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As part of my Xbox bundle, a downloadable version of Skyrim was included. I had never played any of the Elder Scrolls games previously and the whole thing didn't really appeal to me at first. After getting bored of the games I already had, I decided to give Skyrim a go and in a way I'm glad I did.
~*~ The basics ~*~
Skyrim is the fifth game from the Elder Scrolls series developed by Bethesda game studios. It is set in Skyrim, a location inside Tamriel, Tamriel is the place that all the Elder Scrolls games are set; Skyrim is just an area of this. To put it in basic terms, Skyrim is an open world, RPG (role playing game), this means you can travel wherever you like and do whatever you like so you don't have to follow the main storyline if you don't want to. The whole storyline focuses on you, the dragonborn to take a stand against the dragons threatening Skyrim.
~*~ The game ~*~
Just like any other game of this sort, you start out my choosing what race and sex you want to be. You can also modify the way in which you like by adjusting the size of features and colourations. There are 10 different races to choose from and each one has its own special abilities, none of the abilities are particularly stand out so it doesn't matter too much as to which race you decide to go for. After choosing your character, the game begins with you being a prisoner about to be beheaded, a dragon swoops in and there is your chance to escape.
Once you have escaped, the world really is your oyster and you can choose to carry on with the main storyline or go on your very own little adventure. After talking to some townsfolk in random towns and villages, you are sure to pick up a quest or two (or three, or four, or five!) to get you on your way. The map is absolutely massive so if you do decide to do your own thing, you'll never be short of places to discover. In many places there are a variety of shops, blacksmiths, inns and houses for you to have a wander through. The map may be huge, but you can only get to places by discovering them yourself by running through, there is a horse and cart in the bigger towns that can take you directly to other big towns for a small fee but I think this takes the fun out of discovering places for yourself. Once you have been somewhere and discovered it, it will show up white on the map so if you want to return there you can just fast travel instead of having to run miles to find it again. The map has various different terrains, from grassy fields, to snow and icy mountains. There are many caves and dungeons to explore and loot but I found these area's to be quite familiar and once you've been in a couple of these types of places, they tend to all look pretty much the same.
There are different guilds you can join whilst you are on your own adventure, from the Thieves Guild to joining the mage college of Winterhold or becoming part of the Dark Brotherhood. You can choose to do little side quests for these or just the main quest line for each one. I seem to have spent ages in the Thieves Guild doing rubbish little jobs for different members, particularly numbers jobs, if I look through the quests I've completed, a lot of them seem to be for the guild! I don't want to go into too much about the main storyline itself, not only because I don't want to spoil it for you but because I haven't got round to completing it yet despite having over 100 hours of gameplay (woops! That shows how much you can do without just going for the main storyline!). It is about the player being a dragonborn, which means you can use special shouts that you learn along the way to help during dragon battles.
During the game, you will notice your experience bar going up as you do certain things, from smithing and enchanting weapons, to battles. Every time you level up, you get an option to upgrade either magika, health or stamina, after choosing which one to upgrade you also get a perk that you can use on one of the skill trees, these look like constellations and after choosing one, it will light up indicating you have a perk on that tree. There are many different skills you can choose from, enchanting, one handed weapons, destruction and pickpocketing are examples of a couple. I think it is impossible to put perks on absolutely everything so choosing where to put these perks is quite difficult.
~*~ Weapons, magic and fight stuff! ~*~
When it comes to the, what I call, normal weapons, there are three different types, one handed (such as swords), two handed (axes) or archery (bow and arrows). You come across there whilst you are travelling and clearing out dungeons and the sort, you can also loot your enemies of anything they are carrying and the majority of the time they have weapons of some sort you can take. If you go for one handed weapons, you can also equip a shield at the same time, for the other hand, or if you'd prefer, another weapon in the other hand too so you can go full force with two swords if you wanted. Holding down whatever trigger you have your weapon in will charge it up and make it a more powerful move but this uses up stamina.
There are also destruction spells which are normally good during combat, I'm sure that whatever race you choose at the beginning, you always get the fireball spell which casts, you guessed it, a fireball at your opponent. There are a variety of different spells you can use during battle, fire spells are good for snowy type opponents, or ice breathing dragons and vice versa. Whilst using magic, it uses up your magika, you can see the magika bar draining the more you use it so you do have to be careful. There are different potions you can acquire to boost the magika should you need to.
It is easy to choose which weapon or spell you want to use at any given time. There is also an option to choose whatever takes your fancy as your favourites, this means that if you are mid battle and want to change what is equipped in each hand, you can do this by simply pressing up on the directional pad instead of having to go through your whole inventory trying to find what you desire. I personally prefer equipping a spell and a one handed weapon the majority of the time, it's easy to switch between a destruction spell and restoration (healing) spell if you are in battle and need a quick bit of health whilst opponents have their backs to you.
When it comes to the battles, I wouldn't say it's a huge blood bath, there isn't much blood and guts so those with a disliking to that won't have to worry. I enjoy a good battle when there are a number of enemies involved. Occasionally the final move before killing something goes to an epic scene of the sword going through someone's chest, for example, I'm not quite sure what you have to do for this happen but it's cool when it does.
~*~ Ease of play ~*~
The difficulty settings can be changed from the settings screen, I have mine on normal and find it's just right, even for a novice at RPG's like me. It's not often that I die and when I do I usually get passed the part that made me die on the next go. I think the easier settings will be too easy for me, there's no fun if you kill everything with one hit and can take loads of damage before you die. The harder settings will, of course, be more challenging should want a harder game. I've actually borrowed the official game guide from a friend and find that it does help me know what I'm doing. It pretty much just spells out the quests for you during the walkthrough part of the book but if I get stuck I know I can rely on it to help me past whatever I'm stuck with.
~*~ Sight and sound ~*~
The graphics are, quite simply, amazing. I love wandering round doing my own thing and you come across some visually stunning scenery. It's fantastic standing on a cliff and looking at the world around you, everything is crisp and beautiful. When it comes to towns and villages, again, it looks beautiful, nothing has been left out and they look truly perfect. The thing that lets the visual down slightly is the characters themselves, they are by no means bad, but I don't think the ok-ness of the people quite matches up to the breath taking scenery.
The background music doesn't really get noticed like that, I'm definitely used to it by now and it just gets ignored now as I've heard it so much. It is quite gentle if you are wandering around not doing much but the pace fastens when you are going into a battle or when a dragon approaches which tends to up the tension, it's a nice change. The voices for the characters are also good and there are a wide variety of voices used so it doesn't sound like you are talking to the same person over and over again. Overall I think the sound and visuals alike are very almost perfect.
~*~ Achievements and DLC ~*~
Skyrim has a total of 75 achievements and gaining all these will give you 1550 gamerpoints, only 50 of these achievements come from the main game, the other 25 are only achievable if you buy the downloadable content for the game. The achievements aren't particularly difficult to complete, a lot of them happen as you progress with the main quest line or do normal everyday things such as discovering 100 locations or reading 50 skill books.
There are three DLC packs available to buy, two cost 1600 MSP (Microsoft points) and the other costs 400. Dawnguard and Dragonborn (the two expensive ones) give you more quests and places to visit whereas the Hearthfire DLC gives you the ability to purchase land and build houses. I haven't got any of the DLC yet so can't comment on it, but it's there for those who like game add ons.
