By Storms 2 Comments
Skyrim Is Like The Crowning Achievement Of A Breeding Program For Pedigree GamesSkyrim is an improvement on nearly every aspect of one of the greatest series in gaming, The Elder Scrolls. Dialogue? Improved. Melee? Improved. Magic? Improved. Stealth? Improved. Swords feel heavier, bows feel more powerful, spells feel more destructive, and even the blocking and two-handed swords feel much more realistic. I’ve been playing this game for months and the gameplay is still fun -- enemies crumpling under the force of your warhammer is always satisfying.
Music? Improved -- this may be the first game with subtitles that I've played with the volume on after the first couple hours of play. Dungeons? Improved. Not only do half the dungeons have a backstory to uncover, but many of them feature moments of beauty, such as a ray of light from a window highlighting a waterfall pouring in from above. Skyrim is indeed the best parts of every previous Elder Scrolls game since the third installment and even the best features of the reboot of the Fallout series; plus some stuff that was never there before.
Massive, Detailed, ComplexIt goes without saying that the graphics are improved, but I'll say it anyway: this game is very shiny and pretty. Those who are looking for something to trash in this regard will spout technical jargon like 'anti-aliasing' in a fashion reminiscent of the person who watches Inception and says "Pfft. I know how the special effects were done!". Yes, we get it, you know how your graphics card works. Skyrim could be more technically impressive but no amount of nifty tricks would really make the game that much more immersive. And immersive it is: with it's massive world and hundreds of quests, it's very easy to get sucked in. I've actually gotten so spoiled by the ambitious scope of the games Bethesda Softworks makes, that I can hardly play any game that's "normal" (i.e. bite-sized) in terms of area and content. But they weren't content to just make it effin' big, they had to make it so detailed that you can catch butterflies, cook food and craft your own armor and weapons -- with ore that you mined and leather that you made from the hides of animals you've killed. Oh, and those "hides" include the remains of any dragons you may slay.
All of this vastness, detail and complexity does result in more bugs than average in the average game. Because Skyrim is anything but average. Every game half as ambitious as Skyrim suffers from the same problem. In light of that fact, our options are to either deal with it or go back to playing lesser games. The insane amount of content also gives malcontents a treasure trove of things to nitpick about. Most of these complaints are simply matters of preference that have been elevated into things that are "wrong" with the game. A lot of the rest can be chalked up to the limits of hardware and the on-going evolution of the series.
Epic, Yet MatureMany were disappointed with the storyline of the previous Elder Scrolls game, Oblivion. That, too, is vastly improved in this installation. While in a sense the "epicness" of the storyline is largely meant to draw in young male gamers, the deeper aspects of The Elder Scrolls are still very present, delving into the metaphysical conundrums that have captured armchair philosophers for over a decade of gaming. Skyrim even gets more political than any game since Daggerfall, presenting two sides of a civil war that both have legitimate points and deep flaws. Skyrim will even allow you to visit the afterlife of one of the religions in the game, and it doesn't disappoint.
But you might never encounter any of those things due to the open, free nature of this game; which also gives the game extreme replay value. Don't want to be the hero who saves the world, or anything like that? Buy a house in the game with the proceeds from menial jobs like farming and working at the sawmill spend your characters' retirement reading books by the fire. Looking for more action than that but still don't care to save the world? Every major town is guaranteed to provide hours of entertainment. For example, the first major city alone (the jewel of the tundra, Whiterun) provided me with two full days of gaming with just the non-major quests therein.