Opinion

COLUMN: Games introduce world of adventure

I dragon shout in my sleep.

It’s a phrase I ran across in online forums. I instantly knew what it referred to.

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim was released in early November 2011 and was created by Bethesda Game Studios. It was released for PC, PlayStation and Xbox platforms. Players are free to explore an open world full of perils, triumphs and sorrows.

While I haven’t played the game in almost a month because I’ve been way too busy, this is definitely one that has longevity and offers players hours of adventure.

The music of the game was created by Jeremy Soule, who has created music for several games including Neverwinter Nights and Guild Wars. It adds to the games ambience and whisks the players into the world.

The tunes help immerse the player into the story and sends chills down their spines during dramatic moments. Soule is one of my favourite music game composers. My favourite game he composed for is Icewind Dale. There are several fan-made tributes to one of the games songs, The Dragonborn Comes. My favourite fan-made video can be found on YouTube, www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z9TdDCWN7g.

Players are the dragonborn, who absorb powers from dragons. They can choose from many races and abilities. Players tailor their character to suit their play style.

Some people could spend half an hour just wandering the countryside from one town to the next. Why not? Adventure usually lies just around the next bend, whether it’s bloodthirsty bandits, a traveller in distress or a fire-breathing dragon.

The game has already had a few patches to fix some bugs in it. One of the most unpopular ones made the dragons fly backward, away from players. It also messed up the player collector’s home, especially the bookworms who take pride in collecting every volume in the game and creating a personal library.

Skyrim boasts an impressive number of tomes for players to peruse, ranging from lore and history to adventure guides on the dangers of trolls.

Who needs an e-book reader when you have hundreds of titles to choose from? OK, the tomes aren’t literary masterpieces and only span a few pages each but they are still entertaining.

The Internet is full of user-made videos of player escapades, from those who obviously spent way too much time gathering gourds to fill an entire throne room, to throwing hundreds of cheese wheels down a mountainside. For some reason filling every conceivable room with cheese wheels and gourds has become a favourite pastime of many players and YouTube is full of videos of it.

This game isn’t for children. Please parents, stop buying these kinds of games for your kids. It’s far too inappropriate.

Downsides include the standard hack and slash, hand-to-hand combat manoeuvres, however, some of the slow motion finishing moves are cool to watch.

I’ve had a few graphic glitches that weren’t game breakers, but running around with a character without a face can be a bit disturbing.

Also, trying to find an invisible dragon terrorizing the countryside is challenging.

Player forums have reported other problems such as the game constantly crashing. I’m not sure if that is a hardware problem the player has or programing glitches, as it hasn’t happened to me.

Downsides for character development includes my avatar’s hairstyle leaving much to be desired – helmets are good to protect the noggin and ensure you don’t look like a dork.

So far I haven’t found many cool, colourful robes that make you feel awesome. Unlike the heavy armor wearers who can craft ebony and glass armor and look really cool, the light armor folks are left with the dregs they loot off monsters.

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