by Calvin Schoneck and Tyler Bergen
Calvin’s rating: five stars
The Elderscrolls is one of video-gaming’s most beloved franchises, and now that we find ourselves in the era of the fifth scroll, its fan-base is stronger than ever. Skyrim is hands down one of the best games ever made, I pre-ordered it, went to the midnight release, and then proceeded to play for about a week straight. 11/11/11, never forget.
So Skryim takes place in Skyrim; pretty obvious from the title. Skyrim is the Northern-most province on the continent of Tamriel, and it’s pretty cold there most of the time. It actually looks a lot like Norway, and the people kinda look like Norwegians, but what isn’t Norwegian is the magic and the presence of mythical creatures such as dragons.
Skyrim is an RPG, that means that you get to choose the destiny of your character and even what they look like and how people in the game view you. Obviously I chose to play as a Khajiit rogue who specializes with the bow, because night-vision is OP and Men in Tights was a pretty good movie.
The map is huge. It actually takes a couple hours to get from one end to the other so needless to say there is plenty of room for activities. There is also a fair variety of architecture in the game that really compliments its dark narrative. While the visual aspects of the game are quite aesthetically pleasing, the developers seemed to run out of steam when they were working on the layout of the game’s vast system of scrub dungeons. They seemed to just recycle the same eight or nine layouts and change minor details, like the location of the door or placement of items. This was definitely my biggest pet-peeve with the game, but that’s just nit-picking when you are comparing it to the vastness of the game.
The combat is killer, (pun intended) and is really a huge improvement on the choppy combat system in the previous Elderscrolls titles.
Two-handed weapons were finally made viable, but the one-handed weapons and combat system is still much better. The only real critique that I have of the game, is the fact that the magic just sucks. It’s only good for utility, which is stupid because I was bamboozled into believing that you could become an unstoppable battle-mage. Looking back on it, I’m still a little butt-hurt.
Hands-down though the best feature of Skyrim is the mining and forging aspect. At the time of the game’s release I was coming out of a deep Minecraft binge, so the ability to explore and still get those essential minerals made the transition between games nice and easy.
Over-all the game is spectacular, and definitely lived up to the hype that it had accrued prior to its release. It has incredibly high replay-ability since you can play the game different with every character you create. The Elderscrolls universe is now more immersive than ever, and it’s quite easy to lose a few hours… or days in front of the screen.
I give it 5, out of 5 stars, even though you can’t ride the Dragons.
Tyler’s rating: five stars
The Elderscrolls V:Skyrim is one of the most amazing games I have had the luxury to pour 200+ hours of my life into, and if you haven’t heard of it I would be quite surprised. It won game of the year awards from numerous video game publications and websites, and sold 3.4 million copies in its first two days. 11/11/2011 will always be the day we remember that we geeked out over the most hyped fantasy RPG of all time.
Skyrim is great because its puts you in a fantasy world so similar to our own, but so different. And there are dragons, need I say more? It takes place in a northern Viking inspired land that is cold and harsh, and filled with all sorts of danger.
The great thing about Skyrim is it gives you full control of how you want to play as a character; it’s the true epitome of role playing. Skyrim succeeded in changing from the class system that has been present in the other Elder Scrolls games, by allowing players to level up from using any combination of skills. There are tons of skills and perks, and you can fully customize characters with thousands of items. It’s pretty sweet, but it’s the landscape of Skyrim that really sets it apart from other games.
It’s clear that the game developers spent a lot of time and hard work, because every detail of the game is meticulous in its design and the structures and cities are simply stunning. The graphics are great too, which makes Skyrim such a believable place.
The combat was one of the most satisfying aspects of the game, with a bunch of epic finishing moves and the occasional decapitation during battles, which there were MANY of.
Skyrim has its share of bugs and issues, but most have been fixed by now, and they weren’t that bad to begin with. Skyrim was most fun before the bugs were fixed and getting attacked by a giant meant instant death and flying across the map like a ragdoll, good times. Now there is also tons of downloadable content to add on to Skyrim, giving a lot more value to an already value packed game.
The beauty of Skyrim is that it is one of those games where you can explore the whole game, and still be surprised the next time you play it. It’s dynamic and changing with each different play through of the game. Overall I give Skyrim 5 stars for being well worth the money and living up to all the hype it generated.