Monday, March 25, 2013

Should I Play Skyrim?

I was a bad blogger this weekend.  Instead of writing I played video games.  Saturday I played Tropico 4 and Sunday I ground standings for Boundless Creation up to 5.0, meaning I can now use the level 4 R&D agents for both Minmatar NPC corporations with whom I can data core mine.  Getting my standings up with Boundless Creation was important since their agents actually live in the low-sec area I call home.  If I want I can do the missions for the agents and get more data cores that way.

I did think about writing, but once I started researching the subject I started to get disgusted.  Writing in that frame of mind isn't good so I decided to put the post off for a few days and try to look at the issue from a couple of other perspectives.  Math is hard.

So that leaves today's post.  While doing courier missions I watched GameBreaker TV's coverage of Elder Scrolls Online's hands-on session given to a bunch of game journalists.  ZAM's Editor-In-Chief Scott Hawkes talked with Gary Gannon about his experience at the ZeniMax offices and I found myself getting interested in the upcoming MMO even though I've never played any of the Elder Scrolls RPGs.  Then I started thinking and I realized I've played the big games that came out over the last year or so.  I played Star Wars: The Old Republic (up to level 37) and Guild Wars 2 (up to the level cap of 80) so I figure I'll probably wind up playing ESO.  I'm actually looking forward to playing WildStar because of the promise of Pixar graphics combined with the old Warner Brothers adult humor but ESO is probably THE game to watch because of the Elder Scrolls IP.

The question is, should I play Skyrim before playing Elder Scrolls Online?  From what I can tell all the reviewer have already played Skyrim, so I could give a unique perspective on the game.  Time is also an issue.  I'm hooked on Tropico 4 at the moment and with the announcement of Odyssey on Friday I want to look into what summer will bring in Eve.  Oh, and prepare in-game as much as possible.  I also have to admit I don't like first-person mode in video games.

Given all that should I give Skyrim a try?  If the game lends itself to short play sessions I could probably fit in a 30 minute session once or twice a week.  Or maybe I'll wait until I burn myself out on Tropico 4.  Then I just need to know if the next game I play is Skyrim.  So what do you think?


  1. I like Skyrim a lot. Its big and interesting and you can drown in all the sub story lines. You also get a bit of choice with paths and mission objectives.

    I think its worth playing g to play. You can easily drop in and out of it as you say.

  2. Skyrim is a time-sink in a good way; it draws you in.
    It's immersive and fun and one of the few games that I have more than 100+ hours in.

    My advice is don't get too hung up on the story. It's definitely good but you're missing most of the game if you don't ask yourself "what's over that hill?" or complete some of the side-quests you come across. Lose yourself and have fun.

    Also, first-person is optional in skyrim. There's a button that toggles between first and third person as you see fit so you can play the game third person if you like.

  3. One more vote for 'yes, go play Skyrim' . It's one of the few games which rewards exploring: the main story line was the last thing I finished, after already having sunk 100+ hours into the game.

  4. Yes! Absolutely!

    Assuming that you like that sort of thing. Which is playing the game for the story and the characters. There's some challenge and a lot of flexibility. As a single-player game though, the stories make up the core of the game. If you just view the quests as a means to an end (levelling) I think you'll be disappointed.

    The one piece of advice I'll give you, if you were to play, is this : don't play as a magic only character. Because of the console command layout the spell switching interface is awful. And a magic only character spends a lot of time switching spells.


  5. Another vote for yes. Also it is generally really easy to play just a shorter session and still have the sense of having completed an objective of some sort. Sometimes that might be related to a quest - kill this bandit leader say, or find such-and-such an item. Othertimes it might be more general - explore this city, or travel to this point. The world is both wide and wide-open to explore - and even just travelling from point A to point B can be a adventure in its own right. Had some of my best moments in the game from random encounters along the road.

  6. Never tried Skyrim, not even it's predecessor Oblivion. But I played Morrowind (the one before Oblivion) and I loved that. I bet, the only real differences are better visuals and maybe some gameplay improvements. Can't believe they would ruin a game of that caliber.

    1. Ahh, but forgot to mention something... I'd rather leave it after Tropico 4. These games are hard to put off after a bit of play, they suck you in. :-)

  7. I'm going to add my voice to an overwhelming sea of 'Yes, oh God yes play Skyrim!'.

    Yes you can play in 30minute burts if you like, many quests can be completed in this time, or you can just spend 30 mins gatherering ingredients for alchemy and not feel like you've wasted half an hour.

    Definitely explore the other storylines, they're varied and a lot of fun to play through... plus when I finally got around to finishing the main storyline and essentially 'completed' the game, I then lost the motivation to carry on with the other storylines.


  8. Wow... I was thinking the same thing about Skyrim. The comments have helped me make my decision.

    Would it be safe to assume you will be playing the PC version? I had seen a few reviews recommend the console version over the PC version, but i'm not sure. Any suggestions?

  9. @Pat I actually played the PS3 version specifically because I knew that if I played on the PC I would keep wanting to use the hotkeys for spells etc. Not being able to do would drive me insane. Playing on a console eliminated that desire, and the controls felt much more approriate.