Skyrim Review

I’m really mixed on this, and like a relationship with a pretty decent girlfriend that one nevertheless wants to get out of, it’s not the game, it’s me.

And I’m sorry to say, Sky-Rim bores me. And for all the wrong reasons.

Sword and Sorcery milieu? Fully=realized open-world fantasy setting? Check. Intricate plot elements and characterizations that hearken back to earlier installments of the franchise that I have known and loved all along? Check. Great graphics, music, easter eggs, loot drops and character crafting? Check-a-mundo. Skyrim is built to be the exact sort of RPG I know and love and can’t stop playing…I admire it and am glad it exists and the world would be poorer if it wasn’t with us….but…

…but why hasn’t it sucked me in? why do I still…after owning it a month…still play other games I’ve londer, more, and with more intensity?

“It’s not you, honey…it’s me.”

The combat, inventory management, and load screens are killing it for me. I think I hit the Betheseda wall with the last several DLC packs for Fallout 3 and the New Vegas. Love the graphics, but I’m getting so each new quest makes me groan with the tedium “oh shit not this again”. If I have swing a twohanded sword wheat thresher style at another floating baddie as I use one hand to heal, I might lose it all together. I’ve gotten so I actually use archery for most kills because swinging the sword (and healing myself with my other hand…) has gotten so tedious. I’ve gotten so sometimes I don’t even want to go upstairs in a house because it will inevitably mean staring at another load screen…

I’ve actually gotten so I play the game to try to avoid battles altogether the combat seems so primitive compared to the keen parry/riposte strategies of something like “Dark Souls”. I know it’s not fair, but I can’t help comparing…Dark Souls has sucked me in, flaws and all, to the tune of 60 hours, and I still haven’t beaten the game, meanwhile, Skyrim has gotten a paltry 10 hours of time, if that, and I’m some low level goon collecting sprigs of parsley making up weak Magicka spells in shacks off the sideroads…lol. I sometimes wonder if I actually ever, will, solve the main quest of the game. The sad truth is that all my old tricks from Oblivion….to beat levels and progress in the quests…STILL WORK FABULOUSLY in Skyrim. This saddens me and makes the game tedious to me…it’s like they dressed it up and re-skinned it, but the engine and mechanics are so similar, it makes it sorta boring because I already overplayed Oblivion, Fallout, etc.

So I play this game sorta weird. Any quest to get an item to bring back to somebody (and is it just me or do they never give you quite enough gold for all the damn work you end up doing??) is usually avoided. I spend most of my time trying to level up my character and just work on becoming more adept at magick, (so I don’t have to do that idiotic melee combat…) and following the plotlines for Dark Brotherhood and the College of Magicka. I’ve been playing for awhile, and still haven’t figured out what those Shouts are about. This is mainly because on some primal level that I don’t truly want to acknowledge…Skyrim bores me.

It’s sad, I know, so here I sit, mixing some weak Magicka potions on a sideroad in the snow…

They are beautiful sideroads, btw, don’t me wrong…Skyrim is a great game…it’s just not my great game.

I’ve come to look at this game as sorta like the video game equivalent of those pageturner fantasy novels anyone who likes this genre of game probably grew up on back in the old days when people still read paper books…you know the type, the Sword of Shannara series, or the various cheesy D& D Forgotten Realms, etc. etc. books….they ain’t War and Peace, but what they do…provide self-contained fantasy universes one can escape into…they do very well.

About reluctantprodigal

Born in Detroit. Naturalist writer-thinker-poet living in the Greenbelt around Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
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