Friday, March 2, 2012

Opinion: Skyrim

Opinion: Skyrim Isn’t Worth Your Time
Game of the year. An award? Or a time commitment?
Written by: Philip

2011 was a record setting year for video games. Not only did it have the greatest year of games this planet has ever seen, but I was actually able to play most of them. When I started this blog my dream was to appeal to the realistic gamer: people like you and me who love games with every fiber of our being but are forced by this cruel world to grow up and be adults, resulting in minimal time to ever play anything engaging. Donnie and I wanted to get a taste of what was out there, so we could relay the news to you of which games your precious time and money is best spent. Then after you’ve gotten home well after rush hour traffic, you’ve had dinner with your wife, and the kids are finally asleep, you don’t have to waste the 35 minutes of freedom on the wrong game.

At least it has good textures.
What do I mean by “wrong” game? I don’t just mean bad games, I mean even ones that might be good, but just aren’t worth it. And at my age in my stage of life I’ve got to say something that every fanboy will hate, Skyrim is the wrong game, and it’s just not worth my time.

For starters, Skyrim just isn’t my glass of root beer (oh man I love me some root beer). I don’t get how Bethesda can continuously release game after game that is broken, glitchy, and just overall ugly. It’s like they’ve got a reputation to uphold and they're trying to at this point. The characters have no expressions on them, movement and animation is awkward, and combat feels floaty and disjointed like you can’t ever really tell if you’re hitting anything. I honestly don’t get what the big draw is. Skyrim is big and ugly, but reviewers only stopped at the first word. It’s big. It’s too big.
Umm... that's his eager face.
Let’s pretend that Skyrim is a masterpiece, that they hired Naughty Dog to donate some of the extra graphics they have lying around, and they begged Big Huge to take care of their combat. Now the game looks and feels great, it would still take me a year or more to play my way through it. And I don’t want to go a whole year and have played only one game. Even if I was still a college freshman and had the hundreds of hours that this game requires, I would feel more productive at having beaten six other titles, all in half the time it would take to play Skyrim.
I think we might have something here.
I was an economics major in college and we solved equations for things called "utils", an imaginary measurement of use. Think of it as the amount of “happy” that you get from an item or experience. For example, I get 5 utils from watching the sun set, and 7 utils from skipping rocks, so I would enjoy my time more skipping rocks. It sounds retarded, but bear with me as it will help me make my point. The truth is that Skyrim is so big and it takes so long to accomplish anything in that game that I don’t get the same satisfaction, or number of utils, as I would playing another game for the exact same amount of time. So not only am I accomplishing little to nothing in the same amount of time, I’m not even enjoying it as much. In an hour of Uncharted I finished two chapters, progressed the plot, jumped from moving vehicles, escaped a sinking cruise liner, and watched some cutcsenes. In an hour of Skyrim I walked across a field, looted two dead bodies and spent the last 4 minutes deciding whether to drop the wicker basket or my wooden bowl so I could stay under the 300 lb. carry weight limit. Then I go to bed with zero utils and frustrated that the little time I actually had to spend on my favorite past time was a complete waste.
"I could have played six rounds of Team Fortress 2 in that time."
The point I’m trying to make here ladies and gentlemen, is that there are so many amazing games out there, ones that you can easily start and stop and get your daily fix. Now of course you’re entitled to your own opinion of the latest Elder Scrolls installment, but for me, life’s just too short to play Skyrim.

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