Bethesda Softworks unleashed The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on the gaming world on 11-11-11. The highly anticipated addition to the series was worth the wait. Though not perfect as it has its share of technical glitches and pitfalls, they do not detract from the game and the overall game play is by far the best of the series.
The Official Game Guide is 1 1/4″ thick and looks similar to the Bible than a game guide. Skyrim offers up over 250 Quests and the apparent mundane of the bunch can turn into a thrilling and exciting adventure in itself. One never knows when you may run into a Dragon or surprise adversary and death can be around every corner.
The new game engine which is called Creation Engine is by far superior to any I have seen on current generation hardware. Three years in the making and 5 years after Oblivion, Skyrim is only similar in respect to names and story line. The graphics are superior, you can level up as you please and you get build up attributes as you please with no penalty. A favorite locker lets you put weapons and spells at your finger tips. Images are not rendered as you approach them as in previous games. As far as the eye can see that image stays in tact.
A return to the continent of Tamriel to the northern realm called Skyrim will have you doing battle with dragons, saber tooth tigers, wolf packs, trolls and necromancers to name a few. Unlike Oblivion which offered a bright side of Tamriel, Skyrim is a walk on the dark side of the continent and friendly is few and far between.
For every dragon you kill you get to absorb their soul and power and are now equipped with “shout”, a weapon of voice that can tip the scales in battle and assist accomplishing quests. Cave exploring can be rewarding and frustrating as each cave is different with no repeats so far. Mages and spell casters can be vicious with their attacks.
Unlike Oblivion where you found yourself scrounging through barrels and crates for a few bucks to build up the kitty, gold and coin purses and goods of worth are plentiful in Skyrim and time can be spent on more important tasks at hand. As in Fallout 3, you can have companions to help you through battle, cave clearing and Dragon killing. Marriage can be in the cards for your character if you prefer.
Work stations to create potions, weapons and armor are prevalent throughout the game. If you purchase the game without the guide as I did with almost every game I have played you will find yourself wishing you had not as it is that complex at points and you may not be able to complete everything you wish to without reference. Even the most die-hard gamer will have to peek from time to time.
The AI in the game is much more proficient than games past and leveling up and skill proficiency is more natural and is not tied to classes. No more avoiding certain actions in fear of leveling too fast in one school of training. There are eighteen skills divided evenly between the three schools of combat, magic and stealth, and training until the necessary required experience is met, results in the player’s character leveling-up. The game does not stop when leveling occurs and you may go in at any time and apply perks where ever you like providing your skill level allows you to do so.
What is really cool about the game is you can cast damage from both hands in the form of spells and weapons or weapons in both hands or spells in both hands. Double damage can come in handy when facing strong opponents. Also something new but not over-played is slow motion finally’s when delivering death blows. It shows up occasionally without over doing it. Mounting a dragon to put a sword through the back of his head is thrilling to say the least.
I can go on and on about the game with never offering up a spoiler but it would keep me from game as I have only begun my journey and you need to get a copy start your own. I highly recommend this game to RPG fans and those that are not. Expand your horizons gamers and take a walk on the best side of gaming money can buy.
I absolutely recommend buying the game guide for this game. It is 1 1/2″ thick and covers everything and every question in the game. Its my first as this is a complex game and by far the best RPG ever made.
GAME SCORE 9.5 of 10
images courtesy of elderscrolls.com