~*~ Overall ~*~
I wasn't too keen on playing this to start with, it was last in my line of games to play but I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got round to playing it. The ability to do whatever you please is great and there is a vast amount of side quests to keep you going for hours and hours without delving into the main quest line. The map is absolutely huge so the possibilities really are endless. It is easy to get engrossed in this game so if you have time to spare then this is a good for you, if you only want to play for an hour a week or something along those lines then I don't think this is for you as it ropes you in without you even knowing. The gameplay is fantastic and the sound and visuals are spectacular. I recommend it; I can't get enough of it!
Release date: November 2011
Platforms: Xbox, PS3 & PC
Average price (July 2013): £15
Like many of my reviews, I have a tendency to review products long after their initial release - Skyrim being no exception. Released in 2011, it has taken me nearly two years to get round to playing, and completing Skyrim! Its full title - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - (as you might have guessed) is the fifth installment of 'The Elder Scrolls' franchise and succeeded 'The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion'. Brought to us by Bethesda Software - an American video game publisher - they boast an impressive smorgasbord of successful titles, such as; Fallout, Brink, RAGE and Dishonoured.
Skyrim was a Christmas gift back in 2011, however back then I had a 28" Pacific (Asda-own brand) television set and I found it awful difficult to read the in-game text. As a 21st birthday present I was (gratefully might I add) gifted a 48" HD TV - which even the most partially sighted of people would struggle to see, or in more broad terms - it's big! As soon I got my new TV I knew at some point I would get round to completing Skyrim (however dreadful the game, I always make a point of at least finish the main story before moving onto another) - I'm just disappointed I couldn't bare witness to this games true magnificence earlier; two whole years off my life without Skyrim - I dread to think!
~~~ The Premise ~~~
The High King of Skyrim (a province on the continent known as Tamriel) has recently been murdered by a rebellion leader who goes by the name of Ulfric Stormcloak! Skyrim is in turmoil as pretenders to the throne rise. Various allegiances form across the vast expanses of the province as the battle for the new High King begins. However, as far as threats to the province go, this is just a minor interruption. Dragons have returned! An ancient evil has befallen all of Skyrim and the fate of the province hangs in the balance. Ancient stories tell of a mortal man gifted with the power of The Voice, a man born of dragon blood, who can defeat this ancient evil and rescue The Empire from a terrible fate! You!
So the premise of the story is set! You are the Dragonborn (or Dovahkiin) - the only playable character of the game who's fate it is to defeat the primeval dragon known as Alduin who is prophesised to destroy the entire world! Oh, and if that wasn't a big enough task, your expected to save The Empire - returning it to its former glory! What? You think you'll have it all polished off in no time? Think again - to date, I have over 60 hours of in play game time and still have not completed all the concurring quest lines! A mammoth of a game would be an understatement, my friends!
~~~ The Basics ~~~
Skyrim is an open world role-playing game. In other words, you can pretty much do whatever you want, when you want. Tired of the main storyline? Why not go slay some dragons? Or raid a troll's lair and murder his pet mammoths? The old cliché 'the possibilities are endless' is quite suitable here - the non-linear nature of the game allows you to roam till your hearts content!
The controls are fairly simplistic. The left trigger (LT) and right trigger (RT) control the left and right hands respectively. The left button (LB) is sprint and the right button (RB) uses the Dragonborn's Shout or Power! The game is pretty much a hack and slash - meaning your going to be spamming those trigger buttons until all nearby enemies have been decapitated! Holding down the trigger buttons perform power attacks - these are much stronger attacks which deplete your stamina. Actions such as sprinting and shield-bashing also deplete your stamina, don't worry though - stamina is replenished over time. Stamina can also be replenished in other various ways, such as; consuming potions, waiting and sleeping!
In a realm where dragons roam; unexpected it is not, that magic is a much practiced art. The Dragonborn can master various forms of magic. As stated above, the left and right triggers control which hand is being controlled - this is no different if you are using magic. Using both triggers simultaneously however will result in a more powerful spell being cast! Using spells and incarnations depletes the Dragonborn's magicka - which, like stamina - is restored over time!
~~~ Levelling Up ~~~
Roaming the vast plains of Skyrim battling giants and slaying Kings of the Undead, has a considerable augmentation toward the skills that the Dragonborn practices. Or, put more simply; the more you use a skill, the faster it improves. Skyrim implements over 18 different skills that can be improved and upgraded dependent on the user's preference. If you choose to become a master archer, then your Archery skill will improve. If you choose to use destructive magic then Destruction will improve and so on! The 18 skills are defined under three main categories; Might, Shadow and Magic. The path of Might consists of the more physical skills, including; Heavy Armor, One-Handed weapons, Two-Handed weapons, Archery, Block and Smithing. Being a massive Lord of the Rings fan, I based my character around Legolas and so was a highly skilled archer. The path of Shadow consists of skills that revolve around stealth and deception, including; Speech, Pickpocket, Light Armor, Alchemy, Sneak and Lockpicking! And finally the path of Magic includes; Restoration, Conjuration, Destruction and Enchantments.
As you gain experience by levelling up any one of these 18 skills, your character levels up also. When your character levels, you get to increase either your health, stamina or magic by 10 points. Also, each time you level your character you are gifted a skill point. This skill point can be allocated to any one of the 18 individual skill trees granting the Dragonborn additional benefits. For example, if you choose to use your skill points in the Archery skill tree, you can; draw your arrows up to 30% faster, inflict twice the amount of damage per arrow or even paralyze your opponents! Each skill tree has its own unique set of perks that can improve your skills beyond reckoning! Mastering the Conjuration skill tree enables the Dragonborn to summon two atronachs at once (an atronach is a creature or golem made up of a single substance i.e. a flame atronach is made of 100% fire), whereas mastering the Pickpocket skill tree enables the Dragonborn to pickpocket equipped weapons and clothing without being detected. The skills you wish the Dragonborn to master ultimately decides where you allocate these points.
Although I have over 60 hours of playing time under my belt, I have yet to master all of the skill trees. I have mastered; Archery, Smithing, Pickpocket (twice) and One-Handed weapons. How you ask, have I mastered a skill twice? Well, once any of your skill trees reach the maximum level of 100 you have the opportunity to make it a 'Legendary' skill. This resets the skill back to its starting level of 15, however grants the Dragonborn all the skill points that might have been used throughout the skill tree back - allowing you to reallocate these skill points. Effectively, it makes levelling your characters abilities indefinite, making the game in many senses, endless! The vast nature of the skill trees incorporated into Skyrim truly is something to behold. Bethesda have done a magnificent job in creating a unique playing experience, crafting your character into the ultimate fighting machine suited to how you want to play the game is a modern day wonder of the gaming world.
