Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – PC
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: November 11, 2011 (11.11.11)
Nerd Rating: 10 out of 10
Reviewed by Dovahkyle
Have you ever wanted to see a dragon? How about fight one, or even ride one. Yea this is the game for you. The land of Skyrim is the native homeland to the Nords, and is roughly the same size as the map for ES IV: Oblivion, but this world is extremely diverse in nature, unlike the repeated forest land of Endor..uh I mean Oblivion. Mountains, plains, snow, lakes, waterfalls, large bridges, 9 major cities, 20 minor cities and of course lots and lots of dungeons, 130+ actually.
Some enemies are too difficult to fight at low levels, which required me to run away crying and level up some more, although randomly spawned creatures are leveled according to the player. The dynamic physics of the environment is extremely realistic, when the wind blows, large trees move less than small ones, some times it drizzles and sometimes you can barely see because it’s raining or snowing so hard. Birds fill the air and NPCs actually seem like they have a purpose now, all of them walking around, completing tasks and jobs, hanging out at the pub at the end of a hard day. Just because the guy I’m looking for lives in Whiterun( a major hold or city) doesn’t mean he is going to be there, he could be delivering goods or out hunting. Destroying something like a lumber mill for example could inadvertently effect a cities economics, like forcing them to import goods causing prices to increase and so on.
With the ability to duel wield almost anything, except shields, the possibilities are endless. Over 85 spells are available for the learning and mastery, and the armory skill actually allows you to create and improve your own full sets of armor and weapons, combined with the enchanting skill this could ultimately create a devastating character. Dragon shouts have been introduced in this game as the character is the “Dovahkiin” or Dragon-born, a person born with the blood of the dragon to fulfill the prophecy by defeating the evil “World Eater” dragon, Alduin. These shouts can be found throughout the game and unlocked by spending dragon souls, which are consumed from a dragon corpse after it’s defeat. The shouts are personally one of my favorite things in Skyrim, I love em, no magicka or stamina cost, just a little time between shouts to recharge. These shouts contain three “words of power” in the dragon tongue, when all three words are learned the shout becomes extremely powerful, and they cannot be blocked or absorbed. In the “Dragonborn” DLC you will even learn a shout to tame a dragon to ride it.
The combat kicks butt in this game, duel wielding leaves your defense open to your armor skill but the attacks are unmatched, fast and deadly. Blocking with a shield gives you a chance to literally shield bash the weapon out of someones hands, even kill them. Also introduced is the finishing moves, usually on the last enemy in a room, the camera jumps to third person and you can watch a sick fatality, like cutting off an enemy’s head or stabbing them through the jaw. The destruction spells seem to effect more than just the target, like you could set a room on fire for example. And they finally made an ES game that utilizes archery as a deadly skill for once. I actually used this the first time through the game, it is scary how fun it is to take out everyone in a room and no one knows where you are. And beheading an enemy at 50 yards, it’s sick.
The story revolves around the world ending dragon called Alduin, who is traveling from grave to grave raising all the dragons from the dead. These dragons will be encountered randomly throughout the game, I’ve even had to fight two at a time on a couple occasions. The Dovahkiin is the main character, his purpose is to fulfill the prophecy and defeat the invincible dragon, even following him after death to defeat him in the afterlife. Pretty exciting plot indeed. During all this there is an ongoing battle between the Stormcloaks and the Imperials, the player can join either side and complete quests including full on battles. The player starts in jail, again, on the way to be beheaded, but Alduin intervenes and destroys the town, allowing the player to escape and start his/her new life.
The fighters guild has been replaced with the Companions, a group with a dog of a secret. The mages guild has been replaced by the College of Winterhold, a place to learn and more importantly take over as Arch mage of course. The thieves guild is still going strong as is the Dark Brotherhood of Assassins. Completing the DB quests gives you an invincible undead horse, Shadowmere, don’t buy a horse, seriously it will just die, wait for this one it is fast and more importantly won’t die. Completing the Thieves guild gives you awesome armor and a key that doesn’t break, this is priceless as buying lock picks all the time is annoying.
The creatures in Skyrim really blew my mind. You will run across Giants, huge people that can kill you in one blow at lower levels, they herd mammoths, also tough to kill, but just like real life, their hides and tusks are worth some money. The trolls have regenerative health, the dragons vary in difficulty and the stupid spriggans come back to life. The draugr are undead nords that guard the tombs, pretty formidable foes at higher levels, especially the deathlords. Of course the packs of wolves and bears are scary, but now there are Saber cats, yea, unless your pretty high level you better hope you can run fast, cause a couple swipes from those deadly claws and you’ll be waiting at a load screen, I know, I’ve done it. All I can say is be wary of traveling alone at low levels, hire a body guard.
The Hearthfire DLC gives you the opportunity to purchase a plot of land and build a mansion piece by piece, really customizable. The creation aspect in this game is really original, for example you can actually mine for iron ore, smelt it into iron ingots, tan hides into leather, cut it into strips and then use a forge to build weapons and armor. This makes it so satisfying when you successfully fashion a suit of armor, because it really does take allot of work to make it. The Dawnguard DLC brings in the level up, perk tree for being a werewolf or a vampire lord, this makes the diseases actually worth while. It also brings in a new quest where the player can join the Dawnguard and kill vampires or visa versa.
The Major skills have been deleted. So you can specialize in whatever your little heart desires. You want to be a paladin who likes to cook? or a mage that likes to steal? Do it, there is no limit to what you can become in Skyrim. The only problem I ran into is, how do I stop playing it over and over again. I’ve already done the thief assassin as a Khajiit and the Knight enchanter as a Nord, I have so many other ideas still. Any how Bethesda gets a 10 out of 10 from me on this one without a doubt. Replayability is untouchable as I will be playing this at least a couple more times. And of course don’t forget about Nexus Mods who have over 30,000 mods available for this title on the PC.
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