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Skyrim Goodness

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Skyrim Goodness

Game News - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Wed 23 November 2011, 13:14:11

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

As if it wasn't obvious enough judging by the threads in GRPGD, Kotaku figured that Skyrim is the pinnacle of Short Attention Span Gaming. Todd and Pete, all is forgiven!

 

It would appear that for me, the nation of Skyrim is much more compelling than the game, Skyrim. Of course, that's not a criticism! For starters, I'm sure that the story is great. But more than that, it couldn't be a criticism even if I intended it as such—Skyrim the game is nothing if not a "place simulator," and it succeeds marvelously at this task. Skyrim, the place, is one of the most spectacular creations yet seen in gaming.

 

But it raises the question of what a game like this is supposed to be, if anything. Is it an epic tale of adventure? Is it a series of RPG sidequests, dungeons and castles built into a large overmap? Or is it something more than all of that, a collection of ideas and stories and locations and randomania that is so thorough, so exhaustively large, that it finally just becomes habitable? I fear for the people of Skyrim—the Gods have given them a savior with kitty-cat memory, a guy who is just as likely to valiantly Climb the Mountain and Fight the Dragon as he is to forget why he came to this town and spend a few hours looking in storefronts.

JTM Games ponders over the psychological intricacies of everyone's RPG of the year.

 

Autism

 

Now we’re getting serious. The Doväkiin is, for my money, undeniably and very seriously autistic. Autism, one of three recognized disorders on the autism spectrum, is characterized by, amongst other things, impaired social interaction and problems with verbal and nonverbal communication. Both these issues are immediately recognizable in the Doväkiin.

 

He has absolutely no sense of social boundaries. He walks into peoples’ houses, rifles through their things, approaches random children without thought of what might be implied, and barges into conversations whenever he damned well pleases. Fortunately for him, the people of Skyrim are understanding and only occasionally call him out on his rudeness.

 

He has serious trouble with both verbal and nonverbal communication. As far as nonverbal goes, he doesn’t seem able to do much other than walk, hop, and look up and down; facial expressions seem a completely foreign language to him. Verbal communication is where he’s really got a problem, however. The only sounds he’s able to make are grunts and yelps when being attacked, as well as violently loud shouts. (How he’s able to convey what he wants in conversations is anyone’s guess. My theory is some kind of Dragonborn telepathy.)

And last but not least, a trusty sample review from Trusted Reviews , 10/10.

Finally, it would be a disservice to Skyrim if we didn’t mention the dragons. These awesome beasts – the central focus of the plot – aren’t dished out willy-nilly, but when they are they make a suitably dramatic high-point. They’re not always quite as formidable as they might look, but each provides its own memorable fight. In fact, Skyrim is a game that comes thick with epic moments, which is impressive given the sheer scale of the game. As an idea, we’d finished half of this year’s blockbusters in the time it took us to just uncover the main storyline of Skyrim, and we hadn’t taken every side-quest or raided every tomb along the way.

In a way, Skyrim takes the RPG back to its roots, with its dungeons and dragons, its tunnels and its trolls. There’s something about its eerie tombs and nordic landscapes that reaches back to Tolkien, Poul Anderson and even Wagner without ever feeling like a rip-off. For anyone who has ever wanted to explore those fantasy worlds, Skyrim is nothing short of a dream come true.

Verdict

The fifth Elder Scrolls game is a worth successor to Oblivion, and one of the best RPGs ever made. Technically, it’s not a huge a progression from Oblivion, but it’s a game where all the elements – graphics, sound, art design, music and gameplay – combine to make one incredibly immersive whole. Clear your diary, take a break and cancel Christmas if you have to: unless you have an allergy to sword and sorcery, you'll need every spare second to play.

Back to the roots, bros. Back to the roots.

 

 

Spotted at: RPGWatch

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