07 Feb 2012

I quit you, Skyrim.


To preface this post, I’m a girl in her mid-twenties with a full-time job. My preferred games in the last couple of years have been short, choose-your-own-adventure titles (think Heavy Rain and Catherine). Besides these, the last long game I played and enjoyed was Kingdom Hearts 2. I’m not a fan of getting every single coin in Super Mario Bros., and I will always try to avoid any side quests whenever I can.

I picked up Skyrim for obvious reasons. Aside from having a metascore of 96, I had various friends gush about how amazing it was. I knew it was a very long, involved game, but I was down with the challenge. If it’s truly this good, I’ll get seduced easily, right?

Let me count the ways I can hate Skyrim in the eight hours I’ve put into it.

Committing a crime is not fun in fantasy-land.

Pick-pocket your friend, he slashes at you with his ancient sword. Steal a horse, faceless guards rush you. Don’t fret, though. Simply pay the appropriate bounty (1,000 gold for murder) and you’re back to a clean slate.  Committing a crime here robs you the fun of being a criminal – it turns you into a businessman. Skyrim just took away the fun part of fucking around in an open world game.

OJ Simpson

…and what the hell are they talking about?

You know the feeling of strolling around town, minding your own business, thinking about the last argument you had and how you’ve finally come up with the most perfect comeback, wishing you could turn back time to serve it? And then you get a whiff of something a little funky. You figure it’s nothing, so you keep walking. But then you stop, and the smell is still following you.

Those intense fifteen seconds as the gears in your brain work to process that yes, you stepped in dog shit.

Those fifteen seconds of processing equate to the four hours it took me to realize that… I have no idea what the hell they’re talking about in Skyrim. Every conversation and loading screen is a hodgepodge of unusual names paired with alien concepts so voluminous that unless you’re a sponge-brained child, you will never fully register.

Fry Suspects Skyrim is Bad

Wait a sec...

Here’s a prime example of a fun little fact to read while you wait for the next scene to load.

Khajiit are a feline race native to Elswyr. It is infamous for producing Moon Sugar, which can be refined into Skooma.

…okay. At this point, I’m bored of running from Whiterun to Riverdale or whatever while on a stupid side quest I mistakenly chose to show up in my map. I get a loading screen while I’m opening some random door and all of the sudden, it’s like someone sharply turned up the boredom knob. I could not care less about what I was doing, and this fun fact solidified my distaste for the game. I don’t care about your Moon Sugar. Stop filling my head with stupid things.

Moon Sugar

Mmm, a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch.

Worse yet are the conversations you overhear as you run around town. When I played Grand Theft Auto, they not only had attention-grabbing conversation starters that prompted you to stop your character and walk back to see what they had to say, but as you prompted them to digress, it was rewarding.

Typical comment from pedestrians your encounter playing GTA:

“So I called that girl I met last night, she turned out to be a dude!”

Typical comments from NPCs your encounter playing Skyrim:

“Skjor says that I have the strength of Ysgramor, and my brother has his smarts.”

Oh, god, I’m so bored it hurts.

You get to customize… the back of your head?

Skyrim Customize Character


You don’t know how excited I was when I was provided with a slider to adjust the size of my jaw.  I could do my nose, my mouth, my hair (oh, em, gee!), skin tone – the works. Naturally, I’m a pro. My Sim and Rock Band character look just like me. I watch my characters with pride as they go about their day, watering plants or cooking breakfast. I love you, Sim Elly.

So I spent a good hour customizing my female Wood Elf on Skyrim. She was still a little dirty and manly looking after all of my adjusting, but she was cute enough to prance around Skyrim. Well, I sure hope the guards of Whiterun are noticing her, because for all the time you spend moving your character’s ears up and down, adjusting the space between their eyes, there’s rarely a situation where you even get to SEE YOUR CHARACTER in the face.

I found myself going between first and third person, rotating the camera, and just staring at my character, wishing I had that one hour of my life back. In fact, while obsessively checking myself out, a dragon breathed fire into my face and I collapsed. I hate you, Skyrim.

I have a horrible sense of direction (sorry, fellow women).

And yes, it translates into the game. I’ve spent a collective hour running around trying to find my way around a mountain, only to realize I was following the wrong map icon. I don’t need this in the virtual world, man. I really don’t.

Skyrim TownI  think I’m running in circles.

Now, I’m only eight hours in, but I feel these are sufficient reasons to quit the game at this stage. I’ve reached a point where I’m bitter at the time wasted, and I’m stubborn enough to hold a grudge for the next eight hours of gameplay.

I hope to see you never, Moon Sugar Cats.

Bye Cat

Side note: the guys over at Kotaku had a lot of the same irks I did and more. Check out their take here.


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