Before New Year, I know it looked like maybe, just maybe, I hated Skyrim. It’s still not the best game of 2011, in my books, but I thought I’d use my first blog post of the year to explain the things that I do like about it.
What do I like?
The size of the world
Bethesda have made Skyrim a pretty damn huge place. There’s plenty to stumble across and the fact that you need to have discovered main holdings before being able to fast travel to them means that you can’t quite whimp out on things like you could in Oblivion, though obviously a horse and cart is available for the more travel phobic.
Quests find you
You don’t have to hunt around for things to do. Those in need or out to kill you seem to find you rather than you having to hunt down every last lead for some questing glory or the chance to retrieve a goat. Go to the local inn and something is bound to happen – a table top RPG stereotype, which I think is wonderfully used here. Best instance of this is the A Night To Remember quest, from which you get a certain awesome staff.
Easier to make money
While Oblivion did not make it impossible to be rolling in gold coin, Morrowind was a tough game to make some cash in. Here though, you’ll find plenty to trade away to your heart’s content and that’s without robbing people blind. Making money is so easy, it’s a lot easier to get the game’s cheapest house.
This is perhaps the one advancement in the series that I have truly fallen in love with. I love being able to create and improve my own weapons and armour along with crafting jewellery. And the fact that you don’t have to repair weapons and armour all the time is also a lovely bonus.
Less complex stats and skills
At first I was worried about not having as much “control” over my character, but I like how things have been minimized. It actually means that I’ve been able to play as a character rather than a complex set of stats, which makes the whole roleplaying element that much easier. Especially useful when you’ve got a warriror bard on your hands…
While the interactions with a spouse may be limited, I do find this is a nice touch. Certainly makes your home of choice more homely, especially when you can ask them to cook a meal for you and the fact that they make some money trading as well. Being able to hook up with a member of the same sex is also good.
But what about that Companions quest that glitched, Hired Muscle?
I found my own convoluted solution. If the person you’ve been tasked to deal with is in a location where they won’t speak to you, pickpocket them really obviously and steal something small from them. Then run out of where they are, make sure they’re following you, run to the nearest guard and as it should be classed as only a minor offence you shouldn’t be transported to the nearest jail, so just catch up with you target after paying the fine and ask them to brawl with you.
And I am looking forward to what DLC might be put together for Skyrim.