When I first played Skyrim on the Xbox 360, it completely blew my mind and shattered all the barriers I had previously associated with gaming. Hundreds of hours of unique content? An end-game that never ended? Limitless opportunities to become the ultimate mage-warrior-assassin killing machine? Skyrim seemed pretty sweet during that initial one hundred hour playthrough.
Fast-forward a little over two years later, I decide to pick it up on PC in the form of the Legendary Edition, so I’d have access to the Dragonborn DLC I’d never had the opportunity to play. Well, being a busier person than I was then, I realized that another one hundred hour playthrough just wasn’t happening. So, I decided to do a little modding (PC master race benefits apply) and got myself back to where I was two years ago on the Xbox inside of around thirty minutes on the PC. I was already up and running around as a vampire lord, one of the things on my to-do-in-Skyrim list that I never accomplished on the Xbox, but once I had my shits and giggles force-choking people, I started to wonder: Is there anything inherently FUN about Skyrim?
When I had to work my way up the absurdly long food chain to becoming a master mage with one thousand plus magicka back on the Xbox, the thrill was in seeing those stats rise, slowly but steadily. Having the ability to turn yourself into God instantaneously on the PC, well, it reveals an upsetting fact about Skyrim: the core gameplay isn’t fun. Since I’m not really an RPG guy most of the time, some of you might already understand that the fun is in the stat increases and not in the gameplay itself, but that pains me. I had such fond memories of Skyrim, and within thirty minutes with the PC version all of that love and nostalgia is gone, replaced by a sense of boredom at my omnipotent modding powers.
I’d go so far as to say modding might very well be the thing that ruined Skyrim on the PC for me. If it weren’t for the ability to overpower myself in the time it takes to make a good sandwich, I probably would be stuck on Skyrim like a fly caught in molasses. Alas, it seems that with great power comes minimal attention spans.