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About the product
- Features -
- Skyrim reimagines the open-world fantasy epic, pushing the game play and technology of a virtual world to new heights
- Play any type of character you can imagine, and do whatever you want; the legendary freedom of choice, storytelling
- Skyrim's new game engine brings to life a complete virtual world with rolling clouds, rugged mountains, bustling cities, lush fields.
- Choose from hundreds of weapons, spells, and abilities; the new character system allows you to play any way you want
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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the next installment in the award-winning Elder Scrolls series. Skyrim is the follow up to the 2006 Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and the next game from Bethesda Game Studios, creators of the 2008 Game of the Year, Fallout 3.
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My thoughts on the title…
Huge, beautiful world to explore
Lots of deep side quests with a range of content (even some hilarious ones thrown in)
Lots of character growth options that you will want to replay the game with
Main storyline is a bit boring compared to the wealth of side quests
Performance on PS3 specifically is pretty bad
Combat could be a bit meatier (still feels very basic)
The world feels more alive than Oblivion did.
The combat is still very similar to how it was in previous titles (with some refinements) which may please some. However, I was hoping for a bigger change in this title to make the combat a bit deeper.
The side quests are where most of my time went (and where most enjoyment was had). There are tons of sides quests to engage in. Some of these are mundane or fetch-questy, but there are some real gems to be enjoyed. By comparison, the main storyline feels a bit clichéd. Additionally, it is always weird to me when the world events freeze (in this case, civil war) until your character becomes involved. I do wish that there were more going on with the civil war in the game without your character’s actions being taken into account.
This game is spectacular, but the game as it is on PS3 is nearly unplayable at points due to performance issues. The framerates are just terrible. I would recommend trying it on PC (if you have an OK computer) or on 360.
PROS: No game features more freedom; to play the quests in the order you want, to build your character the way you want, and to explore the world how you want.
The combat is way better than Skyrim's predecessor, Oblivion.
It features an amazing world/map. My favorite part of the experience was exploring.*
There are so many ways to build and equip a character. Do you want to build a warrior-mage? Or a nearly invisible thief who kills with stealth? Or some combination of all three? There exist seven weapons (four one handed, three two handed, all of varying levels), a multitude of shields, scores of magical spells, dozens of staffs, and even (if you're so inclined) your fists. And, of course, a vast assortment of armor and clothing to adorn your character.
No other game has done dragons as well. They look much like your traditional dragons, but are well rendered, awe inspiring, dynamic and deadly. Your first few encounters with them will be long remembered.
Loads of content/quests. Skyrim easily took the cake for the longest I've ever played one game: 285 hours. (Did loading screens count though?) It took about 180 hours to visit all nine cities and about 250 to complete the main quest.
Huge diversity of indoor areas. No two caves, lairs, vaults, crypts, dungeons or keeps were identical (or barely even alike). Everywhere you went you were literally seeing it for the first time. Remember Dragon Age 2? I didn't think it was so bad at the time, but after Skyrim, Bioware should be embarrassed with the (lack of) effort put into the map variety in that game.
Grand, beautiful music that (usually) knew when to swell and when to shut up.
A perfectly usable third person perspective, something sorely lacking from Oblivion.
Surprisingly unbuggy (relative to the reviews I'd read). For comparison, I played Fallout 3: GOTY edition (another Bethesda game) and found it unplayable after about the 75 hour mark (possibly due to the 15 mb save file). Skyrim was still chugging along well even at the end (with rare lagginess). Though thinking back, the key was probably that I fast traveled everywhere, spending as little time 'outdoors' as possible. And again, that I played entirely on version 1.9. You just have to know that with Bethesda, don't start playing until several months after the release date.
CONS: The combat still doesn't compare well to RPGs like Dragon Age, Demons/Dark Souls or KOA: Reckoning. It still felt too much like swinging chopsticks in front of your face.
Skyrim was probably a little too long. Instead of making the game longer/bigger, it would've benefited from using all that time and energy on refining it (even if it meant losing 100+ hours of gameplay). Get rid of the bugs, refine the combat, feature more enemy variety, shrink the world, and I'd be very happy with a 150 hour game.
Even after patch 1.9, it was still buggier than the aforementioned RPGs (e.g. minor quest bugs, freezing, lagginess, occasional very long load times, bodies falling through floors, weapons disappearing from hands, etc.).
Loading screens were too frequent and too long. If loading screens count toward play time, then I would've been under 250 hours for 'actual playing time.' This also goes back to the game being too long: Make the game world smaller, but reduce the frequency and times of loading screens.
It was generally too easy. (I had to change the way I played to make it more challenging.) My changes in difficulty went as such: Adept 0-20 hours, Expert 20-70, Master 70-120, and Legendary the rest of the way.
The skill/character building got a bit tedious after about the 100 hour mark. Like KOA: Reckoning, respeccing would have helped keep it fresh. (I don't care that it was in the DLC.) Patch 1.9's Legendary skills (that allowed you to reset a skill and regain all the perks) helped, but not completely.
It needed more 'wow' spells and abilities; things that made you say, 'that's fu--ing awesome!' Think of the meteor spell in KOA, or 'firestorm' in Dragon Age. Skyrim had 'mass paralysis' and the Dawnbreaker sword, but could've (and should've) had more.
A small quip, but I wanted to (and thought I would) fight two dragons at once. Sadly, that never happened. The closest was when I called in my own dragon to fight another dragon, or when...
* While exploring, I decided to find out what was on the other side of a mountain. I made my way up past a giant statue of Talos, down a steep hill, fought two trolls, then woke an ancient dragon (that breathed fire and ice) and a draugr overlord. It took all my skills (e.g. Sanguine Rose, recharging weapons with soul gems, using potions and shouts, changing apparel) to survive that encounter. I also recall my follower, Lydia, using the Dawnbreaker sword to cause a chain reaction of explosions among a group of skeletons. It was an incredible adventure completely unrelated to any quest.
Before that, I happened upon a lighthouse and discovered a murdered family inside. That motivated an investigation that brought me into a deep underground maze populated by giant insects, and eventually to the queen herself.
Conclusion: If you like RPGs even slightly, buy this game. You can get the vanilla version, which features enough content to keep you busy for months, for about $20. Do it.
Though not as expansive as Morrowind, Skyrim streamlines combat and makes the map easier to navigate. The majority of your foes scale with your level, and difficulty settings can be changed mid-combat, easily making any encounter an appropriate challenge. I'm also pleased that the game allows me to hoard lockpicks and keys, because they weigh nothing in the inventory. All in all, I consider Skyrim a great, immersive introduction to the world of fantasy rpgs.
If you want all of the expansions, purchase the Legendary Edition instead, as that is more cost-effective.
The only reason I gave it 3 stars is because on the PS3 there's frequent frame rate drops and lag. Rarely has it ever completely froz on me but it's happened before and the same could happen to you. If you have a PC get it for that or an xbox one or PS4, wait until the remastered version comes out.