The lights are on
There's often something undefinable about the games that we truly love; a quality that isn't captured by logic. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is on many gamers' lists of favorite games, and like me, you've likely spent a great amount of time doing any number of things in Skyrim's world. My time in Skyrim is marked by grand adventures and epic fights, but also by extensive inventory management. Crazy? That's the beauty of Skyrim.
I usually divided my time in Skyrim into two equal parts: I spend one play session roaming the world, doing quests, and getting into trouble, and the following one crafting and managing my inventory. Game Informer creative director Jeff Akervik always gives me crap for spending so much time on what he considers the mundane aspect of the game, but for me taking hours making items, selling stuff, and plotting out my skill constellations not only satisfies my natural tendency to keep things tidy, but it's also a natural part of growing my character.
Skyrim nicely ties its crafting, enhancements, and smithing (and I don't even dabble in cooking or mining!) with its multi-faceted skill constellations for complementary systems that not only give you a tangible object at the end of your hard work, but also improve your character. I spend hours plotting out exactly which perks I want to get on the constellations and then work backwards from there to see what I have to do to achieve them.
There's also the necessary process of decluttering your inventory from all the potions, unused weapons, and other miscellanea, which ties into another time suck for me in the game – arranging my houses. Apart from upgrading the place, it's nice to have a well-appointed storehouse of stuff – you never know when you might need a particular item that you don't necessarily want to carry around with you all the time.
None of this is revolutionary for a video game. However, Skyrim is so well constructed that the allure when you place it all in the context of the game world and your moment-to-moment existence is powerful. Legends are created through grand adventures, but scratching out a living that has an impact on the world both large and small is immeasurable.
For some, the sprawling geography, random encounters, and wealth of quests is what makes Skyrim the kind of game that you never truly finish. I find these weighty components of the entire experience, but the more routine aspects of the game provide a backbone that makes it truly rich.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
I have put more time into Skyrim than any other single game. Good times!
I was playing Skyrim the other day and was amazed to think of how much time I spent hoarding items and trying to raise my crafting skills. The time sure goes by fast.
I think my favorite memories of Skyrim also occured during the most time consuming way of playing. For an entire playthrough, I made fast-travelling forbidden. This made even once simple tasks such as going from Riften, where my home was, to Solitude an adventure and a half. It made me very conscience of my routes (going by foot through Labyrithian when you are level 7 is not a plan that will leave you living) allowed me to find some interesting hidden stuff (The hand holding the sword in the lake) and made me get more creative with my loadout (So ranged weapons are a thing). Skyrim is a time-sink and a 1/2 but I don't regret a single moment running through it.
I enjoyed hunting dragons and finding dragon priests. Traversing the tundra (for the first time) while running from trolls and tigers is probably one of the most terrifying experiences I've ever had.
I wanted to like this game but I couldn't. Besides exploration, everything else about the game felt very mediocre, from the combat to the characters there were really nothing interesting in the land of Skyrim. Sure you can be whoever/whatever you want but the game felt like a giant MMORPG without the online components.
Without a meaningful involvement of a the central character and very thin plot involving a brooding war, this game failed to entertain me any longer than 2 weeks.
In retrospect I can now see why Bethesda opted to make an MMO out of the franchise since that is what its best suited for.
My biggest time sink is fallout 3. Favorite game of all time cant wait for 4. About 300 hours into that, 400 in new vegas, 250 in skyrim and a few hours in oblivion because i just started it, thank you bethesda!
Need to complete every quests and DLC before Fallout 4 releases.
I consistently say to all my friends that I prefer Oblivion to Skyrim. Skyrim just had something missing for me. Perhaps I was disappointed due to my high expectations, as it did what nearly any sequel should. By refining the mechanics that made the game great, and adding new experiences to the mix, Skyrim was a bigger beast. But still, I prefer every detail of Oblivion. From the magnificent soundtrack to the gorgeous landscape of Cyrodiil. So good.
I spent about an hour dropping all my gems and carefully picking up each one and placing it in a kettle to make a nice centerpiece. A few days later I was left with a floor absolutely covered in gems because I mistakenly used a kettle that was part of the house decor.
Skyrim is a great game. I took me 135 hours to plat, and there's still alot I can do, plus alot more from DLC. So much content in this game.
I've probably put more time into Skyrim than any other game I've played.
You sound exactly like me with how I played these open world games. I've spent a ton of hours into this game too, but it is still not my major Time Sink. Very nice choice Kato.