re: RPGs should be more story focused and be on task vs giving you freedom and letting you wander.
It's an old, old argument and in my opinion both sides are correct but what we're really looking at is two distinct subgenres within the RPG genre and each may be appealing to some people and not to others.
In my opinion it's very difficlt to tell a good story and give the player lots and lots of freedom and be good about keeping them on task and not getting to distracted. When you put more emphasis in one area, the other seems to suffer a bit.
That's what I like about the Demon's/Dark Souls games, there's a basic story to keep you on track, but there is a deeper story told by the placement of objects, item descriptions, out-of-the-way NPC dialogue, etc. If you want to dig down into the story/mythology, the rabbit hole can go quite deep, but if you just want to have fun slashy, slashying stuff, the storytelling is not in your face.
I don't mind the openness of the Elder's scroll games, but I hated other aspects of the only one I played, Oblivion, such as the character leveling system, that enemies also level up with you, combat got pretty boring, and the game breaking bugs which they knew about but chose not to fix because they had already moved onto their next project (Vampire->human quest broken). I also appreciate the craftsmanship of a world 100% built from the ground up featuring no randomly generated dungeons which look so generic and will never be as perfectly balanced as a dungeon built from scratch.
Oh, I had a semi-Steam-related question for folks. Are these compatible with Windows? http://www.amazon.co...box 360 windows
Side note. the Xbox 360 wireless controller for Windows is going to be a lightning deal today at amazon at 1PM Pacific, it's $40 right now so it will probably be another $5-10 off of that.