Searching For Myself

Happy Weekend TAY!

I was hoping for a relaxing weekend, but I’ve agreed to help my kid craft a scale model of Stonehenge for a school project (which is harder than I thought it would be).

Skyrim VR was again the game of choice for the very limited playtime I had last week and I’m still continuing to make good, if not painfully slow, progress.

One thing that bugs me about Skyrim VR is that there is almost no way to see what your character looks like.

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I played vanilla Skyrim on PC almost exclusively in first-person and played my year of The Elder Scrolls Online from my character’s perspective (despite the disadvantages in PVP against people who are playing in third-person). I’ve always preferred the look and immersion of a first-person perspective when given the option.

With most other versions of The Elders Scrolls games, you could pop out to a third-person camera and admire the latest threads that you just took off that still warm corpse. I’m not one to worry about matching clothing in general (in games), though my vanity does rear its head a little when playing online with other people and I start worrying about my socks matching.

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In Skyrim VR, you simply don’t get a third-person camera and none of the in-game menus allows you to view your character. You never know what you look like except at the beginning of the game where you painstakingly design every wrinkle in your characters face using the character creation system.

I’d generally be fine with the forced first-person camera in Skyrim VR, it just reinforces the crazy level of immersion that VR offers, however, it is weird not being able to look at yourself at all.

There are no mirrors or reflections in Skyrim VR and you have no virtual-body to admire; the best you see is a pair of generic disembodied hands. It is sad that you never get to appreciate those Archmage Robes which are a symbol of tolerance for how many fetch-quests you were willing to undergo for those snotty mages at the College.

Skyrim VR’s controls are a little quirky and I often accidentally equip items instead of trading or viewing them. I also have a terrible habit of equipping masks and circlets on my character when wearing robes.

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Robes take up equipment slots for the legs, torso, and head (leaving hands, feet, and jewellery slots free).

My brain can’t seem to accept that a mask or circlet wouldn’t easily fit under the hood of my robes and I keep clicking on every shiny-new magical circlet without thinking. If you click on the circlet, the game equips it but also removes the robes at the same time.

Given the rudimentary inventory system in Skyrim VR (which is basically just one giant list), you often don’t notice that you’ve taken off your clothes until someone yells at you for parading around town in your tighty-whities.

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You’d never go into battle in your skivvies if you could occasionally check how you look.

In the PSVR version, there is a single (and annoying) procedure to see your character in all their finery. You have to travel to the Thieves Guild in Riften and visit the Face Sculptor. This feature was added with the Dawnguard DLC and simply gives you access again to the game’s character creation system, but you can now also see your character’s current equipment.

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There is a cost for this Face Sculptor and a thousand gold for a look in an inconvenient mirror is a pain in the butt. At least the PC versions of Skyrim VR have various “mirror mods” that allow you to see your character without paying those high prices.

I’ll hopefully have some time to play more Skyrim VR this weekend when I’m not helping to carve stones out of styrofoam for my kid. I think my wife and I have one episode of Black Mirror left and then we will finally get back to The Last Of Us.

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So, what are you playing this weekend?