~~~ Shouts and Powers ~~~
During your long and winding quest to defeat the ancient dragon Alduin, the Dragonborn will be subject to various changes! What makes the Dragonborn unique, is his ability to manipulate the dragon tongue (similar to how Harry Potter can speak to snakes). Effectively, from learning the ancient language of the dragons, the Dragonborn can use an array of abilities that no mere mortal could ever dream of possessing. The Dragonborn has the ability to 'Shout' - focusing the words of the ancient dragons into a powerful and destructive force. For example, the word for fire is 'Yol', and once mastered, allows the Dragonborn to shoot fire from his mouth. Once the Dragonborn has learnt this word, he has the potential to use against foes - providing he has unlocked the word with a dragon soul. It sounds awful complicated but it really isn't. Whenever you defeat one of the many wandering dragons in Skyrim, you absorb the soul of that dragon. This soul can then be used to unlock any word you have learnt.
Each Shout has three separate words and with each word the shout gets stronger. So, the Dragonborn has already learnt the word for fire - 'Yol' and can use it deadly effect against foes. However, if he were to learn the words inferno - 'Toor' and the word Sun - 'Shul', then his fire breath would become exponentially stronger. However, these cool abilities come at a cost. The stronger the Shout, the longer the cool-down period, i.e. the amount of time that must surpass before the Shout can be used again. There are 20 Shouts that can be unlocked throughout the world of Skyrim - ones which can slow down time itself, and ones which call dragons to fight by your side. Cool, eh? Words can be found at word walls - large stone tablets usually located at the end of cleared-out dungeons.
Alongside Shouts, the Dragonborn has the ability to use 'Powers' that he has stumbled upon on his travels. Each Power can only be used once a day (in-game time) but usually lasts for a prolonged period of time. I'm unsure the number of Powers that are secreted throughout the world of Skyrim, I have about 5 unlocked. The power I use most is 'Lycanthropy' - the ability to transform into a werewolf! Its quite useful when travelling to far away undiscovered places, as werewolves are awful fast! Faster in fact, than any horse in the game! I suppose the werewolf is pretty good at tearing peoples throats out aswell - but travelling is essential! You can also become a vampire I am told and summon ancient assassins to fight by your side! Pretty. Damn. Awesome.
~~~ Loot, Weapons and Enchantments ~~~
Glad to say, Skyrim is littered with all kinds of goodies! The amount the Dragonborn can carry depends on his stamina. An added benefit with increasing stamina is that you also increase the Dragonborn's carrying capacity! The Dragonborn can have equipped at any one time; Armor, Gauntlets, Boots, Ring (x1), Necklace/ Pendant (x1) and a Helmet/ Circlet (x1), along with any chosen weapons! The variety of different items and armor incorporated into Skyrim is quite frankly, scary! You could have equipped a ring that fortifies your Archery skill whilst wearing a Necklace that increases your chances of Pickpocketing! The combinations are mind-blowing!
Many of the quests in Skyrim involve you clearing out dungeons and defeating a boss-like character at the end! As discussed, word walls are often situated at the end of these dungeons. Along with word walls, there normally is a chest full of high valued items and weapons. There are a large number of chests scattered throughout dungeons, but the ones with the best loot are normally located toward the latter levels! The most valuable items normally are enchanted ones - weapons or armor with an accompanying characteristic that improves some aspect of the Dragonborn's character!
Enchanting items yourself couldn't be easier! First, you will need to know an enchantment, this is normally done by disenchanting items that are no use to you! Second, select and item or weapon or piece of armor you wish to enchant. Finally, use a soul gem (a gem which has a trapped soul inside) to bind the item and enchantment together! And Voila! You have yourself an enchanted weapon! Beware though, enchanted weapons have to be 'charged' in order for the enchantment to work - you can recharge enchanted weapons using soul gems! There are literally thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of soul gems lying around the plains of Skyrim! Get this - you can even enchant a weapon so that when you kill an enemy you trap there soul in a soul gem! Enchanting is a very useful skill to have, once mastered, you can enchant an item with '''two''' enchantments! Cool or what?
You can, if you have the skills and ingredients, craft items yourself! This is called Smithing and is very popular among the YouTube community, who have found several ways to 'boost' Smithing to level 100 so that you craft the prestigious 'Dragon Armor'. Smithing also enables the Dragonborn to improve the quality of weapons and armor, which also increases its base damage! Increasing the quality of a weapon can be done at a grindstone whereas increasing the quality of armor can be done at a workbench! These can be found in every city in Skyrim. Whether it be via the grindstone or arcane enchanter, if you want something upgrading, the only thing holding you back, is you! Skyrim is your oyster!
~~~ Graphics and Soundtrack ~~~
Mesmerising. If I could some up Skyrim's graphics in one word, yup you guessed it! Mesmerising. The landscapes are truly something to behold. Whether your wandering the expanses of the realm on a warm summers evening, with the sun setting in the distance, or running up a mountain side with the cold winters breeze at your back - sometimes I honestly found it difficult to ascertain the difference between Skyrim and reality! Imagine what the next Elder Scrolls has in store for us, on a console rumoured to have 4 times the processing power of the current generation! I truly cannot wait!
Accompanying these sensational visuals, is a soundtrack which sure does its part to compliment the 'epicness' (just made up a word) of Skyrim! Its the little subtle bits that get your heart racing! Approaching a dragon? The background music - slow and steady like a beating drum- as if not to disturb its slumber! Its seen you! The music kicks in, a fast-tempo low humming perfectly suiting the situation you seem to have managed to get yourself into! I didn't know a game could get the adrenaline pumping - apparently so! Approaching word walls has a unique accompanying sound, it's almost as if Alduin himself is singing you a low pitched melody - getting louder and louder with each and every step towards the word wall, almost daring you to get closer! With a little research, I've actually found the title of this song - 'The Song of the Dragonborn' - pop it into YouTube and have a listen!
~~~ Achievements ~~~
There are a total of 75 achievements that can be unlocked playing Skyrim. 25 of them can only be unlocked by downloading the three DLC's that Bethesda have introduced since it's launched - making 50. I myself (boastingly) have managed to unlock all 50 achievements. Smug face. There are around 16 quest- related achievements, so working your way through the game completing the main storyline will get you about 16 or so achievements. I'm somewhat against games introducing DLC's. I've bought the game already, why exactly (apart from making you money) would I want to download part of a game that I have already paid for? It's beyond me! Anyhow, I really do enjoy getting all of the achievements in a game, there's a real sense of satisfaction to it!
I would like to discuss one of these achievements specifically - 'Oblivion Walker'! This achievement requires you to acquire all 15 Daedric Artifacts scattered throughout Skyrim! The 'Daedra' as they are called, are a group of supernatural entities that inhabit the plains of Skyrim. They often have a large group of worshipers. The Daedric Princes are I suppose, Skyrim's alternative to Gods. There are 17 Daedric Princes, accompanying them are there very own quests. Upon completion of a quest, the Dragonborn will often speak to the respective Daedric Prince, who will grant him a Daedric Artifact for a job well-done. These artifacts are highly prized items - normally a weapon - which have exceedingly credible credentials when it comes to combat. Or, put more simply; they're strong - arguably the best weapons in the game! There's something about 'helping out' the Gods that appealed to me - this achievement was arguably the most difficult, yet also the most satisfying!
