This image has been driving me crazy.
I know what I want it to mean for Skyrim. I want it to mean that my dreams for the open-world game will be realized. Yet I cannot convince myself that Skyrim will come to me, glimmering in its sterling armor, astride a great white horse, and whisk me away to the perfect, immersive gaming experience for which I have been yearning since first discovering Morrowind.
I know that’s a lot to ask from a leaked werewolf picture. I know I sound crazy. I’ve felt crazy for the past two days trying to figure out how to describe my future disappointment.
Instead, let me just describe the scene that popped into my head when I first saw this image.
There I am walking through a forest in Skyrim, as whatever character I created, with my trusty, rusty axe in hand, and an inadequate number of healing spells or potions at my disposal. A distant snarl quells my incipient courage as I wander. I decide to hug the cliff-side, and keep walking, ostensibly safe from one angle of ambush. I’m a 10 minute run from town. I’m alone. A protrusion in the foliage forces me away from the wall. Another snarl rolls over the ambience of the forest. This one was closer. Much closer. A rock tumbles down the cliff and across my field of view. My eyes are automatically drawn upwards. I already know what’s up there. Atop the protrusion stands the wolf-man. Its muscled chest, cast against the backdrop of the setting sun, expands and collapses with each steady breath. I count only two of his breaths before I turn and run from the face of the cliff and deeper into the forest. The beast won’t be far behind me, and it won’t be long before the short-term advantage of fleeing expires. If I survive, I’ll have to look into this werewolf problem.
I do not believe that my first werewolf encounter in Skyrim will be anywhere near that cool. That bugs me.
Now you go.
What does this picture imply to you? How does it influence or describe what you expect from Skyrim?