The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

Posted on Jul 3 2012 - 4:51pm by Jose Salazar
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review
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9.4 Overall Score
GamePlay: 9/10
Presentation: 9/10
Replayability: 8/10

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Release Dates
  • WW November 11, 2011
  • JP December 8, 2011
Platform(s)
Publisher(s)
  • Bethesda Softworks
Developer(s)
  • Bethesda Game Studios
ESRB Rating

Skyrim is a majestic and magical place where it feels just about anything is possible. So many changing scenes and various missions give the player a reason to play for hours on end. There’s always something to do, whether it’s sticking to the main mission of trying to find out why so many dragons have come back to destroy Skyrim, or any other objective that leads you to some cavern to locate a lost artifact. The simplest of tasks can change into something you would never have expected. Like playing a simple drinking game in a cavern and ending being the guinea pig of some ancient demon. A task can almost be found everywhere. There’s always some person to talk to that wants you to retrieve something for them, or even a book that leads to an entire mission.

The setting is actually quite beautiful. Up close you’ll have that pixilated nastiness, but I couldn’t help but just stand while climbing a mountain and looking at the tall mountain range capped with snow and the lush green that surrounded a gorgeous running river. The same can’t be said for the citizens of Skyrim though. I give them credit for largely varying the people that correspond with your objectives, but everybody else seems to have the same height, build, or face.

What I love is the changing weather that accompanies you on your journey. You can be walking on a clear sunny day, and all of a sudden snowfall comes while you’re approaching another city. Travelling can be boring however if your forced to walk the entire way because you’ve never been to your destination before. Along the way are some interesting things though. You might find a cave that needs clearing or even fugitives who need you to hide something for them. Clans are also dangerous, and can use their swords, arrows, and even magic to overwhelm you. Mystical beasts like ice wraiths that throw cold blasts at you and even bears and wolves that want to turn you into a feast will surely be obstacles.

Then of course there are the dragons. They may come and any time just about anywhere. Doing battle with them is dangerous but fun, and you may even get a little bit of help from the locals if you’re in a village or city. Some of them, even you, might not live though. Afterwards, if your strong enough to defeat the giant flying lizard, then you get to consume its soul to power one some of the most powerful spells in all of Skyrim called Shouts. See, you’re a Dragonborn so you get to do cool stuff like that. Some Shouts allow you to breath fire on your enemies, slow time, and blow them away with the ferocity of a cyclone. The way you obtain these spells is reading the dragon language that is present in ominous and obscure places like crypts and caves. Of course absorbing the souls of these dragons is necessary too.

What I love about this game are the choice that are laid out before you, and that make the game feel like you’re experiencing your own customized tale. When starting the game you are able to choose from a variety of races that specialize in a certain feel and have bonuses exclusive to it. Breton, Dark Elf, Orc, and Argonian are a few of those races. You are able to join a lot of organization too like the Dark Brotherhood and even get to pick your side in a war. The two warring factions are the rebel Stormcloaks and the Imperials trying to maintain the empire as it is. When you pick your side killing enemy soldiers and finding ways to get the upper hand in the war are essential. One of the vital choices to make is the leveling up. If it’s spells your into well there are the schools of magicka to learn. There is destruction, which allows you to use sparks to electrocute your enemy, conjuration that makes it possible to summon magical beast to help you in the fight, and restoration that can be a life saver if you’re injured.

Many have criticized the glitches and bugs throughout the game, but they shouldn’t be enough to dissuade anybody from playing. Although, there was one time that a puzzle in a cave that was supposed to rotate would not budge. I just went back through where I had previously come from and then reentered the room so the puzzle could restart. Sometimes there are also problems with the physics of the games, where suddenly you’re inside a giant spider. Other than that, there was nothing else I found particularly interesting, so it was a minute negative.

Sound and music was pretty good. I especially get pumped after I find a new Shout in dragon language in some cave I’ve been clearing of vampires or something. It starts with a steady murmur and then full throated grunts that remind me of a primitive warring tribe. The noises of nature are impressive. You can clearly hear the realistic sounds of rain falling as your traversing toward your next objective or the howls and roars of animals that you may approach. The soundtrack is for the most part, low-key, but has its bright spots nonetheless. The eerie music you sometimes hear when exploring or grave robbing in a long-forgotten tomb give you that exciting “Holy crap what’s next?” feeling. Kudos to the music team.

Fighting with a sword or axe isn’t as fun as using your bow to shoot an arrow into your enemy’s head from a distance or using your spells to smite your opponents with fire and electricity. The reason I say this is because slashing into your foe doesn’t feel as solid as it should. You know when you hit and get hit, but you don’t get the feeling you’re hacking into somebody with a steel weapon.

CONCLUSION

Despite a few minor faults here and there, Skyrim is a classic. The game is just so huge and the missions so numerous, it’s easy to find something entertaining. The nature graphics are gorgeous and make you want to stare at them until you remember there’s something that has to be done somewhere. I’m still not finished with the game and I can’t wait to continue playing because it’s freaking amazing.

GameLuster Gives it a 9.4 (not an Average)