I have lost large portions of my time to the Elder Scrolls series. Oblivion was the first one I played and I didn’t really stop until my friends held an intervention.
Therefore, as you can imagine, when Skyrim was announced, my heart was all aflutter. I couldn’t concentrate on work, I ignored my imaginary girlfriend – my life felt like something was missing. I even played Oblivion again in preparation. And on 11.11.11 I bought Skyrim.
And was disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a remarkable game. A huge open world with great graphics and unparalleled freedom. If I’m honest I think I ruined the game for myself by playing Oblivion beforehand. When the time came, I had had enough of the whole thing. Nevertheless I’m going to try and give a fair review and let you decide for yourself. There’s some new DLC out for Skyrim (the last piece) so, if you haven’t already, there’s no better time to jump in to Bethesda’s latest creation.
Skyrim is a masterful technical achievement. I often found myself clinging to the side of a mountain with my trusty, gravity-defying horse simply enjoying the view. Draw distance is huge and shows you a vast world of swamps, icy mountains, scrub grass covered steppe and forest. There is actually a guy who has used over 100 mods for his PC version of the game to push the graphics even further so that it looks completely real world.
Check it out.
Like its forebears, this game has a lot going on. If you don’t feel like following the storyline, just go on a wander. You will inevitably find something interesting to do: a ruined tower to raid, a dungeon to crawl, a helpless woodland animal to skin and eat. I was amazed by how sophisticated the AI is on this game. I stole someone’s horse or slapped someone’s baby or something and ran from the city guards out in to the wild. Later, I was walking along a mountain path when up ahead I saw a bend in the road with a huge slab of stone guarding the careless traveller from slipping off to their doom. A blur of orange light on the stone slab made the hair rise on the back of my neck and so, acting on instinct alone, I slipped off the path, down the scree slope and into some bushes. Not five seconds later a patrol of guardsmen, complete with torches held aloft rode past, searching for me. It’s moments like this that make Skyrim worth playing.
That and dragons. They’re pretty awesome. You don’t get them straight away but when you do, it is a unique experience.
I played this game at the wrong time and my impatience cost me. I haven’t completed Skyrim and I can’t force myself to return to it. I probably never will, and that makes me sad.
You need to decide for yourself. Play Skyrim. It’s a fantasy world that is what you make it.