Published on December 13th, 2011 | by Charlie


Review: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC)

Review: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC) Charlie

Summary: Charlie takes a look at The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC), is it any good? read the review to find out!


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If you asked me five months ago: “Will you be buying Skyrim?” I would have laughed in your face. If you asked me 4 months and 29 days ago, perhaps not. What needs to be realized by many is that just because you dislike one game in the franchise, that doesn’t mean you need to hate every game of it. When the announcement trailer for Skyrim was revealed, I honestly didn’t know what the big deal was, and now I know. And while the feedback is great by critics and gamers alike, I am surprised that there are a few disappointed by the graphics. This is my first point of my review because it’s a doosy. People are complaining about stretched textures and all that nonsense which, yes I agree but this is a game that’s 3 or 4 years in the making. If you released Skyrim back in 2008, the game graphics would be brilliant! Skyrim is a big game… and I mean big, and many people are forgetting that. I did a bit of research prior to starting the game. When I did start the game, unsurprisingly the game started out just as the previous Elder Scrolls games had… yet again, you are a prisoner. I’m sorry Bethesda but why? Can you just not find a new direction to start your game? Apart from that, it’s smooth sailing from there as you’re on your way to be executed after crossing the border into Skyrim (of course if you were Nord like I was, this would be your home anyway). Once you arrive, you are called up (and the game will stop for a moment where you choose your race, your features, and so forth. Basically you create your character here) and strangely you’re not on the list… but you’re still going to be executed! Just as your head is placed on the block, a dragon appears, causing havoc around the village. You manage to escape from it by traveling through some tunnels, where you eventually open up to the massive world that is Skyrim. Throughout the game, you are learning about why the dragons have returned after 200 years of disappearance, and what it means to be the only known Dragonborn alive… It can sometimes be hard to follow the main quest line directly, as once you find one side quest, you tend to lose the main quest in a list of a whole bunch of side quests you find along the way throughout your adventure. You just get the urge to find as many side quests as you can, which is a really weird but great feeling. Now for the hard part of the review, and by hard I mean interesting, because when you walk out of “that cave”, you open up to the massive world of Skyrim. If you were smart, you would follow the character you are with to wherever he goes off to. If you were slightly foolish, you would go wonder without the faintest clue of where you’re going. I mean I suppose that’s not foolish, because who knows what you’ll come across. There is so much to do in Skyrim, where you can take on quests which allow you to join groups such as the Thieves Guild or The Dark Brotherhood, or many more that I won’t tell you about. You can also go out training the skills you might find in an RPG, such as blacksmithing, mining, alchemy, and you can also train your fighting skills, such as two handed, one handed, archery, magic and just so much more. There are even some quests in the game you can repeat, meaning that you get an endless supply of quests in the game… that is if you don’t get bored of them, because I’m pretty sure grabbing a model boat you collected about 20 times already will get rather boring, even if the game is so amazing. If you want to, you can just go out into the wild for a grind, where you can gather materials and junk to sell off, in the hopes you can afford a home in a nearby city. Once you have a home, whilst you cannot decorate every part of it, you can decorate it in ways such as choosing what swords hang on your walls, and what books stand on your shelves, or what treasures you might want to be left lying about for you to admire once you come home… you just won’t believe how much you can do in this game; there’s literally hundreds of hours of fun at your finger tips. To help you along your training in your abilities, you can also use points that you earn when you level up. Leveling up is rather awkward, because whilst you can see how much XP you need to gain another level, you’re never actually told how much experience you’ve earned from a kill or from a quest, so it’s always a guessing game, but that’s not necessarily a problem. In fact it adds to the challenge… for me anyway. One thing you need to also learn when playing the game is that the further out of the center of the map you go, the tougher your enemies will get (I learned that the hard way). What I am so glad about that I really do love in Bethesda RPG’s is the “quick travel” system. There are a few people I know who don’t use quick travel because it feels like cheating, but for me I just wanted to carry on with my story rather than wait 30 minutes to actually get to my destination. If you want quick travel to feel more natural than just selecting a “found location” on your map, hitch a ride to a major city. You’ll encounter many unique characters throughout the game, and sometimes you are chosen to take sides with one or the other, meaning you get to see the real characters in people. Here’s one of the flaws of the game. It can be pretty hard to see the personality of a character for the mere fact that there are so many characters with the same voice actor, and I don’t just mean “the same voice actor with a different voice”, I mean “the same voice actor using the same voice over and over again”. While it’s not annoying, the thought does linger at the back of your head that possibly Bethesda were just trying to save money, or perhaps there was so much work to be done that they just stuck to a certain number of voice actors. Either way, it breaks the illusion of the game just a bit. When I played Oblivion, I had absolutely no idea what to do. Bethesda games tend to do that; once you’ve reached the open world, you’re thrown into darkness where you have to almost figure everything out yourself. Skyrim doesn’t do this as harshly as previous games, because the game’s mechanics was a lot more simpler. It was easy to navigate through the menus, and it was so simple to choose your weapons, where you could have magic in your left hand and your one handed sword in the other (that’s how I played the game). In Oblivion, I wanted to use magic, but I had no idea how to even equip it or how to use it. In Skyrim, you could do it with just a few mouse clicks… literally! And some of the magic powers you have are so cool, where you could have fire in one hand and frost in the other, or lightning in one hand and have a healing ability in the other, or even combine two powers together where you can have fire in both hands and create even better abilities like massive balls of fire. The scale of this game just feels endless. And don’t even get me worked up on the Dragon Shouts. They were very well thought out, and you’ll pick up a favorite shout after you earn your first five. You find shouts by finding words of power. Each shout consists of three words of power, and the more words you have in your shout, the more powerful that shout actually is. You can only unlock said shouts if you have dragon souls, which can only be obtained by killing a dragon, which is probably one of the most exciting things to do in the game itself. There’s that greater challenge where you have to try and grab the dragon’s attention as it flies in the skies above you, and sometimes you can get lucky when a nearby village begins attacking it for you. I particularly love how sometimes a dragon may try to flee after being battered, but then they may just come crashing down in the distance for you to go and finish them off. I’m not saying this game is perfect, because it’s not. But it’s so close to being perfect, with just a few tiny flaws like the voice actor flaw I mentioned earlier, and the bugs. Whilst there are many bugs which are funny, and can sometimes help you in the game, some bugs can get a little annoying. There are times you might accidentally get trapped between two rocks with no way out, or maybe you’re suddenly flying in the air with no way to get down after a giant slammed you with his hammer. However most of the time, there’s an easy fix: revert to a previous save. Not only can you save as many times as you like, but the game itself has about 5 auto saves for you to choose from, so if you make a wrong move, or did something you probably didn’t want to do, just take it like a man, or revert back to a previous save. I know for a fact that there’s so much I have left out of this review, but you can’t blame me for the fact that Bethesda have almost made a masterpiece. They have made a game that would take too long for me to “fully” review the game in excruciating detail, so take what I’ve said above and remember it all if you have yet to play the game. Because this is one game that should not be missed; even if you’ve never played an Elder Scrolls game. I mean look at me: I hardly got anywhere in Oblivion and to be honest, I feel like I know so much about the Elder Scrolls universe from this one game alone.

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About the Author

Some say I should be a video game journalist, others say a video game designer. Shame you can't be both.

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