Monday, November 7, 2011

What Makes The Elder Scrolls So Special?

I think I speak for practically every avid TES player when I say there is something magical about the games, something that keeps you coming back to it years after you've sucked all the content dry.  You've killed those damn mountain lions for the fighters guild a hundred times over, and Rufio's been slain more times than you even care to remember, but yet, you still keep doing it.   Hell, I've played the Oblivion tutorial so many times I can repeat back Uriel Septim's dialogue almost verbatim.   Why? I've always wondered.

Just a few minutes ago, I went outside for nice long walk.  It was dark out, no clouds, the moon beaming brightly in the sky, the stars twinkling vividly.  As I gazed at the moon, in all its luminescent beauty, this song began playing on my MP3 player.

At that moment, I got this overwhelming sensation of complete and total limitlessness.  In that one fleeting moment, it felt as if the entire world lay before me, that all the boundaries of the universe could be transcended.  I wasn't an insecure, nerdy high school senior who worked a crappy job as a cashier.  I could be anything I wanted to be in that moment.  There was limitless potential.  I was on the edge of a great precipice overlooking the world, and I could go anywhere and be anything I wanted.  Let me tell you, that feeling was utterly indescribable.

This brings me to The Elder Scrolls.  Remember first stepping out of the Imperial City sewers?  I remember it well.  In front of me lay this absolutely gorgeous landscape that was open and free.  I didn't know where to go or what to do; it was overwhelming.  I recall thinking to myself "I can just go anywhere?" It was like a living, breathing world.  That was something I had never before experienced in a game.  And when, just a little while ago, I stood looking at the moon through the crisp night air and that song came on, the feeling I experienced reminded me of Oblivion.  It was the same feeling, that feeling of complete and total freedom--the freedom to be whoever you want and do whatever you want.  I believe it's this freedom that makes these games truly special.  Because they give that sense of limitless possibility.  Just look at this screenshot below and tell me how it doesn't embody the very essence of freedom.

Nearly 2 Million Preorders in North America

The 11th is quickly approaching--only four days remain until we can say goodbye to our mundane existence in this world and forge a new existence in the nordic province of Skyrim.  Now, if you've been a long time fan of this series or of role playing games in general, you'd be well aware that these games have not historically been vastly popular amongst the general gaming population.  So how many people have already committed their souls to Bethesda Game Studios?  Well, if VGChartz is to be believed, then nearly 2 million people across the platforms.  That's insane!  In fact, next to modern warfare 3, it is the most preordered game in North America right now by a very large margin.  Of course, modern warfare 3 has over twice as many as Skyrim, but still, I'd say Skyrim is doing exceptionally well for itself.

This is a very good sign for the future of gaming, I think.  In the past few years, the market has been saturated by cookie-cutter FPS games with disappointingly short main stories and lame gameplay.  In my opinion, the only worthy games to come out recently have either been indie releases (minecraft and mount & blade, for example) or offerings from Rockstar.  Even the Assassin's Creed series, which I love to death, seems to be going in the direction of Call of Duty by releasing essentially a stand-alone expansion pack every year and labeling it an entirely new game.   A game like Skyrim, that has obsessive attention to detail, a gigantic, original world, and countless hours of content, has the potential to breath new life into an otherwise stagnant industry.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Purpose of this Blog

Greetings, fellow Skyrim adventurers!  As of this writing, there remains only five days until this marvelous game hits the shelves.  Everyone who wants the game is, no doubt, going out of their minds with gleeful anticipation right now, and I am certainly no exception.  Practically everyday, I'm on the Bethesda forums ravenously hitting the refresh button in the hopes that a thread containing some new information will materialize on my screen.  As I was, yet again, bashing my F5 key, something interesting caught my eye--a thread entitled "Skyrim Blogs".  A blog!  That would be a wonderful idea, I thought.  So now here I am.

As for what precisely this blog will contain, I do not know for certain yet, though I do have a general idea of where I want this to go.  Once I start playing the game, I'd like to catalog the adventures of my first character.  I'll write up a detailed back story in the coming days and then post periodic updates about his (or her) in-game experiences every few days.  After I've thoroughly played and (hopefully) enjoyed the game for a few weeks, I'd like to write an in-depth review in which I will attempt to be as objective as possible.

For the long term, I'd like to continue posting the adventures of my characters, as well some short stories set in Skyrim.  I'm also planning on posting some mod reviews, particularly for quest mods.

Well, that's all I have for the moment.  Now, time to wait for 11/11/11.