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Friday, 11 November 2011

Quick Review of the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Alright, I got this game today and I'm pretty satisfied by it.

It cost me about 59$, for PlayStation 3, and it included a map of the continent of Skyrim, and I was suprised by the thick material it was made from, like an ancient map. After some troubles with installing the game onto the PS3's hard-drive, it started to work. (Constant instant-death at new game.). After about an hour of game-play, I was astonished by how in-depth this game is. I've played other Bethesda games, but none of them left an impression such as the detail and enriching world Skyrim has to offer. Of course, the game isn't about how good the map terrain looks.

The combat system isn't as well done as the other games, just from a few simple things that's probably causing some issues and annoyances, mainly not being able to block with dual wielded swords, axes, and daggers. This can get frustrating as higher level enemies and mobs can deal some pretty good damage onto your character if you aren't prepared to fight them while using dual wielding items. But over-all, the combat mechanisms are fine to play with, especially the ability to equip a spell and a sword, or two spells to make an even more powerful spell.

The graphics of the game are good from a standing distance, but up close you can see the Terrain texture clipping, and notice some of the shrubs and such are simply layered sprites instead of proper models.
The effects are marvellous though, and being able to preview items in the UI is a nice touch to the game. You can zoom in and see the items in higher detail, and spells and shouts are also viewable by a floating effect. The model artists really went all out making the models with such detail.

Now, to the UI itself. Some people say it's not as good as Oblivions or Morrowind's, but I personally think it's alright. I don't really love it, but I don't really hate it. It matches the style of Skyrim's atmosphere though, with its simplistic white and black colours, and four panel menu display.

By this, I mean, when prompted to open your Character Menu, you are not greeted by a scroll textured menu containing all your needs, but a four selection menu. Going up brings you to the skills page, where you can level and spend points on your skills, (In Skyrim, you level up your skills simply by carring out actions that factor on that skill, and levelling is based on skills to begin with. Raise Skill = Gain Level = Spend points.), To your right is your inventory, containing weapons, armour, scrolls, books, misc items, and everything else of that nature. To the bottom is the world map of Skyrim's mass continent, where you can fast travel between found locations to save yourself the trip, although it is much more adventurous to walk the way or ride on horseback. To the left is your spells and shouts section. All of your magic spells, from destruction to conjuration are stored here, and your shouts. Shouts are an ability that the main character has and can preform, being a Dovahkiin, or, Dragonborn. During your adventures you will encounter new shouts and powers. I don't really want to give much away about the storyline, although the story is what makes Bethesda games so amazing.

The animations are far superior to that of the past games. The running and attacking has been completely redone, and everything else flows more smoothly. The models of character faces and bodies are a work of art, each race having it's distinct feel to it. The amount of voice acting and sound effects are also quite amazing. The game, (According to Bethesda, ) has gone from 20 voice actors in Oblivion, to around 70 in Skyrim. All of the NPC's are interactive via radiant story, and there are tons of creatures to hunt down and see, from Frost Trolls to Giants that wander the Tundra, herding Mammoths.

There is a lot of glitches in the game though, but that can be expected from such a large game.
Things from quest scripting glitches to physics glitches are common, as you can see in the IGN review. Your body can be launched so far into the air you will die from the impact, and not the attack, and NPC's do tend to get off task and stop moving unless you return to them during quests.

But, Overall,

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an amazing game, and worth the price tag. I'd  give this game a 8/10, for it's amazing quality, but it does have its mass array of bugs, glitches, and texture clips in some areas.

Although Daggerfall is still 30,000 times the size of any other elder scrolls map, Skyrim still has a lot to offer.

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