Header Ads

What Skyrim Gets Wrong About Real Archery | Screen Rant

There are many different ways of fighting enemies in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and though archery is one of the most effective, its depiction in-game isn't realistic. Unlike previous entries in the Elder Scrolls series, there are no set classes, so players can choose whatever weapons they wish to use. There are plenty of different archetypes, and one of the more popular ones is the stealth archer. When undetected, players in Skyrim can deal massive amounts of bonus damage, and it's easier to stay hidden when using a bow.

In a land filled with civil war, bandits, dragons, and all sorts of other dangerous Skyrim animals, utilizing a stealth archer build is a highly effective strategy, as it ensures the player will deal maximum levels of damage while minimizing risk. The Dragonborn's many abilities afford a wide array of different strategies that don't incorporate range and stealth, but archery is arguably the most effective strategy. Players who level up the sneaking and archery skill trees will be rewarded with a safe and devastating way of destroying Skyrim's enemies, especially when they acquire higher-level bows and arrows.

Related: Skyrim Locations Most Players Never Find

Although Skyrim is still very much a fantasy game that utilizes magic and dragons, archery has existed for thousands of years, and since many of the NPCs found across Skyrim don’t have access to magic, it would be expected that they follow similar rules to the real world. They don’t, however. Instead, they act like archers in movies, with Skyrim ultimately taking more cues from Lord of the Rings than actual military history.

Bows and arrows have a lot of myth and legend behind them, and Skyrim adheres more to the myth than it does real-life history. The way they are depicted in media and fiction is frequently inaccurate, and in Skyrim, it is no different. A lone archer taking out a group of enemies is the stuff of pure fantasy and is a feat a real Dragonborn can accomplish in Skyrim with ease. This isn’t to say that such heroics have never happened in real history, but a trained soldier taking on multiple opponents is at a severe disadvantage, no matter what their skills levels are.

Accuracy was not the most important thing for medieval archers. Archery competitions existed, but in battle, archers would be loosing arrows at massed units. If an arrow did not hit the specific target they were aiming at, it would likely hit someone else instead. Most important was the volume of fire, getting as many arrows into the enemy formation as possible before they closed in to attack with sharp instruments in close-quarters battle.

Getting hit with an arrow is a big deal, even with armor to counter it. It’s still a speeding projectile and can stagger a given target, leaving bruises, or even broken bones. There’s also the chance that it could hit a weak part of the armor and punch through, or deflect to hit an area less protected, such was the fate of the unfortunate Skyrim guard who took "an arrow in the knee". When an arrow is fired in real life, it spins much as a bullet would. This makes it more accurate, but for some reason the arrows in Skyrim don't behave in a similar way.

Related: Why Skyrim's Illusionist Assassin Is A Terrifying Character Build

Since Skyrim is in the middle of a civil war, it would make sense to see large formations of enemies in the game. Instead, they end up being more skirmishes, and the AI pairs off against single targets rather than working as a unit. This can be changed with mods. But ven then, the game isn’t the best at simulating large battles, unlike other titles such as Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord, which is realistic.

Another thing Skyrim gets wrong about archery is the use of the quiver. While quivers could be carried on the back for transport, archers didn’t do so when it came time for battle. They would instead have it on their waist, or on the ground next to them. They could even have arrows in their draw hand. Any of these styles provide easier access to the arrows than having them fastened to their back. Since players can enter combat at any time, having a quiver on their back doesn’t make much sense.

Then there’s the bow. How does it stay on the player’s back when not in use? It's sort of magnetized to the player's armor throughout Skyrim, with no holster visible. One of the other things that games and movies frequently get wrong about archery is the immense strength required to use a bow. It takes a lot of training to use bows effectively because the draw weight on bows can be very high, especially those designed for war. Archers will need to pull the bow repeatedly during a battle so endurance is essential too.

Posture and positioning are important too, especially for those trying to be accurate. Since accuracy is so important for bows in Skyrim, running around while trying to shoot arrows isn’t realistic. Then again, since players can face many deadly enemies and bosses while playing Skyrim, running is probably a good idea.

Related: Skyrim's Civil War: What Choosing Imperials Or Stormcloaks Changes

In any sort of combat situation, arrows generally can’t be reused. If arrows hit anything hard, they tend to break, either snapping in half or splintering. The arrow tips will get dented and warped. If arrows can be picked up after a battle, they require reforging and refletching. In Skyrim, though, players simply have to walk up to the corpse of their victim and retrieve the arrows they'd just fired, which remain undamaged and perfectly reusable.

Although Skyrim's approach to archery isn't realistic, it is ultimately a fantasy game that has different rules compared to the real world. Skyrim has restoration magic, which can heal wounds quickly so they don’t get infected, and those injured can be ready to fight once more. The different races in the Elder Scrolls universe also possess unique attributes, meaning not every character will react the same way as a human does when suffering a wound from an arrow.

It's clear from Skyrim's gameplay that it isn't trying to strive for any kind of realism, but there are certain aspects of its depiction of archery that are rooted in real history. Bows and arrows are found throughout many different cultures in the ancient world. They all differed depending on the technology available, nearby materials, and the needs of society. This is something Skyrim's depiction of archery showcases wonderfully, as there are many different types of bows and arrows, ranging from elaborate Elven bows to ones constructed by the Dwarves, and they do different amounts of damage.

The goal of Skyrim isn’t to be an archery simulator, but rather to be a fun fantasy adventure. In that regard, it certainly succeeds, as it enables players to embody the role of an epic fantasy bowman. If a player desires more realistic archery gameplay, then there are also plenty of mods to achieve just that. As it stands, though, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim succeeds when it comes to empowering the player as one of Tamriel's finest archers.

Next: Skyrim's Best Character Builds Explained

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.