~~~ Multiplayer ~~~
Unfortunately, there is no multiplayer function with this game! Which is somewhat of a bummer. With the expanse of Xbox Live and PSN, I really do believe Bethesda have missed a trick here! World of Warcraft (arguably Skyrim's main competitor) has incorporated a very sophisticated multiplayer function into it's game, so I see no physical barrier stopping Elder Scrolls from becoming a multiplayer competitor! In fact, I tell I lie! One of the few disappointments I witnessed playing Skyrim, were it's incredibly long loading screens! I understand the need for such a long loading sequence due to Skyrim's huge open world. Following from this, I dread to think how long the loading screens would be if it were a multiplayer game! Maybe the current generation of consoles simply does not have the processing power to sync 4 (or however many players) networks together over the internet considering the grand scale of the game! Quite understandable then, why Bethesda decided to opt against a multiplayer function. There are rumours however, that Elder Scrolls 6 will have a multiplayer function! Excited would be an understatement!
~~~ Summary ~~~
Well, what a gaming wonder we are lucky enough to have witnessed! Skyrim is a beautifully engineered role-playing gamer's paradise! Absolute perfection! Elder Scrolls V is a finely tuned gaming experience, a world accomplished by collating together the successes and failures of its predecessors! The game possesses everything needed to satisfy even the most critical of gamers, from outstanding visuals to in-depth character customisation, the game is truly a modern day masterpiece. The longevity of the game is almost limitless, being able to 'reset' skill trees makes the characters development indefinite. With over 60 hours of gameplay and all of the achievements tucked away under my belt, I'm pleased to say I am still in love with this game! I recommend Skyrim to any and every gamer, whether you be male or female, racing fan or COD fanboy, this game will not disappoint! I urge you to witness the epicness (there's that made up word again) of Skyrim. A masterpiece!
I was never a big fan of the Elder scrolls saga, oblivion being the only one I really played and I'm honest it was such a huge game I never really got to finished it. When I first heard about Skyrim I have to admit I was kind of excited to see Bethesda Softworks would make of it. I'm quite happy to say that the wait was very much so worth it. Skyrim creates a beautiful and massive world which houses more quests than I can count.
Now before I say anymore I must say that I don't actually own this game yet as I only rented it for a few days but the first impressions were enough to make me want payday to hurry up even more.
Like I said this game is beautiful, even in the first few seconds on the game you can just see how gorgeous the world of Skyrim is. Once you get into the game you can travel your way through snow-capped mountains, dense woodlands, beautiful rivers and cities and all while defending yourself against the monsters of the world and meeting interesting characters. Although the graphics are amazing rough edgings and texture draw-ins still obviously plague Bethesda games. One thing that I found quite disturbing is how creatures sometimes appear in the sky and then fall back down to Earth as if the designers had been watching too much of 'the hitch hiker's guide to the galaxy.' On the plus side the graphics can have you climbing your way through blizzards, hiding from thunderstorms and then when everything clear and calm you gaze up and see the northern lights bleeding out of the darkened skies about you. With visuals like this Skyrim is a game you can easily spend hours on and completely get lost in.
Before you even get to jump into the world you have to create a character, much like in the past Elder scrolls games. You can choose your race, gender, looks, height and class. I didn't spend too much time on this as I was eager to get into the game but by just skipping through the menus quickly I could still see that a lot of detail created with the characters
There's so much to do in this game and like I said there are so many side quests to accomplice the main story line that I don't even know how to begin counting them. I only got to play the game for a few days and I still managed to find so many side quests that I hardly touch the main story quests. I wouldn't recommend playing this game for hours on end as you might get too lost in the world of Skyrim because there is really so much to do. You can buy a horse, mix potions, create weapons at a forge and enchant them, chop wood for the npc that you married, fight monsters or just simply talk to the hundreds of characters within the game.
Fallout fans might recognises the addition of slow motion kill-cams, allowing you to see your final blow really having an impact on your prey. Being a RPG game a levelling system is in place however it is slightly different to previous elder scrolls games, it is an improvement however as you are never gaining experience on the way you play. The more you use a spell or weapon the more experience you gain.
Now although this game is amazing it isn't prefect. On the odd occasion I had to re-load to a previous save point as I found myself getting stuck in the environments. This of course was well annoying as most of the time I had covered a lot of distance and then had to do it all over again. Luckily enough this didn't happen too often and can be avoided if you're careful enough but to be fair who really wants to be careful in a video game? The games AI can sometimes be quite stupid and get in your way and even end up trapping you in an area or behind a door which can get frustrating.
Overall this is an amazing game which I really can't wait to play again, it was so hard to give this game back to blockbusters. As this is such a massive game I know there so many things that I've missed out and didn't even get to experience in the time I was playing it but my first impressions of this game really are lasting and it's really easy to see why this game has been called game of the decade!
Literally hundreds of hours of amazingly immersive gameplay awaits you.I queued for two hours in the freezing cold the night the game launched went straight home and played for 12 hours straight.Skyrim allows you to escape the humdrum of regular life and throws you into a world of dragons , danger , magic and intrigue.Whether you play as a silent assassin or a fearless warrior or even a powerful dark wizard the choices , quests available to you are wide and varied.
Game play is quick and easy to pick up with a huge variety of character customization available to you.Spend days just wondering the map killing animals and picking herbs or exploring dungeons in search of rare weapons and loot.
Dragons.Nearly forgot to mention them.And that is where the game gets really interesting.Learn to harness their shouts and a whole new world of possibilities open up.
Easily the greatest action based RPG of this generation of consoles.
In the Beginning
As a big fan of The Elder Scrolls series, I was looking forward to Skyrim with much anticipation. Having severely scoured the island of Vvardenfell in the Dark Elf province of Morrowind as well as Oblivion's Imperial land of Cyrodiil (albeit to a lesser extent), the ancient home of the Nords was very much next in line. Coming across various trailers set in a snowy mountainous landscape with intense music and best of all, a gigantic dragon about to do battle, I had a good idea of what I was getting into. What I didn't know however was that Skyrim (Standard Edition) was priced at £55 on my pre-order receipt with GAME. Now I've been buying video games for over a decade and never seen such scrupulous money grabbing before, so it wasn't surprising news to see GAME go into administration 3 months later. I don't know whether this was just a cruelly shrewd business move by the distributors or a RRP price set by Bethesda, but regardless of Skyrim's content, it wasn't worth more than any other brand new game (I believe even £40 is steep for what most games offer). After I proceeded to tear up my non-obligatory inflated order and found it online for a default price of just under £40, I tore straight into the game, playing a good few hours, training up for an epic adventure across a giant winterland.
"Dovahkiin, By his honor is sworn to keep evil forever at bay" (Story)
As usual, the Elder Scrolls game sets out with a fairly swift introduction - the scene of your execution - while you realize your true potential culminating in the absorption of a dragon's soul and becoming Dovahkiin, AKA Dragonborn. Yeah, pretty intense stuff eh? Anyway, you get to grips with your powers granted to thee by being 'the one' and carve a path through the land, learning the teachings from the fabled 'Greybeards' and leaving dozens of fallen dragon corpses in your wake as you hunt down the biggest and baddest of them all - Alduin. This monster has been resurrecting his fallen brothers to scour the world, in an attempt to destroy it completely. It's your job to find him and end him... Of course, there are several other story-lines to follow such as the thieves guild, the dark brotherhood and the companions - each could be likened to the length of another games campaign. Now with various DLC available, you can expand your world even farther and take on whole new journeys, not that you'd ever get everything done...
