Over the course of the Holiday season, here at Ready Player Gone we will be bringing you a feature article each day – with a break on every 6th day – in the lead-up to Christmas. Our posts will be split into one of five themes throughout the event and there may even be a competition or two. Today the theme is, All-time favourite Christmas Releases. That means that this post will highlight a game that released in the Christmas window (November-December) and why we love it! Today I will be taking a look at The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. For the full RPG Christmas line-up, click here!
11.11.11… What a release date, and 2013, and 2016 and probably 2021 when it gets remastered for next gen. I remember waiting in school, eager to get home and play on the day of release, only to be asked by my then girlfriend to come over. Of course I did, but only for about an hour. Coming up with some excuse that my mum wanted me to take out the bins or something. I’d rather spend my time fighting dragons than simping thanks.
Skyrim is probably the most popular RPG ever, people played it even if they didn’t usually dabble in RPGs. Almost everyone in my year at school played it, so it brought groups together that would otherwise not mingle. I think this is due to the fact you’re literally one of the baddest MF’s to ever walk the continent of Tamriel, the Dragonborn. A humanoid with the soul of a dragon, single handedly being able to slay other dragons and absorb their souls? I can’t even think of anything more badass. The trailer played a major part in its success I think, you know the one I’m talking about.
When the Dovahkiin shouts FUS RO DAH and the main theme sweeps in, that right there is jaw dropping stuff. Jeremy Soule is a genius, his music definitely brings The Elder Scrolls series to another level.
There are huge prospects of replayability due to the games levelling system and the amount of different playstyles you can do. Want to be a savage barbarian in full heavy armour, wielding a two handed axe that weighs roughly the same as fresh steamy mammoth turd? Be my guest. Want to be a sneaky thief rolling everywhere, donning nightingale armour and flinging arrows about from the shadows? Want to smell like a wet dog? Be a werewolf! Want to be paler than a ginger in winter? Become a vampire! I don’t know about you but my playthroughs always devolved to a bow wielding prowler, as much as I told myself to try something new.
What’s great about Skyrim is the fact that you can dump hundreds of hours into it and barely even touch the main story. There’s so much to discover, and so many other interesting things to do which is something we’ve become accustomed to in Bethesda’s releases. I remember one of the many random caves I entered having an old man sat at a table right near the entrance and it turns out he is blind. If you just walk past him and slaughter the rest of his clan, you can hear him asking what the noise is, not leaving his seat. Obviously you can leave him there to sit next to the corpses of all his family but that just wouldn’t be humane, it’s only right to send him to Valhalla alongside them. What’s great about this is there is a book infront of him as if he is reading it, but if you click on it all the pages are blank.
In Skyrim you can even drop pots on peoples heads like Kevin from Home Alone, only instead of defending your house from intruders the roles are reversed. Covering their heads so they can’t see you pilfering through their log cabin, I know you tried it at least once, you’d make a fine addition to the Thieves Guild. The difference between you and Harry or Marv though is the only time you’d get your barnet set on fire in Skyrim is when you’re fighting a dragon, not from some pesky little NPC kid.
You’ll often find yourself wandering through Dwemer ruins, filled with ancient technological marvels lost to time. These ruins are exactly how I imagine Santa’s workshop to be, steam bellowing, machinery tirelessly chugging away creating toys year in year out. The Dwemer enslaved Snow Elves keeping them locked away underground, eventually devolving them into the Falmer. This is also how I imagine the work ethic in Santa’s workshop, subjugating all his little elves to round the clock labour, working harder and for less money than a kid in a Nike factory. Come to think of it, we’ve never seen a Dwemer, and we’ve never seen Santa, so I think I might be on to something here.
To add to the Christmas mood you could even install a few themed mods. You want dragons to be a variety of reindeer, Alduin beaming at you from the start with a big glowing red nose? Go for it. You want to go around delivering presents to the citizens of Tamriel, whether they’ve been naughty or nice? Install a mod that turns arrows into presents, yeeting gifts from afar with deadly accuracy. I laugh imagining slow mo shots of shoddily wrapped boxes with the bow dangling off, bouncing off an unsuspecting bandits head. Muttering to themselves that it must have been the wind whilst stepping over the present you so lovingly prepared for them. If this isnt’ a mod already, it really needs to be.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the most popular games ever to be released, it’s not without its shortcomings but it definitely deserves it. I know for a fact that one day I will more than likely play through it again, and have a blast doing so. Imagine the hype when we get to see gameplay for The Elder Scrolls VI, man I can’t wait.
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