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on November 24, 2015
I can't say enough about Elder Scrolls open world RPG's as a gamer. This is an amazing game. I love open world RPG's and the Elder Scrolls series are one of the few major open-world western titles available in the USA. The developer is amazing. Open world role-playing games are never bug free, so if you can get past nitpicking that (I mean HUNDREDS of people work on these titles and the game space is vast!) then you will enjoy the game. Sometimes large games like this can get a really bad blocking, or game-breaking bug, that prevent a quest from progressing, etc., but with modern games usually the developers will fix those with a patch. I never even had this issue with the game, but I absolutely love it. It took me awhile to get used to the new UI (updated from the last installment of the series, "Oblivion") but now I actually really like it after years (literally) of playing this. I play role-playing games very slow because I craft a lot and sneak a lot, and try to uncover every nook and cranny, so I thoroughly enjoy large open world games, because I more than get my $60 worth on any title like this playing it for years!
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on November 28, 2014
Very good game. Lots of quests and lots of things to do. I like to explore everything and spend a lot of time playing this game. That makes it worth every penny I paid for it. I just want to point out a few things, but not go into details since a lot of people here already commented on that.

Good: Very good graphics, no frozen screen or hung. Characters are good looking. First person and third person playing are both equal good. Final kill during the fight are awesome. I like the part that it shows on the world map the caves or buildings I had already clear.
Bad: Carry capacity is so stingy and I spend majority of my time managing items. I really hate that. Yes, you have a chance to upgrade when level up but the developers are so cheap and only give you and extra of 5 pounds each time. Gee, an axe weights 20 pounds. Part of the fun is looting and selling, but the developer discourage you from doing this. Also, all of potions, foods, spell scrolls weight a lot, and they take majority of your carrying capacity. I can't get rid of this, because I will never know when I need them. I am always over weight even when I am carrying barebone (one set of light armor, one range, and one close up weapon). Gee, can they eliminate the weight of potions or give me 25 pounds when upgrade or something. I want to enjoy the game, not spending times figure out which to throw away.
Switch from range weapon (such as bow) to melee weapon are cumbersome and very slow. Because of the delay, you usually ended up getting killed. So, bow are almost worthless in this game.
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on July 19, 2014
I love this game. I originally started playing a year ago when I borrowed the game from my sister. After having to return it, I bought my own copy and I still find myself losing hours of my life as I'm immersed in the vast world of Skyrim. There are so many quests, items to find, skills to build and so on that I don't know if I'll ever complete it all.

I especially enjoy this type of free roaming game, getting to explore all the nooks and crannies of the world. I find it more satisfying to over explore rather than just beeline through the main storyline. In a game like this, you have to be an explorer to get the full effect.

My only real complaint against this game is that I find it rather odd that one single person can join the thieves guild, bard school, dark brotherhood, companions and mage school. For me it would have made more sense that you picked one, based on what kind of character you're building and get those quests but you lose out on the others. Right now I have a warrior who knows just enough magic to have gotten thru the mage school quests, which has made me an arch-mage of the school with such low level skills.... see, doesn't make sense.

At any rate, I do love this game and highly suggest it for those that enjoy role playing games. And I foresee many more hours of gameplay in my future.
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on January 4, 2014
I hate it when people say something is "epic" and what they're really saying is "that was really rad." Skyrim however truly is an epic game- with the expansions I've put in like 250 hours playing it and I'm still discovering stuff.

The gameplay sticks relatively close to Oblivion and the Fallout games, which is good. Of course it has been tweaked ever so slightly so as to improve on those games. I think the best update to the interface is you can favorite weapons and whatnot to quickly access them without going through the whole menu. The only problem with that is you end up having a few favorite items and it gets clogged pretty quickly to a really long list if you're not careful.

The graphics are pretty good, probably some of the best on 360. I know you can mod the crap out of it on the PC, but the 360 version is just fine. The sound is pretty good, as it should be when one of the biggest story elements is shouting. Yes, shouting is a weapon of sorts, but it does make sense as you play the game.

