Saturday, December 17, 2011

Back To Serious Business - Skyrim

I doubt anybody will be stopping around looking for something new at this time so I'm going back to my second go-around with Skyrim on the XBox 360. If you're a gamer you know or ought to that this is a First Person Shooter (FPS) involving a fictional medieval sort of Norse country with dragons and magic and assorted bad guys and good guys. The thing is massive in scope and complexity of story, characters, build options, and serious eye candy.

I think it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that the thing will be Game of the Year just like it's predecessor Oblivion. Its Bethesda cousins are Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas and it is properly a part of the Elder Scrolls.

If you're used to the idea of video games being a fig leaf of a story to move killing around this isn't it. There is a deliberate and mostly successful attempt to involve the player in the story and to further complicate his life by making some major choices one of ambivalence or outright distaste. Beyond the major theme of the return of dragons there is a civil war raging requiring taking sides along with the day to day decisions imposed by gods, demons, asassins, theives, and general difficulties imposed by residence in a fantastical world of magic, arms and armor, and even marriage in an open access world map.

The game is stand alone, one need not have played any of the Elder Scrolls to deal with it, but I would strongly suggest Oblivion as an introduction - especially with its bargin price now and all the down loads available. Be prepared for games that will have around 200+ hours run time, I kid you not. (no I don't mean time involved in having to re-run sequences for getting killed - actual forward progress time)

There have been some kinks and Bethesda has made up-dates but I don't know how thoroughly all issues have been addressed.


Carl Fisher said...

Nearly every single game review site or magazine has given it a B-A range. I give a kudos for casting Christopher Plummer.

Chuck Butcher said...

These games are so vast with so many permutations that shaking them out completely would be impossible, but as the game is played and player complain you have to hope that Bethesda will be pretty prompt with fixes.

If I have a complaint about the game generally it is that the non-story characters do not level up with your character, at Lvl 54 and full up heavy armor, two handed, and smithing max armor/weapons and high enchanting they were gnats. Now I know how to build a weapon user and Bethesda must also so I'm disappointed that they let go the level up. I started over from there because I was essentially invulnerable and had some broken quests.