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Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:30

The Skyrim trap


There is a significant and dangerous problem with playing the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim .


As we come out of November, a month littered with AAA game releases designed to garner your gift giving disposable cash, I need to apologise to a few people:

Number one on the list is developer Naughty Dog who's third in the series of my favourite PS3 exclusive franchise, Uncharted, is another rollicking cinematic adventure with Nathan Drake searching through and uncovering more mysteries of the ancients.

I have played through several hours of Uncharted: Drakes Deception and enjoyed every moment of it, but right now I am exploring the eerie dungeons and dens of Skyrim, soaking in the atmosphere and thrills of every caverns and corridor.

Likewise Batman: Arkham City has been temporarily shelved as I roam freely around the Skyrim landscape rather than Gotham City looking for adventure, quests and bad-guys (as well as the occasional good guy) to quell.

The attraction of just one more level up, one more venture into the unknown crannies and nooks on offer in Skyrim is enough for me to ignore the callings of the seemingly more mundane offering of an unpacked Gears of War 3, Modern Warfare 3 and Assassin's Creed: Revelations.  All great games that I will get too, soon, I promise.

Unfortunately [actually, fortunately] Skyrim has me trapped in a number of ways, the land is captivating, vast and beckoning, the people relate interesting stories and quests and there is no longer the (Oblivion) feeling of the game throwing level appropriate monsters at the player, instead it feels like you can forge your own dragonborn destiny by choosing were to wander and who or what to confront.



Skyrim draws me in so much that I haven't even been tempted yet to blow the dust off the Nintendo Wii and pop in the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, a game that undoubtedly will also draw me into its world, but for now will have to wait.

Yep, my real life endeavours also have to wait.  Who wants to do taxes when there is alchemy to be done?  Why fix that broken pipe when a new suit of enchanted armour can be forged?  Why mow that overgrown grass when there are dragons to be hunted?  Why eat in the real world when the magical loot and treats on offer in Skyrim can be so appealing?

Skyrim is indeed a masterpiece of video game construction, and when I get back to the keyboard, some many levels ahead, I may let you know more about its nuances (including some of the hilarious glitches that can from time to time befoul its coding), but for now, sorry, but I must get back to battling giants and making friends with vampires.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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