Report: Skyrim VR Port Is A 'Complete Dumpster Fire'

Image: Bethesda

It's clear that Bethesda is going to squeeze every last dollar it can out of Skyrim. A bunch of those will come from the VR port of the open-world RPG, which we haven't seen much of since E3 earlier this year. This weekend's Quakecon was Bethesda chance to demo a build and dispel some of the cynicism surrounding it. Unfortunately, reports suggest it failed. Hard.

George Weidman, proprietor of YouTube channel Super Bunnyhop, came away from the experience with little in the way of pleasant thoughts.

Weidman elaborates in a series of self-replies:

The movement is all wrong. Handled via teleporter. You blink in and out of existence. A relaxing immersive walk through Skyrim is impossible ... The combat is all wrong. Handled via a waggling sword and an unlimited point-and-forget flamethrower. Enemy AI not adjusted for new controls ... Adding insult to injury, it looks like they had to lower all the settings to "garbage mode" to get it working in VR.

"DreamcastGuy" Max Shockley was a little more positive, but his overall impression was a sour one. In particular, the more restrictive nature of VR controls appears to have forced Bethesda to adopt Mook Chivalry for enemies:

[In the non-VR version] when you're going through the wilderness, you'll get jumped by 10 bandits. That is not at all the case anymore -- every single enemy I saw fought me one-on-one ... it was super, super simplified; the world was basically empty.

Shockley's conclusion questions Bethesda's target audience, going so far as to say the developer should call the game Elder Scrolls VR because "this is not Skyrim".

Now, all the standard caveats apply when talking about an in-development game. The bad news for Bethesda is that the caveats don't fly as well when you consider the port is due out November 17, giving the studio about two months to get the title into shape.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the situation will change in those seven weeks. But it's really, really hard to be optimistic.

@superbunnyhop [Twitter]

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Comments

    Can't wait for the inevitable "But that was a really old build you were playing... We swear!" excuse.

      I'm sure you'll find piracy is the reason it play terrible ;)

      I can't wait for the inevitable "We waz LIED to by the developers... I DEMAND a refund even though I have played 30 hours!"

        But those Steam reviews are the best...

        "Absolute worst game I have ever played. Inexcusable."
        1000+ hours played.

          They were just being thorough!

          How can you objectively review something with less than 1000 hours.

    Devs need to embrace full artificial locomotion, Valve's concept of ''room scale'' + teleportation is terrible and needs to be retired.

    Sure some people won't be able to acclimate but it will be a small minority of users who are unable to gain their VR legs.

    Last edited 26/08/17 3:14 pm

      I agree with this. When I first started with my Vive, I avoided artificial locomotion because it made me ill. I resorted to a few silly tricks (like walking in place) and it made it feel a little bit better... and now it doesn't affect me at all.

      We simply can't make VR work without it. The space is always limited. I think standing VR helps though.

      Disagree with this. You don't build a building with no ramp access anymore and tell people who can't use stairs to deal with it. The unfortunate reality is that VR needs to be accessable to as many people as possible to be successful. Games should choose a locamotion system and balance it towards that. Create the best implementation they can. Excluding people from something is just a bad idea if you want consumers. To be honest, the issues with this seem to be related more to the limitations of the playstation VR platform than anything.

        Teleporting instead of walking seems really dumb to me - the whole point of VR is supposed to be immersion.
        At the moment, systems don't seem to be able to handle proper games without resorting to shortcuts to save on processing power.

          For the large part, it isn't systems, it's brains.

          Teleportation is used to limit the conflicts between the eye and the inner ear. When free movement is allowed the inner ear tells the brain that you're standing still, while the eye insists that you're moving. Nausea and often vomiting ensue.

          Until this can be adequately resolved, we're stuck bouncing around.

          Unfortunately, working your way through it, like some people do with motion sickness, isn't a great option, since it is hard to enjoy a game while you're feeling nauseous (and mum tends to get annoyed at pools of spew in the living room).

          Teleporting instead of walking seems really dumb to me - the whole point of VR is supposed to be immersion.
          Maybe some people do feel sick from left-analog-walking but Resident Evil did it... worked on me. Teleporting is due to not enuf buttons on the remote imo,

          People do feel sick from smooth-turning therefore the instant-sharp-angle turning will prob be the standard control method for psvr.

          But well... when you sit, your head can only turn roughly ┬▒2 o'clock (we aren't owls, even owls cannot turn forever in 1 direction), therefore, cockpit control scheme is your (or devs) only option.

          I guess Skyrim and RE is as good as you can get outta psvr.

          Last edited 31/08/17 2:48 pm

        Yeah but at that point the aim should still be locomotion with teleporting Dor those that get motion sickness.

        The current method doesn't have you adapt it assumes everyone is a paraplegic and installs ramped everywhere.

        It should be design the building how it should be built and then provide the ramps and safety consideration to provide access for the rest.

        We still build stairs even f we have ramps, because they are quicker for a large population of users

          If most of the population couldn't use stairs, then ramps would be everywhere and the stairs would be afterthoughts.

          I'm all for including the option of free movement as well, but there absolutely has to be a non-nauseating movement solution (like teleportation, or perhaps a stable helmet frame around the view) - and it has to be the default, because the LARGE majority of VR users (in my experience and that of game reviewers and general players) do not react well to anything more than the most gentle of movement accelerations.

