First Thoughts on Skyrim

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Thanks to Amazon’s lightning deals on Black Friday, I was able to pick up the legendary edition of Skyrim for $30. I hadn’t played the game yet for a few reasons. One, buying games when they debut is pretty costly. And two? Time, really. But, with it being so cold outside, I figured an hour or two would be a good mental break.

My fear with this game, is that I’d get immersed in the world of Skryim and then never leave. I’m not going to have that problem, though, not with this epic sweeping game. After playing for two hours last night in first person, I realized that a) I really don’t like playing first person in general and b) even with switching to third, the non-linear form of storytelling offers a more well-rounded game experience. This game is impressive on many levels. Graphics, the depth and breadth of character options, an expansive bestiary — the only problem I had was readability and the way the fonts appeared on my screen.

Non-linear, non-sequential storytelling is extremely complex to put together. Many games use sidequests or miniquests to flesh out the primary storyline. Of course, it depends upon the scope of the game. In general, there’s often a stricter limit on how far you can go off the beaten path and, more importantly when. Skyrim doesn’t have that problem, because its construction gives me the illusion that it doesn’t matter what choices I make and when, the story will proceed the way “I” want it to. I’m in deep appreciation of how far off the beaten path I can go. There is no pathing issues in this game, either, where I can’t go up a ridge because that’s not the gameplay area I’m supposed to be in.

In short, Skyrim is an extraordinarily detailed, fully submersible gameplay experience down to the last tankard. I have had experience with non-linear games in the past, like Final Fantasy XIII-2 and its time-travel storyline (props to Square Enix!) before, but this is a whole new level of insanity and awesome. I can only imagine the months spent slaving away…

It’ll take me forever and a day to get through everything and even then I know I’m likely going to miss something. If you haven’t played and want to pick up a copy, I would say that “YES! It is new gamer-friendly.” This game is more about strategy than up up down down left right A A B B Select Start. Highly recommend the guidebook, though, for if you go too fast in the beginning you’ll gloss over some of the training or, if you’re like me, get worried that you missed something.

Cabbages and carrots FTW.

    Mood: Winter blues. Yep.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: A couple of cups of coffee.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Sigh
    In My Ears: Coldplay! Ironically enough…
    Game Last Played: Battle Nations
    Book Last Read: An encyclopedia on gemstones
    Movie Last Viewed: BLACK FOREST
    Latest Artistic Project: *Still* *still* *still* need to take pictures… It’s on the list!
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing
    Latest Game Release: Freedom Flyer
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work and novels.

Monica Valentinelli is an author, artist, and narrative designer who writes about magic, mystery, and mayhem. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore near you.

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