Game Review: Elder Scrolls Vs Skyrim

Graham Murray

For many Elder Scrolls fans, such as myself it has been a long five years, waiting for a new instalment. The last time our televisions were honoured with a new Elder Scrolls game was in 2006, when Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was released. Of course in 2008, Elder Scrolls creators Bethesda released Fallout 3, a brilliant game; nevertheless this was not the satisfaction we had been looking for. However, on the 11th of November 2011 (11/11/11), our prayers were answered and the Elder Scrolls returned. Skyrim is, like all the Elder Scrolls games, an open world RPG. The gameplay is incredibly non-linear, giving you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want and do whatever you want.

The game begins with your character on a cart talking with a number of other prisoners, you soon find out that you due to be executed as a traitor. As soon as your place your head against the cold stone and await your beheading, a dragon arrives, goes nuts and your death is avoided. From there you escape through a series of caves and then you have the freedom to go wherever you want. If you should choose to follow the main quest, you will find out that you are “dragonborn”, and have the rare ability to talk to dragons. Because of this unique ability, you are the only one who can save the cold mountain laden land of Skyrim.

The plot however is, understandably overlooked by the immensity of the game. While there are some small glitches, and the graphics are not perfect or up to speed with other recent releases (Call of Duty MW3, Battlefield 3), these are soon forgotten the more you are immersed into the game. You could easily rake up over 100 hours worth of gameplay, with infinite quests. Designer Todd Howard has said that the design engine for Skyrim will randomly generate new quests, meaning that you can never actually complete the game entirely. A good thing? I would definitely think so.

The game is best played in 1st person, though the option of playing in third person is available. The battling system works great, with much improvement made to the archery skill and ranged magic. There are more friendly creatures in the map also, though you are more than welcome to attack them if you so choose. The map itself is 16 square miles, the same as Oblivion. But, right from the beginning it has noticeably more going on and more to see and do in the map.

The aspect that will have players coming back to this game will be the open ended world. The detail that has gone into the game is astonishing, to the point where you can pick up near enough any object you choose, wherever it be a fork, apple or a sword. The game’s developers strive themselves upon having a game world that will completely immerse you, to the point where you question which world is more important. On top of that, you are able to interact with every character in the game, and you are also able to get married, or have a gay marriage. The amount of freedom is indescribable.

On the whole, the characteristic of this game that will keep you interested for weeks on end is the amount of things to do, more so than in Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3 or arguably any computer game before it. Skyrim is out now, and I could not recommend it more. 10/10.


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