Doesn't Draugr play for Chelsea?
proceed through the caves, deeper into the bandits' hideout. Along the
way, I pass a locked door and then later, several desiccated
human-looking corpses of 'Draugr' - pronounced 'drogger' - who have
ancient weapons concealed about their icky persons. Later in my time
with the game, I meet some of these very much alive, but still
dead-looking. A loading screen informs me they are believed to be
ancient soldiers, cursed into an eternity of living as punishment for
swearing allegiance to the dragons. Awesome.
Above: This Draugr has a particularly nice hat. Kill him and it could be yours. Imagine that
for now, they're just dead things full of loot, which I take. I soon
happen upon my first really difficult encounter - a girl with ice magic.
As she throw torrents of ice shards in my direction (in a fashion not
dissimilar to my own fire spell), wayward shots leave icicles on the
crates around the room.
Several deaths later, I continue onwards. There's a locked chest
which gives me my first taste of the new lockpicking system (more like
Fallout's than Oblivion, as Mikel mentioned). It's hard, but once you've
got the knack, it's definitely doable, though it is hard to remember to
breathe when you're doing it.
Are we there yet?
By this point, I'm wondering how much further the caverns go. But I
end up in a room with a big wooden screen in one side and some shelves
with potions on. As I'm stealing the potions, I hear someone stirring
behind the screen, where (as I later discover) there is a bed. This is
the bedroom of 'Rigel Strong Arm' – a fierce woman with a big shield and
a good line in battle taunts.
She doesn't have any magic, but
she's a fierce fighter and, despite the potions, I'm the subject of many
cutaway impalement death scenes on her sword. Eventually I face her
with her own tactics of a big shield and one-handed sword. Beating her
has taken a good 20 minutes and I start to fear that I'm wasting my
precious time with the game.
Above: I could be out exploring this, yet I'm getting repeatedly killed by a girl in a cave
finally, success! After a particularly powerful parry with my shield,
she grunts with pain and stumbles, allowing one final smite across her
back to finish her off. About her person are two keys, the Pinewatch key
and the Pinewatch Treasure Room key. No wonder she was so tough – this
was the 'boss' of the dungeon!
But it doesn't end there. I move
on, into what can only be described as an Indiana Jones film set.
Countless traps line the corridors, triggered by panels in the floor
that you can admittedly clearly see once you know what to look for, but
easily catch you out until you do.
Call him Dr Jones, Doll
one point, what looks like a thousand blow darts fly from the walls all
at once, whistling past my nose. Another trap has me physically dodge
in my seat and exclaim 'aagh!' as I open a door and a spiked ball on a
chain swings towards the camera. I'm completely engrossed in the game,
possibly helped by the large screen and headphones. This is getting too
dangerous, but the treasure must be near now.
Finally, I enter a room with a large table, absolutely covered in
wondrous treasure, There are ingots and sapphires lying amidst
individually-rendered (and collectable) gold coins. I am, quite
literally, rich. I ask the PR rep if I can take a photo to show you, but
the answer is sadly no. But just imagine a table laden with treasure –
that's what it looked like.
Above: No photos, so here's a picture of a city. You can walk behind those waterfalls - I did
gold is only gold. And as I finish clearing the table into my
inventory, I discover my biggest prize of all - an item called 'Necklace
of Waterbreathing'. I've found an enchanted item that allows me to
breathe underwater, indefinitely. Woot once more... until I remember my
Argonian can breathe underwater anyway. OK, let's revert to "I'm rich!"
head through the last door with the Pinewatch key (it's the door I
passed earlier on) and make my way out of the hideout and into the
moonlit woodland. Where now? The whole of Skyrim lies before me. I've
beaten just one of its hundreds of incidental quests, and I'm in love.
This game is amazing.
17 Oct, 2011