Investing around 30 hours to review a game with more than 200 hours of content doesn’t seem fair. At the same time I’m sure there are many of you out there wondering how the new Elder Scrolls game stacks up. So what we’ve done is tread the middle ground by offering a mini-review of sorts based on our marathon session of Skyrim and to put it rather simply, you need to buy this freaking game. Like now!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim picks up nearly two hundred years after Oblivion. Since there is no King to rule Skyrim, civil unrest has broken out all over and if that wasn’t bad enough, a mysterious race of dudes have now started resurrecting Dragons for sinister reasons. Not an issue for you since you’re a Dragonborn, a badass capable of slaying dragons and absorbing their souls; it’s the politics you should be more worried about. I never really had a chance to sit and experience the game’s plot because I’ve done all of two plot based missions in my play through. Exploration is the name of the game here and Skyrim may give you a headache with its mind numbing scope.
Kratos, is that you?
You embark upon your adventures by choosing one of many races after which you can create your character from scratch. I chose someone adept at melee combat and magic and thanks to the game’s dual wielding system I was wielding spells and a sword with great ease. The customisation tool is crazy detailed and if you’re the creative type, you can create anyone (or anything). Unfortunately once you do create your character, you’ll be stuck with him/her for the rest of the game. As someone who’s crazy about customisation, this is a bit of a bummer for me. I mean sure, don’t let me modify features and body type but are you trying to tell me no one in Skyrim gets a shave or a haircut?
Anyway, once you’re done playing Barbie, you’ll undergo a short tutorial of sorts after which the world is yours to explore. You could chose to progress the story forward or indulge in a plethora of side quests, join one of the many guilds out there, take up odd jobs to earn money or start exploring dungeons to gain XP and come across new loot. While the game is open ended from the get go, there are certain areas you won’t be able to access simply because they will be host to higher level enemies.
Slaying dragons makes you feel completely badass
Levelling up your character will grant you Perks that can be used to buff up your skill tree. Let’s say like me you prefer dual wielding spells and swords, your best bet would be to max out your One handed and Destruction spell tree. If stealth is more of your thing, go crazy unlocking perks for Sneaking but if you’re more of a mage then invest points in Conjuration or Alchemy. Like I said earlier, this game can really overwhelm you at times with its content but still none of it is really shoved down your throat and I applaud Bethesda for that. If you’re adept at Lockpicking, it will make your life simpler but you’ll never find yourself stuck in a dungeon just because you never levelled up your lockpicking skills.
In fact if you’re a melee based character who isn’t too good with magic, the game allows you to recruit a companion that is and together you can be a force to reckon with. The only downside to this is that path finding for companions is completely broken and you’ll constantly have to walk beside them making sure they’re following you and not getting stuck behind some rock. While I appreciate the support of a mercenary or a mage, I do prefer exploring Skyrim by myself since this game can offer you some truly memorable random moments. Allow me to elaborate.