Those of you who follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Raptr (and if you're not, why not?) know that I've finally been playing Skyrim. Actually, maybe it was my most recent blog posts that clued you in to that fact as well.

I had been waiting for the Legendary Edition to come out, figuring that by that point, most of the bugs would be out and hey, maybe I might actually have time for the game. We all know what time sinks the Elder Scrolls games can be, right?

So I picked it up, and started playing it.

And playing it.

And playing it.

And playing it.

(Empty Chair: *SLAP*)

Ahem. Yes, I played it. A lot. I didn't reach record levels of play, probably topping out over 100 hours, but nowhere near as much as I put into Oblivion. But I did play it quite a bit.

But I have a confession to make.

After a while, I started becoming...well...I'll admit it. Bored.

(Empty Chair: Now you've done it!)

(Okay, there were a few things that kept me going...)

I never did finish Oblivion. Not only didn't finish everything in it (is that even possible?). I never even finished the storyline. I found travelling through all of the gates and the fights I had there incredibly tedious after a while. It was with a sense of inertia that I finally just stopped playing it.

Now that's happened with Skyrim as well, though I didn't find the storyline quests nearly as bad as in Oblivion.

Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed the game. I was excited to put that disc into my Xbox, and I was sad that I only got a few hours in before I was heading off on vacation for 10 days. I loaded it up and had a lot of fun getting my character going, exploring the land, getting the quests together. For the first 50-60 hours of the game, i was having a blast!

At basically $1/hour, that's a great bang for your buck.

But then it started slowing down. I found myself trying to clear some of the quests from my list, but more kept getting added to it. I'd explore and find tons of locations so that, when the inevitable quest sent me there, I could fast-travel to it rather than finding it at that time. I got a follower, and I married her eventually (Lydia, in Whiterun). She sounded put-upon whenever I asked her to carry something for me (she sure says "I am sworn to carry your burdens" with a very plaintive tone). She died when I (SPOILERS) trapped the dragon at Dragonreach (END OF SPOILER) because I then went on to fast travel to a couple of different locations before suddenly realizing that she wasn't with me. Went back and there she was, face down. Whoops! Too much had already happened after she died for me to reload, so I just left her there.

But I digress.

As it became more and more tedious, I was determined to finish the storyline and the Thieves' Guild quests (I finished the Mage Guild one and never even started the Dark Brotherhood or Companions). I did find myself distracted sometimes, but for the most part that's where I concentrated. About 20 hours later, I was chasing Alduin into his realm, and hit a battle with four Deathlords (I'm at level 35), all alone (your companion can't join you there) and with no healing potions (or food!) left. I could turn the difficulty down, but I just finally decided "enough, I have The Last of Us that's been sitting on my table for two weeks after I was finally able to track down a copy." I had been feeling the slow drag of inertia (there's that word again) pulling against me, thinking that it was time to quit and move on.

It finally succeeded.

I know there is tons of stuff to do in Skyrim, tons of stuff that I never even scratched the surface! I looked at the achievements. I've never built a house (I bought three, but never built one). I never even knew you could adopt a child. There are still loads of caves to explore and bandits to kill. So much other stuff as well.

But I'm just tired. Maybe I'll go back to it one day and continue after recharging with other games, but given my track record for returning to games, i'm not optimistic. It may happen, though.

I know the Elder Scrolls series is well-loved by so many people. But I think, for me, they are just too big. They are epic games, but maybe sometimes that's a bad thing?

I'm glad I bought them and played them. If you get even 60 hours of entertainment out of a game nowadays, that's a success! It was well worth the money.

But at this point, i can't see myself ever finishing an Elder Scrolls game.

(Empty Chair: BURN HIM!!!!!)

Fans of these games, what's your secret? Do you ever truly finish them? Not just the story, but all of the various guild quests and do you ever have an empty quest book? Bunches and bunches of minor quests abound! Does it ever end?

I can't even imagine *replaying* it if you're actually completing as much of the game as possible. Sure, if you're mainly doing the story and enough side stuff to level up your character, then replaying it so you can join the other faction might be ok. But playing 150+ hours and then restarting?

I am in awe if you're able to do that.

Now I'm with Joel and Tess, escorting Ellie through the infected wastelands of a major city. And I'm actually enjoying myself again.

It's been a few days.


(and I'm waiting for the first smartass in the group to chime in on this post)