Gameplay: 8 / 10
Graphics: 8 / 10
Replay Value: 8 / 10
Sound and Music: 8 / 10
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: PlayStation 3
Release Date: December 8, 2011
Age Restriction: Mature Audiences only
[Guest Review By Kegan Van Der Berg]
Skyrim, the latest edition to the Elder scroll Series is a real whopper of a game. This RPG offers an insane amount of free will, in the likes of a free roaming world, open quest, character selection, as well as the characters. As the game opens up you get to select your character and their appearance. You can choose from ten different races ranging from Elves to Nords or even Orcs. Each race has its own special ability, so take that into consideration as it can aid your primary skill set. You can also customise your character’s appearance to quite some detail, e.g. Gender, weight, scars and even war paint.
The game has a very short introduction with the opening storyline, thereafter suggestions are made, as what to do or where to go, but the choices you make are entirely up to you, as you can follow the main quests which involve battling Dragons exploring for quest items, and learning specific skill sets, or you can just spend endless hours on sideline quests in the likes faction, civil war, dungeon or miscellaneous quests. As you play through the game you are given the opportunity to join many different groups such as the blade, or the thief’s guild. It is possible to join more than one group, however it will affect how others react towards you each having its own pros and cons.
There are three main elements that contribute to both your characters survival and skill level, which are maicka, health and stamina. As you progress and interact throughout the game these levels increase, and this is done by increasing your different skill sets. There are vast amounts of skill sets which should be develop according to your character. In battle scenes, you have the option of fighting single handed, two handed, or archery. Then there are skills in magicka, stealth, blacksmithing, lock picking and a whole lot more. There is almost too much to choose from in this insanely large game. The Level up screen can also become a little confusing at first, as all the skill sets are set out in star constellations; this could have been simplified. One of the main points in the game are the shouts that you learn, by reading words of power that you find throughout the game, you then unlock them by absorbing dragon souls by sleighing them. There are also 85 different spells that you can learn from books or mages. The different categories of spells are: Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Illusion and Restoration. A real plus point for me in Skyrim is the ability for dual wielding, which allows you to hold/use two weapons or spell simultaneously, or even a weapon and spell together.
The graphics in the game leave me with a bit of a mixed taste as certain elements are absolutely stunning, while other objects could have been improved on, however with such a large free roaming world and interactive Ai your game play will not be spoiled. In saying that unfortunately there are some bugs and glitches in game that can become somewhat annoying, or even cause you to reload a last save, hopefully that will be sorted out with future updates. One other thing that breaks the attention of the game slightly is the long wait between load times, but with such a great game which allows you as much freedom and choices as you like, one can overlook it.
In this game you Slay Dragons, you become a peace negotiator, buy property get married, be hero, or join the thieves who hide in the sewers, the choices are entirely up to you and how you want to play the game. The different landscapes blend well together as you explore either on foot, by carriage (between major cities), or on horseback. This game has so much to offer one can write endless pages on it, however, I think the best choice would still be to go get a copy and explore it for yourself. One last note; this game requires that you spend loads of time on it to get its full value.
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