So, Skyrim, huh? People are tripping over themselves to give it Game of the Year awards, but let’s face it, there’s lots of things wrong with it. For example:
1. “You Talk Funny”
What’s going on with the accents in Skyrim? I can forgive the fact some Nords sound sort of Scandinavian, others sound American, and one – and it does seem to just be one – sounds Scottish. What confuses me is when members of the same family, who all grew up in the same town, have different accents. Not just a little bit different either. We’re not talking the difference between Brooklyn and a Queens accent here; it’s more like the difference between a Norwegian accent and Mickey Mouse’s nemesis Pete.
(Mainly because that’s exactly what it is. Jim Cummings, who has voiced Pete for nearly 20 years, provided additional voices for Skyrim.)
2. “No! Look at Him, Damn It!”
I know I’m the main character, but that doesn’t mean you have to look at me even when you’re talking to someone else. Seriously, quit it. It’s creepy,
3. “It Wasn’t That Big a Deal, Really”
Some people are really touched by favours you do them, and I mean really touched. Faendal – or Sven,whichever floats your boat – in Riverwood will follow you into ruins and crypts and risk his life fighting unholy warriors from centuries past, all because you delivered – or didn’t deliver, again, whichever floats your boat – a letter to a girl he liked. Sometimes, you don’t even have to help someone out. There’s a guy near Riften stables who won’t shut up about how good a friend I’ve been to him: I beat him to within an inch of his life for a bet.
4. “Excuse Me…”
Lydia, oh my darling Lydia, you’re the bees knees and I’m glad you’re on the team, but for the love of Talos, would you stop blocking doorways?! It’s not just Lydia, of course; companions seem to have this uncanny knack for getting in the way. I shouldn’t have to lure my hireling into the room so I can get past them, and I definitely shouldn’t have to dragon shout them out of the way.
5. “Be Careful!”
If there’s a pressure plate in a hallway, companions will step on it. A corridor could be a mile wide, and they’d still manage find the one part of the floor that causes poison darts to come out of the walls or spears to stab out of a doorway. What’s worse is that they won’t just stand on it once; they will stand on it over and over again until fate steps in and they can move on. In one draugr-filled dungeon, Lydia stepped on a pressure play about a dozen times before the spiked gate it activated knocked her past it. It’s even more pronounced –although, not entirely unhilarious – when you’re being accompanied by master thieves, who are supposed to be adept at avoiding traps.
6. “That Looks Uncomfortable.”
Guards, it seems, never take their helmets off.
Even when they sleep.
Man in the Iron Mask, eat your heart out.
7. “I Thought You Already Knew…”
Some of the residents of Skyrim have a habit of asking you questions they should – in theory –already know the answer to. For example, the blacksmith lady in Whiterun (I’m not great with names, sorry) will ask if you’ve met her father, who is the Jarl’s steward. A fair question, you might think, but she’ll keep asking it after you’ve delivered a sword to him on her behalf and bought the empty house next to hers – a process that involves talking to none other than *drum roll* the Jarl’s steward.
8. “An Arrow in the Knee, Huh?”
The guards in Skyrim seem to share a single consciousness. It’s not just the arrow in the knee thing – a line that crops up so often that it’s become a meme – there are loads of other things that every guard, in every hold,will come out with. Basically, they’re either a hive mind, or by some bizarre coincidence every guard in the province is a former adventurer with a bad knee and a cousin out fighting dragons. Oh, a lot of them wonder if they might be Dragonborn, even those who know that it’s you.
9. “Will You Just $&#@ing Walk?!”
Probably the worst quest objectives you can have in Skyrim are those that read “Follow Captain NPC to Angry Badger Ravine,” or something similar. Not because they’re hard – they’re really not – but because if you follow too close, then the person you’re following will stop and throw out a line like: “We can’t stop now, this is badger country.” Yes, I’m aware of that Captain; that’s why I didn’t initiate a conversation. In fact, I was moving faster than you, a fact that seems to have upset you. If you don’t want me to catch you up, you shouldn’t move so bloody slowly, should you?
10. “We’ve Just Been There.”
Some NPCs seems to have a bit of a problem remembering where they are and what’s going on around them.
“Hello my dear,” my wife Ysolde would say. “Back from another adventure?”
“Um, No,” I would reply. “I was upstairs. Sleeping. You just saw me come down the stairs.”
I don’t think she heard me though; she was too busy sitting in the kitchen.
It’s not limited to spouses either; companions will sometimes suggest that we explore a cave that we’ve literally just left, or say they’ve never seen anything like the sight in front of them when you know damn well that they have.