Sheogorath, my lord and protector… why did I ever doubt your madness?  Had I lost my own mind?  Did I truly think that the unimpressive demo I’d witnessed at this year’s E3 expo would be indicative of your final product?  Oh, how I was wrong!!… Can you ever forgive me?

As many of you know, I was rather “unimpressed” with Skyrim at E3 this year.  In fact, Stephiroth Gutowski and I were so mind numbingly disappointed by the demo we were shown that we gave it an award for the, “Most Heart Shattering Disappointment”

We were so wrong.

Yes, I still think that the E3 demo of Skyrim which we were shown was disappointing, and I would still not have given it best RPG over Reckoning, but after being given the chance to play Skyrim for an hour behind closed doors, I am exuberantly happy to report that I am now a true believer in the 5th iteration of Bethesda‘s flagship series, and you should be too.

You see, I’m a harsher critic than most when it comes to this sort of thing.  As many of you know, I’m a PC RPGamer and an old school Elder Scrolls fan.

I’m the guy who kept the Mantella all to myself in Daggerfall.  I’m the guy who retrieved every item for the Museum of Artifacts in Morrowind… only to steal them back later.  I’m the guy who closed every Oblivion gate and collected every treasure in Cyrodiil, only to have to mod extra display cases into my house in Skingrad just to hold it all!  And for what?!  Nobody else in the world will ever venture inside the confines of my Elder Scrolls homes, see all of my priceless in-game artifacts and collections, and yet I do it anyway!  Yet, you know I’m not alone.

I ... Need More Display Cases...

Perhaps you too have the “Pelvis of Elvis” adorning the fireplace of one of your many Oblivion homes… but I digress.  That’s simply the sort of Elder Scrolls player I am.  I live for the immersion, the escape, the beauty of a world completely original and unlike anything we could ever hope to see in our own.  The freedom, the choice, and often the consequence.

So, jaded as I am, I mocked many of my detractors who said I was crazy after E3.  I said that they were simply johnny-come-lately Elder Scrolls fans who wouldn’t know their lore if a Dremora lopped their head off with a Daedric Crescent!  I figured they were blinded fanboys whose Elder Scrolls adventures began with Oblivion.  These kids clearly know nothing of Daggerfall or Morrowind! They’ve never modded a damn thing, they’ve never even heard of Nehrim!  They’re wrong, I’m right, BAH humbug!

But they weren’t wrong, I just failed to believe.

Dave... I am Disappoint.

So, after playing Skyrim for an hour straight, being allowed to do whatever the hell I want and loving every single minute of it… I am here to apologize.

I want to apologize to our readers, I want to apologize to my friends,  I want to apologize to Bethesda and I even want to apologize to all those johnny-come-latelys who believed in the scrolls when I had lost faith.  I’m sorry.

Yet, that’s not why you’ve come here today, is it?  You want to hear all about my adventures in Skyrim, don’t you?!  Very well, so be it.

As I walked into a lush hotel suite populated by several other members of the gaming press and a sea of Xbox 360 consoles and flatscreen TV’s, I was told by Pete Hines and Todd Howard of Bethesda that we would be starting off our adventure as a prisoner in a cave, and could go anywhere we wanted from there on out.  That was all the instructioin we got and that was all the instruction I needed.

The character creation in Skyrim is just as deep as you remember from Oblivion, if not more so.  I mean just look at all these possible combinations you can make!  But there was no time for me to mess around with such a deep system, I only had an hour.

So I quickly selected a few traits… Bosmer… tattoos… mohawk… good enough… let’s go!

154 COMMENTS

  1. So awesome, I especially loved the parts where you described how much better the combat was…and HOW (instead of just saying it’s better)!

    Let’s just hope that glitches like a guard flying sky-high actually gets fixed. And either way, I’m excited for this game. Not crazy obsessed like some kids…but it’s definitely the only game I’m looking forward to.

  2. (“The hell you don’t!”  I pulled out my fiery broadsword of death and
    sliced the son of a bitch and his horse in twain like a hot knife
    through butter.  The horse caught fire and fell to the ground in agony
    but the guard… well, he flew up into the sky at 100 miles per hour
    ragdolling into the clouds.  God, I love Alpha Builds.)

    Best paragraph right there.

  3. (“The hell you don’t!”  I pulled out my fiery broadsword of death and
    sliced the son of a bitch and his horse in twain like a hot knife
    through butter.  The horse caught fire and fell to the ground in agony
    but the guard… well, he flew up into the sky at 100 miles per hour
    ragdolling into the clouds.  God, I love Alpha Builds.)

