37 of 48 people found the following review helpful
New to Elder Scrolls,
This review is from: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - PC (DVD-ROM)
I am brand new to the Elder Scrolls series. I have never played Oblivion or Morrowind (or any others that may exist) and I have to say I absolutely love this game! I've played this game for 75 hours now and I decided to go ahead and give it a review. I got the PC version which I run on "ultra high" settings and I have to say the visuals are amazing! I also have a PS3. Some games I have played that relate a little to this game would be: Red Dead Redemption, Lair, Aion, Ego Draconis, Dragon Nest, and Fable III.
Character Customization. It's not as detailed or as in-depth as Aion, but that's actually more of a blessing for me. I spend hours upon hours on character creation screens because if I'm going to be playing an RPG type game, then my character better look good. You can color the entire body of a character, color parts of the face, add hair/horns/feathers and tattoos. There are plenty of pre-set characters too for those that don't want to fool with sliders and color options. A couple of things I was disappointed in was the lack of eye colors and the full body colors. I wasn't expecting a hot pink Elf or neon green eyes, but solid black and solid white (would look nice on a Kahjit) aren't even an option. There are "white" and "black" colors, but there are mandatory fur patterns that go with the race so a solid color is not possible. If you choose white fur, you will get gray/black markings with it and if you choose black fur then you actually get gray fur with black markings. Being slightly disappointed with that, I chose an Argonian. Lizards rule. Overall I give character customization a 9/10 because there could be more options, but I was very impressed with the selection they give you.
The Map/Quests. The map is HUGE! I'm a big fan of Red Dead Redemption, and I thought that map was a decent size until I played this game. Skyrim's map blows Red Dead's map out of the water. No doubt about that at all. For the most part, everything looks really nice, rocks are detailed, water is pretty, nice lighting effects, and the map takes about 30 minutes to cross from one end to the other. Every now and then you'll see a side of the mountain that looks like 8 pixels are stretching 40 feet. However, that is pretty rare. As far as quests go, there's a lot. What bothers me about the quests is that if you don't complete one a certain way, you can't progress to the next quest. Some quests are glitched too. I was unfortunate enough to pick up a book called "Souls, Black and White" in a dungeon. 20 minutes later I receive a quest that instructs me to find the very same book in the same dungeon. When I go to the location where I found the book, it obviously isn't there. The quest won't aknowledge it's in my inventory either so I'm stuck with it until it gets patched. I can't even drop it due to it being a quest item. Now I have to research quests online before I finish them to make sure I'm not screwing myself out of more content. If you fail certain quests, you're permanently locked out of good content *cough* Dark Brotherhood*cough*. Overall, I am really impressed with the map 10/10, the graphics deserve a 9.5/10 and the quests need some bugs worked out, but are still entertaining 8.5/10.
The Horse. It's terrible. I wasn't expecting the thoroughbreds from Red Dead Redemption, but the animations are killing me. The horse seems to be a second behind everything that happens to it. If it jumps off a cliff it will continue to run for another second or two before switching to the "falling" animation. The same thing happens when it lands on the ground. I assure you it's not lag either. Not only that, but you're locked into 3rd person as you ride your horse, which forces you to watch the horse (with the girth of a mini-van) climb a steep hill with super speedy leg animations. Not to mention the horse is slow too. For 1,000 gold, I want something that runs faster than me. When the horse sprints, it's pretty fast, but it has an invisible (yes, invisible) stamina bar so you can't tell how much sprint you have left. That really sucks when monsters are chasing you and the horse can't even outrun them. There's no mounted horse combat either, so you have to dismount to fight. Speaking of monsters, the horse will run right into the thick of battle and help you attack enemies. It thinks it's helping, but it's not. It either ends up dying by my enemies' hands, or by my own hands when it runs in front of my attacks. So overall, I am not too impressed with the horse. The horse gets a 5/10.
Sounds and Cutscenes. The musical score is nice, and the sound effects are really high quality. Wind sounds vary from harsh and frigid to calm and soothing. When a dragon roars, it is terrifying! When swords clash and clang, they sound realistic. Cutscenes are a whole different story. In a cutscene, there are almost no gestures or animation. People will scream "WATCH OUT!!!" While just standing there with blank expressions, hands by their side. Really? Not even a point in the direction I'm supposed to be watching? I'll take bad animations and hand gestures over none at all. Sound gets a 10/10 and cutscenes get a 3/10. The only reason cutscenes don't get a 0/10 is because they're there. At least they kind of tried.
Glitches!!! From flying whooly mammoths to bright blue trees, this game has some glitches. I've had dead dragon bodies fall out of the sky right on top of my character, whooly mammoths have plummeted from thousands of feet to their deaths, some quests have glitched on me, and my personal favorite glitch: invisible dragons. Most of them are just visual glitches (like the bright blue trees) which can be fixed with a simple re-load of the save file. Some of them are annoying, such as invisible dragons and monsters. How can you kill it if you can't see it? Again, it usually fixes itself after reloading a few times. A few of them are gamebreaking or partially game breaking, such as quest bugs. Pick up a quest book before you get the quest. Once you get the quest, you can't turn in the book because the game won't recognize it. If an NPC dies, it's permanent, so be careful who you kill because a corpse can't give you quests.
