I got Skyrim installed yesterday. It runs really well on my three-year-old upper-mid-end system if I keep anisotropic down to 2 or 0. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, maybe the rest isn't for you.
I played Oblivion for the immersion, which after 5 years of modding is amazingly deep and detailed. In Blivvy I generally began with a character backstory, so I could develop a playing style that would be different each time. In Skyrim, I've gone back to my preferred style for the first playthrough. By nature I'm bookish, an alchemist, cook, trader, smith. In combat I'm a sniper. I like to stay hidden and take my enemy by surprise.
So I rolled up a young-ish Breton woman. I find it very hard to play male characters in 1st person RPG. I don't really know why, but I think it has something to do with the archetypes. The boys are all Alpha Males or Alpha Male wannabes, it's all about superiority for them. I find myself not caring about what happens to them. Each time I played a male in Blivvy I abandoned the character the first time he died.
My Breton woman is called Clothilde, and she has a strong French accent. I don't show her accent in the writing; just a few bits of odd diction. I think she speaks and writes well in several languages, so she knows how to spell. I worked out a lengthy and detailed backstory for her, and then began to play.
Skyrim is pretty good. There are a few niggles in the gameplay and quite a few minor glitches that I suspect will be sorted out by patching over the next few weeks. The influence of the Gothic series is evident everywhere you look, both visually and in gameplay - even in the design of dungeons. I also utterly utterly hate scenarios where "YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE" or "YOU ARE THE LAST REMAINING…" but I got around this by having a character who is a misfit, and who rather dislikes all this too.
When I saved last night, she was standing on top of High Hrothgar with her recently appointed Huscarl, Lydia, having been taught some new tricks by the old men of the mountain. I imagined her turning to Lydia and saying
"What the fuck? I feel like a total fraud. An interloper. Three days ago I was a petty criminal, and a smuggler. I was saved from execution by accident, and I have killed more than ten people, human beings, in the last two days. Now some guy I met yesterday morning gives me a Title! And a retainer! And these old guys up here in the cold with their all mystical attitude are acting all impressed because I got some special power. It is stupid. I want a drink. Let's go get drunk."
Lydia is a Nord, and a simple, plain, loyal warrior. I'm pretty sure she didn't listen to most of that. I rekon she just heard the last two sentences. She'd reply:
"Okay. We passed an inn on the way here. Just before all those damn stairs."
… more tomorrow.