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 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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The Star King

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Posts : 9
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Join date : 2011-10-05
Age : 27
Location : Whitewater, WI

20111127
PostThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

It's no secret that the Elder Scrolls series is probably one of the most famous RPG series of all time. I remember that I came into the series a little later than most, with Morrowind being my first foray into the world of Elder Scrolls, and I was very impressed by the strong story and side quests, as well as the great gameplay and RPG elements. Bethesda then released Oblivion and continued to amaze me with their attention to detail as well as the hours upon hours of content that was all strung around one epic main story. So as any good fan would do, I made sure to pre-order Skyrim, with which I had much anticipation to play, after reading extensive amounts of information and trailers. When the game came, the disc was in my Xbox before I could even look at the cool map and game guide. This game is definitely one of my most favorite games and is probably the best game I have ever played to date.

The story of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim takes place 200 years after the storyline of Oblivion in the Tamriel region of Skyrim, home to the Nords, a viking-inspired race of humans. The game starts off with your character waking up in the back of an Imperial carriage in chains for trying to cross the border into the region, with three less than fortunate Nords, being taken to the Imperial-held town of Helgen. After finding out that one of the prisoners in your troupe is Ulfric Stormcloak, the Jarl (king/governor) of Windhelm, one of the eight provinces (called Holds) of Skyrim, who recently killed the High King of Skyrim and started a rebel group called the Stormcloaks, you realize that you have been mistaken for a rebel and that the Imperial Legion is not going to just let you go with a slap on the wrist. After making it to Helgen, you are singled out of the line-up, where the game then allows you to pick from any of the nine races of Tamriel as well as customize some of your features, such as hair style, face settings, even scars and warpaint. After you finish naming your character, you are sent with the others to be executed. Right before the headsman cuts off your head, a giant black dragon swoops out of nowhere and begins to attack the town. This allows for your escape from Helgen, after which you will begin to explore the beautiful land of Skyrim, all the while trying to figure out, when after centuries of extinction, why the dragons are returning. Soon you battle your first dragon and upon killing it you find out something very interesting about yourself. You are Dragonborn, an extremely rare person who can absorb the souls of dragons and can use a very special type of magic called the Voice, where upon uttering certain Words of Power in dragon language, can do amazing things from breathing fire, sending opponents flying with the force of your voice, being able to teleport certain distances and even changing the weather. You also learn that the Elder Scrolls predicted the return of the dragons and that Alduin, the dragon god of destruction has come to consume the world in fire with his dragon brethren.

Along with this main story arc there is also the political situation of Skyrim in which you can participate. As was mentioned before, a civil war in Skyrim has broken out with the Imperials, a who have helped maintain peace in Skyrim as well as most of Tamriel and have been known to be power hungry, but have now been weakened by a recent war back in Cyrodill, and the Stormcloaks, a rebel force who believes that the Imperials tax hikes, religious persecution, as well as general lack of disregard for the people of Skyrim are unacceptable and that they should secede from the Empire and all foreigners should also leave Skyrim. There are also many sidequests from NPCs as well as storyline quests related to the many guilds in the game, including some from the previous games such as the Thieves Guild and the Dark Brotherhood, as well as one new guild called the Companions. I would like to go on with the story elements since they are so good and engrossing, but I haven't experienced all of it yet.

The gameplay of Skyrim can be basically summed up with this sentence: “You are what you play.” The game rewards you for how you, the player, decides to play the game. If you want to go around swinging a battle axe, the game rewards you for your bravery. If you want to sneak around and assassinate from behind, the game rewards you for your cunning. And in previous Elder Scrolls games where it was nearly impossible, you can be a pure mage using only magic and the game will reward you for that. You can do all of those things combined and the game will increase those skills that you use It also takes away the tedious (and often annoying) problem in Oblivion where you don't know exactly what you want to put your experience points into and having to do some very complicated math. The perk system in Skyrim is also very streamlined, allowing you to either further specialize in areas that you are using a lot, or help boost the skills that you may want later but are neglecting now. I have found it impossible to make a bad character, because the game allows you play however you want to and make it an enjoyable experience. The AI for the NPCs is also very good, however I did notice there being few bugs here and there, mostly pertaining to the NPC getting lost when it is trying to lead you somewhere. The game also boasts a lot of content that makes the game almost impossible to put down. Bethesda claims that the game has 300+ hours of content, and while I'm not anywhere close to beating the game, I'm very inclined to believe them.

While many fans of the Elder Scrolls universe will be very happy with this new addition, those new to the franchise will also love this game. While the story may seem daunting, they did a good job of making it easily digestible. Since it is not related to the previous games, you don't really feel left out if you haven't played them before. Also, whenever something in the lore comes up, the game will give the character the bare bones of whatever the subject may be, but it allows those ambitious to learn about the intricacies of the universe to either ask NPCs for more in-depth explanations or read from the volumes of in-game books that you find on your journeys.

The visuals in Skyrim are absolutely breathtaking. Every inch of the continent of Skyrim has been handcrafted even down to every last tree. Also the game doesn't have any “backdrop” areas. If you see a mountain in the distance, that mountain actually exists in the game and you can climb all the way to the top of it if you are so inclined. The dungeons are fully mapped out and custom-made so you will never see the same dungeon area in another dungeon, like what was often experienced in both Morrowind and Oblivion. The “Creation” engine created by Bethesda is very cool, allowing for dynamic weather and snowfall. It was very cool to see a little snow falling, gradually turning into a blizzard and then slowly dissipating like a real storm. The game allows you to go into third person, and while by today's standards may seem a little less than perfect, it is definitely a huge step up from Oblivion. The character models are very impressive and the NPCs often interact with each other, bringing them to life and making the whole world feel more real. The soundtrack, composed by Jeremy Soule, an Elder Scrolls veteran, is absolutely fantastic as well. The only criticism I have for the game is that it does have a number of bugs and glitches, which probably wouldn't have been as jarring if the game didn't look so amazing.

This game is probably one of the best games of 2011 and is definitely a worthy contender for Game of the Year. My personal experience with the game has been nothing short of amazing. Without giving away any spoilers, there is a quest where you must climb the tallest mountain in Skyrim (and if I'm not mistaken, in all of Tamriel as well) called the “Throat of the World”. As I was climbing I would occasionally look out and I could see out into the distance. Along with the music, which seemed so perfectly synced to my actions, it swelled when I looked out and saw the expanse of land below me and it made me tear up, because it was so stunningly beautiful. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been an incredible experience for me, and I know that you will also get to experience the story and gameplay in an amazing and unique way, even if you aren't a bad ass Nord like me.


Last edited by The Star King on Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:35 pm; edited 3 times in total
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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim :: Comments

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Re: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Post on Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:42 pm by cryocabbie
you beat me to the review.
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Re: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Post on Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:37 pm by The Star King
Sorry. What do you think of the game?
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