All Skyrimmed Out

Too much of a good thing.

I’m not sure if Skyrim can actually end, what with all the Radiant AI quests that the game generates automatically. My interest in the game can end though, and it finally has. The game provided me with 150 hours of top notch entertainment, and I doubt I’ve seen more than 50% of what it has to offer, but I’m done. I’ve done the mage college quests, the Thieves Guild quests, the Companions quests, the Dark Brotherhood quests, and I’ve had a couple of run-ins with Alduin, the big bastard dragon. There’s tons of map markers for places I’ve not been to yet, but I just can’t bring myself to go hunting for new stuff any more.

This is an odd position to be in, as games have tended to get shorter and shorter (compare Deus Ex to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, for example, or even Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which took me four hours to complete, motherfucking fucks). Also, Skyrim doesn’t resort to the “play through a second time but be evil for more achievements” kind of thing; the game world and systems in it are flexible enough (or unaware of what you’re doing) to allow you to be good or bad, you can chop and change your class as easily as equipping a different weapon or spell, and you can do 99% of what the game offers in one fuck off huge go.

Possibly the main reason I was able to reach the point of “no more, no more!” after 150 hours is the fast travel option. Morrowind, the previous best in the Elder Scrolls series, had no fast travel option. If you had to go from A to B, you walked. Or ran. Or bunny hopped. Sure, you could use a silt strider to travel between the cities, but to get to anywhere else meant hiking across countries. Skyrim lets you click a place on the map and teleport there. This meant that I’ve missed out on potentially thousands of things I’d have seen if I’d have ran everywhere, but it also meant that I could blast through the quests if I wanted to, or I could run to somewhere if I wanted to, or I could take a big black horse with red eyes and ride from the far south to the far north of the map because I was on a big black horse with red eyes. It was rare that I’d go to places on foot, but I’d always find something to see or do when I did.

What added to my playtime was my bizarre insistence on dressing my character for the occasion. For example, when on a Dark Brotherhood quest to stab someone in the face, I’d always make my character wear his fanciest clothes and hat as he approached the target, and when he was within range of the target’s throat, I’d make him stick his Dark Brotherhood armour on and stab the victim in the face. Once the deed was done, I’d make him change back into his fancy clothes and hat, so he could sneak away and no-one would know. The game wouldn’t give a toss; if someone witnessed you doing a murder, changing your clothes and look wouldn’t help at all. But it felt like the right thing to do, so I did it. Soooo many hours wasted to flicking through lists of armour to find my “doo be doop I’m innocent me, not going to stab anyone, not at all guv’nor” clothes.

So after 150 hours of exploring and fetch quests and dragon slaying and general face-stabbery, what did I do? I thought to myself “aw, dragons are awesome” and then fired up Saints Row the Third, which made me giggle for an hour. Loving it.

1 Comment

    I gave up when it became apparant that it was pointless looking for new weapons and armour. Like you I’d done most of the quest lines and the novelty of exploring new places wore off when everything was dying with an arrow or 2. Still a fan-fucking-tastic game and brilliant value for money.

    Instead I’m playing back through Mass Effect 2 to get a character primed for when ME3 comes out.

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