If you haven’t noticed yet, it is getting cold for us northern “hemispherees”. Specifically in here Chicago, we had snow on Halloween. After daylight savings time has hit us once again, the nights grow darker and colder with each passing day, and all I want to do now is go home and play Skyrim. What better way to avoid the cold by plunging yourself knee deep in digital snow? Couple that with the Climates of Tamriel mod or Frostfall- Hypothermia Camping Survival mod and I may as well just step outside in my underwear.
This happens every year about this time for some odd reason. I wasn’t able to play Skyrim at launch due to some hardcore classes I was taking in grad school that required my utmost attention and focus. “11.11.11” was all I saw on the internet and even on billboards in downtown Chicago. The Dovahkiin was staring me right in the face, telling me to give in to my baser instincts and play the newest Elder Scrolls game. Friends on Steam kept alerting me that they were in-game in Skyrim, exploring and questing.
I was extremely jealous.
I eventually got through the class, and rewarded myself by building a brand new gaming rig to handle the beauty of this game. My laptop was okay at the time, and would have run it on lower settings, but I was ready to dive into Skyrim and experience all the graphical goodness it had to offer.
After 150 hours or so, I hung it up on the digital shelf. A slew of games came out that I had been wanting to play but couldn’t get my mind of The Elder Scrolls V. But when winter 2012 came back around, I found myself itching to play again. The Hearthfire expansion had just been released, so why not jump back in and set up my own estate? This subsequently led me to continue developing my Khajiit thief/assassin and Breton battlemage. I played through the Dragonborn DLC and low and behold, it was spring 2013.
I hung Skyrim back up on the shelf. No more DLC was to be released, so the game was complete as far as Bethesda was concerned. And I thought I was pretty much done with it as well. I played through a bunch of other games during that time as well, some of which I have reviewed for the site, and some I have even written about that I needed to catch up on (I am looking at you Mass Effect series).
Come winter 2013, I was back on the Skyrim. I downloaded a ton of mods, and replayed it as though I was playing again for the first time. Mods give the game a fresh take, and I am sure many will agree that they vastly prolong the life of many PC games. It was glorious. Last winter was especially harsh, but I felt solace in coming home from the cold and playing more Skyrim. Come springtime, I was done again.
Modded Dark Brotherhood garb and environments make the game nice and pretty.
So here we are in November 2014. The cold weather is yet again upon us, and whenever I click “Play” on Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition or Path of Exile, my mouse hovers over Skyrim just a tad bit longer than it did the month before. Hmm, I could play some more Skyrim, I think to myself. That sounds like fun.
As I type this I have another tab open on the Skyrim Nexus Mods site, browsing mods that I have yet to try, or to check if I need to update some that I have already downloaded. Maybe playing Skyrim is just like getting into the holiday spirit. I associate the cold weather with my love for this game, just as those who are getting ready for the holidays listen to festive music or watch holiday movies.
I can’t say this is the first time I have had this affinity for a game during the colder months. When I was much younger I received The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Christmas, and subsequently played the game multiple times thereafter around the holiday. It reminded me of when I first opened that present and the excitement of a new Zelda game I couldn’t wait to start playing.
Either way, all I can say, is that winter is coming, and on my PC, Skyrim will be running.