Friday, November 30, 2012

Skyrim = Sinkhole of Time

My experience with The Elder Scrolls games has been very limited, so much so that I've only witnessed a former roommate playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.  All I could say about the game was that the guy's character jumped everywhere, occasionally killed a city guard and that it was an FPS-type game.  I wasn't overly impressed.  My own personal experience with first person (POV) hack-and-slash swording fantasy games was limited to an old arcade game that I thought was in a Neo-Geo cabinate, but I can't find anything about it anywhere.  So there's that.

During Steam's most recent Fall/Autumn/Thanksgiving sale, I purchased The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.  I did this for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, the game was 50% off, which still meant that it was $30.  The second reason comes in three parts, but is part of the larger whole, which is that I'm lacking in fantasy realms to be in.  I'm not a subscriber to HBO so I don't/can't watch Game of Thrones until it's released on DVD and Amazon just gave a release date for season 2 as February 13th, 2013 (assuming the world doesn't end in a few weeks).  I'm also reading Shadow Moon, which to pretty much everyone, is the first book in a trilogy that takes place in the same world as the film Willow.  The third part of the second reason is that I'm eagerly awaiting the release of The Hobbit.  So as you can see, I needed a medieval high-fantasy world to play in.

So yes, Skyrim was purchased.  But that is not the point.  The point is, is that I've only played the game for two days, which were my two days off this week, and I managed to clock in about 13 1/2 hours.  Jump ahead two more days and I've now clocked in just over 19 hours.  Granted probably about 30 minutes of that was just creating my character.  I can also figure out how/why I've been playing for this long.  

I don't know if it's something in current large world RPG's and I know I've seen it in a few other games, but Skyrim allows you to in a sense, warp between locations you've already been to.  The required amount of time will pass during your split second journey as if you actually walked it, but you'll be as fast as it takes for the loading screen to finish loading.  I'm not a fan of this "fast travelling" nonsense, something that I felt plagued Final Fantasy XII, but I'm not getting into FFXII right now.  If I'm going from one village to a cave on the other side of the mountains, by golly, I'm going to have my character run the whole god damn way!

A big (as in fucking huge) part of this game for me, is looking at the environment (pun sort of intended).  Anytime I'm travelling, I'll back the camera out to a 3rd person view so that I can rotate the camera and just watch the gorgeous scenery:
Keep in mind that I'm running this game at about mid-level so there aren't all the textures and layers that could be there if I were running on Alienware or something equivalent.  There are mods available designed to make the game look even better, but I'm not going to touch those, again because I don't have the set up for it.  There is this guy though who apparently has 100+ mods running at any given time for some amazing visuals.

The gist is that I like walking.  I like exploring.  So what if I get sidetracked from the main story line and want to find out what's on the other side of that mountain and end up swimming in a lake.  I love being able to look at a mountain range way off in the distance, run towards it and seeing it get larger and larger until there I am, running up the side of it.  I will admit thought that I have on a couple of occasions "Fast Traveled" to a location, but that was because I was strapped for time and knew I wouldn't be able to make the trek to the city to disenchant my non-usable gear before I had to leave for work.  Because in this world, work comes first.

At the moment, I don't see this game taking as much time as say, Goldeneye 007 took, as that was the only game I played on the N64 for just over six months after I bought it.  Some people will scoff at that satement, but I do plan on playing other games, both on my computer and either on the 3DS or PSP if I'm not playing Skyrim.  And besides, I've still got to get through Penumbra Overture.  You hear that Skyrim, you're  not the only game in the box!

Now If Only They Would Listen

P.S.  And in case you're wondering, I created a female Wood Elf named Allinesea.  She's based off a character I created for a D&D campaign that I have never run.  I also thought it would be more interesting having the lead character as a woman rather than the stereotypical male fighter character.  Although I've also thought about doing a male character and having him be a mage...... I'm sure I'll come up with something later.

And just because, here's a picture of Barbas the wolf hound photo bombing one of my pictures:


  1. I really loved Skyrim as well. I enjoyed one's ability to restart and then jump into another plotline/playstyle without having to grind through 5-10 hours of required intro.

    Even on the xbox 360 the visuals were stunning and I found myself (when I had spare time) taking the long way to an objective just to see some sideroad that I had never walked down.


  2. You Maniac, You did it! You started playing Skyrim! Damn You! Damn you all to hell!

    That was supposed to be planet of the apes. Not a personal affront. I have mixed feelings reading this. The first is envy. Man, that game looks good, and the exploration your describe sounds like it's just the tops. Luckily I've got Dear Esther and Minecraft-demo to sort of hold me over. I'll just try to forget Skyrim exists until I'm ready to purchase it.
    Second is that I'm impressed that you actually have gone and played other games. Skyrim has a reputation of not allowing that from its players. Good for you!
    Also, I hear you about needing a high-fantasy world. I've been considering what games I can play just to get my role-playing fix on. I was considering starting playing the original Final Fantasy for a bit (on emulator, of course).
    But, then again, I can usually ignore the cravings if I find something else to do. Like Sim City IV! good times.