For a game that came out in November 11, 2011, (11-11-11 for all them cool looking ad campaigns) Skyrim feels like it came out a month after the first ever Super Mario Bros. It feels like an old game. I feel pretty darn old for finally playing it. And I’m farting dust just now writing a review about it. But when we at GUARD say “Late To The Game,” we ain’t playing.
Okay, technically, we are playing. Just not “playin'” playing. Like “Homie Don’t Play That” Playing. Oh… oh no. That was an even OLDER reference. I’m digging a hole here.
Okay, ravages of time aside, I finally played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Let’s just get something out of the way… I haven’t beat this game. But I submit that Skyrim isn’t a game you actually beat. Its a game you live. Eat it, drink it, breath it. And for some (such as myself), that is more than enough.
This is a game that playing just to beat it is NOT recommended. I tried that path. That way lies madness. Because you will die.
And a little more for emphasis.
Its aggravating. And then I said to myself “Self, why are all the bad guys slapping me around like I’m a tiny slappable thing?” And myself answered “Stop talking to yourself. Its… its weird, man.” Good point, I thought. And then the next thought I had was about what level I was at. And people… it was a low level. Sad, really. So I “grinded,” which shrunken, pale gamers know only as slang for leveling up.
And that’s what you end up doing. Kind of settling in somewhere, in my case Whiterun, and doing odd adventures and helping out people. Smithing, enchanting… um, *cough* stealing *cough*. Okay, I wasn’t originally proud of that. But Skyrim morality is… fluid.
The main quest is good, don’t get me wrong. Basically, you find yourself in the land of Skyrim, which is one of the realms of Tamriel, on your way to be executed. Why? Because wrong place, wrong time, dude! After you customize your character, it looks like it might be the shortest game you’ve ever played as they set your neck on an executioner’s block, until…! A freaking dragon burns the town down around your ears.
As the story progresses, you find that not only are dragons coming back to life to kick everybody’s ass, but that you are the Dragonborn.
No, no, not quite. It means you are the only one that can absorb a dragon’s soul and… and… You know what? What does it matter? You’re the Chosen One. The Anointed One. You’re Destiny’s Child. Whatever the Head Honcho is, you’re the Headiest of the Honchos. You have been thrust into role of World Changing Ass-Kicker. Its a Fantasy role playing game, its kind of their thing. And if you are as easy as I am, then they already had you at “FUS RO DAH!”
Skyrim… is your second life. It lets you be an Adventurer. A Blacksmith. A wizard. A thief. A thousand other things. I’m only maybe 35% through the main story, and I won’t be done for a while. So if you’re a gamer like me, the kind that likes to get into the skin of a character and their world, the kind that likes to take your time, the kind that is god awful slow and pedantic, then Skyrim is your game. You WILL get your money’s worth, because there is so much world and story to explore. Hopefully my honeyed words have inspired you to try out this game.
And if it wasn’t for the civil war, the dragons, the repetive dialogue, and the lack of indoor plumbing, I would really, really like to live in this world full time.
But one quibble before I leave you be. You know that helmet? In all the ads?
Yeah, that one. The one that looks rad? Maybe even looks integral to the story and character of the Dragonborn? Yeah, its like the third weakest helmet you can wear. You trade up by Level 4. And I mean WAY up. I stopped wearing that helmet early, EARLY on in the game. They apparently grow on trees in Skyrim, because every bandit and their mom is usually wearing one.
The good news is that you can wear it later on, when you’ve grinded (ha! slang!) to a level that makes it so that can you wear armor for aesthetic reasons. But otherwise it will collect dust in your “Past Glories” chest, if you were smart enough to buy a house as soon as freaking possible.
Anyways, for Skyrim fans, here’s something to make you chuckle to yourself and go “Oh yeah, that’s how I started…”