Sunday, 15 January 2012

Game Review: Skyrim

I will be reviewing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I've been playing this like mad and I've enjoyed every minute of it.

Skyrim is the fifth title in the Elder Scrolls series. Realeased in November 2011 and created by Bethesda you have an automatic bar for how good this game should be. The opening sequence of the game is beautiful and chilly. As you have a small conversation with NPCs, introducing you to the massive customisation for your character. After you spend hours tweaking the features for you character you continue to your demise? You lay there at the block and suddenly the entire feel, atmosphere and calm of the situation changes. You suddenly find yourself running for your life! What an opening!

When you run through with the NPC out into Skyrim's fabulously beautiful open world you can run around and do what you want. You have the options of being a high elf mage or a heavy armoured sword wielding nord! As you start your unique adventure around Skyrim you get a sense of how epic the lands are and how beautifully crafted they've made the sky and surrounding mountains. The cities you visit are all unique and each have a different feel to them. The music accompanying your scenic adventure is nothing short of amazing. It feels so rustic and authentic to the world you're playing in and the subtle change between your nice gallop through the hills and the roaring drums and intense violins let you feel as well as see you're in combat.
The downside is the combat is somewhat disappointing. It feels slippery or non existent at times. When fighting certain enemies you feel a little in the dark in how to fight them. The first time I saw a Giant I shot at it with my bow, I didn't run and as it struck at me I found my character flying through the air dead. Quite a laugh but frustrating when you didn't expect it.
There is an abundance of skills you can talent into to improve your character in certain areas. You could be a master smither to make the best armour around or barter your way through crimes and markets. It's a lot of skills to talent in to but they are worth it in the long run and you really notice the good skills you get as you play your game.
Questing and Story development are plentiful and it certainly fills you with plenty to do. Over 300 hours worth of quests and a good sized 30 plus hour story line you won't be running out of things to do for a while.
The whole game feels like a breathing and living world and it's a pleasure to play. You can venture to different terrains and experience a different environment or crawl through dungeons and receive nice treasure for your troubles. The graphics are beautiful and bright and the weather effects in the game actually effect how you play or fight. Everything in the game including the weather has a use, the story is progressive and keeps you interested. The quests fills your time but a big let down I felt with this game was the dragon fights, the centre of the story, continue to be the same over and over again. The only unique thing about them is when they show up. The dragons act the same every time you fight them and sometimes it's hard to get the dragons to land which is more frustrating then it sounds when you're after the gold they hold!
With every dragon you kill you absorb a soul to unlock the unique abilities to you as a dragonborn. Shouts are unique to you though you do come across enemies that shout but don't have the vast amount of different shouts you have. Your voice booms loudly towards your enemies and you can freeze, set fire or force your enemies of a cliff!

Skyrim is a well rounded game, it lacks smoothness in areas, especially shadows that glitch constantly, and there are some graphical issues in the terrain but how stunning and picturesque the game is you can brush that over while you get busy questing.

The graphics are the most impressive and the music is a very close second.

The sounds can be a little off or not play at all but with so much going on it's hardly a bother.

Combat is a little airy but is overall full of options.

Quests are generic but fun to do and the storyline is quite epic.

 Dungeons are everywhere but some lack the interest to complete when you've been through the same layout before.

Skills are plentiful and add to your unique character.

Skyrim is great game and Bethesda's best game yet. Hopefully they can continue making stunning games like this and hoopefully fix those little bugs flying around on the screen!

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