The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is "Typical Fantasy Fare"

It looks like it's going to be a particularly slow news day, so I'll point you over to this piece on BeefJack that recounts one editor's experience with Morrowind and Oblivion, and why the latter's "generic" world design has him worried that Skyrim will suffer the same fate.
My problem with Oblivion was that I couldn't get past its generic take on the fantasy theme. Green meadows, white horses, big, towering castles, whatever else: I could have been playing a game set in any fantasy universe, with a story written at any point in the last 80 years.

And coming from Morrowind, the third Elder Scrolls title, I struggled.

I struggled because I took one look at Morrowind, when Bethesda released that in 2002, and was instantly captivated by its magical land. Morrowind was a place where motifs from fantasy and other visual genres smashed into each other to roaring success. It was no means a futuristic land, but it had a sort of odd, metallic architectural design to some areas of its world, and I loved how the game's sandy hues conjured up a world that was more interesting than its fantasy peers: something set it apart in a magical, successful way.


We've only played a small amount of Skyrim, so it's very difficult to judge. And Bethesda have reassured fans at various stages in development that this game world is a vast and varied one. The problem is, I've yet to see anything that screams (Morrowind!) more than it screams (Oblivion!) and I've certainly not seen a part of Skyrim that screams (I am my own game world!)

Yet again, it strikes me as traditional, typical fantasy fare, and a world that could be ripped from any work of genre fiction you might like to mention. If that's the case, I worry that as with Oblivion I'll struggle to become fully immersed.