5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Most immersive RPG out there.
, May 28, 2012
This review is from: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - PC (DVD-ROM)
I don't normally review products but some of the negative reviews written about this product are outdated and have been rendered moot by bug fixes and/or the availability of free Skyrim game mods. Even without any mods, the current version of the game plays very well on a PC. It plays even better with a PC-UI mod that makes the user interface even more PC-friendly. The game isn't perfect but it's still the most immersive, most fun game I have ever played. And I have been playing games on a PC since the days of IBM machines with MS Dos 2.11, CGA graphics and 4.77 KHz 8088 processors. The key word for this game is immersion. While this game is not an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game), it feels like one - or at least, it feels like what an MMORPG should feel like. The characters in the game live their lives on schedules just like the rest of us. Most of them go to work in the mornings, go home or to a tavern in the evenings, eat dinner, have conversions and some may have secret lives they live when they sneak out at night. Your follower (or followers) may make comments and/or give you advice while you delve deep into some crypt or dungeon. One of my followers even hums and mumbles. The world gives you the illusion that it is real, that the people, animals and monsters are real, and you feel like you are not alone (especially when you have a follower with you). Animals frequently behave like you would expect - rabbits, deer, elk and moose will flee if you approach (provided they detect you). Some creatures are aggressive - and others will give a warning growl if you invade their space but only attack if you fail to back off.
Character development is another huge plus. Your character is not restricted or limited by a specific class. Instead, the game better models a real world. If you fight with a one handed weapon, then your character will learn how to fight well with one handed weapons. If you sneak a lot (recommended!), then your character will eventually be able to sneak up on (or past) many adversaries even when wearing heavy armor. The extra damage you can inflict on opponents from using sneak attacks is too good to ignore. Many a sentry can be taken out with a single arrow if you are hidden, have the skill and a decent bow. To make certain, poison that arrow with a poison that causes damage, paralyzes the victim or does both. If you want to brew potions and/or poisons, then start collecting (or buying) ingredients, experiment and eventually you will be able to make multi-effect potions and/or poisons. If you play with different types of magic, then you will be better with those types of magic. While you can become a jack of all traits, it's generally better to focus on a set of specific skills that support a specific play style - at least when starting out. You don't need to cross-train that 2 handed weapon skill if you have a good 1 handed weapon skill until you feel like you're good enough with 1 handed weapons.
Crafting is a third area where this game shines - especially if the game is enhanced with one or more of the many available crafting mods (PC version only). In this game you can hunt animals that provide pelts or hides, turn the hides into leather and make armor or other items from leather. You can mine metal ores, smelt the ores into metal ingots and smith weapons, armor and other items. You can chop wood and when combined with the metal ingots, you can fletch arrows,make bows, etc. And with some available free mods, you can even smelt something like an old rusty iron pot and use the resulting iron ingot to make an iron sword - turn useless items you come across into something useable. You can even craft jewelry and/or enchant just about any useable item that is not already enchanted. And once you've mastered the enchanting skill, you can add a 2nd enchantment to a magic item.
But the real beauty of the PC version is its support for the available Skyrim mods. Those mods can greatly expand and customize the game, add new quests, augment crafting, enhance weather, the sky, make your horses un-killable, etc. Some folks don't mind replacing their horses when monsters kill them. But I would rather just have my horse just beaten senseless instead of dying, so they could recover later should I also survive. Just take care to not over-do it with the mods. You can ruin the game if you make things too easy or if you load so many mods so that the memory requirements for the game become too great. And sometimes mods can conflict with one another when more than one mod changes the same parts of the game. Conflicting mods can result in unexpected and undesired behavior or even game crashes. For example, don't install and load multiple mods that affect horses unless the documentation with mods state that they are compatible. I used Nexus Mod Manager and mods from their website. The manager is free and safe. Just search for it on Google. Most mods on their site can be downloaded and sent directly to your mod manager with a single click.
Overall, this game is not for the PC illiterate and you need plenty of RAM if you want to run the game at the higher resolutions. The cursor movement in the game is a bit slow. In fact, this game does several things that annoy me because I am a software developer and a power user who has no patients for software that isn't always waiting on me. So my initial reaction to this game was lukewarm. The more I played it, the more I fell in love with it. And unlike a real MMORPG, you can pretty much save and shutdown the game whenever real world calls because those other characters are not real people, they won't get mad, and they will still be there waiting on you next time when you reload your saved game. I awarded 5 stars despite some imperfections with the software because the positive features outweigh the negatives to the point that anything less than 5 stars would be dishonest.
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