The hardest part of any Elder Scrolls game is figuring out how to build a character and that is the same for Skyrim character creation. I know I have spent far too long creating my wood elf rogue than I had traversing any dungeon in Skyrim. For many gamers creating your character is a long and arduous process, especially for a roleplayer or anyone that will be spending days of playtime in Tamriel. There are a near infinite amount of creative options when you’re trying to make the most badass Dragonborn to ever grace the tundra of Skyrim, but since the change from Oblivion’s character creator it’s been harder to be overly unique.
The entirety of Skyrim character creation has streamlined it’s creation by creating a much more conservative program and limited the drastic amount of change the sliders affected. Cranking that nose length bar up to max won’t make your character have a Pinocchio-length snout. This limitation acts as an immersion guard and an open ticket for modding. It’s difficult to image that a fluorescent elf is this legendary Dragonborn and not some kind of failed government experiment that got out, and this may have been Bethesda’s driving force in limiting character creation options.
Oblivion’s character creation, while crazy did give a lot more freedom in terms of character diversity. When I look at my friend’s Skyrim characters and even the NPC’s in game it’s difficult to see a lot of variation. It reminded me of a MMO with six different face presets. Oblivion was outrageous, but it allowed a lot of unique faces. Players could replicate real people using the oblivion engine much more efficiently than in Skyrim. Unless you were trying to re-create the members of a Norwegian metal band Skyrim’s ability to add variation was lacking.
The modding community has expanded upon vanilla Skyrim’s initial character creation through two popular mods: RaceMenu and Enhanced Character Edit(ECE). RaceMenu combines aspects from the original creator into one system and allows overlap of features like war paint. It isn’t a drastic change, but allows more options for someone looking to create a quality character that will easily fit into the vanilla Skyrim build. ECE adds in completely new sliders for a more complex and extensive character creation and allows you to save presets that you can load at any time. With over 40 news sliders ECE add in so much potential into character creation. ECE adds to Skyrim what the Oblivion character creation wishes it had. The facial options available range from hyper realistic to anime-style features.