The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a game we have been waiting patiently for since we completed Oblivion in 2006. Yes, we can’t seem to get enough of these Elder Scrolls games... well I can’t anyway. Five years in the making, Skyrim is a game which was definitely worth the wait, believe it or not.

The first thing that struck me about Skyrim was the way I created my character. In Oblivion and Fallout there were very few creation options so you would often go running around with a ridiculous hair style or face. Not in Skyrim, you can change pretty much ever feature, but don’t worry the old features are still there like the complexion option, but we can now give our character cooler things like scars and war paint.

Skyrim, I’ll admit, starts off slow. You begin the game at the back of the game with a Nord and a few other people, on your way to be executed. The point of the slow beginning is to get you familiarised with everyone and everything but...yawn. Nevertheless, when you are taken off the cart you are handed to Imperial executioners. You watch a man get his head axed off, quite graphically actually, but that is when everything happens. Yes, the game finally begins when a dragon flies overhead and begins to attack the people. You escape by running into the keep and fighting your way through some Imperials.

Enough of the storyline, I’ll tell you of some things that I did and didn’t like about the game. Firstly, I love the attention to detail. The weapons and armour look brilliant, the detail on each is phenomenal and you can tell how much work has gone into it all. Although finding them in the menu isn’t as fun as Oblivion, I preferred having my character standing there in the menu, staring back at me as I outfitted them. This doesn’t happen in Skyrim; unfortunately you have to leave the menu to look at your character. On the bright side, in the menu you are given the opportunity to zoom into the items, such as swords and potions and just look at the detail on them. A thing that annoyed me about Skyrim was how complex it seemed to me at first. When you’re used to the simplicity of Oblivion you will initially find Skyrim difficult, but fear not, things like the map and travel will become very easy as you play for a couple of hours.

The combat in the game is mouth watering. When you fight it actually feels like you’re fighting now. Even the enemies move in fluid movements to attack. A cool thing that I noticed about the combat is that if you go to attack with the right trigger and thrust forward with the left stick, then your character will do a cool move on the enemy - it will zoom out so you can see yourself performing this move, much like V.A.T.S. on Fallout.

Now where do I start about the magic? No, the Magicka. Well, it is about a million times more improved from the simplicities of Oblivion. The magic literally sprays from your hand, for example a fire spell no longer shoots like a fireball (unless you have a fireball spell) but it prays the enemy from your hand much like a napalm flamethrower. I’m not too into conjuration or restoration but I still think they look pretty damn good. Listed under your Magicka is also a thing called shouts. Shouts are gained from dragons. When you kill a dragon, you absorb the soul and learn a dragon shout (I won’t spoil it for you) but they’re pretty cool powers.

The look of Skyrim is nothing less than beautiful, it is mostly mountainy and snowy but the visuals of the game are just gorgeous and some views in the game stagger you to the point that you actually have to stop and gawk at them. The graphics aren’t even that good. I mean, yes, they're a million times better than Oblivion, but don’t blame Bethesta studios for the graphics, they are good just not 'nowadays' good. Call of Duty, MW3, and Battlefield 3 will definitely thrash The Elder Scrolls in the way of graphics, but trust me, they are nowhere near as beautiful.

Did you join guilds in Oblivion? Great! Join them here, the mages guild, the fighters guild (now called the companions), the thieves guild, and of course the dark brotherhood. The guilds offer a wide range of missions, so much better than ever, you’ll have to take my word for it. The range of quests in Skyrim is staggering, there are so many, you can barely walk anywhere without receiving a quest from a randomer somewhere in the game. You may have also have been tired of the small range of voices in Oblivion, Skyrim offers 70 different voices and 60,000 lines of dialog. You will never get tired of travel, Skyrim offers 16 miles of terrain and 150 dungeons. But do not make the mistake I keep making - I keep climbing the mountains, which will gets you nowhere.

Lastly, while I will admit Skyrim is the Oblivion for the new generation, it does have its bad points but they are quite irrational. I and other players of the game do miss the old retro voices of Oblivion. I don’t know why, you just play it that much and get to know them. It’s weird hearing an Argonian spreak normally. Also, we’ve been rather spoon fed with the maps in Cyrodiil, so we do find the map of Skyrim a little challenging.

Overall this is definitely a game worthy of game of the year, I myself cannot help but love this. Enjoy.

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