July 20, 2012

Skyrim (Day 1)

It’s Skyrim, ladies and gentlemen, all 30+ hours of it. The action, role-playing, sandbox style game developed by Bethesda Game Studios has been held in high esteem ever since it hit the shelves. It is the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series set 200 years following the events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. To set some things straight, I have never played any of the Elder Scrolls games so my knowledge on the lore will probably be very limited. But nonetheless, I did my homework the best I could, and from what I’ve gathered, Skyrim is about dragons and how they are hell-bent on disintegrating the universe or something along that line. You are the only one who can save everything.

The game starts out with you having been arrested by the Empire for trying to cross borders. On your wagon, you meet buddies who are rebels that tell you the Empire is evil (hence why they are rebels) and that you are being taken to be executed. Since it is a role-playing game, you can customize who you are from the game’s massive arsenal of customization options. You can change almost everything about your character, from your race and gender, to nose hair and dirt color. After a bit of pixel adjusting, I ended up being a female Khajiit (sentient cat person thing) thief because that’s how I roll. Unlike Oblivion, you don’t choose whether you are a mage, thief, or warrior right from the start. Instead as you level up, you put points into certain perks that appeal to your desired class. For example, if you wanted to be a warrior, you would put level points into heavy armor or blocking instead of pickpocketing or magic.

Anyway, after a bit of playing, I quickly learned that thieves are no good for trying to kill enemies that can see you. I tried taking on an enemy just by rushing in and mashing the attack button and immediately got my face chopped in half. After that I just ended up skulking around in the shadows and putting arrows in the back of people’s necks and stealing their gold. Maybe thieves just aren’t cut out to be great at such a low level or maybe I’m just the worst Skyrim player ever, but I haven’t played for more than a few hours, and I have died more than twenty times.

Regardless of who you are and how you play though, you are quickly laid out on the block to have your head detached from your body when a dragon attacks the town. The rebels help you up and after a bit of close calls with the flying lizard of destruction, you are given the choice to either flee with your friendly rebel execution pals or with the Empire who previously tried to de-head you. I’m not sure why anyone would want to join the latter, but because I am sane, I chose to run away with the rebels. Soon you are tasked to travel to the city of Whiterun where you tell the Jarl that a homicidal dragon is coming to rip his city up. After a few errands, you are sent to fight the dragon who conveniently stopped for a snack at the nearby guard post. A few arrows, health potions, and deaths later, you unintentionally absorb the power of the dragon and find out that you are dragonborn, or Dovahkiin in dragon tongue. The dragonborn are lucky mortals who are favored by the gods and therefore can kill dragons more efficiently than others or something. They can also absorb the power and knowledge of the dragons and use something called The Voice. Due to this discovery, you are sent to the Greybeards, monks who use The Voice, to continue adventure and find your destiny as the legendary Dovahkiin.

Image Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

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