Preliminary Thoughts on Skyrim

...having played only the tutorial level:

  • The tutorial really blows. It tells you "press this stick to move," and then says "head to the keep" without ever telling you how to work out where the keep is.
  • And working out how to change your character's gender is extremely non-intuitive. I was nearly convinced it wasn't even an option before I stumbled on it; I only persisted because I was sure there would have been massive feminist outrage if it weren't an available choice.
  • The game tells you "press this button to attack," but doesn't walk you through any other element of combat. Does it matter if my back is to my enemy? Or how far away I am? Can I get some kind of warning when I'm about to die? Note that I actually died in the tutorial trying to figure this stuff out. And I am not exactly new to the console RPG, either.
  • The camera also blows. It doesn't let you do a full-circle; there's an arbitrary stop in, presumably, the back of your head. Extremely annoying.
  • Having the camera bob up and down when the character is walking over rocky terrain is unpleasantly disorienting.
  • Things got much better when I accidentally switched away from the straight first-person view. Wish I knew how to do that on purpose.
  • Was that one dude using two voices and two accents, or... something? I feel like something weird was going on with him.
  • The lockpicking minigame is fun.


REVISION is a fast-paced, snarky science fiction thriller about a wiki where your edits come true, bad relationships, and burning that mofo to the ground.

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“Tremendously enjoyable, Revision is a fluid, flexible, wonderfully dextrous debut, and I can’t wait to see what Phillips does next.” NPR Books

“Phillips poses hard questions about love, loyalty, personal identity, and truth, and her answers range from fascinating to horrifying.” “Her fresh voice will be very welcome in the SF world.” Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)