game shouldn't always be about the combat, as an adventurer, you're going to need to stick a sword into someone's side, or send a few arrows down into their flesh until they perish. That is where the first and foremost complaint of Morrowind becomes apparent to me. Combat is ungraceful - whether you're using a bow, a melee weapon, or magic.
Hit boxes bear no relation to the character model you're looking at. Magic doesn't stagger foes when it impacts, and there's no real feedback as to whether or not your intentions for manslaughter (or murder, depending on the context) - in this enormous world are having any consequence, until the foe you're fighting falls to the floor, ready to be stripped of their armour and worldly possessions - or you perish.
This is something, that in the year 2020 does not find itself compatible with an enjoyable, immersive gaming experience. Instead, it is indeed clunky, jarring, and not up to par. It indeed, has not aged well at all.
It was, however, fun to mod, which begs the question - Why is modding a Bethesda game often more fun than playing the game itself? This is a question I'll continue to face as I move through the other Elder Scrolls games in my library. I've still got Oblivion and Skyrim to dote upon.
I think I might even elect to experience Skyrim in a new way - via the PlayStation VR, but for now, it is time to move onward to Oblivion - which was my first real experience with Elder Scrolls.