Lately, I’ve been obsessing over Skyrim. It’s the sequel of two of my favourite games ever, Morrowind and Oblivion. Morrowind being the more fun and stable of the two, and Oblivion having better eyecandy and easier quests due to the map and go-this-way HUD thingie.
Personally, I loved the freedom in Morrowind most of all. You could lock anything, open anything, go anywhere, fly all over the place (levitate was fun, though a bit slow. Flight mechanics that affected speed would’ve made it much more fun to mess with), and create your own spells and enchantments. There were few things you couldn’t do, in my eyes. It was a wide-open world with quests all over the place.
Oblivion had a bit more visual appeal. It was brighter, more vivid and more detailed than Morrowind ever had been.. but something was missing. Enchanting wasn’t as simple and spellcrafting was all-but-impossible until you finished the arcane academy quests (was that their name? I lost interest all the time, and forgot). Levitate had gone, but telekinesis got marginally more interesting to compensate. You could actually lift physical objects now, although you couldn’t move them fast enough to actually do any real damage with them. Still no hope of the constant-effect area damage spell or enchantment I’d been hoping for since Morrowind, either. Nor beam-like spells, nor other little fantasies of mine. Most of the game actually did go the right way though, with everything being smoother and more streamlined. But.. it never felt quite as charming as Morrowind. Oh well. It had poisons. I was happy.
Skyrim has now.. surpassed both Oblivion and my own expectations. Enchanting got simplified a little more, and spellcrafting went away completely, but alchemy is more fun now, levelling up properly is not as tedious anymore (keeping check of exactly what skills I needed to level up to get the right stat point options at level up… was never a fun thing in either of the earlier games), and there’s dragons. Everywhere. You can walk around, and spot a dragon flying by. Sometimes, it’ll attack. Other times, it’ll just roar a bit and fly over, then lose interest. Huh.. odd. Oh well.
Dragon shouts. You get some kind of magical ‘shouts’ with a cooldown, when you find certain ruins with ancient texts in the language of the dragons. You can unlock those shouts by absorbing the souls of dragons. And you use those shouts so you can survive fighting said dragons. Well, that’s plain enough. So far, I’ve seen a force-push, a fire breath and a freeze-everything breath, among others. Oh right… spoiler alert. As if you didn’t expect to have fire and frost involved in a magical-ish power in one of the Elder Scrolls games.
I love how you can snatch a bug out of the air and use its wings for an alchemical reagent. Or hunch over a river and grab a fish out of the water. Yum! Wolves will hunt deer now, and people eat food and craft weapons and wander around and everything we were promised for Oblivion! The only downside is that Skyrim crashes about as often as Oblivion and Fallout: New Vegas combined, but eh. It crashes in a semi-neat way and autosaves everywhere, and the quicksave feature is actually quick. So is the quickload. Use them often!
So yeah. Basically, I love this game. In the past 2 days, I’ve been playing it for 21 hours. I had been waiting for it for half a year. Waiting for Steam to unlock it for a day and a half, with the dvd-box clutched in my very hands! Oh yeah.. I felt kind of betrayed that there was no non-Steam version of the game this time, unlike the past two Elder Scrolls. Having to trust an online service to let you play the game you bought is one thing, but when you expect to find yourself, five years later, still wanting to play that game.. yeah. I’m going to hope nothing happens to my account, or I’ll be one sad gamer. An angry gamer. Pissed-off at the horror that is Steam, and DRM, and online distribution services. I’m.. not a fan. But, that aside, I am fully expecting it to become a classic, that people would turn back to play years later. Different from the throw-it-out-there style of games that seem to be the norm nowadays. I’m hoping it’ll age gracefully, with mods to keep it alive and well. Knowing Bethesda, and the games before.. I think it will.
If you’re feeling wordy, hop on and write a comment: tell me what you think!