I previously talked about quest breaking exploration in Skyrim, so while we’re on the topic let’s talk about the mapping.
Much like Fallout 3, Skyrim has map points that are “unlocked” once you discover them. One major difference between the two is that in Skyrim you will have serious trouble actually trying to navigate the map. For one thing, clouds obscure your view. While I can appreciate eye candy and the little details that make something prettier to look at, I don’t think we need to see clouds on a map. While the 3d map is pretty is loses function. Fallout 3’s map might not be the prettiest to look at, but it gets the job done. I also needed to use the paper map that came with Skyrim, since for some silly reason they gave you a map in-game that has no roads. What kind of sense does that make?
You can mod Skyrim and put in a better map if you have the PC version, but what if you don’t? What if like me you only play it on an Xbox?
Maps are important in an RPG. I have taken games straight back to the store because the navigation was horrible.