In roughly a week from now, the gaming world will be whipped into a frenzy over one game. It would have been two, but the sequel to Get Fit with Mel B got delayed, sadly. I am, of course, referring to Skyrim. Many of the people who I work with on Gaming Daily will probably be part of the frothy-mouthed masses while wandering through the alleged 300 hours worth of content. However, it’s with some trepidation that I say I doubt I’ll be one of them.
I know that the last two times I’ve said ‘I probably won’t get this’ have been with Crysis 2 and Starcraft II, both games I didn’t end up ‘probably not getting’ at all. I bloody well did get them and finished neither of them, but I really don’t think I’ll be buying Skyrim on November 11th – a notion that will no doubt see me cast out from the world of PC gaming and treated like a leper until the end of time.
I do have a bunch of well-rounded reasons for not being excited over Skyrim. They all come back to a root cause; Bethesda.
I bought Fallout 3 about 18 months ago. I’ve played approximately two hours of it.
I got Fallout: New Vegas last year as a Christmas present. I’ve not played it at all.
I bought Oblivion during the Steam Summer Sale this year. I’ve played exactly 60 minutes of it.
Now at this point I’ve probably rattled a few cages. All of these games have been adored on such a grand scale, played and replayed by so many, but I just can’t do it myself.
While playing Fallout 3, my first foray into a Bethesda title, I felt insignificant. I felt like I didn’t understand a damn thing about the way the game worked and that I was just blindly winging it throughout the early quests in a nearby town. I had all these points available to spend on skills but not a clue about which would benefit me the most at that given time, nor did I know what I wanted to focus on building throughout my character’s life. I haven’t returned to it in over a year.
Why, then, did I even bother with starting Oblivion? For the same reason that I wanted to try Fallout 3; critical acclaim. I feel like if I’m going to be a decent games reviewer, to have a knowledge of these sorts of games may well be crucial, as they come up in conversations all the time. As I played through the first hour of Oblivion, I felt less intimidated than I did with Fallout 3, but I still couldn’t shake this feeling of not knowing what the hell I was doing or what I was building myself up to be in the many hours to come.
So when it’s come to Skyrim trailers and the like, I’ve seen a lot of cool things. Dragons! Flashy spells! Big environments! But with each cool thing has come a nagging doubt: ‘Bet I won’t be able to kill dragons.’ ‘Bet I won’t be able to work out how to do those flashy spells.’ ‘Bet I’d get lost in those mountains there.’
The most annoying thing about all this is that I know it’s all wrong. I know there’s some accessibility to Bethesda’s games that I’m missing (for the purpose of this blog post, we’re forgetting their other games beyond what I’ve listed; Brink etc) and I’m sure that it boils down to them being an ‘acquired taste’ or me just having to stick with it. So I’ve come to the conclusion that before I buy or play Skyrim, I want to finish either New Vegas or Oblivion. This is just to prove to myself that I can commit to and finish a Bethesda game, so that suddenly Skyrim is not a scary thing but instead, something I can look forward to playing and throwing my life into just like everybody else.