    This does not bode well for Fallout 4 VR

      Fallout 4 will work fine probably .. er maybe, Aslong as the Creation club hasn't scared away the proper modding scene.

      Last edited 26/08/17 8:00 pm

        Honestly I doubt you will be able to mod either Fallout 4 or Skyrim VR

      The dream of FO4VR using WillFromAfar voicemod is truly dead. Sad.

      I think since Fallout 4 VR, started off with HTC Vive. I won't have to work on making so many sacrifices to actually work.

    I don't get it, resident evil worked with walking, why not this? Did people actually feel sick from moving while looking?

    If so, try before you buy. This was never gonna be a buy for me (bought Skyrim enough all ready) but doesn't bode well for fulk VR games.

      I only felt sick with the smooth turning, if I used 30 degree angle turning it was fine

    Though the first impressions sound quite disappointing, it has to be said we'll be allowed to choose between Move/teleportation and normal locomotion with the DS4, like in RE7.

    From what I've seen from online discussions, it enforces teleport locomotion with the motion controllers because it doesn't have a joystick, touchpad or D-Pad with the PSVR controllers. You'll have sliding/walking locomotion when using the controller without issues.

    Should be fine for PC on Vive/Rift, we've got input options a plenty, they just had to make sacrifices for the PSVR options.

    Its not out yet though, who knows what they will do.

    Maybe it's just me but it seems like VR has a long way to go before it can be used capably for serious gaming.
    It might be different on PC, if you spend 10k on a system which can handle it, but PSVR seems like it has a bunch of tech demos and gimmick games because the system can't handle processing anything meaningful.

    It all seems prohibitively expensive and hardly worth the effort until computers and consoles can handle proper games.

      That's why all we generally get are tech demos and Standing Still Simulations.

      Your sort of misinformation is the worst sort of Internet shitposting.

      If you had tried modern VR, you'd know how wrong you are.

      I'm running a Rift in roomscale VR with a $1200 gaming tower. Movement and frame rates are flawless. Nausea is non-existent. The games will come, but the last thing anyone needs is another poster making ignorant knee-jerk commentary.

      Shut it.

    We're just going to come up with more excuses about why Bethesda's Skyrim VR is complete garbage for the PlayStation VR I hope it won't be the same for Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch when it comes out later this year. Sony where is my PlayStation VR Galactic Prize pack and have you announced if anyone has won the prize pack yet? You are guys are seriously out of your damn mind.

    I really don't understand the logic of trying to squeeze VR into a 5 year old game that was never intended to use VR - it's always going to turn it into a completely different game, and something that was never originally intended.
    A bit like colorization (colourisation?) of old B&W movies.

      I think it sounded like a good idea as (from my own experience with Vive and Oculus) from what I've played, the RPGish fighting games have been the most fun (for me).

      There should always be a choice of movement methods. But doing it right with teleporting (like it's a spell/ability your character has) and room scale should make this a great game.

      What worries me, as with the other parts the article points out, is that the AI itself can't seem to handle this and they have dumbed down the encounters to a laughable state.

      I would buy this in a heartbeat if the AI were good, the hitting and blocking of melee combat felt good and didn't involve tickling enemies with a sword and it was a challenge. I won't hold my breath for it, but will still check it out when released

      I think the only logic at play here is business. If ZeniMax/Bethesda can manage to get even a semblance of Skyrim properly ported to VR, they can easily repackage an incredibly strong brand and provide a compelling reason for everyone, even existing owners to buy at full price. Same goes for Fallout 4. I imagine Skyrim VR and FO4VR are both relatively inexpensive endeavors for the company, and probably have a ton of knowledge overlap to boot.

      Bethesda also has the luxury of releasing in a market that's thirsty for more fleshed out single player experiences, and also a market that is 100% okay with paying full price for Early Access.

    These reviews are invalid considering they refuse to play w the regular controller. I get the appeal of trying the motion controls for awhile just to swing a sword around and see the spellcasting...But the maingripe so far of skyrim vr has been the teleportation. That doesnt exist w the regular controller. U can move normally. The appeal of playing w the controller is that u can still look around the world and when u see a dragon fly overhead it sends a rush down ur spine like youve never felt in skyrim before....Dont knock it til u try it w both control schemes.

    I got thru quake 1 first chapter in vr view mode.... with mouse and keyboard
    NO Teleporting

    I was fine...

    Teleporting actually makes me sicker

    Skyrim VR, feels like a very shitty game port.
    The hopes of VR's advancements in games like Arizona Sunshine and Falcons VR of lifting lids and searching around inside containers, picking up items and adding them to a backpack or waist-pouch have not made it to Bathesda. Were faced with a crappy overlay menu after menu. As well as what feels like basic and limited VR support motion controller wise. HTC can Mimic Occulus control's yet the game takes NO advantage of what both VR platforms can offer other than the bog standard basics of... look i can wave my hand as if it was a 3D mouse. The game wold be a basic and uninteresting glorified tech demo if it not attached to The name Skyrim.

    This is a real shame that its is so limited. fantastic addition to breath new life into skyrim if only for a week or two of play before realizing non VR versions still has better graphics. Way less eye strain. VR is being used as a gimmick still when it truly has the ability to be so much more it truly is a shame.

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