FUS RO DAH!!! (Gameplay)
Where the combat in Oblivion felt chinsy and Morrowind diabolically terrible, Skyrim goes leaps and bounds onto better things. Duel wielding spells, swords and shields or your pathetic enchanted wood elf bow - you can fight the way you want to, although someways are evidently better than others when taking on a mammoth, giant or almighty dragon. One would think it impossible to not sound nerdy after that but since finishing blows have been added to the roster, combat gets a new lick of paint and feels more modern and stylish. The conversations are held at a realistic distance compared to Oblivions' "Let's zoom in on a terrifying face, highlighting some poor graphics and generally being a nuisance" thing. The menus however are out of place and reek too much of previous Bethesda title Fallout. The 'Shouts' are a welcome addition to get you into the games storyline but also as unique spells that could not be utilised in older games. However, the lack of enchant abilities, compared to Morrowind is sad, but expected because this game is absolutely riddled with bugs - both insect and glitch. It's difficult to recall all the great little bits and bobs of what the game offers, so here's a quick shopping list of newish inclusions:
Smithing & Enchanting- Craft armor & weapons from specific materials and enchant them.
Lockpicking & Pickpocketing - the tumblers from IV have been hidden and so have your hands... into that Imperial scum's heavy pocket.
Alchemy - pluck wild flowers and combine them with the eye of a sabre cat tooth.
"I don't have anything to say to you... SO GET OUT OF MY FACE." (Surroundings)
Not many games can come close to TES series environments and Skyrim still raises the flag higher with stunning backdrops and a vast wilderness almost limitless and always ready to explore. One downside would be that like the 2 games before it, the various tombs and dungeons all have a similar appearance and thus, get repetitive. The fact that the game is set in the northern winter land of Skyrim is a fresh choice for the series as volcanic desolation and generic woodland have grown tiresome. The people of Skyrim are quite diverse, but tend to offer little other than the odd humorous remark - soon to be common phrase amongst every single character... Basically, the number of hours required to get your money's worth means you're going to hear the same dreadful one liners over and over, from blacksmiths to jarls. You're much better off traversing the wild, edging your way closer up the intimidating mountain, plundering a glacial tomb or facing mighty foes across a permafrost spekled tundra. The soundtrack is also worth mentioning because not only is it as hardy and powerful as the natives but avid gamers with recognize older themes arise in certain situations.
In the End...
A massive achievement in gaming, considering how far it has come but most especially, the fact that a single-player only game, has managed to scoop so many industry awards and please a thousand critics and millions of gamers over such a short time. With an Online game in the pipeline, it would seem that this could be the last of the great RPG's as companies try to pursue the majority, getting their hands on monthly payments. It's possible a 6th installment could see the light, but if this game's scale is any indication of waiting for an improvement? We may be waiting a very, very long time.
Put simply, skyrim is the best xbox game out there. Skyrim is the first game that I've actually spent consecutive HOURS playing. I live with my boyfriend, and he's constantly playing his xbox 360. Before living with him I never really played xbox, I preferred my N64 and gamecube. Wow, was I missing out. Gamecube graphics are nothing compared to the xbox. I started just joining in on a game of Black Ops or two, then it was GTA and assassins creed, but they never really hit the spot for me where I could sit there for 8 hours nonstop like my boyfriend and just about any game he gets in to. And then came skyrim..
I had seen the adverts and figured i'd get it as a present for my guy. Sure enough right away we started playing to see what it was like. Straight away I was hooked. The stunning graphics, the scenery, story line, sneak mode, pickpocketing, lock picking, mystery at every turn, the stupid guards and other characters that provide a great laugh most times, lydia, giants, mammoths, huge-ass frost spiders, and the slaying the awesome dragons. This game has everything. It's another world, you literally get lost in it. Once you get the hang of it it's really easy and basic to find your quests, use the map, inventory, etc. There are so many different quests and cities, but travel is still really easy with fast travel. You can make potions with alchemy, enchant/upgrade your weapons with enchanting tables, learn magic and absorb dragon souls, yes absorb dragon souls. Skyrim is the only game that i've sat and played on my own still going strong until 7am while my boyfriend had fell asleep, usually its the other way around. I highly recommend skyrim for girls and guys, it's great fun and theres always something to do. If you buy skyrim it will be the best rpg you've ever played but be prepared to stuck in front of your xbox and tv nonstop.
Welcome to the massive world of skyrim, we have beautiful trees, wonderful plant life and lovely animals and yes I forgot to mention, massive dragons that want to kill you, werewolves, vampires and more foes than you can handle, so welcome to the world of skyrim.
Skyrim is an amazing game with an amazing story the game starts out with your character going to the chopping block, but just before the axe comes down and swings that head clean off a dragon comes down but was it trying to save you, or did it want to kill you with its own dragon strength. You get louse and run off and have to pick who you want to go with the two groups that are fighting each other the stormclocks and the imperials so who ever you choose to go with you make it outside and now you can do what you want, you can follow the main story, going to meet with the jarl of whiterun fighting the dragon and meet with the legendary greybeards who will help you fight all the evil dragons. Or now go off and do other side quests join an number of guilds and become to head or level up to the max to become the most powerful warrior, wizard or even assassin of skyrim
* A massive open world, there is a massive world to run about in and so much just to see and do within that world if it is finding those secret people running about who have rare items for you to buy or maybe steal, to the groups of powerful enemies you can find.
* Loads of different dungeons, within the game there are loads of cave, dungeons and other places to visit it is so much fun running into and cave and fighting all the different foes you might face within there and then trying to find all the cheats and such to find all the best loot.
* A lot extra added from the last game, when of the best things is all that has been added now in Skyrim like you can become a werewolf and the new weapons as well they are the same sword but they look better and are more fun to use.
* Magic, the magic system is so much better and I would say one of the best system of magic is have seen in an game recently the magic is so easy to use and there is a different spell for everyone depending on what you like to use magic for
* Glitches, this is one of the biggest problem with the game and can really draw you out of the game if you feel yourself getting sucked in, when you are playing and the game will just crash or someone dies and now a quest cannot be finished or you cannot pick up an item now sometimes these can be fixed by walking in and out of the cave or town, and there are patches that come out every so often to fix these but they are so many that something does need to be said, so all that can be said is save often because you do not want to be just about to complete and really long quest and then boom game crashes and you lose everything.
* Getting somewhere in a hurry, unlike in oblivion the main cities and town are not open to you so you have to get lifts there which would be alright and it is, it does not cost that much but the problem comes in when you have to get to a location you cannot just fast travel to because you have not found it yet, like a cave or meeting someone in the wildness, and then when you are running there are always mountains or something in the way which takes ages while you have to run all the way around it just to get one thing.
Altogether this is a very good game and so much to play and enjoy, it is a must have for any gamer just because of the amount of play time hours you can get on it, because even after you have completed the main story and beat the final main story boss there is still so much to see and do within the game and with the fact they are going to keep releasing DLC for this game then this game is a must buy right now if you do not already have it.
