Skyrim Review-Epic…Enough Said

My day starts normally in my house Breezehome, which is situated in the city hold of Whiterun. I leave my home and head down to the local blacksmith. I quickly craft an absurd amount iron daggers in order to improve my smithy skills. I sell them off one by one to the blacksmith, buy more arrows and check out if they have any good weapons in at the time. After buying some goods at the trade store, I head to the city gates. I step out and the wide plains of Skyrim stretch out in front of me where my next quest awaits.

Skyrim has allowed me to build and become the professional hero I’ve always wanted to be in an RPG. Exploring vast dungeons, finding rare items, buying your own home and fighting ruthless dragons makes me feel more like I’ve become a freelance adventurer than just a legendary hero. You truly feel as if you have left your mark on Skyrim after everything you accomplish. The land itself becomes its own character and exploring every inch of it is well worth the effort.

In an effort to separate Skyrim from the other lands Bethesda has created a rugged, but gorgeous landscape. Rolling plains, barren tundra, vast woods and towering mountains dot the rugged terrain of Skyrim. Bethesda’s use of textures brings life to these natural settings. Water effects aren’t exactly perfect, but it still fits perfectly into the surrounding environment without being glaringly out of place. Even the dungeons and ruins have their own identity with the amount of detail put into each one. Ruins show their history with moss covered stones and broken foundations. Caves are labyrinths of stone and vine inhabited by angry bandits or the even more agitated frost troll. And no two dungeons are the same providing the player with a unique experience every time.

There are indeed bugs still, even with all of the patches, but I mostly never found any complaints with them. I found most of them to be highly entertaining and worth coming across.

Combat is far more aggressive brutal this time thanks to the improved animations. Blood spurts, swords and shields clash together and arrows whistle through the air, typically ending with a hard THWACK! as it impales itself into your target. Enemy difficulty varies at times mostly offering a fair challenge for all players. However, some enemies aren’t fairly balanced. As epic as some dragon fights are, figuring out their weaknesses comes quickly and soon you’ll find run-ins with bears and sabre cats far more daunting.

The addition of shouts is adds a new layer to the combat system. It allows you to pull of feats as breathing fire or frost, disarming enemies and unleashing a wave of pure force can give you an immense leg-up in combat. While they’re fun to use it does make battling enemies a little too easy making you more of an over powered tank instead.

The story is engrossing (as are most Elder Scrolls games) and epic in scope. The return of the dragons and their dreaded leader Alduin has caused fear and confusion in Skyrim as the beasts ravage the land. As expected it’s your job as the Dragonborn to kill Alduin and save the world. While this fits the games epic scope, the dialogue comes off dry and emotionless most of the time. Even your sacred teachers the Greybeards become mostly ignorable about half way through your quest. I felt very little attachment to most of the characters in the story.

All and all the issues I have can barely even be called nuisances with the overwhelming amount of things Bethesda decided to do right with this game. If you haven’t already taken part in the experience that is Skyrim I highly recommend strapping on your armor and beginning your adventure by picking up this game. Now if you’ll excuse me I have some vampires to clear out of Shriekwind Bastion and remember: watch the skies traveler.

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Posted on March 1, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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