Skyrim - Review Roundup # 3
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November 14th, 2011, 22:04
Man, this really sucks. I was completely ready to skip Skyrim. Screw it, I thought, I'll pick up the GOTY edition in another year or two. It's just gonna be more of Oblivion, and if I got bored way before finishing that one, what makes me think I'll enjoy more of the same?
But no, I saw last week that I had my first completely free weekend day in months coming up last Sunday. Ah, what the hell, I'll be a lemming and jump on in. My mood while driving over to get the game was so funny…sort of a "Gawdammit, here I go again" vibe, like I was returning to an abusive relationship or something. Opening the game and installing it wasn't accompanied by smiles, but rather lots of dreadful sighs. At one point, I remember thinking, what the hell am I doing?
So that was the mood I was in when I started playing at 8am Sunday morning. About 17 hours later, at 3am Monday morning, I went to bed happy. I had obtained my first shout, killed my first dragon, was given the title…
Thane of Whiterun
…and now I'm at work and can't wait to get back to the game so I can get to the 2 or 3 sidequest areas around Whiterun that were burning a hole in my journal (I probably would have done them first, but when evening rolled around I forced myself to at least get a taste of the main questline).
Bethesda has finally copied with pride, and that's a good thing. The NPC behavior in towns is vintage Gothic. The quests and quest chains feel very much like F:NV. The harsh environment, complete with public beheadings, gives me a definite Witcher feel. The two dungeons I've cleared (besides the tutorial) can be put up against the best dungeon-crawlers out there. All of the crafting systems are useful and enjoyable. And the rate of advancement feels just right, as I'm only level 8 after a full day-and-a-half (and I can already feel myself slowing down), and I'm just short of having enough gold to purchase my first house (which I hope to rectify in my next dungeon excursion).
Yes, there are faults and some things that I wish were done differently (the stubborn refusal to allow us complete control over what our companion equips is particularly frustrating to me), but those don't even factor on my radar when I think about playing this damn game again.
So yeah, like I said, this sucks. I do NOT have the time or energy to get sucked into a TES game and all the tasty distractions that are thrown up in my way as I try to actually make progress in the game (on my way back from getting my first dragon shout, I had to pass by a cave and a very intriguing-looking sunken tower near the bank of a large river, and it was all I could do to press on to town, only because it was approaching 2am on a worknight). And no matter how hard I try, my quest log continues to grow larger, not smaller.
No, this does not bode well for my productivity at work or at home. Curse you, Bethesda…
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