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I am a huge video game geek. I particularly like the RPGs-style games, a la Final Fantasy, Dungeon & Dragons, and Elder Scrolls. Needless to say, I pre-ordered the much anticipated Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which was released 11/11/11.

Skyrim takes place 200 years after the happenings in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Oblivion was a fantastic game. An in-depth world with a detailed character creator and enough quests to keep you busy for hours. Loved it.

Skyrim did improve upon Oblivion in many ways – more quests, more control on upgrading the character, and more varied dungeons. And unlike the Final Fantasy series, Skyrim gives you control fairly soon into the story. (Final Fantasy is notorious for the long intros in which the player has minimal control of her character.)

However, Skyrim failed in one significant area – too many bugs. Sure, I can handle backward flying dragons, mammoths that seem to float in mid-air, and breathing while under water. In fact, you expect a certain number of bugs, especially when the stories and worlds are as detailed as those in Elder Scrolls. However, Skyrim has too many bugs that impact the quests. These bugs primarily hit those of us on consols (i.e., PS3 and X-box) and not so much the PC players.

The first major bug happened when a player reached level 30. The game would freeze inexplicably and the only option was to reset the game. As the levels got higher, the freezing worsened to the point that it messed up several of my quests. After the first of the year, I finally gave up and started the whole game over again. Even though, Bethesda had released several patches to fix the freezing issue, but I had to start over because my quests were screwed thanks to the freezing issue.

So round two. I gleefully started over with a brand new character. Started playing through the main quest again. Made it to level 30 … no freezing. Made it to level 40 … still looking good. Then disaster struck around level 45. I had sided with the Stormcloaks and in that story line, I received the quest to free the prisoners at Fort Neugard and disaster. I get to the Fort and instead of Imperials, there were bandits. Because I only actively save two games at any time and the auto-saves were all around this quest, I’m screwed. No matter how many times I reset it back to the camp where I initially got the quest, I still get bandits. No imperials means the quest doesn’t progress. This quest doesn’t progress means the entire Stormcloak story line is screwed.

<sigh>

Considering I want to complete the game and completing the game means completing this quest line, my only option other than a miraculous Imperial invasion of the Fort is to START ALL OVER AGAIN.

That’s at least 150-200 hours of game play down the tube. (That’s counting both times, as I made it to level 52 the first time before I quit in frustration.)

So, despite it’s overwhelming potential, I cannot vote for Skyrim to be Game of the Year because of these numerous major bugs.

If you’ve played the game, what are your thoughts?