My oldest daughter and I were in line at Game Stop to pick up our copy of, “SKYRIM Elder Scrolls V” at 12:01 on 11-11-11. Bethesda, the same company that made “Fallout 3” the jaw dropping experience that it is has developed this latest offering. It is a massive – open experience game; in other words, within the world of SKYRIM you can go anywhere and do pretty much anything that you wish to do. The mountains in the background of all the towns and villages are all climbable – all waiting to be explored. As a matter of fact there are over 17 fully detailed miles of the world to discover. That’s a lot of dragons and giants to slay or befriend. The details are startling; from the veins in the individual leaves to the thatch on the roofs of the more cozy villages, if you are a gamer, a role-playing or Dungeons & Dragons fan then prepare to have your world rocked. Chick 1.0, or Mal Loup, as she is known in the world of SKYRIM has been doing a lot of exploring and she has barely scratched the surface. I’m looking forward to spending some quality time in SKYRIM myself in the near future.
That being said when one looks at where the industry came from to where it is now it boggles the mind. I remember playing on our Telstar system in 1976 and it was revolutionary. I believe it was a gift from my Aunt. It had not one, not two, but THREE versions of Pong on it! Remarkable. Our next game system was the Atari 2600 circa 1980. It came packaged with two joysticks with a single red button in the upper left corner and two paddle controllers to play games like, “Breakout” or “Pong”. The big advantage to the Atari 2600 was variety. No longer were gamers stuck with whatever was hardwired onto the motherboard of the game console – cartridges were the big innovation here. If you got tired or frustrated with one game you pulled it out and put another one in. Back in the early eighties games were about $20.00 a piece and therefore, out of my price range. I had to scrimp and save or see what was on sale in clearance (Some things never change). The advent of Jobs & Woz and all that came in their wake had me playing on PCs instead of consoles for several years and it wasn’t until the SEGA Genesis (1991) that I started playing consoles again. I remember my father-in-law after watching my mother-in-law playing, “Sonic the Hedgehog” on that SEGA Genesis saying that graphics probably could not get much better than that. I wish he were here to see his granddaughter play SKYRIM. From the Genesis we migrated to the SONY Playstation (1995); which was fast becoming a hit with my daughter (Chick 1.0). She was only about 4 but it bit her and the infection spread. From the Playstation we were given a Nintendo 64 by my mother-in-law who was tired of hers. We then acquired a Playstation 2, a Nintendo Game Cube (2001), a Nintendo Wii (2006) and then an Xbox 360 (2008). Each system strode forward by leaps and bounds. Who knew that Ones and Zeros could do such AWESOME things? I mention my family’s history with videogames so that I can show you where the state of the art was and then I can show you where it is at.
This is a screenshot of the Telstar, my first experience with videogames…
Here is a screenshot from Bethesda’s, Elder Scrolls V: SKYRIM, our latest experience with videogames…
Mind you this is not just an artist’s rendering – this is an actual screenshot. I can tell you when you are in there the entire world is textured and simply beautiful. I find myself just walking around staring at the scenery. I am a tourist in SKYRIM. I’m going to have to do more than that but for a gamer of a certain age it is hard not to stop and smell the finely pixilated & detailed flowers. It is a feast for the eyes. Seriously. Another factor here with SKYRIM is the fact that the entire world is open. I can tell you that it is certainly worth the trip. The fine people at Bethesda truly know what they are doing. Their last BIG game was Fallout 3, which is amazing. From what this humble traveler has seen thus far, SKYRIM has already surpassed it. I do not say that lightly.
Long days and pleasant nights, fellow adventurer. Be mindful; though, here there be dragons.
[Screenshot of the Telstar from thegameconsole.com]