The following entry was painstakingly written over two nights, the first part being rather brief, but it’ll still act as my intro. Previously on Friday (the typical recap sequence) :
The title is pretty self explanatory. Alan brought Skyrim home, and I just thought I would play for half an hour to get a flavour of the gameplay, so I could write a bit about it. Over two hours later, I finally managed to take a break and sit down to write this. I’ll have more about Skyrim in a bit, but back to life in general. This week has been another busy one, but I have no idea where the time went to. It seems like the time is just speeding up towards Christmas, and the new year. If only things would slow down, till I could get caught up with things even slightly. The Derry Open fencing contest is rapidly approaching, this Sunday, and I’m actually going to make it this time. It’ll be the first proper one since Carrickfergus castle, so it’s going to be tough going, but hopefully it will be good experience.
Now it’s Saturday night, and I’m actually going to finish this before I run off to play Skyrim again. Today was a day of work, just not the kind I had intended to do. The plan was to work on my porfolio, start my practical write up for my SSC, and maybe squeeze in a bit of Skyrim at the end of the day if all went well. Instead, I ended up in Debenhams, with a new pair of boots and a shirt for my tuxedo. Not too bad all in all, though they are starting very early with all the Christmas stuff – every Christmas song imaginable was playing! The early to mid afternoon was spent helping at Granda’s house, splitting logs and helping to sort out a tree that had fallen a few weeks back. Splitting logs, though tiring, can be incredibly fun and nearly impossible in some cases (no log can defeat me, though it came close). Then we paid a visit to the kittens new home, and they seem to be well settled in now, and getting bigger all the time. So that was pretty much the day up until now, and I’ve forgotten most of what I planned to write yesterday. The competition is still looming, but I’ll worry about that tomorrow. On to Skyrim!
Skyrim…where do I start? I’ve only scratched the surface of the tip of the iceberg two hours in, but what I’ve seen so far has been very good. It’s the first time I’ve really wished I had a high definition projector/TV to see the full potential of the graphics, because the scenery is really beautiful and the detailing in all the weapons and items is exquisite even in standard definition. Like all the Elder Scrolls games, you begin your journey as a prisoner, and through a chain of events (which I don’t want to spoil for anyone still to play) you gain your freedom. And thus begins an epic adventure, that will probably consume the rest of your life. I’ve only covered a small area so far, including one dungeon, and all is well in the world. No more of the homogeneous cave/ruin of Oblivion fame which you just wanted to end – it was varied, and enjoyable with a lot of areas to explore. I’m still yet to experience the full range of the game, but apparently this variety carries on throughout the game. The item crafting and improving mechanic is pretty fun too, though it feels distinctly Fable-ish; which is not necessarily a bad thing. Wondering across the map I stumbled across a massive camp fire, and naturally I was drawn towards it. What I didn’t see were two massive giants standing nearby, waiting for some unlucky passerby. ‘Giants…pffft, I can take them’ were my exact thoughts, just before it obliterated me with a massive club. That was the second last time I walked up to a giant (yes, that too ended in my demise).
That brings me nicely onto combat in the wonderful world of Skyrim. The usual array of swords, clubs, axes and bows is on offer, though now dual wielding is an option. My standard loadout at the moment is a steel sword in each hand, as I opt to hack my enemies to pieces as quickly as possible, but there are a lot of possible combinations. The ability to combine magic with weapons, or more magic for an even more powerful spell is also really handy. As the enemy nears death, you can perform an execution (as in pretty much every modern game) to finish them off. It’s a nice idea, but using the Fallout 3 slow motion sequences after slaying an enemy doesn’t feel right, and looks a bit clunky. I find archery slightly trickier in this game, though the trajectory of the arrows is probably more realistic now. Most of my enemy encounters have been in close combat so far, and the bow hasn’t been called into use too much yet. The menu system is also much improved, and everything is more accessible. My favourite part of it are the constellations representing each skill and the perks of those skills. The skills themselves haven’t changed too extremely, but the races have. As I said I’m a Kahjiit, and look significantly more cat-like than in the other games, while the Argonians look really lizard-like. No longer are they just people wearing animal costumes! The degree of personalisation is also pretty decent as always – I’ll try to get a shot of my character at some stage. I think that’s pretty much all I’ve got for Skyrim for the time being, but make no mistake, there will be more…
In other gaming news, I finished The Missing Link (Deus Ex DLC). It was a good addition to the game, though it seemed to draw to a close quite abruptly. And just when I found the awesome revolver, dropped by Burke, who was the apparently the bad guy, though he could also be seen as someone angry at you for stowing away on his ship. It felt like a short experience, even though I put a good few hours into it, trying to do everything stealthily at first. It’s more of the same stuff from Human Revolution, but who wouldn’t want more of the stuff that made that game great, so overall it’s definitely worth a try.
My Battlestar watching has been at a standstill after season one, because as soon as I start the second one that will be me for the entire week. I haven’t been watching that much recently, and the only other thing I saw this week was Immortals (in 2D!). All I can say is that the fighting was very good in parts. And the effects were pretty impressive. Aside from that, it was very much a meh experience. I mean, it was enjoyable, but there seemed to be an emphasis of style over substance, and a lot of the character backstories needed filled out. I’ve probably spent more time this week playing piano than watching TV show, which is a first.
Sorry it took me so long to actually get this post up, but I’ve decided that my posting style is regularly irregular. I will have a post up every week, but there aren’t any guarantees as to when I actually get around to doing it! Also, check out the Awesome Link section – I’m adding radical fishing to the list, a very chilled out fishing flash game which is worth trying.