Busy playing Sky…blivion

Except for those blogging about SW:TOR the last weekend (and many finding it not what they are looking for right now), there have been a LOT of posts about people sharing their experiences with Skyrim. So, I obviously joined the bandwagon in my typical slightly twisted way:

xkcd is still the best.

I had eyed Skyrim, but I wasn’t sure I’d like it, and for that, the price seemed a bit steep. But Steam, in one of their typical sales, had a 75% discount of Oblivion the week before the Skyrim release. So I bought the Game of the Year edition (game + expansions) for a mere 6.24€.

I wasn’t sure about that, either. I had played Oblivion close to when it was released. Our local video store had it, and I tried the PS2 version. However, it was a localized German version. A very badly localized one. The voice actor were horrible, and German (especially badly translated German) has the tendency of producing very long translations. So every second inventory item (I’m not exaggerating) needed abbreviations to fit the limited text space. I got sick of juggling “Schw. Trank d. Strk.” pretty fast. I think I made it out of the initial dungeon and then stopped playing.

I very much enjoyed the game this time around, though. (In English. I always play games in their original language if I can. I might make an exception for The Witcher, but even there, I’d be fine with subtitles, actually. Used to it from movies anyway.) Steam tells me I played 43 hours so far. That’s about 100% of the game time I had since the sale. And 95% of my blog time on top. Sorry for being so silent for such a long time.

I really enjoy the quests and the flavor, the flow of the game. I find most of the characters quite interesting, though few of them genuinely likable. But I guess that’s not a bad thing if you can’t easily pinpoint the obviously good and obviously bad guys. It’s a kind of game I had almost forgotten still existed these days. I especially like how NPCs move around and actually talk to each other about gossip and rumors. I’ll admit, the conversations feel somewhat disjointed if you listen to them, but props for at least trying. Better than nothing in my book.

I haven’t progressed all that far into the main quest line, I think. I left it behind at some point to go explore. I will probably get back to it again soon.There’s a lot to do, and I have the feeling I haven’t even scratched the surface in some areas. I have done a lot of alchemy, but basically without any plan and only to sell the potions and make money. I still have no real idea how soul gems and enchanting work. And I haven’t bought any houses.

There are only two things I dislike about the game: the clunky controls (but I heard Skyrim is not any better in that regard), and the fast travel option. It’s too tempting. There are so many quests that send me back and forth all over the map. I didn’t want to use it, but I finally broke down, and now use it more often than I’d actually like to. But otherwise, I feel like I’d spend 80% of my time traveling, and while that’s fun for some time, it gets old eventually if you have to do it all the time. The voice acting is a bit repetitive, because they didn’t have enough voice actors  for every single person in the game, but at least they do a good job for the most part. Oh, and I wish it wasn’t so easy to misclick and inadvertently steal something under the eyes of the person you actually want to talk to.

I found it quite amusing to read how people either say that Oblivion had sucked in comparison to other TES games and they had never gotten into it, or how Oblivion had been ok, but Skyrim is SO MUCH BETTER. That sounds like I’ll have a great time when I finally pick up Skyrim. In 5 years or so.

3 thoughts on “Busy playing Sky…blivion

  1. I’ve played Skyrim quite extensively for 2 weeks now and I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface, hehe. it’s wonderful that way, and you can decide whether to stay away from the main quest-line and do other things, or pursue it vigorously. I’ve no idea whether I am far in, but I’ve just been through the most awesome scenario e.v.e.r. – so you have loads to look forward to!! =)
    I’m with you on the controls and fast travel; I’ve actually been wondering whether to take this up or not in an article. while it’s convenient, it’s one feature that hurts the game in my opinion – I was very surprised it exists at all.

  2. It sounds like I really do have a lot to look forward to then. I wound down my playing time for now. I have to leave for a work trip soon, and I decided to find a natural “boundary” which would make it easier to return to the game once I’m back. I should probably not have started to play Mass Effect (damn you Steam sales!) as a replacement, but that’s a different story. 😉

    I think the main gripe I have with the fast travel is that some of the quests just seem to beg you to use it: talk to person A, travel to the other side of the map to talk to person B, just to be sent back to your original location… I like slow travel, but I don’t find it meaningful if there isn’t any very good reason for me to travel that far. If the quest would’ve worked pretty much the same if person B had just been one town over, then I’d rather have that and no fast travel option.

    Oh, and welcome! It’s good to see people other than me are actually reading what I write every now and then. 😉

  3. “It’s good to see people other than me are actually reading what I write every now and then”

    Ahh, we all know that feeling. 🙂 And thank you – I’ll be back!

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