A few weeks ago, we had the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition. There are nine different versions of this game and despite it being released ten years ago people still buy it, myself included. If you want to know why this game is still being rereleased and why people still play it from a gameplay perspective, I recommend a video on Youtube by the channel G4TV. (https://youtu.be/Z8eNO6-J_y8) However, is there anything in Skyrim’s main story that brings players back to the game? Most people will say no due to how shallow they think the story is. But I think there is one thing that Skyrim does right and every other game with a similar plot point does wrong.
When you break Skyrim’s story down, it is just typical “chosen one” narrative. In other words you play as someone with a unique power that should make you the strongest person on the planet. The problem with most games that use this story line is they A) start you off as someone who is weak and everything can kill you, B) don’t explain the chosen one’s power and its limits and/or C) contradicts itself by making the player go fight a final boss that is stronger than you despite your special abilities.
Skyrim on the other hand tells you point blank that the only power you have as the chosen one is to absorb dragon souls and use those souls to unlock special magic. Other than that, you are an average person which gives you a reason to level up and refine your skills. You are not the chosen one because you are all powerful, you are the chosen one because you have a unique gift that is beneficial to the situation of the game. The entire game you are training to fight dragons and learning new skills. The other thing the game does well is not adding random powers to your arsenal that do not make sense story-wise. I can’t tell you how many times a game gave me some random power that didn’t make sense for the character. Skyrim may not have the best story in gaming but we should recognize the points that they get right.
Matthew J. Croutch