What is it?
The Indiana Jones of RPG's. A first person, single player RPG with stunning graphics, open ended gameplay and a huge world to explore.
This is the fifth and best game in The Elder Scrolls series so far. These are not the kind of games you play just to complete, these are games you can settle down and explore for years. I played Arena, Daggerfall and Morrowind, which are all impressive but they never really sucked me in like first Oblivion, and now Skyrim has. Oblivion was a game I spent about 80 hours on over the course of three years and in the end I decided to complete the main quest, not only because I had spent that much time on it and wanted closure, but also because after all this time, the cracks in the game design were too big to ignore. I got tired of the leveling system regarding opponents in combat and the too easy difficulty, which in the long run sucked out some of my enjoyment.
Now, Skyrim has only been out for about half a year and I have already sunk 94 hours into it as of writing this. I have no strong urge to finish off the main quest any time soon and it feels like I've only breezed across the world so far. There is so much to explore in this game and fortunately the world is varied and challenging enough to make this stay fun and exciting. The game is not perfect but it is seriously addictive and highly enjoyable.
Bethesda have created a world that is vibrant, alive and begs to be explored. On top of that the lore, history and current state of the game world is intriguing and worth spending time with. The urge to explore the world and see what waits around the next corner is part of what keeps me coming back to the game. I have put the game on hold for the past four months, while creating this website but I loaded it up yesterday and put a few hours into it. Today I just want more. This is a testament to the addictive quality of the game.
What I like:
· The feeling of complete freedom to do whatever you want.
· The huge step the game designers have taken since Oblivion, ironing out most of its problems.
· The graphics.
· The way the skill system has been tweaked to allow plenty of different tactics depending on your play style.
· The dungeons, which are much more interesting this time around. They actually feel different and are loaded with challenges.
· The amazing amount of detail that has gone into making this world believeable.
· The ability to disable quest markers.
· The countless wow! moments like when you walk around a corner and look at the likes of the city of Markath, gaze down upon the Lost Valley Redoubt from the top of a mountain or sneak up on a fire-breathing dragon to try to back stab it to death and failing miserably.
· The impressive amount of interesting and challenging side quests.
What I don't like:
· The console-like interface.
· Having scaled a seemingly insurmountable mountain and suddenly meeting an invisible wall and a line on screen that says "You can not go that way". It sort of kills the atmosphere and the vision of a complete world.
· NPC's not recognizing player actions which they should have.
· The lack of personal statistics.
· The conversations with NPC's get boring in the long run.
· The huge amount of bugs in the game at launch time. They have slowly been fixed but that update which made dragons fly backwards and killed my enjoyment of the game for a week is still remembered as a major fail.
· Leveled monsters and leveled loot. The bane of mordern RPG's. Better implemented here than in Oblivion though.
· The first, anticlimatic dragon fight. Cool, but I was left with the feeling that dragons weren't really that dangerous at all.
· Too much hand holding.
One of the most impressive games ever. I am sure I will be playing it for years to come. It is one of the best examples of what computer games can be.
Update - March 2016
After playing the game on and off since writing the above, I finally completed the main quest and was done with it. I've actually been playing this game for 5 years... Wow!
While I've had a lot of fun with the game, the feeling I am left with, is that the game is somewhat shallow. Skyrim started out on a high and slowly went downhill from there. It is still an incredible game in many respects, but I also found it lacking, especially in the areas, I mentioned above. The more I played, the more these niggles shone through the cracks, and in the end, took away a great deal of my immersion and enjoyment. The most severe ones were the lack of consequence for ones actions and a lack of depth in the world.
Skyrim remains among my favorite games, but it could have been even better, that is clear to me. I hope Bethesda will find some magical way to rectify the problems for their next Elder Scrolls game and make one that appeals more to my old school RPG heart.
At some point, I will have to start over with the Requiem Mod installed and see how that feels. Ah, there goes another 5 years...
Written By Steen
Online: Thursday, June 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, March 28, 2016 - Added a few paragraphs after completing the main quest