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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review


In My Opinion, Bethesda Game Studios is one of the few developers that is very consistent with producing great quality games. With Skyrim they attempt to innovate and surpass any game they have ever made in terms of content. Now this is a bold undertaking in my eyes because their last game Fallout 3 was and possibly still is my Favorite Game of All Time. Why you ask? I have never seen a game filled with that much quality content ever at that time. So Will Skyrim really live up to what Bethesda was aiming for?  

Skyrim is a funny game to describe when it comes to graphics. At moments it can blow you away with it’s graphics, making you believe that it has the best in-game graphics to date and other times you will see something that looks bad and it will throw you off. It’s almost like looking at a Ferrari after a storm, yeah its one of the best looking cars out there but it has dirt spots from the rain here and there. So to translate that to Skyrim, the overall game looks amazing but you will see washed out textures here and there that will have you scratching your head. But I am talking only about the stock out-the-box Skyrim. If you are a PC gamer and have a computer that can handle graphically intense mods then you can get your Skyrim looking great at every corner across the land of Skyrim.

The main story in Skyrim is the traditional Formula for Elder Scrolls Games which is you are someone special and being that you are special you need to use that “Specialness” to defeat the evil force at hand. So this time around you are the Dragonborn and you must defeat Alduin “The World Eating Dragon”. You  will learn these special powers called “Dragon Shouts” that will help you defeat the “dragon of all dragons”. Now that may be all fine and dandy but the thing with Bethesda Game Studios, is that the story is not really the main quest in the game. But it’s all of of the experiences that you have along the way. It’s almost like you — the player make your own story as you venture through the vast amount of content that the game has to offer. Skyrim, in my opinion has a massive amount of great stories that you stumble into. Like the quest that is very reminiscent to the movie the “Hangover”, where you basically are drunk the night before, you wake up and don’t remember anything and have to find out what really happened that night. That was just an example but there are plenty of unique stories to be discovered in the land of Skyrim.

Gameplay is probably Skyrim’s strongest area because it simply does a lot of things right and is improved from it’s predecessor’s. Skyrim is played in both third person and first person and the player just has to toggle which one they prefer, I usually use first person mode for immersion. The basic fundamentals of the gameplay relies on what play style you want to use. There are three main gameplay styles that Skyrim has which is magic, stealth, and brute force. Each of them work so well that picking one and then trying another almost feels like you are playing a different game. If you want a warrior brute that takes and deals a lot of damage then just pick up a one handed weapon and shield, a two handed weapon, or even dual-wield two one handed weapons. If you want to be a sneaky assassin you can use bow and arrows and pick people off one by one almost as if you were a medieval sniper or you can sneak up close and perform a finishing move behind the person. If you want to be a “Mage” (magician) then start using your spells with your hands so you could have different or the same spells in your two hands. Or maybe you want to be like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings and use a staff and a sword. Your options are virtually limitless. Once you pick your class you can join a guild with a lot of interesting quests to tailor to your skills. Not to mention the other gameplay elements like being a vampire, a cannibal, or even a werewolf! Overall the different mechanics feel great and all work very well in there own way, which can lead to hours of constant fun.

The sound in Skyrim is very good in basically every department which is sound effects, voice acting and soundtrack. I personally played with my surround sound headset, so I really get to hear those sounds up close and maybe too personal. The sound effects are superb, from the aggressive wind gust as you climb higher into a mountain through a blizzard, to a bear roaring at you that’s so realistic it makes you want to literally get up and start running with controller/keyboard in hand. Nothing really beats the dragons though, you can hear their roars from miles away and hear there powerful wings as they fly about.  The dragon shouts that you get are very convincing as it’s own language and sounds powerful when you do it. There are are more voice actors in Skyrim than in any Elder Scrolls game and most of them are great but some of them are forgettable. Thus far I have been impressed by the diversity in voices. The soundtrack is one to remember and they set the mood for the setting very well. I actually liked some of the songs so much I listen to it from time to time outside the game, yeah I said it!

Simply put, if you allow it Skyrim can and probably will “Control” your life. Yes it’s that serious people. There is so much content and depth in this game it’s almost like it’s own world that operates on it’s own and once you play you get sucked right into that world. There was a going saying before Skyrim’s release which was, “11/11/11 will be the end of my social life” now this may not be true depending on who you are but buyer beware because the game is that good. With it’s breathtaking world, unlimited amount of quests, and highly addictive and immersive gameplay you will be coming back to Skyrim for a very long time.  

So did Skyrim top my favorite game of all time? The answer is yes and no. While it surpasses Fallout 3 from a technical standpoint, it wasn’t enough to claim it the new “king of games” in my world. So I put Skyrim and Fallout 3 at the same level, sometimes I may crave Fallout 3, other times it will be Skyrim that takes my time. Having that said Skyrim is one of the best video game experiences I’ve ever experienced. With so much packed into this game I wonder from time to time if it’s worth more than the $60 I’ve payed for it. With over 100 hrs of time put into it, I do not regret one second because I was having a blast being immersed into this world. So it’s not a question of should I get Skyrim, it’s more a question of why didn’t I get Skyrim sooner. So go and play Skyrim before you take an arrow to a knee!

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