Skyrim: Second Look
So, playing through for two hours definitely does not give you a sound perception of our lovely new release, Skyrim. At an additional four hours in, though, the big picture is beginning to come together and I’m starting to see more and more of things I like. First impressions are important, but they are also usually flawed. Let’s see what I have as far as new developments…
I still hate the map, but I guess the compass compensates for it. Maybe once more of that damned fog is out of the way, I’ll be able to see some roads.
Still confused about its correlation to the compass sometimes, and really miss my faithful journal. But, it’s alright.
A large tv makes all the difference. A 27″ square screen tv definitely does not allow you to make the most of your game. The sliders (read: presets) need to be fiddled around with before you can get a pretty face, but it can be done with much less effort than in Oblivion.
I would however kill for a set of real bangs on a hairstyle, though!
It totally didn’t dawn on me during the opening sequence that there was a child on a porch in Helgen! As I explored Riverwood and Whiterun, it eventually dawned on me– there’s children! I use Children of Morrowind and briefly played Fallout 3, and I guess it desensitized me to the idea. This is however, monumental. We haven’t seen children since Daggerfall! They’re what we might call “essential.” Unkillable. A good ethical move, but guess how I found out they were unkillable? It just… slipped.
You learn spells by reading edible spell tomes. I say they’re “edible” because they disappear after you read them and gain the spell. Spell casting is easy, as long as you can manage to keep a hand free. The longer you hold the trigger (in my case) the longer the affect of the spell, but the more magicka it spends. If I remember correctly, you had to cast a spell a series of times to achieve the same in Oblivion. In any case, it comes in handy.
RAWR! Shouting is pure fun. My first word wall was a bit of a nerdgasm moment for me. I went through the dungeon once before and cleared out all of the chests in the room with the world wall, but I completely missed it! There is a cool down on shouting; for the one you get initially its about 12 seconds. Not sure if it varies with others. Anyone ever see that movie Push? It’s kinda like that.
Until they sit still, they’re kind of impossible to shoot at, at least with the thumbstick to aim. They are massive, but decidedly killable. It’s hard not to be awestruck. The last time I saw something anywhere near that size that I could kill with my own two hands, it was an Ogrim. (Merhunes Dagon doesn’t count. Wasn’t he scripted?)
Forging is awesome. It’s a multi-step process to tan leather, use the forge, and then improve the item, but it’s very realistic and reminiscent of Morrowind Complete. You can learn how to do it for free in Whiterun. They’re finally listening to the modding community! You need only ask to use someone’s forge.
I was so excited to catch me some salmon in the river the other night. It’s kind of funny, literally like you’re a bear just swiping a them. You “pick” them up and they completely destroy themselves in your awesome prescence and become salmon steaks, ready for cooking. Speaking of which…
I’m too poor to have anything to cook at the moment, but food does replenish your health (unlike past games where it replenished fatigue). The food is all highly detailed in texture, which is a godsend for people like me who love to look at pretty food. In your inventory (or shop keepers inventory) you can rotate and zoom the objects in the menu, which makes for even more food ogling. There are buyable and usable pots, food spits, etc. etc.
Fatigue has become stamina. Stamina is unaffected by running, and I’m glad someone finally took care of this. After all, we all know that no one walks anywhere in a game. Stamina is used for power attacks, and maybe other things. Good news: if you use a power attack and your stamina is depleted, you can still swing, you just sound tired and do less damage, I believe.
Like forging, it seems the only way to have access to alchemy apparatus is to ask to use someone’s at the moment. Perhaps they come with houses? I haven’t had the opportunity to make potions (cause I’m poor).
Buyable houses make a reappearance in Skyrim. You need permission from the Jarl or whoever is head of town in order to buy real estate, but I think it’s just a matter of schmoozing them or doing them a favor.
The UESP Wiki:
The great people at the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages are hard at work making a guide for Skyrim as they have done since 1995. Contribute if you can to this great resource!