Where Skyrim Fails

Seeing this kind of editorial from the same publication that awarded the title a shining 9.5 and called it "one of the best role-playing games yet produced" is more than a little weird, but it's exactly what IGN is offering with this piece on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's shortcomings. A lack of consequences for your actions, weak leveling mechanics and combat are cited by the writer as the most notable problems. Here's on the consequences, or lack thereof:
Removing the arbitrary good/evil meter so many other games employ is a step in the right direction, but there's nothing taking its place. Instead, in order to let you meander about as an RPG Main Character at leisure, Skyrim opts to be a static, consequence-free world that revolves around you. And so, every being with vocal chords won't let you take two steps without jumping at the chance to spew some canned catchphrase in your direction.

This sort of thing works in, say, Modern Warfare, where meticulously linear scripting rules the day, but in Skyrim's wide-open reaches? Not so much. And that's just the beginning.

For instance, let's say you've become the leader of the Dark Brotherhood. You've got enough blood on your hands to paint a city made entirely of farmhouses and filled with fire trucks. But you can merrily skip over to the comparatively saintly Companions, assume a position of ultimate power, and nobody so much as bats an eyelash. That's like watching the Justice League roll out the red carpet for Lex Luthor.

Moreover, as leader, you can then immediately hit the road and never look back. And, of course, no one cares. Once again, the world's on pause.