Review by Nikaleides
"Bethesda...you do it again!"
As a late comer to the series, Skyrim's predecessor The Elder Scrolls was my first venture into the series and that had been out for a couple of years before I had played it. I found it difficult to believe at the time that any game could live up to its hype. However, live up to its hype it did do and even more. The Elder Scrolls was a deep, immersing RPG world which actually made you feel part of what was going on. As a result, sinking sixty hours into the experience was very easy to do. Fast forward to Skyrim and once again it was very difficult to believe that any game could live up to the hype. Keeping up-to-date with all the Skyrim going-on pre-release was very exciting, and then it was released. What a spectacle, what an experience and what a way to produce a game!
Now, most importantly, is this game fun? It is fantastic and it is filled with wonderful moments. Without too many spoilers, the opening sequence sets the tone with a great cut scene to introduce the story and with your almost imminent death. Progress the story a few hours and you have your first battle with a dragon. The story progresses at a good pace, which sometimes with long RPGs can hinder performance.
The world in which you find yourself feels like a living breathing world. It feels like it was there long before you started playing and it will still exist long after you stop playing. Animals grazing during the day, changing weather systems, snowy mountain peaks, foggy mornings and bandits roaming the countryside all feel fantastic.
Controls in the game are very easy to use and make the game feel very comfortable. I wielded both magic and a sword and found it very easy to switch both weapon type and spell type. A couple of buttons and you can choose from your full selection of spells or weapons and armour. With a maximum load you cannot store all of your loot. Loot does however provide a good source of income as you take the goods to local shops and markets. A good idea of giving the shopkeepers a maximum spend each day is fantastic and ensures that you loot only the most valuable things to sell on.
Graphically this game is beautiful. It is stunning visually and is definitely one of the prettiest games I've ever played. Standing on top of one of the snowy mountain peaks overlooking the scenery below was an experience that had me transfixed for a few minutes. Then making my way down the mountain through the rainy forest, the graphics help make this an experience.
Adding to the visual element is a good soundtrack and some very good voice acting. Dealing with NPCs generally feels engaging and when receiving quests you feel part of the story. Battle noises, spells, music in the Inns and the hustle and bustle of a market all add and make the sound element to the game good as well and this helps add to the overall feel of the Skyrim world.
With regards to length of the game this represents a real value for money. Sixty to eighty hours can easily be spent in Skyrim. There are an abundance of side quests to keep you busy should you want a break from the main storyline. These do not get tedious and the game still remains entertaining even going into your sixtieth hour.
In conclusion, Skyrim is an amazing game. Ten out of ten is more than a suitable score for such a great game. I cannot recommend any game more as a must play game! Visually it is stunning, length of game play represents amazing value for money, storyline is good and did I mention it involves dragons?! If you only buy one game all year then make it Skyrim. Bethesda, you have outdone yourselves...again.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 01/10/12
Game Release: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (EU, 11/11/11)
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