The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Image courtesy of MCT.

By Jessica Stephenson

Have you been searching for the ultimate thief, warrior, mage, assassin, or dragon slaying game? If you have, then Skyrim is perfect for you. Whether you are a fan of the Elder Scrolls or have never even heard of the series, Skyrim will not disappoint. Its prequel The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion won numerous awards, including “Game of the Year,” and with similar qualities, Skyrim also has a very promising outlook.

As the game begins, you find yourself in an open world setting, free to roam the virtual world as you please. The story takes place in a medieval setting, 200 years after that of Oblivion. You find yourself in the middle of a civil war that has been set off by the assassination of the king of Skyrim. As the Game starts, you find yourself about to be executed by the rebels of Skyrim. Suddenly, out of the sky a dragon appears, giving you the opportunity to escape. As the game continues you find that you are the Dovakiin (Dragon born), and the only one capable of killing a dragon, as appointed by the gods.

Skyrim is a single player, role-playing game (RPG), meaning you have direct control over your character. You will play alongside and against non-playable characters (NPCs), and can in some cases get them to come along with you on your journeys. You may accept, and embark on quests in any order or manner you choose, meaning the first quest you accept may be the last one you complete. Your character may develop as the game progresses, leveling up by customizing your skills and perks to best suit your character. You may battle with a variety of attacks with dual wielding by equipping each hand with either weapons or spell casting. You can also use one hand for attack and the other to block.

The display and audio in this game are excellent. The display of the game makes it that much more convincing while playing. The mountain and village scenery are very realistic, yet still maintain their richness and mysticism. The game also includes slow-motion sequences in which your visuals will zoom out, and you can see your character killing your opponent, adding to the coolness factor. The effort put into the audio by the game’s developers is also outstanding. You can hear everything from the sound of snow crunching under your feet to the differing accents among the various races. The sound is very clear and audible, but the game also has a caption option if preferred.

It is very easy to navigate through your quests, inventory, and skills; however, it is not as easy to navigate using the map provided, and this will take some playing time to understand. The presets of the game make it fairly difficult to see in dark caves but the display of the game can be easily changed through settings. The controls are very easy to use. You only need to use one button for each command. The starting difficulty is set at a moderate level, though you may change it if needed. There are gaming guides available for purchase, although these are not needed.

This game is a long-term game, with hundreds of different quest options. This is not a game you can expect to complete in a few short days, but it doesn’t drag on either. One drawback is that Skyrim doesn’t seem to be intended for repeated playing once you’ve completed it. However, it does have alternate options with different outcomes to keep it from becoming boring in the case that you do wish to play again.

Skyrim is available for the Xbox360, PC, and PS3, and can be found at most GameStops or Best Buys. It has been rated M for Mature, and you must be at least 17 to purchase it due to violence, drug and alcohol references, and sexual themes.

Overall I give this game 5 stars because of its outstanding qualities and its fun factor. This is an amazing game and a definite front-runner for “Game of the Year” 2011.