I made an impressions post about Skyrim two days after I bought the game (I will post the link at the end of this post) and after 16 hours, I was positively overwhelmed with joy at how good it was. Now, I am 65 hours in and my opinion has changed very little, but there are a few things I want to mention as well as share a few stories of what I have achieved/gotten up to in the world of Skyrim.
BE WARNED: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS RELATING TO THE MAIN STORY OR OTHERWISE, SO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, CEASE READING NOW!
– I said before that this game was enormous, but I think that even I under-estimated just how big it was. I am 65 hours in, I have yet to even set foot in Windhelm, Dawnstar, Morthol or Markarth and the entire south-western side of the map hasn’t even been explored, as well as very little of the northern section. There are probably over a hundred locations in that portion of the world that I have yet to explore, not to mention the side quests waiting to be participated in. Heck, I’m still only at the part during the main story where you have to infiltrate the Thalmor embassy with Delphine and someone else. I know that I am taking this game very slowly (I am still only level 29) as that is the best way to play it in my opinion, but even if I were blitzing through, I doubt I would be finished with the game. It really is that big.
– My character is a breton (with a horrific head of hair but what can you do when Bethesda make the hairstyles look like pixelated mops?) and I play the game as a warrior mage; I equip a one-handed weapon in one hand and magic in the other. I like to use archery as well and although my preferred field of magic lies in destruction, I dabble in conjuration and illusion magic every so often. Occasionally, I get my rear end served to me on a silver platter by enemies wielding two-handed behemoths, but I can usually take out targets before they even get the chance to look at me funny. I have spent most of my time traveling alone but I recently picked up an argonian who swam into a cave and got stuck. He’s good at archery but he keeps coughing and making humming sounds when I’m on edge and awaiting enemies, so I’m tempted to FUS DO RAH him off the edge of a cliff and be done with it.
– I have joined the companions, the college of Winterhold and the thieves guild but I’m nowhere near close to finishing any of them. If I’m honest, I’m finding the thieves guild quests a little boring but I’m still early on so it may change. I read that there is a fence in there that has 2000 gold (or it may have been 4000) and I want access to her so I can sell the boat-loads of loot and crap that I’ve picked up which is gathering dust at my home. Speaking of homes, I’ve been using the Breezehome house in Whiterun but I almost bankrupted myself, today, by purchasing the house in Solitude. It may take me a while to furnish it. How I do wish Skyrim had bank loans that you could take out, or insurance scams so I could set fire to Breezehome and get rid of annoying, always-at-the-end-of-my-bed Lydia at the same time. I think there’s a house in Riften as well but who would want to live in that cesspit of shit?
– I have come across some strange things whilst exploring the landscape. There was a cabin in the middle of the forest inhabited by a sweet old lady, until you go in her cellar and she attempts to vaporize you when you re-emerge. There is a maze somewhere close to Morthol that I am still convinced I missed something in when I visited it. I’ve had two fugitives randomly come to me and give me stolen items, before the owner quickly comes by and puts them down for robbing them. I came across a ragged old man inside a keep that wanted me to speak to his wife, who was a bandit chief. I killed her because she was smart-mouthed, then I killed the old man for dressing in rags and for punching me when I tried to lie about killing the wife. The game world is so big and vast that experiences like these happen all the time, and it all feels so real. I almost wish Skyrim was a real, breathing place that you could visit.
– Although the NPC behavior, appearance and voice acting has been improved, I swear that I have come across about ten people in Skyrim that all have the same voice, and I’ve heard three shopkeepers (at least) come out with ‘Some may call this junk. Me, I call them treasures’. I feel like putting an arrow through their head out of frustration. It’s nowhere near as bad as Oblivion but it still irritates me, but I guess it is to be somewhat expected from a game that literally has hundreds of individual characters roaming about the place.
– When I first made the impressions post two weeks ago, I had yet to experience any bugs or the like but this far in, they’re becoming more apparent. My game has crashed at least four or five times, usually when trying to save, and the frame-rate occasionally drops when exploring the world. It’s hardly a game-breaking fault to have less than five issues crop up in 65 hours of play, but I had to mention it.
– The dragon fights, whilst challenging and epic at first, are not much of either anymore. Yes, I did have a troublesome encounter with a frost dragon a few days ago but they don’t feel half as threatening or grand as they did at first. I can take a regular dragon down in less than 60 seconds these days, without the help of any bandits nearby to act as a distraction or a companion to use as bait. I will say that when a dragon descends on a town or settlement, it gets a lot more exciting rather than the ones you encounter at random when exploring.
– The weapon executions are a welcome addition but they do feel so clunky sometimes. It doesn’t even look like my sword is penetrating their flesh most of the time, and the distinct lack of dismemberment make them kind of pointless in the scheme of things.
Well, those are my further observations from 65 hours of play. As I mentioned earlier, this was my initial impressions post that I made two days after release for anyone who is interested (https://steosphere.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-impressions-how-many-words-for-incredible-are-there/).
Also, I know that I have only done one recap this week (and that was hardly of the sort) but most of the shows I watch have not been on this week due to thanksgiving or them having their fall finales. There probably won’t be a lot of recap activity from me, as there would be on a normal week, until after Christmas but I will still post to my blog. I have a large ‘Game of the Year’ post that I want to do sometime in December, so I will need to start preparing for that one.
One more thing: Happy belated thanksgiving! 🙂