The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The_Elder_Scrolls_V_Skyrim_coverNow I know I’ve been saying I’m going to write a review for Skyrim for quite some time, and I think after somewhat of a binge it is time to get it reviewed.

Remember when Bethesda announced Skyrim back in 2010? How the gaming world went crazy and a lot of you gamers couldn’t wait for 11.11.11? How every gaming site, community and blog out there made a review on its release but here? Well Every time I’ve started a review on Skyrim I’ve not been able to know where to start, and the fact that for around a year I’ve been suffering from a mean writers block which explains why I’ve not made many updates, at least now I’m ready and I know exactly where to start.

To some people, Skyrim is just an RPG where you do what you like, walk around, kill stuff and then sell the loot. They’re not wrong, but that’s not all there is to it, there is much more. Your character is what you make of it, if you like the all-out offensive then go for it, the more you charge in all blade ready the more perks you will unlock to make you the ultimate warrior, if you are more of a stealthy character then get into the shadows and ready that bow or dagger, become the best assassin in all of Tamriel. The fun doesn’t end there though, if you prefer to be a creature of the night then you can choose to be either a vampire or a werewolf! There is such a broad choice of lifestyles you character can choose and if you’re feeling adventurous enough you can try every faction and even master them. There is no end to the madness!

Now some of you out there may have noticed I’ve missed something huge out of the mixture, well I’m getting to it now. The main quest is in my opinion so much shorter than that of Oblivion or Morrowind but it is still great and gives you the player some extra fire power, and yes the italic fire was meant to be there! You player as the Dragon Born, a being that possesses the power to absorb the very soul of a dragon giving them the ability to learn powers known only by the dragons and the Grey Beards, an order of monks who study the way of the voice as they call it. The main quest actually takes you through some of the side factions you can join, some points you’re speaking to Ulfric Stormcloak who is the leader of the Stormcloak army, next you’re walking through the Thieves Guild and at one point you’re trying to negotiate a temporary truce to help capture a dragon!  If you’ve finished up the main quest and mastered the factions and you’re looking for something to do then ask around the taverns, there is literally an endless amount of side quests to do.

SkyThe biggest thing about Skyrim is the return of dragons to the land, having been gone for thousands of years, the inhabitants of Skyrim believed them to be nothing but fairy tales, mere stories of the yarn. Upon their return to Skyrim the dragons are of many sizes and strengths making some easier to kill and some darn near impossible, being the Dragon Born you can use the power of the voice to provide some fair game to your battles with them, the more dragon shouts you learn the better chances you will have of surviving some of the harder battles, if not with dragons but dragon lords or even the wily bear.

Skyrim has allot of new features, improved features and some returning features from way back in Morrowind, you can cook food from ingredients you’ve found in your travels, making potions is much easier, enchanting is much better, you can smith your own weapons, armour and jewellery and also make them better. The most useful feature is duel wielding magic and spells, so long as they’re one handed weapons like daggers axes and swords, this is useful to give you an extra edge (pun is intended) when it comes to taking out some of the more difficult enemies. The menus are easier to navigate though can be a little confusing to those who played lots of Oblivion or Fallout3/New Vegas, inventory is much better organised though I can’t see why Bethesda didn’t include the Keyring like in Fallout 3 and New Vegas.

The province of Skyrim is huge and packed with tons of locations to discover, search and loot. I feel that the mountains aren’t easy enough to get around when you’re nowhere near a path, maybe a little more hidden paths to get around on, I do like the smaller settlements that are scattered around though like Oblivion there aren’t many people roaming around, it just feels like people are scared to walk outside of their town walls and most hardly venture outside of their own homes.

Spoiler alert

I think Skyrim is a great game though I feel that there was too much treachery and back stabbing in the main quest and factions such as the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood, though the game does have allot of features and quest lines to play about with giving it hundreds if not thousands of hours of gameplay. I felt the war was just something to fill in a gap, a gap that Bethesda couldn’t be bothered to fill with anything good, though I must admit the war quests for the Stormcloaks and Imperials are fun to play through and provide a good few hours of gameplay. I can play Skyrim for days straight and enjoy it but when you’ve already done everything it starts to get a little boring, but then again in this day of age we can get DLC to improve our experience and provide many more hours of gameplay. So far Bethesda has released three expansion packs, one of which allows you to go back and visit the land of Morrowind.

Some things I don’t like about Skyrim are how you can kill a dragon at level 2 but get killed by a bear at level 5, doesn’t make any sense. As I mentioned earlier travelling on foot can be a little testy when not on a road or path, sometimes trying to make your own way is a pain in the balls.

The parts I do like are things like using bows, navigating menus, bartering, conversations with NPCs, crafting and duel wielding weapons. Bows don’t only look better and are presented better when firing them but they feel more lifelike when using them, in Oblivion I resented bows and only ever used them when I had to. Getting around menus doesn’t require you to be pressing  L1/R1/LB/RB all the time, instead you open up the menu and then chose whether you want inventory, map, skills or magic and I find it so much easier. Bartering is so much easier though I do miss the ability to barter for a better price. Unlike other Elder Scrolls games, conversation in Skyrim doesn’t pause the rest of the world, instead life continues around you while you chat, hell even a dragon could attack while having a good natter! Crafting is so much more expansive, from potions to food and from Armour and weapons to enchantments.  Duel wielding weapons is probably the best feature in battle, though I hardly use it yet it increases attack speed and doubles damage making some fights last moments.

I would definitely recommend Skyrim to anyone who is looking to spend countless hours playing away, or as Hannah says “Living a second life”. I think Skyrim is great and can give you many hours of amusement

That’s my review of Skyrim, I do hope you’ve enjoyed it!

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