    Best paragraph right there.

  4. Well, if it’s a payed article, people going to buy it eventually…so, just stop making pointless comment that will never going to change a thing.

  5. I already scheduled that Monday off since I’m getting the CE in one-day shipping, so I’ll get it Saturday. I fully plan to spend 3 full days playing the crap out of this. I can’t wait.

  6. I already scheduled that Monday off since I’m getting the CE in one-day shipping, so I’ll get it Saturday. I fully plan to spend 3 full days playing the crap out of this. I can’t wait.

  7. Lop our heads off with a Deadric Crescent? Are you mad? All the ones on the mortal plane were destoyed in Battlespire. Well, except for one or two…

  8. Thanks a bunch for this preview, it’s really settled me a lot more on what to think about Skyrim.. I too have been balls deep into Morrowind. that game sucked more time out of me than world of warcraft which is a statement not to be taken lightly, I remember having a library in my house and trying to collect and read every book in the game. I’d even go as far as to say that Morrowind is the greatest game I have ever played. So although Oblivion was certainly enjoyable I was disappointed by its change in focus from hardcore lore focused pc gamers to the casual and console market, I felt that it stretched itself too thin trying to appeal to both audiences and so failed to stand in either. I was worried that Skyrim would experience the same fate, like you, the preview released earlier in the year did little to ease my concerns.
    Reading this article has certainly eased some of my concerns a substantial amount.. It seems as if the game play has improved substantially, though I was disappointed to see they are still using that horrible quest arrow from Oblivion that in my opinion crippled any sense of immersion the game might of offered otherwise, I’m glad to see that at least the gameplay elements of the game are otherwise looking excellent. I still have high hopes for the lore aspects of the game that you understandably didn’t have time to look into but I can at least feel comfortable knowing that the game is going to stand out regardless. Liked the little illidan tribute at the end there too (or was that just me)

  9. omg dave your house in Skingrad brought back memories, i must of spend a literal year in that house perfecting it in every detail despite me owning a huge castle else where, i love the elder scrolls series and i fear for my A levels, degrees and general life that that skyrim will consume me for several years as previous elder scrolls have, there is no other game where i will happily walk around the world doing epic adventures to jack shit and every joy every single RPG epic minute of it.

  10. Although this has been stated before, big props to Dave for the quality of this article – excellent detail and an engaging writing style.

  11. OMG It was like im playing the game… The way you tell the story is marvelous! I am playing oblivion for the uhhhhhhh 6th time… maybe 900 hours….    Morrowind even more.. 

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  13. Yeah yeah this is nice and all, but i wont truly be a believer until my gameplay style is deemed sufficient: unarmed/monk asskickery. Muahaha. *cough* If such a previously lackluster playstyle is vindicated, then will i finally be satisfied with the upcoming release. =)

    • If I remember correctly, completing the “main” storyline in Oblivion causes them to stop spawning – then they can all be closed.

    • If I remember correctly, completing the “main” storyline in Oblivion causes them to stop spawning – then they can all be closed.

  14. Sorry, but I have to admit that (in my opinion) the writer of this article
    comes across sounding like an obnoxious child. He talks about how he is a
    veteran of the Elder Scrolls series, with an appreciation of the lore and the
    originality of Morrowind; “I live for the immersion, the escape, the beauty of a
    world completely original and unlike anything we could ever hope to see in our
    own” – yet he spends the entirety of the article droning on about combat without even
    touching on any of these things.

     

    Nothing about the lore, nothing about your impressions of the script, nothing about whether the
    game feels more in tune with Oblivion or Morrowind, nothing about the detail of the game (not just in terms of visuals), and nothing about whether the game felt truly original and inspired. So in other words, useless. These are the things I care about (and apparently you care about), yet you didn’t even bother to address them. Instead you rambled about combat, which I can see for myself by watching youtube. 

  15. For all you other Morrowind fans out there – did anyone else use the Mage’s Guild hall in Balmora as their primary base-camp?  I always left the sleeping area near the Guild Guide in the basement as my Mark point, and by the end of every (very long and thoroughly-enjoyed) game, every surface in that room was COVERED in epic loot.

    One other thing I miss about that game was the travel system.  If you knew what you were doing and where you were in the world, travel could indeed be very quick (which is why I based in Balmora, since it is a hub for several different kinds of transport).  But that was a skill that could only be gained by long hours playing the game and free-form exploring.

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