Houses and followers. I've only unlocked one house and upgraded it fully. It's actually really nice! You can sit in the chairs and store an infinite amount of items in the pantries and storage boxes. The followers you get in Skyrim aren't the best AI I've seen, but they're ok. For example, if you decide to go down the side of a mountain the fast way (jumping down all the jagged rocks) instead of taking the 30 minute walkway down, your follower won't jump down the mountain with you. They will go down the 30 minute path, and bump into every wild animal possible. Another genius moment is in battle: you're attacking an enemy and your follower darts right in front of you while you're swinging your sword. Then they have the audacity to yell "hey watch it!" They can be lifesavers though. Anything in the game, besides you, can't kill your follower. Monsters will attack your follower until he/she keels over in pain, but then they leave them alone and come after you. It sounds bad, but once the aggro is off of your follower, he/she starts regaining health and jumps right back into battle. Houses get a 10/10. I'm not comparing it to Harvest Moon where you can decide down to what type of wallpaper you want, but for a game not focused on housing, this aspect is done nicely. The followers get a 7/10 because they have saved me on more than one occassion, and they make great pack mules. Plus, they're smart enough to bring out a torch at night so you can see.
Monsters and Dungeons and Dragons oh my! The dragons are varied nicely, are very well done and have fluid animations. Some have horns, some have fins, some have spikes on their tails and some have fan-like webs. Every now and then one might do a split second 180 in mid-air, but I'll let that slide. The dragons are pretty smart too. If you hide behind a rock and try to whittle down its health with arrows, the dragon will land and come peer around at your clever hiding place, then eat you or torch you. The monsters aren't really that varied, you'll see a lot of the same model of monster. This goes for the wildlife as well. There's really only 5 different animals. Rabbits, bears, moose, wolves, and foxes. There are birds, but I really like birds and I haven't tried to shoot down one, nor do I think I will. The dungeons start off pretty simple with some fairly easy puzzles thrown in. However, some of the dungeons I have recently finished were horrible. When I say horrible, I mean they were huge, long dungeons with no cutscenes, no puzzles, and hardly any monsters to fight. Even running through them as fast as I could still took about an hour to complete. Some dungeons I would gladly re-visit, but a couple I swear I will never set foot in again. Monsters get an 8/10, graphics are nice, but not really varied with a decent AI. Dungeons had a 9/10, but literally two dungeons were 3/10 just because they were so b-o-r-i-n-g and took f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Dragons get a 10/10. They look awesome, sound awesome, and they're just really, well, awesome?
Character Armor/Weapons/Classes/Perks. I like the system Skyrim uses for classes and perks. I'm leaning more towards thief elements such as lock picking, sneaking, dual wielding, etc. However, I've got enough points in magic to torch an ice yeti into a puddle. I like the freedom of being able to pick random perks instead of being locked into a class. A lot of armor and weapons in the game look the same. There's not a lot of unique-ness in the clothing department. If you become a somebody or do something extraordinary, you might get a piece of clothing or piece of armor that looks really cool (trying not to spoil anything). But looting monsters, even bosses, produce the same looking weapons and armor as the last dungeon you did. Perks get a 10/10 and armor/weapons get a 7/10.
One last thing to mention, one-shot kills and death animations. If you time a sword strike just right, you get a little movie of your character finishing off a bad guy in slow-mo style. However, all monsters and other people in the game can do this to you as well!!! If your health gets a little low, a bandit/monster can perform their killing movie/animation on you! Then you get to see yourself die in slow-mo. I don't really have an opinion on this one, because I enjoy the death animations, even when they're showing me die in slow-mo. Depending on the situation, I either start laughing (I was eaten by a dragon, slow-mo movie style) or start flicking off the screen (I whittled down a boss for 1 hour and right before the finishing blow, he scored a death scene on me!). It really depends on the situation.
Overall this game is extremely addictive and very fun! I would rate this game as a whole a 9.5/10. If you like dragons, RPGs, sandbox-type games, or other games in this genre, I think you will enjoy this game a lot! There's so much to do. There's too much to do!
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 16, 2011 3:19:58 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 29, 2011 5:02:26 PM PST]
Posted on Nov 16, 2011 4:18:23 PM PST
I think the same, the horses sucks a bit. Real slow!
Posted on Nov 20, 2011 9:30:33 AM PST
Chef Sean says:
Glad you're enjoying your first foray into the world of the Elder Scrolls! When you're done with Skyrim (might be a while!), Oblivion is another really fun one whose graphics are still fairly decent by today's standards. Morrowind is a blast too but it's age is really starting to show. There's a brilliant mod compendium that drastically updates the graphics if you decide to play that one. you can find it here:
Posted on Nov 22, 2011 9:25:51 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 22, 2011 9:33:43 AM PST
You're playing on a PC so the quest problems like the one which you mentioned, as well as the lack of your preferred character appearance options or crucial NPCs prematurely biting the dust will be easily remedied with mods or with console commands.
Posted on Dec 20, 2011 2:44:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2011 2:46:51 PM PST
Brian M. Ranzoni says:
This was a helpful review to me. Thorough and quantifies your opinion. I would like to know about any problems setting it up for the PC. Again, it sounds like some Oblivion was carried over in annoying ways, like not being able to fight from horseback.
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