The storylines are pretty good, and there's a bit of that subdued Bethesda humor sprinkled about. Without spoiling anything, there's a quest that involves the author of "The Lusty Argonian Maid." Basically it's a Harlequin romance novel, and you can read it if you find it in the game, which you will as it seems everyone has a copy! Perverts, the whole lot of them!

If you buy this game, prepare your loved ones beforehand that they will not see you for a couple of weeks or so. That's probably the best advice I can give for this game as you will become engrossed in all of it's epic glory.
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on May 23, 2013
Skyrim was my first game. When I started, the controller was a foreign language and it took all my concentration just to go up the circular staircases. Now, many moons later, I have six characters I switch among, depending on how I feel. My first character is a level 81 High Elf with a double-enchanted scimitar that slays giants with a single swing. Now with the Dragonborn DLC, I can legendary my skills and level up again! I've bought and started several games now, but I know that anybody's first game is forever special. And I'm so glad mine was Skyrim.

The Elder Scroll games are among the few that are not insulting to women. Yes, the women warriors wear silly breast-enhancing armor, but that's the worst of it. And if you are a mage, you don't have to wear armor, so there. So much better than most games. Also, you can marry an NPC of either gender and nobody blinks an eye. I also like the DLC that allows you to build your own houses and adopt orphans. I like being able to go home after a long day killing draugr and dragons and give my children new toys or a sweet roll. And sleep with my sweetheart.

I also like being able to adjust the fighting difficulty. My son plays at the most difficult setting because he likes the challenge, but I play at a medium setting because I like to win and not die so often. It just makes me happier.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon November 16, 2011
I'm an avid gamer, have been since the space invaders and asteroids when I was a kid. I do a lot of gaming, and have three different types of consoles (three xbox 360's, a PS3, and a Wii). It's a great way for me to relax from work. So I've done a lot of games, and written many reviews on them. But most end up falling short somehow, no matter how enjoyable they are. It may just be the control layout, buttons used, or SOMETHING. Something that really detracts from all the other strengths. It's incredibly rare to get one that just is absolutely perfect on every single level, but once again, these folks seem to have done it.

Oblivion was one of my all time favorite games on the Xbox. I played it to death, got all the DLC, and kept playing long after I "won" the story lines. Just such an immersive environment, so enjoyable to sink myself into. So I had high hopes for this title, and they certainly delivered.

Graphics are fantastic. Granted, I think the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 had nicer overall graphics, so there ARE games out there that do better, but in this instance, in no way a detraction, and I may not have even noticed it much except I had played COD 3 nights straight after it came out to win it before this title was released, so I had just spent many hours in COD immediately preceding playing this game. But while they may not be as good as COD, they exceeded the graphics from Oblivion and are just smooth and breathtaking. The vistas from on high, the mist, the smoke from things, it's just a visual smorgasbord.

But where they excel, always, is gameplay. Smooth combat, and I think the best control layout and options since Halo 1... There's never a time that I complain about the controls because the layout is so good that it just feels natural.

This is also the first time I've played a game on its release day and had so many hours into it without any lockups or bugs. It wasn't until about 40 hours of actual gameplay that I finally found one - an autosave point after I won a big boss battle, and going back to it was flawed because I'd fall through the floor into a previous level that was not locked out because of how the door closed and sealed once you entered the final boss room. So I was stuck and couldn't go anywhere to complete things. I just reverted to the save I had before the boss battle and won the fight again, this time saving it manually at a point that my character wasn't just completing a fighting move. No issues since then.

The customization of the character in the beginning is again about the best one I've come across, and the most detailed. Let me get a character looking exactly how I wanted it.

The storyline is pretty sweeping as well, and easy to get caught up in. And the amount of area to wander is just mind boggling. I haven't even hit the "you cannot go here" message yet, and I've gone incredible distances in all directions.

