Skyrim

[Multi Plat.] - Review: The Elder Scrolls is back, but can Bethesda triumph with their fifth installment?
The Details
  • Title: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Web: Official Site
  • Developer: Bethesda
  • Publisher: Bethesda
  • Released: 11 November, 2011
  •  
  • Platforms: PC XBox 360 PS3
  • Reviewed On: PC

I’m a bit of an Elder Scrolls nerd.  I’ve played them all and I get really excited when I hear of any news relating to the series.  I clapped my hands with glee when I heard that Bethesda were making The Elder Scrolls V.  What is it that I love so much about these games?  Well, I suppose it comes down to the fact that it’s a big open world of nothing but fantasy RPG gaming.  I adore fantasy games, but this game in particular has drawn me in the most over the past few days.  So much so in fact, I’ve not even loaded up WoW once!

In Skyrim, you’re quite special.  You’re not just some ordinary guy off the street like in previous Elder Scroll games, oh no.  In Skyrim, you have a special power, a gift that allows you to kill dragons and absorb their souls. You are the special one.

Your character now possesses beautiful detail

If you have not already guessed, Skyrim is a brand new chapter in the Elder Scrolls series.  So how does it play?  How does it look?  Well, it still plays the same as the others.  You create your character and class at the start and basically get thrown out there into the big bad world to fend for yourself.

The PC version has a somewhat bad interface.  This ruins the feel of the game slightly, as the menus are very clunky and things are assigned to really odd buttons.  It does make you wonder why Bethesda tried to fix something that wasn’t broken, for the interface in the previous Elder Scrolls games were perfect.  I guess it’s because the PC version is sadly nothing but a console port.  The menus would feel a lot better on a control pad, and this is something that has angered the pc community for the series was born on the PC.

The one thing that has changed a lot in the game is the Inventory.  Your character isn’t even visible in the inventory window anymore, you can only check out what you are wearing by spinning the camera around during gameplay, which can get quite tedious and the stats menu has now turned into the skills menu.  I miss the fact that you can’t just scroll down the page and check out your wonderful stats anymore with your character stood in the little window next to it.  Instead, you have to click on the skills tab and then scroll sideward through lots of skills that you aren’t even bothered about to get to where you want to be.  Awkward!

you wouldn’t want to mess with this guy

Most of the guilds are still there available for you to join, along with a couple of new additions.  You can now join the Imperial Legion, which is alright I guess, only I always found the Imperials to be quite boring.  Maybe I’ll start to take more of a liking to them in this installment.  One guild that has been scrapped is the Fighters Guild, but you don’t really notice this too much for the fighters quests feel very much incorporated into other guilds.  Perfect for that warrior character.

You can now cook in a proper little cooking pot over the stove which is quite a nice addition to the game.  You can also do blacksmithing and Alchemy too, allowing you to level up in these particular fields.  It feels a little similar to WoW when it comes to levelling up the professions, and it is something I enjoy doing the most.

When  you level up, you don’t have to ‘find a bed’ anymore.  You can just level up via the stats menu and put up what are now called ‘perks’. Bethesda’s Fallout games certainly sprung to mind when I saw these.  There are lots of perks to choose from, each differ, depending on your class and the direction you want your character to go in.

One major complaint I have about the game is the 3D map.  It can often be difficult to read and it’s hard to see the paths you need to take to your next destination.

I really like the addition of the horse and cart, but if you have a horse the cart is utterly pointless.  You can now hire companions to fight at your side, which allows you to get fully equipped/prepared for your upcoming battle.

The horse and cart are a nice touch, but often useless when you have a horse of your own.

A lot of dragons are present.  You can find yourself playing in the snow one minute whilst admiring the view, then the next, the ground rumbling under your feet as a fire-breathing dragon approaches! At first this can feel quite daunting, but they’re really not that difficult, which is quite disappointing when you look at the scale of how big they are in comparison to you!  Speaking of difficulty, the game can feel really easy at first on the default ‘adept’ setting, but don’t be fooled for it does feel a lot harder as the game goes on.

The graphics are an improvement on Oblivion’s and they really are a huge factor in the way the game presents itself.  The beautiful snowed mountain tops and cliffs, really are quite mouth-watering at times and sometimes you feel yourself wanting to just make your character stand there so you can admire the view.  Skyrim would be the perfect holiday destination.

 

The snow scenes are gorgeous to look at

The game can quite possibly last you a lifetime.  There is hours of gameplay and most of that is just through the side quests.  The main story doesn’t take too long to complete, but if you are a veteran Elder Scrolls gamer then you will know that it’s not all about the main storyline.  It is fun and very addictive.  It’s one of those games you could turn on at 10pm and before you know it, it’s way past bedtime and ready to start work.

If you plan on playing this game, be very weary of the fact that you may just have to say goodbye to your social life.  Forever.  Well, at least until Elder Scrolls VI comes out.

Judgement
Pros:
  • Beautiful graphics and scenery that will leave your mouth-watering at times.
  • The inclusion of your character being able to blacksmith his/her own armour and being able to see the character doing this.
  • The horse and cart are just one addition that makes the fantasy world feel more 'life-like'.
  • The 'Perks' are a nice addition.
  • Lots of dragons.
  • A big, open world just got bigger!
Cons:
  • The typical Bethesda bugs are still there (horse can still get stuck on the corner of a cliff)
  • Feels like a console port, especially in the menus.
  • Inventory menu has been totally revamped - for the worse.
  • Character is no longer visible in inventory window.
  • Dragons feel a bit too weak at times.
Lozzykinz
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In my spare time I like to play games (obviously) and read. I'm a fan of DC Comics and manga.
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