The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

Post by zeb k on Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:36 pm

Well even though it cost 60 bucks, I decided I couldn't wait for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim so I pre-ordered it from Amazon and got it the day it came out. So here's my review:

Character Creation and Skills.
They made quite a few changes in Skyrim from the other Elder Scrolls games. For one, they took away the class system. Those of you that have not played any other Elder Scrolls games then the class system was when you made you character you would either

A: Choose a class from the pre-made ones (e.g. Warrior, Archer, ect.) or
B: Make a custom class.

You got seven (in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion at least) Major Skills and the rest were Minor Skills. You had to improve your Major Skills to level up, and improving Minor Skills would give you bonuses on your attributes. You had eight attributes (e.g. Strength, Speed, Willpower, etc.) and every time you leveled up you could pick three attributes to improve. Like I already said, they took the whole class and attribute thing away in Skyrim, so now there are no attributes and no classes. Instead you have 18 (I think) skills and improving any of them will help increase your level but, improving higher ones (i.e. a skill that is 50 instead of 20) will make you level up faster.

At first I wasn't sure about them taking away the class system but it did allow for more freedom. I am playing as a Orc and I generally use a sword and a fire spell. It was harder to do that well in the other Elder Scrolls games because you had to focus on one type of skill, but in Skyrim you can more easily be a war hammer-wielding wood elf mage or a Dagger-with-magic-using Orc.

Also it allows you the freedom to change how your character is in the middle of the game (without cheats of course). For example; I originally used Heavy Armor but switched to Light Armor after a while. So, all in all the removal of the class system was a very good choice.

They also changed the whole sign thing. Before you would choose a sign that you were born under (the mage, the apprentice ect.) and get a bonus, and even sometimes a negative effect, like giving you double magic but making it so you don't regenerate it that easy.

The character creation is still very open and you can make your guy (or girl) look like whatever you want. I did feel it was slightly less so than Oblivion in some areas however.

Onto the skills: they took away the different skills for different types of melee weapons, so instead of having skills like blade or blunt you just have One Handed (for using one-handed weapons such as swords, maces, and war axes) and Two Handed (for using two-handed weapons like war hammers, great-swords, and battle axes). Also Archery is a more-used skill because it's recommended to fight dragons.

Combat
As anyone who has been looking forward to Skyrim will probably know, they made is so that now you can use two weapons/spells at once. As I've mentioned a few times before, I generally used a sword and a spell but have recently mastered the art of dual wielding; a sword and a dagger (which happens to be better then my sword, lol). The combat is very smooth and follows the same basic Elder Scrolls combat rules with the exception that they added the finishing moves feature that has become very popular in games recently.

One thing I did find a little hard to swallow about the combat system was that if you do a sneak attack with a bow and then retreat back behind a box or something, they won't take their new "wooden limbs" as a indication that there's someone plotting there untimely demise. Instead your enemies will react the same way they do when they here you make a noise or something: walk around looking for you for a minute, and if they don't find you say something like: "I thought I heard something". Then decide that the arrow must have just appeared for no reason.

Don't get me wrong, though I loved both the combat and the stealth it's just that one thing I find a bit iffy.

Story
There seem to be two main quests or maybe they join sometime in the middle, but I haven't finished either one so I dunno yet. Anyway they are:

A. The "Main" Main Quest: Dragons have returned to Skyrim after hundreds of years and you are the "Dragonborn" who is a legendary dragon slayer and you have to go and defeat the dragon god. You can learn dragon shouts from word walls and you need a dragon soul to unlock a shout (you get a soul by killing a dragon) which are sort of like spells except you, obviously, shout them.

There are things like fire and frost breath and then others like detect life and stuff. But there's A LOT more to it then that, so I don't want to spoil the surprise.

B. The other "Main" quest: There is civil war in Skyrim. The rebel Stormcloaks are fighting the Imperial Legion troops. The war was caused by the Elves invading the Empire and forcing the Emperor to sign a peace treaty that (along with other things) made the worship of Talos illegal. (Talos was once Emperor and was so great/mighty/wonderful that after he died the gods made him one of them.) But the Stormcloaks want to worship him anyway which seems reasonable but, it also seems like they're racist bastards and want everyone besides them out of Skyrim. So I have yet to decide which side to support.

Quests and Gameplay
Bethesda has followed the Elder Scrolls tradition of open ended game-play and a LOT of side quests. There are guilds (except they're not called guilds anymore) for fighters, mages, assassins, thieves and bards. I might have missed some in there but you get the idea. Aside from those there are HUNDREDS of side quests and random ruined forts, burial crypts, ect. to plunder. There are everything from dragons and wooly mammoths to giant rats scattered around the wilderness.

Other
There are nine cities and a lot of little settlements/farms/houses scattered around the world and in each city (and some settlements) you can find people that will buy and sell stuff to you and train you in skills (and in some of the cities there are houses for sale). You're able to buy upgrades to owned houses, and I like how (unlike in Oblivion) each upgrade doesn't cost half as much as the house. You can also become a vampire or a werewolf in the game. Fairly early on I became a werewolf which doesn't have the same 'transforming into a werewolf every night' thing that "The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind", had but it's still cool.

The bottom line is: SKYRIM IS ONE OF THE BEST GAMES EVER MADE! It can only be rivaled by the other Elder Scrolls games and even those are hard pressed. So trust me when I say that it's worth the 60 bucks.

In my top three games ever made one would be Skyrim, the second would be Oblivion, and lastly Morrowind. And Skyrim would win number one. Hands down.

Well I guess that raps up my review. Hmmm... do you think it was to short? The Answer: for Skyrim? Probably.
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zeb k
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