Since it came out in November, Skyrim’s popularity has exploded. It not only entranced RPG and Elder Scroll fans, but those of a more casual game style. I can testify firsthand of this from friends. With an open world, endless customization, and fun gameplay, Skyrim is still great 3 months later.
Players will customize their character’s sex and race in the beginning of the game, but in the end, you’re still the fated dragon born destined to save the world. That’s the main gist of the story and while it’s great, the real story is one you craft yourself. From all the various quests to take on, one person’s journey will be different than another’s. So though the stories in Skyrim may be a little generic at times, it’s still good, well written, and crammed full of content.
The gameplay hasn’t changed too much from previous Elder Scrolls games. Fight enemies, gain levels, hunt for loot, take quests, et cetera. It is, however, more streamlined and thus more accessible. For example, when you level up you only have the choice of increasing health, mana, or stamina. And how you level up hasn’t changed. Use skills like attacking sneaking, or defending and by doing these things repeatedly, the skill will go up and thus your overall level will increase. It’s simple, but it allows for tremendous customization. And sure it’s not as dynamic as other action RPGs, but it does the job and it does it right.
Skyrim’s scope is unbelievable. The map is huge, full of loot, quests, and surprises behind every corner. The graphics have improved and the voice work is excellent, though there aren’t as many voices as there are characters in the game. The soundtrack is also good from haunting background tracks, to uplifting battle themes. The one downside to Skyrim’s massiveness are the bugs. While patches have been implemented and I haven’t faced that many problems, it’s still an issue worth mentioning.
Here’s the bottom-line: Skyrim is awesome so go and buy it. It’ll literally keep you going for months and it never gets old which is why it took me so long to write this review. It has its shortcomings, but a game this big that works is a testament to gaming itself. There’s truly nothing else like it and it’s my pick for 2011’s game of the year.
Score: 5/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on January 31, 2012 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.