Playing Skyrim again is like coming home after a long absence away. You greet people you haven’t communicated with for years. You take a look around relishing the familiarised surroundings that nostalgia has elegantly preserved in your memory for years. You arrive in town bound in shackles in the back of a horse drawn carriage, prepared to face the executioners Axe. It’s like coming home at Christmas! And it’s rather nice to be back. Your almost breathing in the piercing Skyrim air. Exploring the glacial terrain and harsh subterranean labyrinths. Oftentimes just gazing wistfully at the mountains and pure expanse of the continent, with the beautifully glistening spires casting an eerie shadow across the holds and cities of Skyrim. And it’s curious just how comforting familiarity can be? It’s like I haven’t been away. Sure it takes a little time to become adequately competent in hacking down dragons or necromancers without regenerating my health with restoration spells. I have to remind myself to engage with enemies with a little more covert nuance to negate the need for such drastic rejuvenating incantations. But it doesn’t take long to master the basics, improve your most primary skills and slay dragons quicker than Skyrim guards sustain arrows to their knees. Oh yeah, I’ve even missed those guys too. “Skyrim: Remastered” has ironically arrived at a time when the British weather has eloquently departed, morphing from humid sunshine to straight up nipple hardening winter, completely bypassing the Autumnal season in the process. If only Game Of Thrones could’ve done that?! And my approach to the remastered version is similar to the one I adopted when Skyrim was originally released back in 2011.
I’m generally conforming to the stipulated pageantry of Skyrim and it’s dependency on my goodwill and leadership. I’m preserving the sovereignty of the empire and it’s residents. Courteously completing errands for the companions and any other menial tasks for the greater metropolitan areas with efficiency, professionalism and exerting a great deal of effort to reduce the number of casualties that have been inflicted by my clumsy and sluggish swing of my sword, only engaging in more hostile encounters when my sub par stealth skills have alluded me. I do revel in my vocation as an honourable transient, protecting the innocent from the corrupted whims of authority. Defending the helpless civilians from the devastating aggression of vicious dragons. Stripping the carcasses of vanquished foes for armour, gold and anything that can be sold for a reasonable price. And collecting substantial rewards (cash) for my acts of valour and defiance against those that attempt to obstruct my honourable deeds. Before long I’m sitting in a tavern nursing a pint of mead, warming myself by the hearth, with an inventory fully laden with enough apples to sustain a distillery for months and sizeable quantities of arrows to mount a small offensive against the knees of every budding adventurer in Tamriel. In fairness the game still permits ample reward for noble deeds, but there’s just too much temptation to be just a little bit bad.
“So tell me a story that doesn’t concern your knee friend….?
Having tasted the corruption afforded by greed I decided that glory, feigned plaudits and disposable trinkets given as payment for my solitary and dangerous excursions were hardly befitting a Nord of such prominence, prompting my inauguration into the Thieves Guild. Larceny, murder and general insubordination soon became my bed fellow. Discretion is key, and having bested some of Skyrims most notorious crypts utilising the accommodating concealment of shadow I’m well facilitated in the ways of successful infiltration. Becoming an Archer of considerable proficiency is also highly beneficial when merged with stealth. I was soon rising through the ranks, ascending to the higher echelons to become leader of this infamous guild. And oh how I relished it. Your encouraged not to kill by your comrades, owing to some code of conduct that could besmirch the “honourable” traditions associated with this band of Thieves that steal coin, possessions and in my case, the very clothes potential marks are wearing! Pfft, sod that. I can tell you now that very few of my marks have been spared my blade, particularly the ones that disrespect me. It’s not as though being ordained as a Dragonborn has bestowed you with the luxury of quite civility, graciously escorting little old mages across the snow capped plains of Windhelm. Why is it acceptable to desecrate the tombs of the dead, slaughtering the necrotic perversions that roam these crypts – or in some cases pretend to be asleep? Yet it’s morally reprehensible to kill known bandits? Well as leader I can tell you things are going to change around here!
I’m not a bad Nord, I just do ethically bad things on occasions like stealing, murdering and thooming goats off mountains. Sometimes you can work up a thirst that can only be quenched by the case full of mead I pilfered from some sorry merchant foolish enough to greet me during my morning constitutional. As I stagger drunk and disorientated to my next sordid adventure, probably to abuse some Argonian tavern wench that has kindly permitted temporary accommodation after some wearisome quest. Why? Because that’s my right as a Dragon slaying Nord, that’s why. I’m here to save your ass….eventually. Grant me a little leeway! Sure there’s always a modest degree of remorse for my hostile actions that prevents me from going full Tarantino, with lingering desires to propose to the raggedy dressed merchant girl in Whiterun and settle into nonchalant monogamy. But then it doesn’t take long for me to equip my staff of destruction, now studded in gleaming runes and emitting an inferno to lightly singe prospective clients…..I mean enemies, murder my peasant wife in her sleep (I’m fairly certain she was canoodling with Cicero anyway) and go as mad as a heretic at a satanist convention! Within the confines of Skyrim’s borders, irrespective of my visibility being greatly compromised by the harsh ambient climate, I can still see clearly. I maybe a vessel for good, but that shouldn’t necessitate for one moment that I’m a good person. I’m un-tamable, unrelenting. I am the Dovahkiin and you’d better not cross me. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to teach the Dark brotherhood a thing or too.
Have you been playing Skyrim: Repackaged? What do you think of Remastered games? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.