Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Berserker Rage

There was a time, roughly a few months ago, when if you would say something like "Skyrim is coming out in November", I would have glanced over at you and delivered the most unsympathetic "meh" I could muster. Truly, that was a time of blissful ignorance, unwavering in the face of hype generated from both friends and the media alike. However, in the last few months, things have changed. It might be due to a lack of a true singleplayer game in years. Perhaps I just wanted to escape from the real world for awhile and feel something akin to what games like WoW and Diablo II did back in the day. Whatever the case may be, I did end up buying The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on day one in a shop in Australia (blasphemy, I know!) and have played it for a solid 40 hrs since release. At this point in time that calculates to an average of 10 hrs a day. Jesus Christ!!!

it is undoubtedly a pretty game

I am not sure why I decided to be a 2 hander wielding, heavy armor wearing orc. Actually that is a lie, I know exactly why. I wanted to hit things. Really fucking hard. To vent some frustration perhaps? Who knows. While I could do this in real life, waving a stick around in the back yard beating the crap out of trees and shit, the observations by onlookers and outcomes thereof would not be entirely desirable. Beating the shit out of entities in a virtual world will suffice for now. Who ever said games were not suitable as stress relief should be beaten to death with a stick. By me.


Really, this is my Skyrim experience in a nutshell: I am a big dude running around hitting things. However, unlike previous Elder Scrolls games, I have not returned to a state of murderous glee, slaying everything and everyone in sight. This might be because I actually paid for this game or because I have matured slightly since my youth, but there is definitely a method to my madness. I make few enemies and I make fewer friends, always choosing the most silent, shortest path should it be available. I build my own equipment, I mine my own ore and I work legitimately for the gold I have earnt (i.e. no stealing). Morally, I think the character I am playing is the type of person I would be should I be placed in the world of Skyrim.


Holy shit ... I am role playing.

Meh. Whatever. It is still fun. Generallly speaking I think I have gone for the easy-mode-pve sway of things with my character's build and playstyle, literally carving through enemies and territories with relative ease. Admittedly, it is simple. Charge at a dude, chop him, crit his face, loot corpse. Repeat. This has been greatly assisted by getting a Skyforge Steel Greatsword incredibly early in the game which is apparently comparable to the Elven and Ebony variations that appear much later. While at times it does feel like god mode, I do have a kryptonite. Mages. Motherfucking mages, especially frost ones, draining stamina and slowing you indefinitely. What was always incredibly one sided in WoW (i.e. warrior vs frost mage) is now the case in Skyrim. My general strategy for countering these pricks is to either funnel them into a choke point and ambush them from a forced point blank range, or strafe in concentric circles, getting closer each time to the (hopefully) out of mana asshole in the middle. Both require appropriate environments to be successful and even then are a gamble at best.


Other than that, there isn't really much to say other than what can be garnered from review sites. The UI is consolified and is a headache to use on occasions. Certain systems could be explained better, especially for newbies (binding weapons, soul gems etc). The NPC interactions still feel incredibly static and unimmersive, though the animations are a vast improvement over the other games in the series. When it comes down to it though, Skyrim has been an excellent hitting simulator and will probably rank as one of the best games I have played this year. I will save that topic for another post though.

For the moment though, enjoy this overly dramatic montage of executions with the Skyforge Steel Greatsword on my Orc berserker:

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