I finally finished Skyrim’s main quest line yesterday. I managed to stay out of the civil war for the whole quest line, and felt quite pleased that I brokered a short truce so I could briefly capture a dragon. I still stand by everything I wrote in this article, but I have to say toward the end the main quest was pretty decent.
Of course, the way in which I play Skyrim (and games like it) means that it was also entirely trivial by the time I got around to it. In my head, I want to do ‘everything’ before I complete the main quest in games such as Skyrim or Dragon Age. That means I’m usually at the top of the level range the quests are designed for, I’ve found all the locations, got all the gear, etc.
Still, despite that, the main quest was interesting and had some nice unique locations. I’d like to spend more time exploring Blackreach for example. Once I’d completed the main quest, I moved on to the civil war quest (it starts up again as soon as you capture the dragon basically, when your truce is no longer needed).
With Skyrim, if you just follow the civil war quest it forces you to explore, find locations, and survive epic battles. However, since I’d found all those places before, and I could kill any of the enemies involved in the epic battles in one or two strikes of a sword, it was more a case of just fast travelling, saying hello to the quest giver, fast travelling, killing 50 bad guys, rinse and repeat. It would be more exciting, I suspect, if you did this alongside the rest of the game, but it means some quests aren’t available to you as you take various cities, so I left it until I’d done as much as I could stomach of the rest of the game.
This being Skyrim though – the final battle of the civil war quest bugged out on me. Now every time I try and go into Windhelm it tells me I must help the soldiers defeat everyone before I can enter (and then lets me enter anyway), and all the time I’m inside it plays the battle music. Ulfric’s body remains on the floor of the Jarl’s hall, and no new Jarl has arrived (not sure if one should). So the whole thing feels a bit broken.
Anyway, glad I’ve finally done enough to say ‘I’m finished’ with Skyrim. Like Oblivion before it, I actually feel relieved I’ve done with it for some reason.