The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
North American Release Date: November 11, 2011
European Release Date: November 11, 2011
Trophies: 1 , 1 , 14 , 35
Casting spells, hacking with swords, sniping wolves with arrows, completing side quests and slaying dragons. Welcome to Skyrim.
200 hundreds years have passed since the gates of Oblivion slammed shut. Now in Skyrim you play the role of the Dragonborn, a legendary hero with the blood of Dragons running through your veins. Has Bethesda taken over our social lives yet again as we play their latest role playing game?
Skyrim automatically feels familiar to anyone who’s had the pleasure of experiencing Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas and Oblivion. You either view the world in first or third person; you kill enemies and then search their corpses for items. You learn new abilities and level up. Sounds basic? Perhaps, but is it?
The first thing you’ll notice about Skyrim is that unlike past Bethesda games you’ll no longer have to bear the clunky and off-putting Gamebyro engine that Fallout and Oblivion were based on. Having built a completely new engine Bethesda gave Skyrim the chance to be similar to its predecessor but simultaneously unique.
The sheer variety of gameplay choices opens up within a few mere hours into Skyrim. Before you begin you’ll be able to design your character from an attractive number of races to choose from. These races do not restrict your choices of weapons or class in any means what-so-ever. You’ll have the choice throughout the game, which provides you with additional freedom. You can effortlessly switch from casting spells of illusion and fire to being armed with a bow thanks to a fantastic ‘favourite’ list, meaning you don’t need to rummage around your inventory at the high point of battle to merely change your weapon of choice.
As you progress through the incredible world of Skyrim you’ll level up with each individual skill that you often use; though of course there is also an overall rank. If you spend a fair amount of time picking locks of innocent people’s homes at the dead of the night you’ll level up your skill in that area. If you enjoy the science of Alchemy and constantly create new substances and potions you’ll progress in that area and will unlock new possibilities.
Unlike in the Fallout games, playing the baddie very rarely cuts out for you in the land of Skyrim. If you decide that the poor peasant’s supply of cheese and potatoes serves a greater need in your hands it’s only a mere matter of time before you’re caught with the stolen goods if you happen to be seen. You’ll then have to pay off your bounty, serve time in jail or fight for your life. The same thing applies to you if you decide to start the fight in the middle of the town or butcher the Jarl of Whiterun. Avoiding this requires more skill and focus, such as only stealing when out of vision of anyone else, and if seen you decide to “remove” all witnesses before word can spread.
You’ll also have the moral decisions when in missions; though these don’t lead to consequences that land you in jail.
As you purchase more magic spells, upgrade your blade and steady your aim with your bow the challenge increases dramatically, as it should. You don’t ever feel either overpowered or underpowered unless you decide to strict yourself to leveling up in a specific area or class, though this limits particular quests and objects that you can interact with.
This is the way that trolls should be dealt with. Watch and learn.
As you collect objects and items throughout Skyrim you’ll be able to experiment with them. For instance; you can enchant your weapon, giving it a significant power. Likewise you can also poison the tips of your arrows to give yourself a venomous advantage when tackling a dragon.
As with previous Bethesda games the gameplay is clunky and rather awkward at times. And as with the Fallout and previous Elder Scrolls games you’ll regularly end up accidently attacking other character or NPC and then have the entire village after you, baying for your blood until you pay your bounty of 3 gold pieces. Role Playing Games are supposedly to be as far away from realistic as possible, but confusing is something we’d rather do without.
Despite its miniscule flaws the gameplay in Skyrim is top-notch and worthy of any modern RPG. Unquestionably it’s clunky at times, but the fantastic dramatically overshadows the bad in nearly every way. You’ll near to never grow bored of it. Outstanding to say the least.
There are exceedingly few ways to describe the sheer size of Skyrim whilst doing it a fair amount of justice. This is one of them.
Imagine that you are looking at the universe for the first time. You can see countless stars, planets, and galaxies. Each and every galaxy has it’s own universe filled with planets and stars. These planets and stars contain endless space and objects as well, and each of these areas cannot be covered completely in a lifetime.
This is how I explain how complex and humongous Skyrim is.
When you first step out into the world you’ll visit a village or two; chat too few people, and generally get the feel for the game. Now when you start partaking in quests you’ll be scratching the surface of Skyrim’s expansive web of interwoven complexity. A simple task – for example – such as looking for a woman or finding a unique object can led to unbelievably intricate quests and tales that can in some cases be their own retail game alone. There is simple almost no end to what you are able to do. Even merely stumbling along a quaint village and going for a drink at the local inn can lead you to unraveling the dark secrets of Skyrim. I can discuss the details of a single quest for hours on end alone, so suffice to say that you’ll be supplied with hundreds upon hundreds of hours of content.
The game begins with you sitting in the back of a carriage, being taken to a village to be be-headed for your “crimes”. Just as axe is about to fall, a Dragon’s screech pierces the air. Amongst the confusion you escape.
You have clue as to who you are or what your purpose is…until you end up at Whiterun and slay your first Dragon. When you do so you absorb the Dragon’s Soul. You then discover that you are the Dragonborn, a legend who has the blood of Dragons running through their veins, and the only one who can slay the awakened Dragons once and for all. This starts a journey that will twist and turn in nearly every way possible and defy all laws of nature and myths.
The villages and locales hold great detail and goodies to unearth
True be told, however, the story isn’t a major factor in Skyrim as the unbelievable amount of side quests will hold your attention until the bitter end. Surprisingly many of the quests meet at an intersection and you’ll discover paths you never thought could possibly exist.
