So another year has gone by. 2016 was a good year for gaming as The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy, both long awaited games, finally hit our controllers, and PlayStation VR finally landed on our….faces. Alas, 2016 saw the loss of so many beloved people from Alan Rickman (star of the best Christmas film) to George Michael (star of the best Christmas song).
The end of the year means that it’s time for us, as I’m sure you’ve already seen, to pick our Games of the Year. Overwatch has certainly been the game I’ve played the most, clocking over a day of game time in the current competitive season alone. Final Fantasy XV has been the most surprisingly good, and to me Uncharted 4 was the most disappointing (sorry, all!); and that’s coming from a man who wears Nate’s ring around his neck everyday.
There could be only one GOTY for me, a game that was conceived before the time of Brexit, Trump and vegan-hated fivers…
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a game that stole my heart back in 2011, and this year’s Special Edition has seen me fall once more. Skyrim must now be considered to be one of the most versatile, enjoyable and remarkable RPGs to ever grace a PS4. It allows for third and first-person gaming, your decisions completely change the game (a mark of any good RPG in my book), and contains lore that can really grab you if you let it.
The game sure has its fair share of bugs, even in its remastered form, but it’s Bethesda, so I’d be upset if it didn’t! Despite them, a story is told that makes you feel like you are a part of this world of Deadra and Aedra, Jarls and War, Thieves and Assassins. You are not a gamer, no; you are the Dragonborn, resisting the temptation to shout “Fus Ro Dah” at your TV, making your Samsung flat screen feel the full force of your Thu’um.
I’ve been playing Skyrim for a long time. From the PS3 era to now, turns out I’m at about a game time of 500 hours and it’s so easy to arrive at that number. playing as three different characters, each one changing the game and how those around you interact.
My Wood Elf spurned by the Thalmor for being the wrong kind of Elf and hated by the nords for being an Elf at all… He was good with a bow though.
My Nord loved by the natives and loathed by the elves. I was destined to be a stormcloak from Alduin’s first visit in Helgen.
Many games these days offer a short campaign with little replay value (Uncharted 4 and Call Of Duty: IW) and try to make up for it by adding a Multiplayer mode. I concede that these days COD is more of a multiplayer game which just so happens to have a campaign. Skyrim offers a string of quest-lines that each one would feels like a game in and of itself. Is it a bit ridiculous that you, the Dragonborn is also the Harbinger, Listener, Gulid Master and many more titles? Yes, of course it is but does it make me titter that it feels like the ancient nord’s prophecies all seem to converge on you? Like some kind of medieval job-lot? You better believe it!
Once you’ve finished all of those stories, which would take you a while, you then have a host of quests to complete. From the Hangover quest to the CSI:Windhelm adventure that sees you catching the Butcher. You can play Skyrim for hours without even touching any of the Main Story beyond the prologue.
Skyrim: SE has shown a great shift in the wind for consoles. The first game on PS4 to allow for Mods. Mods that allow for everything from smoother water texture to adding new quests and weapons. Could the introduction of Mods finally take a chunk out of the side of HMS PC Master Race?
It may surprise some of you that I am a bit of a nerd but I’ve never fallen deep into a lore of anything. Never have I cared about the back story of much. I love Harry Potter (Go Hufflepuff) but I couldn’t tell you much beyond the basic. I love marvel films but not much past knowing that Deadpool was written to be a ridiculous spoof of Deathstroke. I never learnt Klingon or learnt how to fight with a lightsaber…. OK, that last one is untrue but we were all 9 once. Skyrim however along with the entire Elder Scrolls has this deep history spanning millennia, all of it extremely interesting. The story of the Infernal City after the events of Oblivion or the tale of how Tiber Septim III was imprisoned and impersonated for years by his mage? They may not be specific to Skyrim but this game brings many, including myself, into the world that exists in Tamriel.
I have found my self having an affair with an urge to learn a little Dovah, which is the Dragon Language. I shan’t because I don’t have the time or the inclination to do so as I feel I must draw a line in how nerdy I am.
Krosis, I digress.
Skyrim: SE has not been the game I’ve played the most, it is not the game that I have crazed to progress in. Skyrim has been the world I have entered for supreme escapism and a comfortable few hours of adventure. Skyrim will possibly forever be in my top 5 games for all the reasons I’ve said but also because of it holding a special place in my heart. Skyrim was the first game I’d earned a Platinum Trophy and was the first game past the Assassin’s Creed trilogy to really interest me as far as the story beyond the game was concerned.
I promise next year I will select a game from 2017 but for this long year of ours, It has to be the game that allowed us to escape it all and with an equally long name.