Hunting Deer and Stealing Cabbages: Skyrim Impressions

Loving Skyrim so far, which I'm sure is just a SHOCK. The combat is solid; definitely skews toward Oblivion rather than Morrowind, but more responsive and visceral than in the past. Before I get too complimentary, though, some complaints.

The UI is a bit of a mess on PC. It's clearly designed for an analog stick, and I can see where that would work splendidly. However, I didn't buy a console version! The classic Bethesda tactic of underestimating your vision is in full force; the fonts are big, sans-serif, and given plenty of room to soak into your atrophied, cataract-ridden eyes. I expect mods real soon.

The voice acting is surprisingly good, with a predominantly Scandinavian tone to go along with the frostbitten Nordic setting. I'm not too sure about the plot yet; dragons have reappeared and the protagonist (one warpainted, mohawk-ed Nord named Kilesa, in my case) is the only person who can stop them. Mostly, I've been stalking wildlife with an ancient bow, working the forge, and pilfering the townsfolk's vegetables in the dead of night. There are some cool sim elements at play to make good use of those cabbages and pelts, including blacksmithing, cooking, chopping wood, and alchemy. Most impressive, I think, is the world itself, which is massive, beautiful, and richly detailed. The tutorial dungeon you pass through is filled with wondrous natural caverns, soaked in blue light and run through with icy streams. The mountains are wind-whipped and treacherous, the cities organic and gorgeously designed, and the dungeons are a far cry from the cookie-cutter pathways of yore.

No real conclusion, or point, here; I've gotta write for NaNo and - of course - get back into Skyrim. It's gonna be a while before I'm done, I think.

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