My First Day With Skyrim
So I’ve had the game almost a full day now and I have too many good things to say about it. It would honestly be easier to list the faults, which are few. For starters there’s a texture bug for the 360 version. If you install the game instead of running it straight from the disc, the textures don’t look as good. But this is an easy fix and there’s one on the way. Secondly, there’s no mounted combat. There are horses, but you have to dismount to fight anything, which just seems like lazy programming. Things are allowed to fight you if you’re on horseback but you can’t fight back. That’s also just unfair. Lastly, for those of you who played Oblivion, you will remember the radial d-pad quick menu options, which allowed you to hotkey up to 8 spells/items/weapons and switch them on the fly. They did away with that in favor of a FAVORITES hotkey list. Instead of the radial menu, you just press up or down on the d-pad and it will bring up a list of everything you’ve favorited, but you can only select two quick one-press hotkeys, which you select using left and right. I don’t think one system is better than the other per se; you ultimately have more options with the Skyrim hotkey menu, but I preferred the radial menu because it essentially had 8 quick keys instead of 2, even though I couldn’t have as many altogether. But I really never needed more than 8 anyway. For PC, this is a non-issue. And that’s it. Those are the only negative things I’ve encountered so far and I consider them minor at most.
For such a huge game, I was worried that it would be daunting to get into. Even for me, a veteran of the entire series was intimidated by the ultimate bigness that I knew I was walking into. However, you are immediately immersed into the world with a very small learning curve. Though true to Elder Scrolls form, it’s not very long until they take off the leash and throw you out into the world saying, “go off now, have fun!” Once you customize your looks, your almost free to go on your way. Character classes have been done away with, but those felt vestigial even in Oblivion since I always just did custom classes anyway. You are what you do in this game and those are the skills that will level up.
In only a days worth of gameplay I’ve had many “wow!” moments already. I’ve been chased down by enraged mammoths, clobbered and sent hurling by angry giants, slain a dragon atop a treacherous mountain, stood at the edge over a huge waterfall to admire the endless landscape, knowing that everything that’s in view, no matter how far into the distance it may appear, is an explorable location. Then I leaped to my death from said waterfall. I’m not going to bother with screenshots or videos of me playing the game. You can find those anywhere else. Besides, who wants to watch someone else walking around just looking at the foliage? You’ll have more than enough time to do that yourself when you play it.
The one definitive moment where I audibly muttered a, “this is awesome” was during a hunting expedition while I was trying to gather furs to make leather. An assassin jumped out from behind me, whom I deftly dispatched. Upon looting her corpse I found a letter which, in no certain details, explained that someone had hired the Dark Brotherhood to have me killed. And as I understand it that’s all part of Skyrim’s dynamic quest system. The game sort of tailors itself to fit you depending on your actions and the quests you complete. It will bend itself in a way to generate quests that mirror your actions.
To summarize how excellent Skyrim is, if you don’t like the game – and I know this is gonna sound a little cliché – you should probably go kill yourself.