Sunday 13 November 2011

12 Hours into Skyrim

After the initial, 'Oh the graphics look shit compared to Uncharted,' and the, 'fuck me the map is sixteen real miles across!' shock wore off, I started to love Skyrim in a way I'd never loved Oblivion.

It is tough jumping from a game like Uncharted to this.  Everything about the  Drake titles are polished, the character animations, in particular, put nearly everything else to shame.  They make the characters in Skyrim look like awkward robots.  But you get over it and then forgive it.  Why?  Well because something had to be sacrificed to make something this big.  This interesting.  This enthralling.  This non linear.

It's not going to be to everyone's tastes, the open world really is an open world.  You can go where ever the hell you like right from the start (although it pays to play through a few of the games main plot objectives before branching off).  Today I went for a couple of walks.  One was story driven and one was a just for the hell of it side quest where I've ended up joining a college for magic.  Like Harry Potter but with a bigger sword.  Both trips lasted a good hour and a half each and suddenly I have a sense of scale to the game map.  It's stupidly big.  Honestly.  If GTA4 was too much for you don't go near this.  Oh and you can get inside every building, talk to every NPC and kill enormous dragons.  And you sometimes kill them by jumping on their necks and sort of slitting their scaly throats.  You don't get that on the bus.

For some though it's going to be overwhelming.  I found that with the predecessor and gave up, but that feels less likely here.  I want to see what happens with the Companions.  I quite fancy being a lycan.  I really want to go back and stick that pesky vampire with my sword so he can't resurrect his little mate who keeps stabbing me in the back.  Oblivion felt like hard work.  Skyrim is fun.

Character development works sensibly without a totally overwhelming stats system.  'This sword hurts more?  Cool I'll have that one then.'  Third and first person both work which is a big improvement on Oblivion, but best of all, the game world looks incredible.

It has its foibles, it's funny little glitches, but to be honest they add to the charm.  Nothing so far has had me hurling the controller at the cat at any rate.

If you played Uncharted, graphically, Skyrim hurts for the first hour.   Once you've been hooked by the story though you remember that graphical shine is cock all compared to game play.

Skyrim is a monster of a game.  In a good way.

12 hours down.  188 to go.


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