The challenge even at the middle difficulty setting is pretty astonishing as well, some of the big bosses just annihilate you within two or three seconds of hitting you. But usually there's a way to stay alive (using trees or rock formations and such to keep between you and the big boss while you snipe at them around the edges) and the only time there wasn't, I had to actually wimp out and drop it down a difficulty level to get past it. Which is another nice thing they have, is how you can adjust the difficulty level in the middle of something without having to restart. Then when you're past whatever you couldn't get past, hop it up again. I'll come back to this fight later (I keep all my major save points) and see if I can eventually do it without dropping it down.

The choice of weapons is nice, and the ways to modify them and customize your own really adds that immersive touch to the game.

Interactions with NPC's isn't as bad as most other games of the genre, and the fact that you can hit the button to jump them to the next line of conversation is a lifesaver for people who don't want to listen the sometimes longwinded speeches given in response to a question.

The new way of choosing your perks is pretty neat, a great visualization of constellations for each of your skills. It gives a great instant visual overview of where you're strong, where you're weak.

It took me just a couple nights of playing COD after hours to win the game, but I've been playing this one for nearing or passing 40 hours now and I'm still nowhere near done. I'm not rushing through it, since there's so much to do on the sides, but that's one of the things that their games really excelled at - playability. It's not just a linear "go here do this" every single step of the way.

All in all, one of the most solid games I've gotten in years. This one will definitely be one of the top contenders for Game of the Year, no question. And it would certainly get MY vote.

Edit 11/28/11: Took one star off - game is still awesome, but I'm just very frustrated and tired of the lockups that finally happened. I was very happy that it appeared, for the first 30 or 40 hours of gameplay, to finally be one of their first games that didn't lock up on me, but after I hit about 40 or so hours, it locks up regularly, forcing me to hard power off the Xbox and back on again to get it working. Save your game often, you never know when you're going to get hosed with a lockup... From what I see in the forums, there are a LOT of people with this issue so hopefully there's an update at some point to address it.
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on August 21, 2015
If you haven't played Skyrim yet, then you clearly need to! From the intuitive controls, to the breathtaking world, to the profound depth to the game, Skyrim will have you coming back for hours, months, and years. Having logged in over 500 hours over multiple platforms, Skyrim is my medieval fantasy version of Grand Theft Auto. I can play some storylines, or I can do sidequests, or I can just simply kill chickens to rack up the bounty on my head.

Controls: Easy and fun
Plot: Pretty good, albeit the Main storyline was a bit short
DLC: Must haves! Dragonborn and the vampire quests are fun
Depth: You can read books to learn about the lore, or pick it up from dialogue. Either way, this game is DEEP!
Graphics: For being a somewhat old game, this game is beautiful.
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on January 18, 2013
The Elder Scrolls games are my favorite series. They are the only games I know of that have all the features I want. First, you get to customize a lot more than in other games. You get to choose a name for your character, choose a race (fictional groups), customize his/her face, and change clothing during the game. Second, there are tons of weapons you can use, like bows, swords, maces, and more, or you can use a large variety of magic. Third, it's a real open-world game where you go at your own pace, walk around a large map, and do whatever you want. There is a main storyline you can do if you want, but you don't have to, and there are many side quests you can do or pass up as well. There are organizations (guilds) you could join or you can journey alone. As you progress, you customize your skills too. Do you want to specialize more in sneak attacks, like an assassin, or in more regular battle skills and sword action, or perhaps you prefer magic instead of conventional weapons? Even within the study of magic you can concentrate your skills on healing or destruction, among other choices. Another thing is that with one of the DLCs you can even build your own house. You can even get married or stay single in this game. You can be a `bad guy' killing random, innocent people, or a `good guy' helping people by defeating random thugs you encounter. So I like this game because it's the most customizable game I know of and it's the most open-world as well, with a large map and many side quests.

The game has good graphics that you expect, but I wish they were a bit better. They look as good as other games out right now, but since this is my favorite game I wish it had the absolute best graphics. I think maybe Gears of War might have the best graphics out right now (even though I don't like that game), but this game doesn't have as good of graphics as that, but they are still fairly good though.