This game still costs about £30, even a year after release.
Oof. Rarely have I been so lost in a game. This took away about 70 hours of my life, and is perhaps the most addictive thing I've played since Baldur's Gate 2 about ten years ago.
It's a fantasy RPG based in the usual Tolkein-esque world of elves and dragons and such. It's the fifth game in the series, but I don't think you'd need to have played the previous games to play this one. I played Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion back in the day, but found it a bit plodding, so gave up on it. For that reason, I was a reluctant to embark on Skyrim, but once I did, and I'd got past the initial 'learning new things' awkwardness that you have to get past with every game, I was well and truly hooked.
You play a character, and in the usual fashion you can choose race and sex. To be honest, apart from some bonus powers, these decisions mean very little. Perhaps the biggest disappointment with the game is that your protagonist has no voice, no personality. This feels odd after Mass Effect, in which your character was fully voiced and had at least a modicum of personality. Further, although you can befriend people and even have someone following you around to help you out, there are no character arcs for anyone. This feels like a bit of a backward step after all the effort Bioware and others have put into making their games more compelling from a character and story point of view.
But that's the only thing about this game I didn't like, and cutting back on the detailed content has presumably allowed for more other stuff to be shoved in. As long as you're happy with the fact that your character is effectively a tailor's dummy with a sword, there's plenty to love about Skyrim.
It's an open world game with a number of plots you can follow or ignore, depending entirely on your own whims. The main plot has something to do with dragons - they're attacking settlements and have to be stopped. Inevitably, the game signposts you towards this main plot from very early on (the game actually begins with a dragon attack which you have to escape). But I think I'd played for about 50 hours before I bothered to pursue that plot with any real intent.
Before that, you can wander freely through what is a huge world, mostly rather mountainous countryside with the odd city, village or other settlement thrown in. There are caves to explore and dungeons to fight your way through and standing stones to have fun with. The world itself looks absolutely lovely. There's something immensely appealing about just running through this fertile countryside, looking for wolves or bandits or dragons to kill. There are giants in the game, which leave you alone for the most part, but their huge bonfires, seen from a distance at night, are somehow hauntingly beautiful. Swimming underwater looks really nice, too, although if you do it for too long you'll drown (just like in real life!).The graphics are generally very good, although I noticed that when it rains you don't get little splashes as the droplets hit rivers or lakes.
The way the map works is particularly ingenious. You can only fast travel to places you have already been. New places - landmarks, farms, cities, whatever, have to be unlocked by you running round and finding them. This is great fun - like most RPGs, this one works best as a collecting game, and it really taps into that mentality when it comes to exploring the world and filling in the blank spaces on the map.
There are a variety of guilds and brotherhoods you can join - warriors, assassins, thieves, mages, the usual kind of thing - and each has its own quite lengthy storyline. Some of these do go on a bit too long. I spent far more time with the thieves and mages than I'd wanted to. But they lead to a wide variety of missions, most of which are fun. For once, this is a game that lets you be properly evil - mostly RPGs are heavily skewed toward you being a good person even if you have to pick a pocket or two. In Skyrim, by contrast, as well as assassinating any number of entirely blameless citizens with no consequences, I also managed to join a cannibal sect and was able to regenerate health by eating the corpses of my victims. That is quality evil, and not something you'd have got away with in Baldur's Gate.
Combat, magic etc are well realized for the most part, although there are a few small glitches. While the lockpicking in Oblivion was irritating and no fun at all, they've managed to make it a bit more agreeable in Skyrim, although I'd still sigh inwardly when I found myself having to try to unlock a tough door. But then there are always powers I underuse. I'm very much a 'go around with a sword and shield twatting people' player when it comes to these things, so I never really use magic or thieving to their full potential. Although I did a fair bit of blacksmithing, I hardly ever ventured into an alchemy lab (too much like home economics for me) and I stopped picking flowers when my flatmate poured scorn on a game where collecting heather was seen as a virtue.
It has good villains to fight against, and actually has the virtue of being quite scary. Creeping round caves trying to sneak up on the tougher villains had me tense like no game has since probably the early Medal of Honor games. The ambience in caves and dungeons is definitely spooky, even if they do get a bit samey after a while. Refreshingly the giant spiders you tangle with actually look like spiders (take note, Dragon Age, it can be done!). And the Falmer, evil subterranean elves who are basically the monsters from The Descent with armour on, are actually alarming. The difficulty is perhaps a little on the easy side, at least at normal level; I didn't find myself having to restart all that often, although saving frequently is still a good idea (I probably fell off cliffs more often than I got killed by monsters). Even dragons are pretty easy to kill.
Racking up the achievements is also pretty easy - I got 1000G without really trying too hard. I'm not sure if it's something I would replay, having done it once. There are options that would make another play through different, but I don't think I can be bothered. The game itself doesn't end when you finish the final mission, and I daresay I could run around forever doing identical side quests if I so desired.
There's blood when you hit enemies, but little really nasty gore. You can decapitate your foes if you're lucky, but even cannibalism is fairly restrained. There's no sex at all, which is a tad disappointing in this day and age. There should surely at least be prostitutes in taverns, but no. Even when my character got married she didn't noticeably get laid. I'm not entirely sure why this has a 15 certificate at all - possibly because it allows same sex marriage, and we all know how much that upsets a certain type of person.
It's not really a game for big moments. In fact, there are hardly any cut scenes at all. It's a lot of quite small moments that add up to something huge. The one bit that really stays with me is when I was hiding in a sarcophagus when the desiccated corpse inside it started glowing and talking to me - that scared the dickens out of me. The lack of cutscenes is welcome in some ways, but frustrating in others. There are too many times when you have to slowly follow another character around as they laboriously explain things to you, and there aren't really enough opportunities to skip dialogue. The voice acting is generally good, and the cast includes Max von Sydow and Christopher Plummer. The music is unintrusive, but there are a couple of rather lovely tunes, one of which perfectly accompanies running around through the snow at night, which I did a lot of.
There are a few problems. The game has a tonne of glitches, even almost a year after release, which is annoying. I fell through the scenery a couple of times, and dialogue refused to initiate a few other times. Another annoyance was that my housecarl (i.e. bodyguard-cum-packhorse), Lydia, kept standing in doorways I was trying to get through, effectively blocking me in. She also kept coughing. I didn't marry her when given the opportunity. Take that, Lydia. Loading times are often extremely long, even with the game installed to my Xbox's harddrive. And it sometimes lags badly, especially in scenes where there are lots of baddies attacking you at once. It also crashed six or seven times while loading, which doesn't happen on other games.
But I can live with all that. This is a tremendous, immersive game that rarely bores and kept me interested for the two weeks or however long that I was playing it. If it had just been a little more challenging, and had fewer silly little glitches, it would be a classic. As it is, it's just very good.
Developer Bethesda really likes to take their time with games. Contrary to other big companies like Activision or EA, who pump out their annual Maddens and Call of Duties like clockwork in order to cash in on the yearly November video game market, Bethesda will spend years on a project, making in as detailed and immersible as they can, as well as continually innovating new features that push the boundaries of the genre they are working in. In the case of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, it had literally been 5 years since the drop of its Game of the Year predecessor, Oblivion, so with that kind of time for improvement there are going to be some very high expectations. Yet again, Bethesda manages to push the boundaries for action RPGs, as well as clearly push the power of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles to their limits with a game that will suck you in for hundreds of hours before you have even scratched the surface of it.
