Skyrim Impressions (Shut up; I Know I’m a Year Late)

Skyrim came out a year ago and I’m probably the only one in the world who hasn’t played it until now. I could only get the game on the PS3 and back then the game was disgusting with bugs for the system. Even though they were pretty hilarious, I wasn’t going to pay $60 for a broken game. Now that the game’s been patched and the glitches have been (mostly) sorted out, I figured that it was safe to buy the game for half off. I’ve played plenty of games, but without a doubt I have more to say about Skyrim than any other game I played.

For those who don’t know, Skyrim is the fifth game in the Elder Scrolls series. Just for the record, I know nothing about the series except that Toonami reviewed Morrowind and Ethan McManus nearly killed himself trying to get an early copy of Oblivion. In Skyrim, you’re about to be executed when a dragon swoops down and burns up the whole city. The land of Skyrim is in a civil war, and after you escape you decide which faction to support. Like most people I decided to go with the side that didn’t try to cut off my head. I was surprised how quickly I broke away from any semblance of linearity. I did it so fast that my prison buddy kept talking about his uncle in the next town without even realizing that I had ran off and started mountain climbing. Let me tell you, I am extremely impressed at how beautiful this game is. I actually went around sightseeing before I decided to go to town and get my first mission.

Trust me, you’ll literally spend more time just dicking around here than it takes to complete a Call of Duty campaign.

I made my way into Riverwood and befriended a shopkeeper who had been robbed of some golden claws. After being assured that he wasn’t talking about the Shen Gong Wu I told him that I would return it in the next 8-10 years depending on how easily distracted I get. I also decided I wouldn’t rob him blind and kill his sister (yet). You know, there really is something terribly wrong with Riverwood. I got into a fight and killed a guy my first day there. I returned weeks later and his body is still there in the street. What the hell, guys? Are you so lazy you’re just gonna let your neighbor decompose in the middle of town?

Nod to Antigone or lazy programming? You decide.

Anyways, my advice is to get familiar with the map system as quickly as you can. It took a day and a half of running in circles before I got to the next town. I finally made it to Whiterun, completely by accident and covered in the blood of animals and an elf who looked at me funny. I got there, blinked and before I knew it I killed a dragon and had a personal bodyguard who, with a wink, swore she wasn’t my concubine.  I then backed away slowly and discovered that the knack to flying is not throwing yourself at the ground and missing, but is pissing off a club-wielding giant.

Come on, just hard enough to get me to Ivarstead.

After completing a few quests and liberating countless corpses of their valuables I find myself constantly needing to drop items to keep from overburdening myself. You see, in Skyrim you can pocket just about anything except horses, which you can steal but no matter how hard you try refuse to fit your coat. Since we’re all kleptomaniacs here (right?), it is essential that every adventurer buys a house. Unfortunately, when I talked to the realtor, I found out the house costs about 5 times more than I had. He gave me a couple of hit jobs but they don’t do much. Once I had to kill a bandit leader and got paid 100 gold. That’s highway robbery! The bandit was literally holding more in his pocket when I offed him! A girl who sells fruits and vegetables paid me 250 to punch a guy who was flirting with her. Why can the Jarl’s (mayor’s) right-hand man only pay me 100 for murder? I guess I’ll check out the Companions Guild and see if they’re offering some better work. If not, I’ll just have to steal some keys and rob everyone blind. I was hoping to save that for later but I’m homeless and haven’t slept in ten days.

Maybe I can take out a mortgage and spread my murders over 30 years.

I’ve had Skyrim since Friday and now all those jokes about people ignoring everything else to play it seem totally reasonable now. I’ve played maybe 15 hours and to say I haven’t even scratched the surface would be an understatement. Once I really got into the game, I subconsciously started thinking of it as a time-consumer right alongside school, work and well, anything that requires me to put on shoes, really. My first time I played seven hours in one sitting and I was totally prepared to play two or three more. Now if you excuse me, I have an appointment with a poorly supervised horse.

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