It’s true; Skyrim is evil and all-consuming. I apologize to everyone, most importantly my girlfriend. I knew ahead of time. I knew what it would be like, but I played it anyway, and I’m sorry. It will end. I promise.
Like tomorrow, when I pick up Mass Effect 3. At that point, all gaming is Shepard-related, save for what is work-related. That’s just the hard truth, and you know I always hand out hard truth (sort of).
You wanna know what else is the hard truth? I have a new article about the Mass Effect series as a whole up on FPSGuru.com; you should go check it out. Really, go check it out! Shoo! I’m off to go play the last bit of Skyrim that I can before who-knows-when. Dragons to kill!
A week goes by and I cave. Not intentionally, mind you; I had assistance. My pal Apophus saw that I was thinking about picking up Skyrim and he was all “hey, I finished it on the xbox and won’t be needing it any time soon – want me to mail it your way?” Isn’t that nice of him? I thought so.
So now I’m a little ways in and yeah, it’s pretty. I haven’t gotten far enough to really say much more than that. I’ll let you know as I get further along.
On top of the pull to play Skyrim is, of course, not a desire to play Mass Effect, but rather a desire to have my Mass Effect 2 saved game exactly how I want it for Mass Effect 3 in a short few weeks. For those of you who are uninitiated in the ME franchise, each sequel allows you to import your saved game from the previous title, not for weapons and armor and such, but for the choices that you made in the previous game(s). Who lives, who dies, and how you reacted to certain challenges in the past remain to affect the present. This is all fine and dandy, but that means that for people like me, there’s some do-over stuff I gotta take care of in order to be where I want come March 6th. Sure, it sounds a little like work, but I think the payoff will be worth it to me. We’ll see.
Having played ME2 a few times now, I’m not worried about the time sink that it’ll be to burn through it. Even with the DLC stuff that I have, I don’t anticipate it taking that long. The game flows smoothly, easily connecting from one subplot to another, and is fairly simple to plan out in advance, once you know the game well enough. ME1 is a little more tedious. What with the extremely robust skills and inventory system, every fight and item collection turns into a meta-game of what goes where on whom, turning what should be a quick jaunt through the galaxy into a snail’s race. So it goes.
Also out this week was Warp, a really cute/violent stealthy-type game from Trapdoor Inc. I demoed at PAX East last year. You’re this adorable little alien who crash-lands on Earth and is picked up by the military. You wake up in a research facility and are undergoing all sorts of bizarre tests, when suddenly you decide you’re done with that BS and teleport around. Yup, turns out, unbeknown to your captors, you can teleport a short distance, even at times inside of objects and/or people. Yup, people. So far it’s fun, fast-paced, and surprisingly gory (in an adorable sort of way). I’m not very far in, however, so I’ll have to keep you all updated as I progress.
As if all that wasn’t enough, I received an email from Microsoft urging me to “Add Warp to your House Party” and I was all “what the shit are you talking about, MS?” and followed the link like a good little consumer. Turns out they’re running some silly promotion wherein if I purchase all four of these designated upcoming “House Party” games from XBLA, then I get like 800MS Points back or something. Fine, fine, but what kind of crap games are they including, you may wonder to yourself (as I know I did). Turns out, three of the four I was already planning on purchasing – Warp, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, and I Am Alive (and just last week I was saying it wasn’t getting enough press – I AM PRESCIENT).
The fourth game is Nexuiz, an arena-based first person shooter that seems to be a mix between Smash TV, Halo, and Monday Night Combat. Will I give it a shot? Sure, why not? I mean, it started out as a Quake modification in the summer of 2001, became a multi-platform high quality FPS in 2005, and is now being remade with the CryENGINE 3 game engine. Of course I’ll check it out.
I feel that at this time it is important to mention that this post has been sitting in my queue all week, unfinished because I’ve been, well, playing Skyrim. More on that eventually. For now, the moral is – there are too many games in my queue. What a hard life I live.
I have made it through yet another day without purchasing Skyrim. This is getting more and more difficult.
I am beseiged on all sides with people wondering my problem. “It’s arguably the best single-player RPG ever,” says one friend. “It’s going to get Game of the Year,” says another. “WHY,” says a third. I’m reminded of an exchange I saw between two friends on facebook, in which one friend urged another “you should really get Skyrim,” to which the other replied “that’s kind of like saying ‘Hey dude – you should really get a divorce.’” Even without playing, I see the sad, realistic humor in this.
So what has kept me from trying out this gem of RPGs, this oasis in a sea of lesser games? First, I have a confession.
I never played Oblivion. [cue dramatic chipmunk]
I know, I’m a leper-outcast-unclean for this. How dare I even begin to write about single-player RPGs, yadda yadda yadda. Come on, it’s not like it’s the Jesus H. Christ of games (obviously that’s Ocarina of Time – arguments can be shut down in the comments; bring it). Seriously, though – I never played Oblivion (at least not past the character creation screen) and as a result, I feel like I should maybe play it before I get involved in Skyrim. Is that so?
I mean, here we have a really, really fleshed out world – full of life, death, monsters, plotlines, histories, magic, dragons, and war. I played Fallout 3; I know that full-on worlds can be totally amazing. Is it really that different? Is it really that unique? Please, tell me – I need to know.
I do own Oblivion, I’ve just never gotten around to actually playing it. Do I pop it in and get my ass in gear in preparation for Skyrim? Do I skip Oblivion and move directly on to Skyrim? I mean, I do plan on playing Skyrim at some point; too many people I know have practically forsaken their social lives for it (at least temporarily) to avoid indefinitely. Thus far, however, I’ve managed to hold out in hopes that I’ll distract myself enough with other games/activities long enough to make it to the magical point at which it drops in price from the initial $60 retail price to a more accessible level. This shouldn’t be hard, so long as I can hold out for another month. With March 6th being the drop date for Mass Effect 3, that should keep me occupied for a while, no?
That’s not a real question. Of course it will. It’s going to be boss. Hell, I should check my ME2 save game and make sure it’s where I want it to be, all ready for importing. Now that I think about it, I might have to replay ME1 just to get everything where I want it to be in ME2. Add in all the DLC that I have for ME2 (read: all of it) and my general lean toward being a completionist, and you have a sizable chunk of time. All this from someone who still never finished Alan Wake (what’s up with that talk of more from that world?). Maybe I’ll get to it – we’ll see.
Speaking of the beginning of March, I feel really bad for the upcoming Ubisoft Shanghai action/adventure game, I Am Alive. This thing has received very little press (as far as I’ve seen, anyway) and looks awesome (here, have another while you’re at it), but they’ve made the poor decision to drop March 7th, the day after BioWare‘s Mass Effect 3. What were they thinking? I’ll definitely be getting ME3, and at some point, I’ll get I Am Alive as well, but how much later? Who knows; that really depends on BioWare. Good luck, Ubisoft Shanghai.
All of that said, it’s looking like we’ve at least got a few good games coming up on the horizon. What games are in your Most Awaited list right now?