A reader explains why it took two years and three different copies of the game to finally appreciate the classic Skryim.
My first experience with Skyrim was shortly after going cold turkey from World Of Warcraft. I thought it would be the perfect methadone, and it really was. My first few minutes in the world were glorious, picking herbs without worrying about someone flying down and stealing it. Lots of crafting options and a massive world full of stories and adventure. What’s not to love?
I headed off to the magic guild, like a good mage. My first task: to cast a spell on the seal below. My brain immediately switched to the walrus-like horker creatures I’d seen lower down the mountain. Off I went to hunt them down. After a couple of aborted attempts, when I cast the spell on it and nothing happened except for it attacking me and Lydia killing it, I sent Lydia away and tried again, still with no success. After a couple of hours hunting more horkers, I returned to the guild to see if I had misunderstood. Then I saw it, the magical seal on the floor below her feet. D’oh.
So I finally entered the guild and rather than follow any questlines, I spent quite some time making potions and enchanting anything I could get my hands on. When I finally ventured out, my magic was so low relative to the levelled-up monsters that it was difficult to kill them. Lydia was no help and constantly got between me and the monster just as I sent off a fireball, only to slump to her knees and then die from the afterburn. Reload.
My interest was waning at this point, and the final nail in the coffin was geography. Trying to get to places in such a mountainous region always took far longer than I wanted it to, mainly because I spent so much time trying to climb walls you can’t climb. It had served its purpose, I was over World Of Warcarft and I moved on to other games.
Part two is very short. I bought it again in a Steam sale, with the idea to use mods to personalise it. Before I even added any mods though, I thought I’d have a quick go. It didn’t last long before I realised I can’t play these types of games with a keyboard and mouse. Three deaths later, before I’d even left the starter dungeon, meant I soon shelved the idea altogether.
Fast forward a couple of years and Skyrim VR is announced. Despite my previous experience, I was more excited about this game than I had been for anything else for a few years. I love VR and I knew I’d only scratched the surface of the game. I even pre-purchased digitally so it could download early.
I was slightly disappointed at first. There was no PS4 Pro patch and the graphics were pretty blurry.
Interiors were better and gave me a good sense of scale, with a glimpse of how amazing it would become. And the fact I could shoot fire out of one hand and frost out the other, much more accurately with the glowsticks than I could with a controller, meant I stuck with it for some time.
After about 30 or so hours though, I did move on. I returned randomly a few months later and suddenly everything looked much clearer. I could see into the eyes of the quest givers, and the scale of the world really blew me away at times. I was blasting through quests, without once killing a companion. I chose to teleport (pretending to myself it would be something I could do as a mage) which overcame my old nemesis, geography.
Soon, I was eyeing up the platinum trophy. Sadly, I had missed one on my first playthrough by making the wrong choice at a critical moment, so I shelved the idea. Then, one dark winter night I decided to start again and see how far I got. I could try the archery. This time I made sure I didn’t miss anything and the platinum trophy was eventually mine. I had conquered Skyrim, finally. Two years, two playthroughs, and well over 200 hours just in the VR version meant it was a long journey.
Ironically, after finishing it that second time, I needed another methadone to get me over Skyrim. If there is a patch for it on PlayStation 5, I may have to pick up a sword this time.
By reader Petersmiler
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