If I had to sum up Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in a few words they would be "immerse", "freedom", and "adaptability".
The "immerse" part is obvious and expected, as its essentially what has given The Elder Scrolls such a huge and popular gaming following. Skyrim however, at least in my opinion, does this even better than any previous titles. Whether you loved Morrowind, Dagerfall, or Oblivion, you still can't argue the epic graphics and beautiful landscapes that the northern mountainous regions offer. Not that that should matter, graphics should be a non factor, but still, it's hard to ignore them even if it is on the Xbox 360 as opposed to a beast PC. Regardless, it's important to note that Skyrim still has what made prior games of its kind special in terms of gameplay as well. The storyline wraps you up, the quests inter-relate, and your decisions really matter. The only real complain I have to offer here, is that the game doesn't allow you to work up your reputation as it did in Morrowind or Oblivion. With your ability to use Shouts as the Dragonbourne, you are instantly known as the famous savior wherever you go in the land. It does detract a bit from that fulfilling buildup that Oblivion played off with so well, though some may actually prefer it like this.
The "freedom" part has grown more and more as each entry into the Elder Scrolls series progresses. Skyrim is no exception. As always, the massive playground of a world provided to you right out of the gate to explore is... well, massive. There are hundreds of locations to discover and mark on your map, and probably only 10% of them actually incorporate the main quest into them. The rest are side quests, miscellaneous quests, or just little things brought into the game to further enhance your character and his or her experience. The really cool thing about this, as well as the general free feeling that the game gives you is the ability to get lost in the middle of EVERYTHING. Sure, there is always the impeding pressure of dragons coming back from the dead and flying around terrorizing the land of Skyrim, but you can get to that main quest later, as soon you'll be sidetracked by all kinds of things like guild quests. And while you're in the middle of a burglary job as you attempt to bring the Thieves Guild back to its former glory, you'll find some ingredient that will make you realize you've really been regarding your Alchemy skills. While training up those Alchemy skills, the odds are pretty good that you'll have some random encounter that involves you roughing someone up in a tavern, which may just be the same tavern you were supposed to meet someone in relating to the main quest 100 hours ago, at which point you recall the original purpose and goal you set out to fulfill such a long time ago. Furthermore, the "freedom" part of the game is in your play style. Skyrim can really be played at whatever pace you would like depending on your character and their skills. If you don't want high action big battles, then you are perfectly free to level up your Sneak skills and take out enemies slowly, one at a time, with nothing more than a small dagger. The game allows you to do this by giving you all kinds of unlockable advantages like x15 damage for sneak attacks involving daggers. Likewise, if you'd prefer to rush headfirst into battle and take on 4 enemies at once with your two-handed weapon like a big blunt axe or warhammer, the brute force and power of that weapon will be a comparable way of defeating the same enemies in a completely different manner.
The "adaptability" is what makes Skyrim a role-playing game, as opposed to an action game with role-playing elements (I am looking strongly in your direction, Assassin's Creed: Revelations.) Decisions that you make, even ones early on in the heat of the moment like choosing whether to escape a dragon attack with a guard or a fellow prisoner, that may not seem influential there, can end up deciding things like the success of the epic civil war going on within the kingdom. It's not just quest decisions either. Choosing to wear Stormcloak in a city that is very much so anti-empire will help you out tremendously, and will open up all kinds of opportunities to you that would not have been there previously if you had simply donned that shiny Imperial armor. Another cool unique aspect that Bethesda has really incorporated into Skyrim is its "local" feel. All the different holds of the city have very different feels in ways that vary far more than scenery like they did in Oblivion. Visit the city of Solitude right after spending lots of time in Riften and it's easy to see what I mean. Different cities have different levels of corruption and what they stand for, as well as different people you'll want to influence to help yourself out with new opportunities for personal gain, as opposed to a general negative notoriety which will result in a lot more dangerous fights and bounties on your head.
There's one more thing I have yet to specify in this review so far that some seemed to be quite excited about in Skyrim.. that whole "dragons" thing. And I'm here to say that while Skyrim has certainly not re-invented the fantasy dragon video game action RPG deal, they have created a standard that many games will try to copy, but few, if any, will ever be able to implement. Battles with dragons in Skyrim are just so much more epic than anything else I had ever experienced before that was even remotely similar. I truly don't know what helps set it apart the most, it could be the mountain setting, for few things are cooler than standing on top of a snowy mountain and roaring fire with a Shout right back at a dragon. Or maybe it's the flow and animations, for the dragons move fluidly, and although all of them are doing essentially the same thing, that's a hard complain to keep track of when you're busy attempting to shoot these mythical beasts out of the sky with arrows or magic.
One thing that has continually plagued Bethesda titles over the years has been bugs. Whether it's Fallout 3, TES: Oblivion, or New Vegas (oh wait, New Vegas froze so much you probably never played it long enough to experience any bugs.) It really should be expected in a way, when you have a game so massive it's kind of difficult to catch everything. Now the good thing about Skyrim is that at least bugs seem to be exempt from the main storyline, so there is never anything stopping you from finishing something up there. However, bugs unfortunately still are found everywhere in these norther winter lands. Some of them are actually rather amusing, such as when I walked out of a cabin in the middle of some deserted plains and saw three huge mammoths crash out of the sky to their rather random yet still unfortunate deaths. Other bugs can be very frustrating, such as when characters in Riverwood randomly decided they didn't like me, forcing me to fight back and kill them, which in turn made the other people of the town paint my character in a very negative light.
It would be ridiculous to say that Skyrim is 100% perfect. It does not however seem unreasonable to say that the good in this game resembles something the size of a dragon, while the bad resembles something like a Skeever. And if you aren't a dork to get that reference, Skeevers are small. Really small. The few things that do bring Skyrim down still do nothing in terms of affecting the overall product. It's sort of like if someone forgot to dust the Mona Lisa. It might be a bit unpolished, but underneath it is still a masterpiece. And from now on, Skyrim is going to be considered the Mona Lisa of action RPG games, and will have to be the game that developers strive to live up to. Unfortunately for competitors though, the only one that has ever shown to consistently best Bethesda, is Bethesda.
So as you have probably heard, Skyrim is the latest addition in the elder scrolls franchise. It is in many ways simular to the popular Oblivion title in the series, but in my opinion much better. It seems cleaner and smoother to play than Oblivion and has some of the most breathtaking graphics I have seen in a new release, even on the xbox version. It has a terrific storyline and after 60 hours of gameplay I have still not completed, being sidetracked by the sheer multitude of sidequests to get involved in. That is definitely the main selling point of this game - the gameplay value. It has on average around 100 hours of story gameplay, and then a big replay value due to the different choices you can make throughout the game. I love the story and I would reccomend the game to anyone, it isnt perfect, but very close.
