Skyrim: A Text Gamer's Point of View
Skyrim, the fifth installment in The Elder Scrolls series published by Bethesda, became available across the United States on Friday. Coincidentally, Friday was also Veterans’ Day, giving many American gamers a cozy three-day weekend to slip into the virtual realm. As I played it occurred to me that Skyrim, despite being the most recent, was more like the smarter, more good looking big brother of all of The Elder Scrolls. The more I played, as with almost any game I try out that isn’t produced by Iron Realms, the more I found myself comparing it to Achaea.
Classes and Races
When choosing a race in Skyrim you’ll find ten to choose from, as opposed to the eight that Achaea offers. And while it’s possible to be without a specific class in Achaea, it certainly helps to choose one if your character expects to progress at any decent rate of speed. Some of the skills between the two games are similar, like cooking, alchemy, wizards/magi, and warriors/knights. I could not find where Skyrim offered anything similar to bards or forest-classes, but they do offer the skills to pickpocket, which is its own unique brand of fun. Also, Skyrim and Achaea both allow characters to sell wares between towns.
One similar feature between Skyrim and Achaea is the opportunity for personal improvement. The ability to marry another adventurer in Achaea is nearly as old as the game itself, but in Skyrim it’s not so easy to say, “I do.” First, it’s necessary to visit the Goddess of Love then wear a special amulet that changes how NPCs interact with your character, including a whole new set of dialogue! Skyrim, like Achaea, also offers housing -- and it’s pretty expensive there, too.
Getting Your Character Drunk
A night out with friends is fun in either game, and results in altering how your character interacts with the rest of the world. In Achaea, the effects are limited to slurred speech, vomiting, and if you drink enough perhaps death by alcohol poisoning. Skyrim takes drinking up a notch. Your character can drink until it completely blacks out, and to find out what potentially embarrassing things your character did during that time you must complete quests to find out. Oh, what devious fun that could be!
Other things about the two games are similar, as well. Where Skyrim offers visually pleasing graphics, Achaea’s designers strive to create vivid scenery inside your brain when both creating new areas and updating existing ones. And both games offer plenty of different areas to explore, In fact, it’s also possible to get lost in both games, although with the help of landmark and map commands, it’s far easier to find one’s way back to civilization in Achaea.
So which game is better? Neither! Each has its own unique qualities, and truly comparing the two would be like trying to compare a book to a completely unrelated movie. Skyrim is a nice break from the drama and politics of social interaction in Achaea, but it’s a single-player game, which I find boring. No matter how often I break to play video games, I always end up logging back into my first text game love, Achaea. Whether mindlessly bashing or sitting around The Crossroads in Hashan and eavesdropping on the latest gossip, there is always something to do and other players around to share in the adventures.
Author: Mitch O'Hara
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