All these games are about the same but slightly different. The way you progress your skills is slightly different in this game compared to Oblivion. The main difference in this game is the new feature of learning Dragon words, which you can use as a special power. In this game, you are in the northern province of Skyrim, where it is cold and snowy, but there are some beautiful green areas as well. Skyrim's main population is the Nords (in this game, they remind me more of Celtic or German peoples), but you'll find all the usual Tamriel races up there too.

I am sort of disappointed with the weapons. They are the same and work as good as in Oblivion, mostly, but I was hoping there would be more different weapons made from new materials. For example, there is a glass sword, like last time, but why can't there be a diamond sword or something new? There are some new surprises, like moon enchanted weapons, or whatever those are, but that will be left to be discovered. I also don't like how you can only wear one ring instead of wearing a ring on both hands. They got rid of the chameleon spells, and just kept the invisibility spells. This is good because the chameleon spells were unnecessary. And in this one, you can't turn invisible as easily, or at least I can't yet, like I did in Oblivion (felt like I was cheating a bit turning invisible when there was too much danger).

This game is almost appropriate for all ages, it never using the 'S' or 'F' word, it doesn't even use other 'bad language', and sexual themes are more romantic than sexual and they are very tasteful and discrete, or more innuendo type. Like all games, the graphics aren't good enough to show enough violence, so this game doesn't have that much violence. It has more heroic battles. The dark brotherhood is rather dark, but even with their missions, you go out and assassinate people that are consider bad people to most people. There are werewolves, vampires, and some fairly dark wizards. Unlike Oblivion there aren't any random zombies walking around, now you can turn a dead person into a zombie instead, but they look mostly like how they did when they were alive.

I like the medieval type theme, my favorite, but I wish there were other games too that had a different theme yet still included all the customizable features of this game, like a cowboy theme or a futuristic theme. No other game compares to this series, only once I played a Star Wars RPG video-game that was sort close to the rank of this game, but now the new Stars Wars games aren't very good anymore. So this game is the best, until there is another Elder Scrolls with better graphics.
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on May 3, 2012
Having my head down in books and work, this release pleasantly snuck up on me. Having ultimately (it became an acquired taste) really enjoyed the previous Oblivion title (I managed all achievements, so that must mean something?), I immediately picked up this title. It was a mixed experienced.

The good:
* WAY improved inventory/menu system.
* Improved combat system.
* Longer, more involved leveling (previous cheats were removed, such as acrobatics).
* Larger monsters.
* Improved mapping system (the last was so incredibly painful).
* Improved visuals.

The bad:
* Cooking was added, however, it seemed pointless.
* Story is not as tight as the previous, no Patrick Stewart, however, it is still interesting.
* The graphics were a step up, just a little step.

The ugly:
* I encountered at least 3 completely broken sub-quests.
* Direction is often lost, "What was I doing? Why?"

Summary: A must buy!
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VINE VOICEon July 8, 2013
I'm a huge fan of these games. I loved Oblivion. I couldn't wait to play this. I don't pay $60 for a game on principle, so I waited for some time and got this for under twenty bucks, used. It's so awesome. My 360 died and I recently picked up a new one - it's designed like the XBox One and runs very quiet, but I've been having issues with this game on there - video glitches and wait glitches. Now, I didn't apply the update - because as we all know, doing that wipes out a lot of the cool cheats / workarounds! I hate worrying about gold! I just WANT it! Anyhow - I digress. This game is so excellent, it's hard to imagine it being better. The graphics are astounding, the load times are nothing - especially when compared to Oblivion (maybe it's my new 360?) and it's just SO much fun! I'm having so much fun doing the side quests that I don't even care about the main one. Exploring, looting, etc- it's just so fun! It can get a little tedious at times, like when I try to do one thing (get at a particular witch, for example) but just get killed over and over. Or if I mistakenly steal something. But - that's part of the deal with this type of game. I know this review doesn't do it justice, I just wanted another 5 stars up there for this EXCELLENT game!!!!!!
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