Review by KeredsBlaze

"The World of Skyrim"

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Gameplay: 9/10
The gameplay in Skyrim is immensely satisfying and there is so much to do in such a vaste world. You can find someone to settle down with, cook some food, make potions, or go battle some dragons and clear some dungeons. The leveling system is great as well. You can play the game however you want (mage, warrior, thief, etc) and the game evolves around you, improving the skills that you use the most, and you are free to change your style of combat at any time, and the game will follow suit. This world is left open for you to explore, but none of feels like a chore like some previous Bethesda games do to me. In past games you might have seen recycled environments with the same enemies and similar treasures, but in Skyrim each area is unique and looks different, and there is always something new to be found. One downfall of Skyrim's gameplay is the occasional bug or glitch. I own the game on X360 and I have encountered dragons that fly backwards, some disappearing environments, and a quest or two that is glitched and I can't finish. Besides the glitched quests, these things aren't too troublesome. The third person outlook is improved from Oblivion which was terrible, but it can still feel a bit awkward, so I prefer to play in a first person view. I have heard more complaints about the PS3 version of Skyrim, so just be aware of that. Also killing dragons is a bit overplayed in this game, since I have killed over 30 dragons now. Other good notes about Skyrim's gameplay is that map markers help you find locations all over the world so you don't get lost, and each questline is different and has its own story.

Story: 8/10
Story has never been one of Bethesda's strong points, but Skyrim does a much better job than some of the past titles. The main questline is entertaining and most of the guild questlines are solid as well. I for one, enjoyed the Companions questline as well as the daedric quests the best. The only problem with the stories is that they are all interesting, but not that deep and by the time you are really getting into it, the story is over.

Length/Replayability: 10/10
There isn't much to be said here, playing Skyrim can easily net you 150 hrs of playtime on the easiest difficulty setting. If you are looking for a game you can get entrenched into for a couple months, this is it.

Visuals: 8/10
Some parts of Skyrim look great, while others look just ok, but that is something to be expected with a game so large. Environments change and skylines look beautiful, especially as Skyrim shifts from day to night or from dry to rain to snow. Characters and creatures look much improved, and the only flaws to be seen are when you approach structures up close such as mountains or buildings, and they appear blocky with sharp edges. Overall, probably the best looking Bethesda game I have played however.

Characters: 8/10
So many characters fill the world of Skyrim, some of them memorable, some of them not so much. The disappointing part is that there isn't really one character that stands out above the rest that everyone will remember for decades to come, rather there are a bunch of very solid, well voiced characters that make the world of Skyrim a very believable one. The only part that may get annoying is the repeated text of the guards and townsfolk around Skyrim, ex: "I was an adventurer like you once, until I took an arrow in the knee." I've heard that line maybe 1000 times now.

Sound/ Music: 8/10
I love the battle themes for Skyrim, as well as the music as you travel through the lands, great melodies, and soothing.
--Fantastic gameplay that will keep you coming back for hours at a time
--Over 150 hours worth of exploring to do, if not more, all of it fun
--Solid in every category
--Some bugs and glitches can be an annoyance
--Repeated dialogue throughout many of the cities
--Visuals can look blocky up close
Overall this game is a blast to play, definitely deserving of the GOTY 2011 title, and is a game that should be played by all RPG fans. This one will go down as a classic, and has so much upside that its flaws can easily be looked past.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/04/12

Game Release: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (US, 11/11/11)

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