Review by ratlank501
Lots of content, but is that a good thing?
There's no denying Skyrim is a massive game. There's an extremely high amount of dungeons to explore and quests to complete. Yet not a lot of those are all that fun. The guild quest lines are poorly written and far too short. There's little variety in dungeons, or the enemies within those dungeons.
But the one thing that really limited the fun I got out of Skyrim was the combat. Your hits have no weight to them. Hitting a bandit in the leg has the same effect as stabbing him in the head. Most enemies fight exactly the same, so there's little thought or tactics that go into combat it's just mindlessly swinging at the AI. Speaking of the AI, this game has some of the worst AI I have ever witnessed. I was once sneaking through a dungeon, and lined up a shot on a bandit from the shadows. It hit the bandit right in the face, and the bandit drew his weapon and began to search the area. After failing to find me, who then sheathed his sword and went back to sitting in his chair, arrow sticking out of his eye. He then stated 'I must have been hearing things'. When almost every quest in the game has combat involved, it being mediocre is unacceptable.
As you would expect in a Bethesda game, the writing is, for the most part, pretty poor and your actions have little consequences. You get to choose which side to take in the civil war, but the quests in each of the choices are almost identical. You can become arch mage using very little magic, and without spending any perks in any magic tree at all.
This results in Skyrim having little replay value. Unless you want to play through the game using magic instead of swords, there's no reason to start a new game. It's hard to screw up your character, and, as mentioned above, the fact that quests usually only have one outcome just killed any urge I might have had to play through Skyrim again.
As I stated at the start, there is a lot of dungeons through out Skyrim. Yet there's little difference between most of them. You're still just running down a generic looking corridor fighting the same enemies over and over again. This would be forgivable if there was good loot in those dungeons, but thanks to the smithing system, what you have on is probably better than anything you can find.
Smithing is far too easy to get to one hundred, as is Enchanting. Both can be combined to make much better equipment than you'll ever find, and just ruins the purpose of exploring.
However, Skyrim isn't all bad. There's some decent voice acting and beautiful landscapes. But that can't make up for the main focuses of the game, exploration and combat being lackluster. I got about twenty hours of fun out of Skyrim, which may seem like a lot, and compared to most other games, it is. But when you look at the amount of content in Skyrim, twenty hours is nothing at all.
Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Product Release: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (US, 11/11/11)
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