The thing I look for most in video games is a great story to complement solid gameplay. I rarely play games just to kill time, instead treating them as another portal to immersive fictional worlds. What's atypical for me about Skyrim is that I didn't give a hoot about the story or the world. I haven't played any other games in the series, and thus had no background information. I wasn't motivated to find out any of the lore, and I really only played the main quest to complete it and get more dragon shouts. And because of the wide-open nature of the game, the story actually isn't meant to be cohesive; the world is an open book for the player to write. While I respect that, it's not my cup of tea. I prefer a railroaded narrative that develops inevitably as I play. Somehow, though, Skyrim captivated me. Because I could tool around the countryside fighting whatever I wanted, building my skills to chuck bigger fireballs and crafting cooler swords out of rare metals, I kept playing and playing. There was tons of ways to develop, and tons of things to do, even if I had no particular emotional attachment to the characters or setting. Just taking the quests as little one-off adventures was immensely satisfying. There was so much to do, and the level-up system was streamlined enough for only a casual RPG player to enjoy. Any game that lacks significant narrative appeal for me yet still causes me to invest 50+ hours has to be counted as a success.
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