My Skryim hype, boundless though it may be, lingers particularly on certain features of the game. So to please myself, and because it’s International Skyrim Week, I’m going to list them.
1. Many games have companion dogs, but Skyrim has Irish Wolfhounds. This is enormously exciting for me, you see, because my dog is an elderly Irish Wolfhound cross. Best dogs ever! Though I’m going to have to abuse the console command and make mine immortal, or there will actually be fits of weeping when it gets killed by a dragon.
2. Speaking of companions, incidentally, you can marry NPCs in Skyrim. And NPCs of any gender, which should be a “duh” thing, but since it’s been a big issue in other games, I’m really pleased that Bethesda incorporated this without fuss.
I plan to direct all my moves at the Argonians, naturally, but who knows where I’ll end up.
3. Guys, mountains. And have I already mentioned that whenever the BBC Planet Earth documentaries get to the part about the arctic (and the boreal forests, and so forth), I actually get a little choked-up and watery-eyed? I have absolutely no idea why. I’ve never been there. It just has that effect on me – like hearing live string music. I’ll stop now, before I further devastate my Bad Dude public persona.
4. The crafting element of the game is looking to be pretty robust, and I can’t wait to get at it. I’ve seen the perks for smithing, but I hope there’s also a leather-crafting component somewhere in there.
5. Lock-picking! Playing Oblivion, I never lost my desire to open every chest I came across, even though I knew they’d only contain a pair of calipers and a leek, or equivalent randomised mismatched junk. Also, my good friend Sachi has been teaching me how to pick locks in real life. I feel like this should improve my chances in Skyrim, though it almost certainly won’t.
6. And loot, of course – a game as big as this will have an enormous range of it. These sorts of games have trained me from a very early age to be soothed by the act of taking shiny objects out of pixelated wooden chests. Now it’s the only thing that keeps the cortisol at a manageable level.
7. The character creation system has a size-slider. As far as I can tell it doesn’t offer a very expansive range, especially for female characters, but it’s an option I’m always excited to see. It makes me a little more optimistic that future games will offer a fuller spectrum of diverse body-types (I know I mentioned this in my Crossing posts too, but it doesn’t get talked about nearly enough).
8. Houses, of course, filled with all my shiny things. Best of all will be the ones I mod for myself.
9. And I don’t know, everything! SKYRIM!