Well it’s official, I have a new favorite RPG. Skyrim, a game that I originally wasn’t super hyped about a few weeks ago, has managed to absorb any free time that I have. The fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series is a major step in the right direction for Bethesda. I could go on for hours about why I am such a fan of this game, but I’ll restrain myself and just stick to a few key areas.
The graphics are a double-edged sword. On one hand I am huge fan of how realistic and breathtaking the landscapes in the game are rendered. The huge mountains with clouds and fog rolling off them into the valleys are amazing nice to watch. The cities and towns are so well done that I almost feels like a real place. Then with all of this detail, come random glitches that at times can be jarring. Mammoths can spawn in the air and plunge to their death, characters getting stuck in chairs as they try to follow you out of a building, and a good hit can fling an opponent into the air like Superman hit him.
However, even with these sporadic graphical glitches you can’t help but find the game amazing to look at. I still hope they put out a patch that will fix some of these odd bugs, but even if they don’t I can manage.
The biggest improvements to the game are in this category. The fighting system in Skyrim is much more fast paced and, in my opinion, exciting than previous games. The game does away with classes and allows you to level-up and choose perks in whichever skill category you please whether its destruction, archery, or one-handed weapons. Which works out better because any skill leveled-up will add to your progress of reaching the next level instead of having 10 major skills like in previous games.
In terms of the actual combat, this game is a huge improvement. Finishing moves have been added which make some of your kills seem so much more epic and fulfilling. Yet they don’t happen so often that it gets annoying. The combat is much more fast-paced and exciting than it was even in Oblivion. The best evidence I can give of the improvement is a friend a mine who has hated every Elder Scrolls game that has come-out because he found the combat boring and not worth playing. He has now racked-up over 20 hours of game time in 3 days with Skyrim and can’t stop talking about it.
The biggest appeal to me that any Elder Scrolls game has is just how big in scope each game is. You can easily spend 40 hours doing side quests, becoming the biggest thief in Skyrim, and pillaging towns before even completing a single story quest. It’s like living a medieval second life in which you can do anything at any pace.
Skyrim is by far, my favorite game that has been released this year. The scope, the graphics, and the gameplay all work out to make a title that will keep your attention for a long time. Skyrim is a major step forward for Bethesda and I can’t wait to see how what they did with this game, may be carried over into either Fallout or the next Elder Scrolls. If you’re a fan of RPG games, then you would really be missing out if you choose to skip this one. Its more than worth the $60 or putting on your Christmas wish list.