Bethesda (when they're not acting like prats about someone daring to use the word "Scrolls" in a title) produced one of my all time favourite games: Fallout 3.
It sits atop my list of Desert Island Discs because the Capital Wasteland is simply one of the most engaging virtual environments thus far created, and within which; exploration is rewarded. Very few games actually let you do what you want. They claim to, but in actual fact; just lead you 'round by the nose or provide you "hints" that both insult your intelligence and ruin the atmosphere.
Fallout 3 leaves you alone to enjoy its irradiated wonderland at your leisure. Uncovering the mythology for yourself by sifting through the remains of the obliterated DC area.
You'd think then, with my obvious love of such games, that I would have picked up a copy of Skyrim. Maybe even two. One to play and one to caress gently during the loading screens.
Well; no. I haven't, and won't for some time.
Skyrim just doesn't blow my skirt up, for the simple fact that: I've seen it all before. Over the last 20 years, I've played Hero Quest, Fighting Fantasy, various Dungeons and Dragons video games, Ultima Underworld and before any of that, one of my favourite films was Willow.
On top of all the media, I actually live in a part of the world that's been settled for the better part of 10,000 years, so there are a fair few ruins here. I could walk for a few minutes in pretty much any direction from where I'm currently sitting and be stood outside a castle, a ruined abbey, an ancient church, a Neolithic standing stone, the site of an old battleground or some grand old hall. I spent much time as a kid in Newcastle, which is built over the epic fortification that marked the Roman Empire's most northern boarder. I passed a bit of that every day on the way to school!
That level of exposure kinda makes you numb to the visuals of a Tolkin-esque virtual world, and why the post-apocalyptic wastelands of Fallout are, to me, a more exotic destination that the fantasy realms of Elder Scrolls.
I'm not saying I wouldn't ENJOY Skyrim. I might find it to be one of the most engrossing games I've ever played, but for now; I'm more looking forward to nabbing a copy of Saints Row 3.