The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC, PS3, XBOX 360)


Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Finally, Skyrim under the microscope (although given the size of the game it doesn’t really need to be put under the microscope).
I’ve been looking forward to this game for a long time and must say it was defiantly worth the wait. Ever since I completed Oblivion I’ve been wanting Elder Scrolls V. It was a long wait but that just means that Bethesda could take their time on the development and polish it over to a fine shine. Although it is an amazing game and definitely tops Arkham City as my Game of the Year, it isn’t without faults. Also since people don’t like it when I’m nice to a game so I will be furiously picking knits like an OCD Delia Smith.
First thing that has to be noted is that the game is huge. I thought Oblivion was big but even that is dwarfed by the Skyrim map. I read somewhere that Skyrim was meant to be 3 times bigger than Cyrodiil. This does mean that their are time where you can feel overwhelmed and lost. This is made up for by the sheer number of missions that are possible. Sadly though bar the main quests alot of the secondary missions are the same missions repeated. Either the killing of bandits or go kill a dragon. Although the game doesn’t allow you to run out of missions they do repeat themselves very regally. Like Top Gear repeats on Dave, you’ll find the same mission repeating itself every couple of hours.
The game I must say it’s very pretty. I picked up the PC version (so I can mod it later), I started playing on the medium graphic setting and it looked pretty on that. I then later managed to turn it up to High without too much of a sacrifice on the game play and I was astonished by how beautiful the game was. I enjoy going up to the tops of huge cliffs, look out onto the lands of Skyrim and just take in the scenery like some sort of Meerkat staring off into the wilderness on the lookout for Lions, Honey Badgers and other nasty characters. Although saying that some of the textures look rough and pixelated, which is a shame given the level of detail on everything else. Although you’re going to be looking into the distance that much it’s not exactly going to ruin the game for you, and if it does you are officially a snob and need to lighten up.
Like all of Bethesda’s recent games Skyrim also could have done with a bit more polishing to iron out more of the bugs. Although the game isn’t as bad as Fallout 3 or New Vegas in the bugs in the unmentionables department. They are still noticeable. Many a time I’ve found the game crashing to desktop. I’ve also found a fair amount of time where the wire frame ran underneath the patten texture, but hopefully this will be fixed when the next updates come by.
There was a big deal about the dragons in the game being unscripted, meaning that they’re not programmed to a specific set of actions every time you fight them. Although this does sound as though you’ll never have the same dragon fight twice, it can cause a few “what the fuck” moments. For example, I was asked to break a prisoner out of a prison, preferably without being detected. I couldn’t sneak in since my sneak skill was so poor. I noticed a dragon flying around nearby so I hatched a plan to direct the dragon over to the prison and have the dragon kill the guards and I can waltz in once the dust settles and smoke clears. Sadly though my plan fell apart when the dragon decided that the angry Nord firing arrows and breathing fire on him was less of a threat than the menacing looking Mud Crabs. Stupid Dragon.
I did mention last week that I would let you how Skyrim compares with Oblivion. Although I think Skyrim is the better game, be it just Oblivion with better graphics, more snow and dragons, I still have fonder feelings for Oblivion. This is less to do with the game and more to do with how I feel/felt for them. Oblivion I first picked up on a whim, I had just got my PS3 and only had one game for it, so I wanted to quickly build up my library, I heard good things about The Elders Scroll series so it made sense to pick it up. I went into the game not knowing what to expect and it blew me away. Skyrim on the other hand, was massively anticipated and had a huge hype behind it that. This meant that the game had huge expectations and was going to be difficult to clear it’s expectations by the same margin Oblivion did. It’s alot like Portal and Portal 2. Although Portal 2 is the better game, I still prefer the 1st one.
Overall I really enjoyed Skyrim, so much so that I will be playing it some more. It has defiantly taken over Arkham City as top contender for Game of the Year. Then again with over a month until the end of the year and when I review the gaming year, there’s still a chance for a few more games to impress me. There is still the new Assassins Creed, Saints Row the Third, Skyward Sword still for me to play and review. Modern Warfare 3 also (ha ha, just a joke, it’s terrible).  This does raise the question of what I’m going to be reviewing next week. Maybe Saints Row the Third or I could jump back and review something much older. Until then, I’m going to continue escapades across the lands of Skyrim.

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