The first thing you need to know about Skyrim is that its big. Real big. With practically millions of different things to do in the game, from going on quests, buying a house, becoming a werewolf (you heard me), and easily one of the highlights of the game: Killing Dragons. These are just a few of the possible things to do in Skyrim and is the games true appeal: you can literally do as you please. Of course there is a main storyline in which to follow and once finished you do essentially "win the game" so to speak. However in reality you cannot ever actually complete Skyrim. There will always be a new quest to do, a new spell to learn, a new village in need of rescuing from a fire breathing Dragon... You get the picture. Skyrims beauty is it allows the player to pave their own path through the game at their own pace, so neither player will play the same way as someone else who plays the game. With its open world style of gameplay, theres always new enemies to kill and fortresses to conquer, and in my year long experience of owning the game I have never once got bored of playing.
A big positive is also the combat system. Unlike most RPGs, the games combat is much more "hack and slash" style than a tactical or turn based style. Some more traditional RPG players may see this is a negative, but I feel it gives the game a real edge and makes the fights much more action packed and exicting. Added to the whole variety of weapons avaliable to use, from swords to bows to spells to massive hammers, combat always feels fresh and rewarding.
If you dont own Skyrim yet and are debating as to whether to get it or not, get a copy. Beleive the hype, Skyrim is one of the best RPGs avaliable on the market.
First of all Skyrim is an RPG, a huge one.
Secondly, I hate RPGs. BUT
I absolutely love Skyrim! It has me completely hooked with is hugely expansive world, gameplay, and value for money.
For the money you pay and the game time you get out of it. Its fantastic. You don't have to be on it for hours to progress through the game nor complete many levels before check pointing. You can save whenever you like and do the large or small 'missions' as you please.
Some missions you choose will seem hard due to the power/ magic/ weapon skill you have at the current time. However, level up and come back to fight those walking skeletons again to have them quaking in their....tombs.
The levelling up system is clever using stars as a skill type. Each level completed acts a currency system to spend on which skill you decide to be most beneficial to your game. You'll also come across stones that can assist you in levelling up quicker. Skyrim is a long game but you always feel as if you are progressing. The more experience the better the game play the better the experience and so on.
There are many types of enemy's and some you don't always know are bad until you provoke them. Not forgetting the huge dragons which when killed unlock another type of skill known as a 'shout'. These shouts have all types of advantages depending on the enemy at hand.
The play is smooth and the consumables list just goes on. Even being able to create your own armour is pretty cool. Every single thing has a knock on effect or benefit. All depends on how wise you are in using them.
Skyrim is known for its glitches. I have to be honest. I've very rarely seen any on the xbox 360. The ps3 has considerably more however since the update.
All in all. A fantastic game. End of.
I have not played any of the other elder scrolls games but if you are looking for a brilliant free roaming game which lets you level up and goes on forever with new quests then this is a game for you . When i first started playing this game i thought it was a bit slow and boring but then once you get in to the zone of the game and follow the story it captures you.I have had many hours on this game and I still have plenty of quest's and side missions to do. An aspect of this game I love is that you can upgrade weaponry,armour and spells . You can also pick from numerous characters which as a result have many different advantages and skills. For example if you pick to be an imperial soldier then as you go through the game the more gold coins will appear randomly.You can also have a wife,a home and choose to be evil or good. The down sides to this game are there are many glitches which i have noticed, but in a game this big and with this much creativity it is hard to rule out every single glitch . There are also many hidden chest's which you can glitch in to which have many items in them, if you wish to find these hidden chest's just search it on youtube,it is very easy to find. Overall this game is brilliant and well worth the money ,it has many avenues and choices and if you love a good free roaming game and like to soak up hours of playing games then this is definitely a game for you!
Thanks for reading :)
Having not being a fan of Oblivion or the previous Elder Scroll installments I was a bit dubious when picking Skyrim up. I was skeptical about the poor combat from the previous game, and the fact that Bethesda seem incapable of testing for bugs before the launch of a game but all of my worries were washed away by the massive, beliavable world that is Skyrim.
Combat is much like Oblivions, first person in view with a choice of melee or ranged weapons, or magic. The combat has improved with things like dual casting however it is still far from perfect.
The game looks gorgeous, the character models are a lot more beliavble this time around. The thing that really hit me is how much there is to do, it really is an epic game that will take hundreds of hours to complete. This may sound tedious to some, but once the game gets its claws in you, you are powerless to it's charms.
The bad? Well it is overly glitchy, but for some strange reason the flying horses, the over the top physics on some characters and the whole host of other glitches seem to add to the charm of the game.
This is one you're going to be playing for quite some time.
It doesn't take much for me to become bored with a game, and to move on without a second thought. Fortunately for me, Skyrim is so immersive, I've played through it fully twice, as different character types for well over 150 hours, and I intend to play through again quite soon.
Graphically, the game is an impressive masterpiece. Terrific landscapes with an incredible field of vision surrounds you. If you're lucky like me, and get to play it on a large HDTV screen, you'll probably regret that you can't smell the mammoth dung or dragon breath.
The soundtrack has a massive FOUR HOURS plus, of original score, and you will recognise familiar themes from Oblivion (if you've played it).
Though this is the fifth game in the Elder Scrolls franchise, you don't need to have played any of the previous games to play Skyrim, though you may find throughout the game world, some books or people might make reference to previous games characters or things that happened in the story lines. It is a stand alone game.
The story is of reasonable length, though you will most likely get side tracked by various other quests in the meantime. Each time I've played through, I seem to have found different quests to do. I'm looking forward to seeing if I can find any more. I played as a female both times, I think I might play as a man the second time to see how things differ.
Buying the game brand new, I encountered a few glitches, most of which have been fixed, such as dragons flying backwards and quests becoming impossible to finish. One really disappointing glitch I came across was that having multiple residences with chests full of loot and treasure, a glitch totally emptied my chest in one of my houses, containing so much crafting material. While it didn't ruin my game, I lost many weapons and pieces of armour.
Most of the NPCs really lack depth as the voice actors are recycled for many other characters, so you will notice that some shop keepers have the same voice as the Jarl of wherever, and this guard might have the same voice as one of your guild mates.
The levelling up is so much better than the previous game, where everything you do goes towards a specific skill. A swing of a short sword? Why, that would go towards your one-handed skill. Did you just set fire to that Skeever? Heres some points towards your destruction skill, my friend! Each time you 'level up' a skill, you will get an increase towards your overall level.
When you level up, you get to choose between increasing health, stamina or magicka, and also receive a skill point to put towards perks in your skill trees.
For example, if you wish to make dragonbone armour, you would keep smithing items to increase your smithing skill. Once you have 100 points in your smithing skill, you can use skill points to unlock dragon armour smithing in the skill tree, but you need to have unlocked the previous perks first.
Something I really liked regarding the levelling up system, is that as your over all level increases, the different types of dragons you will encounter.
At a low level, you will face easy to defeat dragons, and as you become more powerful, you will face more powerful dragon adversaries, from (normal) Dragon to Blood, Frost, Elder, and Ancient. It's a nice deterrent from levelling up too fast (which is quite hard to do any way) as your weapons and armour will not reflect your skills, or absord/do enough damage to the hardened enemies.
While the glitches might be enough to put some people off, let me assure you that they really are not that big an issue, and I honestly doubt you will encounter that many.