Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review
This was probably one of the most anticipated games of the year for me, and I have to say that having put so much time into it, and planning on putting more time to seek out random dungeons that this game not only had me from start to finish, but left me wanting more. In the game you start off as a captive of the Imperials, this is going to be your execution day, but something happens. A Dragon attacks and all hell breaks loose. Somehow you're going to have to manage to fight your way out, and once on the other side, you're going to have the entire land of Skyrim at your disposal. Explore the lands, take on quests, join guilds, join a faction, and ultimately save the realm.
Graphically this game looked amazing, the amount of scenary/buildings/mountains/etc was more than a little impressive. Sure there's some texture and structure loading issues when traveling out in Skyrim, but for the most part you're going to find that there's a lot to explore, and a wide variety of stuff to look at. You're going to have glaciers, snow, mountains, fields, forests, caves, and more. This is the type of adventure game you can easily get lost in. The NPC faces do get a bit generic if you do a good amount of exploring, especially when it comes to enemies that you come across. There's so much to see though, that you're probably not going to wonder why a huge chunk of city dwelling people look like they came from the same mother at the exact same birth.
The music in Skyrim is also top notch. You have orchestra pieces to listen to, and you also have changes in music to denote different events. If you're being attacked, if you've entered into a cave, if you're just exploring Skyrim, there's a good variety of music to listen to. I will recommend one thing, if you enter an inn or a place where there is someone singing, just ask them to take a break, you'll thank me later.
The controls in the game will have you utilizing every button the the controller. You'll have a trigger for one hand (be it for a shield, a spell, or another weapon), and of course the other trigger for the other weapon. You'll have a button to jump, a button to select/pick up/talk with, and of course a cancel button. You'll be using both shoulder buttons once you're a bit into the game, and the analog sticks are going to be your friends when you're trying to track dragons flying in the sky.
One thing that this game promised was a ton of a dragons, and man did they deliver. You're going to have to face quite a few just to get from the beginning of the game to the end, but there's also the chance of just going out into the world and hunting dragons. There's dragon nests scattered across the land that you can go to a take down some of the meaner dragons. There's just so much to this game I don't even know where to start. You're going to get to craft your character and level them up with the actions that you take. Unlike Oblivion where you can cheat the system with your skill selections, this time around you're going to level up skills by utilizing that action (lockpicking, one-hand fighting, blocking, smithing, etc), and as you level skills up you're going to level up your character which in turn will allow you to boost a stat (magic, health, stamina) and then also give you a perk point to give you a little something extra in one of the skill fields. Now to stop you from just choosing the best perks of different skills there are skill level requirements (separate from your character's level) that have to be met in order to unlock that perk. Personally I made sure that most of my perks went into lockpicking, as that seemed to be a game inside the game for me, and allowed me to gain the riches that my character finished the game with. There are a couple of groups that you can join throughout the game, you have the Companions (basically the Fighter's Guild, but with a dark twist), the College of Magic, the Thieves Guild (this too has a twist), the Bard's college, the Stormcloaks (basically the renegade faction), the Imperials (the ruling and conquering faction), and/or the Dark Brotherhood (Assassin's Guild). With so much to do, plus a ton of other quests this game will eat up hours of your life, but in a good way.
There are, however, a few issues I have with the game. First off there were some bad bugs that could become your undoing, and cause you to restart a good ways back in your game, so don't be afraid to use multiple saves and save often. My personal issue with the game was that there was a quest that once turned on you could no longer fast travel (which once you've started to play Skyrim, you'll see makes the game almost unplayable), there has as been texture issues, weird geometry stuff going on, dragons flying backwards, and characters that you have to converse with that either don't ever appear or disappear when you need to talk to them to continue a quest. Then there's the other issue in the game, the main storyline. Maybe it was just me, but I wanted to do anything but work on the main storyline, it just didn't feel up to par with some of the side quests. Sure it had its interesting parts, but there wasn't enough substance to it, I didn't feel as invested in it as say the later Thieves Guild quests. There's also the Misc. quests that you'll get, those can screw you over royally simply because there are way too many times when you can't remember who the hell you have to turn the quest into, there's never an indicator, and sometimes it will make items stay in your inventory forever, as they are seen as quest items, and you can't drop quest items. That being said, completing the main quest doesn't mean that the game will end, thankfully you'll be able to continue on exploring to your heart's desire. Hell if you play long enough I'm sure you can just start killing everyone in Skyrim and just have the place to yourself, if that's something that interests you.
In the end, with its flaws, and it's not quite epicly awesome main storyline, this is a game that I couldn't get enough of. Sure there were some game freezes, and sure there were some glitches, but it says something about the game when I simply said a string of curse words, then restarted the 360 and started playing again. I became invested in the world, I wanted to explore every nook and cranny, I wanted to become that hero that could make all who oppose me feel my wrath. So I think it's safe to say that if you like open world RPGs where you get to fight dragons, save the world, and have a good sense of adventure, you're going to have already bought this game, or if you haven't you need to get this game pronto, like right now, as soon as you're done reading this, go get the game and get lost in it like so many others have before you. This game gets a 9.4 out of 10.