Many of the quests you complete will lead on to yet another quest that expands to a tale of it’s own. Exploring the sewers of Riften for the sake of talking to someone – for example – will bring you to the headquarters of the Thieves Guild. Should you decide to join them is up to you; but doing so will unlock new rewards, items, and skills. You’ll be gifted with recognition from civilians’ and guards unlike, be given numerous additional side quests to accept should you want to, and learn of incredible secrets. All these take time to complete, and pulling off a successful burglary – for instance is much easier said than done, and you’ll meet many roadblocks along the way. You’ll also be given moral choices and decisions that will not only affect the quest but your skills, your reputation and even the world around you.
This may shock you...
You can choose from plentiful of skills to level up with or specialize in. If you choose the life of a thief is for you the speech, lock picking, and sneak abilities are right up your street. Similarly if you enjoy casting spells then the perks of illusion, conjuration and restoration should spark your interest. Each and every item you equip has an effect on your character status and perks, and even how others may see you. There are near endless possibilities to be explored with a combination of meticulously crafted quests and choices. It’s simply one of those games where have such an abundance of quests and choices that you have no idea where to start first.
When you decide to take a break from the multitude of quests and merely explore the magnificent world of Skyrim you’ll discover many interesting places to explore, such as ancient ruins or a winter forest. You may want to watch what you do, however. As fun as stealing the farmer’s gold and butchering the village is, the guards of Skyrim may think otherwise. Make the wrong enemies, say the wrong thing or make the wrong choice and you’ll only have yourself to blame.
The amount of fantastic perks is unbelievably helpful.
If you want to be a two goody shoes and not get up to much mischief, you may be interested in buying a house, looking for work and getting married. There are even plenty of objectives to complete in these mundane tasks, amazingly.
With an eternal number of possibilities, thousands of quests and a staggering number of options and decisions to make Skyrim is a never ending world of unimaginable possibilities and freedom. The sheer quality and complexity of the single-player campaign in Skyrim is so powerful that it could only be described as food to satisfy your hunger for the game. You will be held in awe throughout the entire game and as you go deeper and deeper into the game and its content you’ll be ever lavishly rewarded for your efforts. Delicious.
For an open world game Skyrim boasts brilliant technical graphics. Disapprovingly there are plenty of rough textures and uncanny glitches but for the most part the world is painstakingly detailed.
The artistic design fares even better, with silent forests, freezing blizzards and bloody dungeons all containing the upmost care. The character detail and facial expressions have undergone a massive amount of plastic surgery, which is a god-send looking at Bethesda’s previous works. This time around the NPCs who you speak with will not cause the camera to zoom in on their wax like faces such as in Fallout 3. Rather they’ll glance your way and talk whilst performing actions such as chopping wood or mending a weapon. It makes the world feel ever more improved.
The glitches can get on your bad side, however. Characters will often attempt to have discussions with you through walls and ceilings, and it’s not unknown for your character to get stuck in the environment. Worse still when getting hit by a troll – for instance – you’ll be propelled up in the air. Glitches seem to be Bethesda’s trademark nowadays for their games and whilst these glitches are a slight annoyance they aren’t frequently bad enough to the extent that you can’t play the game.
I always knew that this was a bad idea...
The in game soundtrack has such a degree of quality that it’ll cause you to pause and ponder if Bethesda has stolen God’s CD collection. The rhythmic chants, battle themes and haunting soundtracks will stay by your side throughout the entire adventure. Effects, dialogue, voice acting and more all are equally at the top of the class. Bethesda took notice of what was said to them concerning the presentation of their previous games and outdid themselves in every way possible.
The trophies in Skyrim are not hard when it comes to skill but rather they are exceedingly time-consuming. In order to obtain the platinum trophy quickly you’ll need to perform an extremely specific set of actions and choices, which takes the fun out of the game. You’ll eventually reach that point without trying especially hard, but not after a long time. Bethesda should have been more creative and expansive when it came to the trophies, but doing this also allows us to not focus on the trophies and focus more on the game itself. It’s one of those platinums you’ll obtain without even trying, and Skyrim is one of those games that you’ll continue to play long after the trophies have stopped popping
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has done more than merely live up to its hype. It is without question the best Bethesda game ever created and more importantly is one of the most engaging, engrossing and expansive Role Playing Games of all time. The minor issues, such as weak textures, glitches and clunky gameplay do little to hinder the game’s quality. Skyrim has something in it for every type of gamer and is a game that should be picked up by RPG lovers the very minute it lands on local shelves. Bethesda have created a masterpiece that will never be forgotten, and they deserve the upmost praise.
All thee kneel before Dragonborn, and praise thy new master: Bethesda Software.
Brutal and extremely satisfying, albeit a tad clunky.
There is near to nothing that can explain the quality and incredible size of the game.
A few annoying quirks here and there; though nothing to irritate you.
What is there to say about Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? Its a Bethesda game through and through, but in a good way. The environment is rich and immense, the character customization is ridiculously deep, and you can easily lose 6 hours in the blink of an eye... I know, launch day I got home and started playing between 5pm and 6pm, next thing I know its 12:30am. There is alot going on in Skyrim and there is quite a bit to do. The story is much more interesting than previous Bethesda titles, you will want to keep playing to unwrap the mystery of the Dragonborn and will revel in the chance to shape the empire as you see fit. Its also much longer, which is thankful after how disappointing Fallout 3's main quest-line was. I was really impressed with the changes made to character progression, the fact that you level up by actually using your skills makes the game feel much more realistic. Also, how can you ignore how awesome Dragons are?
That being said the game is littered with bugs, not as bad as Oblivion and Fallout 3 but frequently characters will get caught or textures won't load or bodies will rocket around in a nonsensical fashion. These things all break the environment because, while this game has made some leaps forward, there is still something missing. Its difficult to rate these negatives because they aren't consistent from player to player, but everybody will experience something.
Ultimately Skyrim is a long, fun, and flawed game. In other words, its a Bethesda game.