The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I'll try to keep this review as spoiler-free as I can. First off. I cannot express just how happy I was to read into all the hype and promises about how great this game will be. But to have it exceed all expectations, I can say to you, the consumer, the level of elation transcends anything I can describe. Bethesda delivers. As you can see, I love Skyrim and I'm sure you will too.
Skyrim: The Legend
Enter the main character of the game: The Prisoner a.k.a The Dragonborn, Dovakiin. What the heck does that even mean? Play Skyrim and find out. It's Bethesda folks, they have a thing for prisoners. The game is set 200 years after The Elder Skrolls IV Oblivion. The Northern province of Skyrim is divided between the Empire Loyalists, who wish to stay under imperial rule, and the Stormcloak Rebels who's goal is, ultimately, independence from the Empire. Add an uneasy truce between the Empire and the Aldmeri Dominion. And finally, a prophesy stating the dragons will return and bring about the end of days. And of course, that prophesy is being fulfilled in the mist of the turmoil consuming the northern province of Skyrim. THAT'S THE STORY YOU'RE DELVING INTO. What more could you want? Well, in an industry that continues to grow and innovate new technology, there are times when the story, as amazing as, say, the graphics and overall gameplay mechanics are concerned, just let the player down and is uninteresting, or doesn't make sense, or fails to deliver. NOT IN SKYRIM. But you need more than a well thought out and developed plot right? Of course you do.
Malukah's The Dragon Born Comes. Check out her other works at: http://www.malukah.com/free/
Note: Obviouslly, this isn't mine. I found it on Malukah's site under the generous FREE section where she allows fans to download, embed, and share her songs. This song is her singing one of the sons from the game itself. Hope you all like it. Listen as you read the review. A big Thank You to Malukah for sharing such talent. I'm not affiliated with her in any way, but if you're so inclined, check out her site and support her efforts.
Skyrim: Fixes to Oblivion
Significant improvements have been made. Thank the Nine.. or Eight..... whichever you prefer after playing Skyrim. You can now make the character you want to be with an improved leveling system, which, in my humble opinion, was a bit broken in the previous game. No longer will players become "weaker" if they don't level up "properly". Say goodbye to thieves in ebony armor or a bandit knocking you on your rear even though you're at level 25. As you level, you simply place points into magicka, health, or stamina. Like the previous games, you level up your skills as you use them. Want to become the ultimate berserker and lop off the heads of your pathetic foes? Simply use two handed weapons. Or perhaps you have more refined tastes and would like to sit back and incinerate your foe with a mighty fireball? Simply use Destruction magic.As a bonus, you can specialize your character with Perks with added benefits and active effects to you're skills.
Things to do in Skyrim
There are so many different things to do in the game I could sit here and write for the next four weeks and feel as though I just scratched the surface. That's a good thing. You can complete quests, search for loot, slay bandits, guards, predators, Daedra, vampires, werewolves, and of course, dragons, search dungeons, caves, keeps, castles, and forts, buy and decorate your own house(s) pickpocket, assassinate, create weapons and armor, enchant your items and weapons, create your own potions, learn spells, cook, make poisons, collect ingredients to make these potions and poisons, and so much more. And that's not counting all the mods that people have made. Some mods change the way the world looks, either by altering the landscape or simply by improving the graphics like the pictures of the dragon bones and the treasure chest, while others include changes to gameplay..
The quests.... There are so many quests in the game, 200+ to be more accurate, Skyrim is a game that will consume you. Cancel all appointments. Call in sick to work or school. Give your lady some lame excuse she'll see right through. And expect to lose a good 10 pounds as you won't want to get up and eat. Complete the enthralling guild quests, Thieves, Mages, Companions, Dark Brotherhood. Or, work your way through some of the more minor quests of which there are hundreds and hundreds, and then, if you want, get on with the main story quest line. The quests are dynamic, and what's more, there is usually more than one way to complete them with different choices and outcomes. These range from who you side with, how you interact with the dungeons, caves, castles, and forts in terms of your preferred combat style, whether hacking and slashing, sniping with your bow, blowing things sup with your spells, or sneaking around like a ninja. All the quests reward you, more often than not in a way that makes all the time and effort well worth the effort.
The combat is smooth and fluent. The polish is so impressive, I couldn't do it justice with a description. I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to strive against a worthy opponent, finally overcome him or her, and finish the fool off with a gruesome and fulfilling kill animation. Or snipe an enemy a hundred yards away with your bow and watch his body being pierced with an arrow. Or sneaking up behind some poor, unsuspecting bandit leader, slitting his throat, and continuing on your merry way. That's right, don't want to get your hands dirty? Stick to the shadows and clear a room one by one, dispatching your foes before they even realize what's happening. There are so many options available to you, it can be almost overwhelming trying to decide just how you will defeat an enemy. And now! And now you can wield two weapons at once. Switch it up a bit. Swing an enchanted Daedric sword into the skull of a troll with one hand and then blast your next opponent into oblivion with a spell using your other hand. Plus, it's easy to switch between your weapons and spells on the fly. In the interest of keeping this review at a readable length, I'll now move on to some of the problems of the game. OF WHICH THERE ARE FEW.
Skyrim Gameplay 2
First of all, I have experienced a few game freezes. And once in a while my guy got stuck. Fortunately, the game does an excellent job of keeping several autosaves, a history if you will, for the player. The character models have seen some improvements, especially the Argonians and Khajiit, in my opinion. They look more lizard and feline-like respectively. The character creation (what you're character looks like) seems a bit limited. Which is a shame. This seems to be the one place where Skyrim has a lack of options available to the player. The AI, whether enemy or ally, can be a bit off at times but not enough to irritate a player to the point of shutting off the game.
Skyrim: The Final Verdict
In conclusion. Skyrim is a masterpiece. It is, perhaps, arguably, the best open-world RPG I have ever played or ever will play. Well, I suppose until the next Elder Scrolls comes out. It's about as near perfect of a game as I have seen since The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. With an engaging plot, hundreds of quests, limitless options in how you play your character, and overall character choice, Skyrim is a game you'll play time and again. The beautiful thing is, you'll never grow tired of it. Bethesda raises the bar for all other RPG's and Skyrim is the game I will compare all other RPG's to in the future. This is a game that is worth every penny of its purchase price. GO BUY THIS GAME.