By jakob187 13 Comments
Within the course of a week, I purchased Dark Souls and Skyrim. This is the part where you look at the computer screen and say "oh shit, what the fuck have you done to yourself, jakob187?" I know, I know. It's kinda fucked. Not proper fucked, but fucked enough.
I had just gotten my Greatshield of Artorias and Quelaag's +5 on Dark Souls (and on my way to picking up my Ornstein's Armor...first playthrough btw) when Skyrim was released. The moment the game hit my hands, there was this internal conflict that was too great to handle: which game would get my time? Both are incredibly well-made RPGs, both are relatively unconventional by many genre standards, and yet...it feels like the Judgment of Solomon. It's impossible (or at least feels that way) to dump the right amount of time necessary for either one of them to be everything that they should be.
This is an odd place to be as someone who has (flame-shield on) venomously hated the Elder Scrolls franchise. I never cared for the leveling system, the way they handled stat dumping, the level scaling, and so many of the other things that the games featured. However, something about Skyrim feels so goddamn right. The way they handle leveling is still the same, but it feels much more natural and well-paced as I progress through the game. The perks system is what makes all that feel perfect. I never felt like I was actually creating my own character before in the other Elder Scrolls games - I was playing by genre conventions still. In Skyrim, it genuinely feels like this character you've created is your own. Everything about him (or her), from the spells you use to the weapons you smash with... It just feels...right.
Dark Souls is phenomenal, though. It's the kind of game that makes you realize just how weak and yet how strong you are. When you are getting your ass handed to you, man...you are getting it HANDED to you! However, when you triumph over that battle, you stand back and shout "I AM A GOLDEN FUCKING GOD, YOU PIECE OF SHIT" and then do a celebratory dance...and that's just against some piddly muthafucker in the first area. Sure, the game can be exploited, but it's part of it all. That capability of saying "hey, I found this way to do something I probably shouldn't, but I just fucking owned that asshole, so it's worth it" is just another layer of that power. The depth of character creation is also fantastic, as you feel COMPLETELY custom.
It's a tough place to be as a gamer right now with all the games coming out (I still haven't touched Arkham City or Battlefield 3 again since I bought Dark Souls). However, for any RPG fan, it's an especially difficult time. How do you put the proper amount of time into two games that are fully deserving of it?
And that's BEFORE February come around and we have Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning brought into our lives.
Anyone else that has this problem arising? Is anyone else torn between these two games...or any games right now...and if so, what's the solution? Do you just forsake one until you've become sick and tired of the other?