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Posts Tagged ‘Skyrim’

SWTOR - Coruscant

December is now a time for two things: Christmas and the Steam Christmas Sale. Thankfully this year’s versions of those things did not rob me of all my money, though I did buy a few decent games from the Steam Sale which I’ll get onto in a moment.

First though, a couple of links to stuff I wrote on Gaming Daily in December. The first, a review of indie puzzler English Country Tune, can be found here. The second thing is a ‘Games of 2011’ piece in which all GD writers assembled words about their favourite games of the year and what made them so good. It’s well worth reading because my personal GOTY may surprise you – here it is.

Random Thoughts

– I was lucky to get some cracking games over the Christmas period.¬†About a week before Christmas I got my copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic and have joined my old WoW guild in some adventures on Hydian Way. I’ve really been enjoying SWTOR so far and I hope to get a video out soon in which I summarise my thoughts on it so far (because I haven’t played anywhere near enough to consider reviewing it). On Christmas Day I got Saints Row: The Third which I haven’t played yet, though I have only heard good things about it from people so far. Unsurprisingly I have found myself sinking deeper and deeper into Skyrim as well but perhaps the big surprise over the last couple of weeks has been a little gem I picked up in the Steam sale called Dungeon Defenders.
I’ve known about Dungeon Defenders for a while, but something unknown to me stopped me from buying it before now. Since it dropped in price for the Steam Sale, I decided to go for it and I’ve had so much fun with it since then. It just feels like everything that should be in a tower defense game is in there, including towers and defense. I may well write something or make a video about it in the future because it really deserves the praise.

– 2011 really was a superb year for games, perhaps the best ever for me personally. With all the quality that we’ve been given this year, I think I’m quite happy to wait until March before Mass Effect 3 comes out and becomes my first big game purchase of 2012. I do, however, need to play through Mass Effect 2 again before that happens because some idiot forgot to backup his save file before formatting his PC last year.

– With all the gorgeous screenshots that I’ve been taking in Skyrim and SWTOR, I’ve been thinking of setting up a Flickr account just so I have somewhere to keep them other than my hard drive. The title image for this post was a particularly lovely scene, I felt.

– In an incentive to write more things, I’ve been considering turning this into a more multi-purpose blog because there are a lot of things like sport and ‘real world’ things that I would love to write about but don’t really fit into ‘PC Gaming Diaries’. So I’m brainstorming ideas, trying to work out whether I should make a new blog or ‘rebrand’ this one to become more broader and more personal. If you’ve made it this far, your input would be appreciated.

Adios!

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Beautiful beautiful beautiful

I bought Skyrim. I haven’t had much time to play it due to uni commitments, but I played Oblivion before purchasing it and managed to have fun with it. I still think a different mindset is required when it comes to playing Bethesda games compared to most other studios. My way of playing games has always been to plow through with the story, often having a clear idea of what the best way to play my character is. Having come to terms with Bethesda being different, I’m starting to enjoy it quite a lot. It’s one of only two games this year (the other being Deus Ex: HR) that makes me want to sit in the main menu just to hear the theme play out.

(I know, the idea of that being the highest form of praise I can give to Skyrim is stupid – I just thought it’s kind of cool).

One of the reasons I didn’t get to play much Skyrim is also down to my involvement in The Old Republic’s beta weekend. I went into the game almost blind, having not done much reading into the classes or abilities and such, but after that weekend, colour me fucking impressed. That was the most polished beta I’ve ever played in. The biggest bug I could find in my many hours of play was my character’s lips not moving during conversation pieces. When that’s the biggest problem you find in an MMO beta a month before its full release, you know it’s in pretty good shape.

There are some improvements that could be made, of course. I’d like to see a bit more done with character customisation – a common request from the testers during the weekend, but having only four different body shapes is restrictive. It did, however, allow me to play as a morbidly obese Sith Warrior, so all clouds, silver lining etc.

I can see myself playing quite a lot of The Old Republic. Most of my old WoW guild mates are making the switch and I’ll be playing with them which is a big plus. As to whether I’ll do much raiding or endgame content, I’m not sure. I’ve really enjoyed playing with different characters, mostly for story purposes, so I might turn into one of those MMO players who just levels tons of alts and doesn’t necessarily focus on one character. Part of me quitting raiding in WoW was because I felt like I wasn’t enjoying it and I was just doing it out of habit rather than for fun, which is something I’m still conscious of avoiding – particularly with a game with as much promise as SWTOR.

So yeah, The Old Republic; it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from an MMO made by BioWare and set in Star Wars. That’s just about the best way I can sum it up.

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Skyrim

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.

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