The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim has made an indelible impression on the gaming community. Despite some graphical issues and the occasional backward flying dragon, Skyrim received a great review from our own Rob Keyes.
However, the PS3 version of the game has been a sticky subject to say the least since initial reports hinted at a potential lag issue. Now, the public relations spin machine has been working overtime for Bethesda on that very issue. After initially denying that the developer knew anything about potential lag issues, Bethesda's Todd Howard said last week that the company was indeed aware of a potential PS3 lag issue, but they simply thought they had fixed most of them prior to launch.
Now Howard is claiming that the entire lag issue has been overstated and overblown, saying it's not nearly as bad as it seems.
"Statistically, it is not nearly as bad as it seems. Meaning, by all the internal and external data, this is our most solid release. It's also our most popular by a large factor, so we do have a lot of people on the PS3 who play the games a lot and their games are at a state that the game is just taxing the PS3 enough. For the vast, vast majority of people who play the game for 100 hours, it's fine. But there are certain things we found out that make it not fine...The PS3, in general, it handles memory much differently than a PC with lots of memory or a 360. So we did a lot of systems to have it kind of recover when it gets in a bad memory situation, but it turned out there were still circumstances where it would say, 'I can't'."
Howard put to rest last week that the issue was caused by the size of the saved game file, instead saying that the order in which players completed certain tasks added to the issue. The official 1.4 patch specifically mentions bookshelves were one of the causes of the problem -- however ridiculous as that may sound -- and that many saved game files were analyzed by Bethesda to make the PS3 version more stable on the 1.4 patch.
One thing is for certain: the PS3 version is much more playable now that the 1.4 patch has been released. I have noticed no more inexplicable crashes and freezes, and the game is much more stable, running incredibly smoothly even in the graphic-demanding cities of Markarth and Whiterun. However, it would have been nice to know the information we received last week back in November when the issues first began popping up, as opposed to corporate denials. But hey, no one's perfect.
Skyrim is available now for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
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