Oh, Skyrim. I haven’t forgotten you.
I haven’t forgotten you, Skyrim!
I’ve just had other things going on. Running. Living. Being outside in the real world. I know you’ll understand.
Tomorrow being the one year anniversary of the release date of one of my (recent) favorite game titles, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, it has been on my mind that despite last winter’s minor obsession with the game I haven’t actually cracked it open in a very long time. In fact, according to Steam, I hadn’t even loaded so much as the title screen since last April, and even then I think it was just to run the updater and see if anything interesting happened.
I decided, what with the bitter cold, snow, and otherwise quiet and free-time-filled morning I was having on this long-weekend Saturday, that I would sneak some time for the game, open it up for another quick peek in the vast and crazy world of Skyrim, and see how all my old NPC pals were faring with their epic dragon war, and such.
It took fifteen minutes to download all the updates, convert the save files, and churn through whateverness before I once again found myself standing on a stone bridge in the middle of some mountain pass being pummeled with arrows.
Here I was, trying to orient my near-invincible, uber-powered-up character and re-familiarize myself with the long-forgotten control scheme, and some dude in the bushes was taking me out one ping at a time.
And then another familiar screen popped up: I got killed. Oops… and reload.
No use re-starting my adventures on a completely sour note.
Let’s start this again: I load back into the middle of a arrow-fight and immediately turn tail and run off down the path. No use re-starting my adventures on a completely sour note.
Last time I played I — apparently — was on my way to some distant corner of the map to visit a city that (in my 60+ hours of game play) had not quite got around to checking out yet: Markarth, a corrupt little hamlet nestled into the side of a mountain, a town who’s economy wrapped neatly around the local silver mine, and a town which, upon my entering, was suddenly shaken by a brutal late night murder in the middle of the street. Insert climactic musical score here. Oh, how convenient that I had arrived just at that moment to be lured into investigating and unraveling the deep seated corruption of the local leader and hidden indentured servitude of the townsfolk.
I went and explored a haunted house instead. Yeah. So, I didn’t want to jump into a grand and epic major story-line plot quite yet… sue me.
Minor side quest? Sure, not problem. Explore this mysterious house, venture off into the wilderness to take on some low-level villains, rescue a weird-priest-kinda-guy from a mystery fortress, and earn some wacky artifact-slash-weapon.
Of course, back in the real world I dug out my trusty game guide. I don’t know that I stirred any controversy with my post, but over four hundred people have read my little article on the value of using a play guide while gaming. And for those folks, here’s yet another argument from experience: when you turn the game off for the summer and then try and go back to it eight to ten months later, the game guide comes in pretty handy in figuring out what the heck was going on again. I don’t exactly file the plots of this huge, epic story in my head for long term storage, dig? And that telephone-book-sized sheath of paper just came in really useful to solve some sudden and possibly important questions: Like, why exactly am I wandering through this mountain pass again? And, is leading some random guy off to be sacrificed to some random alter I found in a random and mysterious abandoned house a good thing for my character? Or, is it even random?
In the end I wandered back out into the streets of Markarth and saved my game. I’m not planning on falling into another deep obsession with the world of Skyrim this winter. I’ll dabble, sure. And the game is designed to suck you in and latch onto your mind so that you start thinking about it more than you really should, planning your next strategic play, figuring out the proper path for upgrading your character with skill points or even writing about your imaginary adv…
I’ve got no affiliation, association, or connection with any of these games. Screens have been captured during my own personal game-play using Steam (press F12) and this is all just my random, amateur opinion. Share and Enjoy.