Yes, buried underneath a Woot! Monkey, a Mario doll, and a windshield wiper, is the massive, 600+-page hardbound strategy guide for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Unlike its predecessors Morrowind and Oblivion, I did not do a deep dive into this game. In fact Kelly, who has been keeping the disc warm in his Xbox for the past few weeks, has put more time into the game than I have. So why haven’t I played this game since the weekend after it launched?
Saints Row: The Third happened. Remember when I complained about video game releases? Modern Warfare 3 had been out and Kelly and I played Survival mode for a week or two (it took me weeks before I finished the last two hours of the campaign), and then Skyrim came out. Since Kelly, Rob, and I split up reviewing duties for these three games, so effectively, I put in one hard week into it before I had to move onto Saints Row. But even after I was done with Saints Row, I wasn’t quite done with it. Skyrim is a game that is incredibly difficult to slip back into when you’ve been out for a time, which is, unfortunately, how I digest my games these days. This is why I don’t really mind 6-8 hours games these days because I can finish them before I lose time or interest.
But then, I also have a weird tic. When I was in college, I picked up the much-anticipated espionage action game Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell for the original Xbox. I’d made it about two thirds of the way through when I lent it to our comic artist Cody. Since I was the only one of my friends who actually had a job, I landed in his apartment a few days later and found he was basically done with the game. I never played it again. The same thing happened when Kelly played through Deus Ex: Human Revolution (which is why our review came weeks after everyone else’s). It’s partially why I haven’t returned to Star Wars: The Old Republic now that I hear Sam playing it all the time. I don’t think it’s egotistical (although I certainly am!), but some rooted issue that I want to play something unique, like some hipster quality. If someone else is playing it, they’re probably doing it faster than I am and they’re relating their (sometimes spoiler-y) experiences to me and I want to play the game less. I don’t get to sit down and play games all that often, so I want that time to be special. On top of that, I don’t really like watching narratives end. I regularly put myself most of the way through a campaign before dropping it for a month and finishing the last ten percent.
I’ll find some time one day to sink back into it, but I don’t know if I’ll get my life back again…