Sheogorath, my lord and protector… why did I ever doubt your madness?  Had I lost my own mind?  Did I truly think that the unimpressive demo I’d witnessed at this year’s E3 expo would be indicative of your final product?  Oh, how I was wrong!!… Can you ever forgive me?

As many of you know, I was rather “unimpressed” with Skyrim at E3 this year.  In fact, Stephiroth Gutowski and I were so mind numbingly disappointed by the demo we were shown that we gave it an award for the, “Most Heart Shattering Disappointment”

We were so wrong.

Yes, I still think that the E3 demo of Skyrim which we were shown was disappointing, and I would still not have given it best RPG over Reckoning, but after being given the chance to play Skyrim for an hour behind closed doors, I am exuberantly happy to report that I am now a true believer in the 5th iteration of Bethesda‘s flagship series, and you should be too.

You see, I’m a harsher critic than most when it comes to this sort of thing.  As many of you know, I’m a PC RPGamer and an old school Elder Scrolls fan.

I’m the guy who kept the Mantella all to myself in Daggerfall.  I’m the guy who retrieved every item for the Museum of Artifacts in Morrowind… only to steal them back later.  I’m the guy who closed every Oblivion gate and collected every treasure in Cyrodiil, only to have to mod extra display cases into my house in Skingrad just to hold it all!  And for what?!  Nobody else in the world will ever venture inside the confines of my Elder Scrolls homes, see all of my priceless in-game artifacts and collections, and yet I do it anyway!  Yet, you know I’m not alone.

I ... Need More Display Cases...

Perhaps you too have the “Pelvis of Elvis” adorning the fireplace of one of your many Oblivion homes… but I digress.  That’s simply the sort of Elder Scrolls player I am.  I live for the immersion, the escape, the beauty of a world completely original and unlike anything we could ever hope to see in our own.  The freedom, the choice, and often the consequence.

So, jaded as I am, I mocked many of my detractors who said I was crazy after E3.  I said that they were simply johnny-come-lately Elder Scrolls fans who wouldn’t know their lore if a Dremora lopped their head off with a Daedric Crescent!  I figured they were blinded fanboys whose Elder Scrolls adventures began with Oblivion.  These kids clearly know nothing of Daggerfall or Morrowind! They’ve never modded a damn thing, they’ve never even heard of Nehrim!  They’re wrong, I’m right, BAH humbug!

But they weren’t wrong, I just failed to believe.

Dave... I am Disappoint.

So, after playing Skyrim for an hour straight, being allowed to do whatever the hell I want and loving every single minute of it… I am here to apologize.

I want to apologize to our readers, I want to apologize to my friends,  I want to apologize to Bethesda and I even want to apologize to all those johnny-come-latelys who believed in the scrolls when I had lost faith.  I’m sorry.

Yet, that’s not why you’ve come here today, is it?  You want to hear all about my adventures in Skyrim, don’t you?!  Very well, so be it.

As I walked into a lush hotel suite populated by several other members of the gaming press and a sea of Xbox 360 consoles and flatscreen TV’s, I was told by Pete Hines and Todd Howard of Bethesda that we would be starting off our adventure as a prisoner in a cave, and could go anywhere we wanted from there on out.  That was all the instructioin we got and that was all the instruction I needed.

The character creation in Skyrim is just as deep as you remember from Oblivion, if not more so.  I mean just look at all these possible combinations you can make!  But there was no time for me to mess around with such a deep system, I only had an hour.

So I quickly selected a few traits… Bosmer… tattoos… mohawk… good enough… let’s go!