The Skyrim Midnight Release: Then
It's been five years since the initial release of the critical darling, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a entry into the series that, to be honest, I didn't find all that appealing, but regardless of the opinion, albeit an unpopular one, I have towards the game, tonight marks the return of the land of Skyrim, and the return of old memories.
- •The year was 2011, I was a sophomore in high school, and before Skyrim came out, I was still hot off the heels of Bethesda's previous entry, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The Elder Scrolls as a series was, and still is, beloved by all people: casuals, women, man-children like myself, some of my teachers in high school, legitimatelyI did not see my AP English teacher for a few days after it came out, and so on and so on. The point being is that within these games, there is this level of shared wonder that encompasses and breaks all social barriers thought to limit people from enjoying the medium. Wondrous it truly is too to see everyone talking of dragons and gouls, dungeons and gold, adventure and mystery, all without judgment or discrimination. It's a time to be alive.
- •So, one can imagine, to no surprise, the excitement and hype that swirled within the collective consciousness of the gaming community, and myself, when a year before, Bethesda announced that indeed all of our waiting had paid off since the 2005 release of Oblivion and we could finally return the continent of Tamriel. However, instead of theplainness and order of Cyrodiil, the imperial homeland, Skyrim offered us a chance to experience something beyond the sights of the Imperial City and the marshes of Morrowind. Nordic architecture, the graceful dragons that breezed through the skies, bellowing wintery mountain tops wrought with adventure, deep desolated dwarven ruins shrouded in mystery, and most importantly, an updated graphics engine for the time.
- •November 11, 2011. This was the date we were all counting down the days until it came. I remember at least once a day when I came to first period, I would sit down next to my friend Bobby, at the time, and we would go over each shred of information that was leaked out to us before the game came. "Did you know you can solely survive in the gameworld by hunting widelife?" "Did you know that they implemented a supply and demand economy?" "Ooh the Dark Brotherhood is back!" "I hope it's as awesome as the Nightmother quest in Oblivion!" These are just a handful of statements that were tossed around waiting for our cherished publisher Bethesda to release their next game.
- •The days came and the days went, and the time of that legendary date started to creep on us. 11•11•11. I remember leading up to that Friday all I could focus on was my excitement. Classes dragged, evenings felt hollow, sleep was a time machine to get me closer to it. Yeah, that probably wasn't healthy of me back then, but it was high school, sowhatever.
- •November 10, 2011 had finally came, and the hours until midnight were creeping by ever so slowly. The cold November air seeped into our bones, I think it was in the low 30s that night, and we, Bobby and a handful of my other friends, huddled together in line sharing stories of our glory from Oblivion, in our reverie finding warmth from the world.Hot cider was shared, a raffle was held, new friends were forged in the chill of the night. A proper celebration for a properly placed hype train.
- •The clock struck down, and midnight approached. The doors of GameStop swung open, and in a calm frenzy, one by one,the crowd, all brought to this pilgrimage by the same united cause, excitedly entered to grab their copy of the game and then sprint out the door to get to their vehicles as fast as possible. I vividly remember watching severalof us leave the the store, holding the game above our heads like we were barbarians screaming, "Skyrim!!!"
- •That's really the end of my little story here, as I got my game, and just like the rest, spent no time sticking around to bask in the night; I wanted to play the game, and I did. Long into the night, early into the morning, skipping school that day to play throughout the day. It was glorious. That was then, and the times have changed, I've grownolder, wiser, more reserved, and more weary of the games industry as a whole. Will anything capture that wonder like Skyrim did all those years ago? Probably not, but you know what? Tonight is the night Skyrim is being rereleased, and, honestly, while not being on par with the first time Skyrim came out, I'm still pretty damn excited. This time, for a very special reason, and if who I think is reading this is reading this, you can probably guess why. List to follow later tonight.