The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on XBox 360, Pesonal Computer, Playstation 3

October 15, 2012
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In the realm of modern RPG’s (Role Playing Games), many have lost the unique touch that had fans glued to a series. However, some bright few rise out, and present themselves as true RPG’s, replicating the dungeon crawling, item selling, and complete customization that was a staple of the early era. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has proven itself as one of these rare games, becoming the Game of the Year for 2011, a huge honor for Bethesda, the developer. It certainly deserves this title.

The downfall of many video games is an unbelievable story that becomes too complex, thus making it hard to follow. This is where Bethesda uses the many skills it gained creating other popular hits similar to Skyrim. After a recovering from a defeat inflicted by humanity centuries before, dragons are returning to the land, eager for revenge. You are the one of the few Dragonborn, or those who can harness the power of said dragons. Many consider you the chosen one, the only hope to bring peace back to the land. Typical RPG plot? Yes. However, what happens next is what makes this game unique. It is not as simple as hacking lizards and obtaining glory. Along the way, numerous side-quests, civil war, bandits, thieves, assassins, and more all add flavor. Bethesda created the game so that you don’t require the others in the series to understand what is occurring around you. This allows long-time fans and new players to experience it with equal opportunity.

A common question for sequels is what makes it so different from its predecessor, besides the continuation of the story. Many radical changes were included. The graphics were altered into an innovative masterpiece, making everything seem so lifelike. The beauty of the sunrise casting a shadow upon the land quickly takes you in. The snow-capped mountains of the northern land of Skyrim give you a sense of awe as you trudge along the broken path. However, the land doesn’t distract you from another feeling that is repeated throughout the story: freedom. Skyrim allows you to develop your character any way you want. Want to haunt from the shadows as an assassin of the night? Sure, go ahead! Feel like ruling over puny swordsman with Magic? Cool! I really thought that this was a deciding factor in drawing me in. Bethesda doesn’t stop there. The world is huge, featuring more than 165 locations, each unique and important. Every object leads to something, either foreshadowing future conflicts or directly assisting you. The only flaw is the inability to go even further, allowing you to ally with even more factions. However, this may be addressed in add-ons to the game.

The Elder Scrolls series is known for its impressive soundtrack, but, to make an impression, Skyrim needed to be taken a step further. More than four hours of soundtracks are present, with innumerable short sound effects, each seeming so alive! Every creek in a dark dungeon makes your skin jump, while the soft chirping of birds keep the happy atmosphere of the town you’re entering. Around 70 voice actors were hired to keep the sense of a real conversation. Each grunt, plea, and laugh keeps you in the game world.

The world of Skyrim is not limited to one console. The XBOX 360, Playstation 3, and the regular Personal Computer, all call the hit their own. However, each has flaws. The XBOX, while being limited by not allowing any modifications of the game, gets add-ons much earlier than the others, while the PC version requires a high processor to handle Skyrim’s large world and impressive graphics. Consider this when buying it.

Now that you have slain some dragons, gained some loot, and overall proved your awesomeness, you’re finished, right? Not in Skyrim! Bethesda’s new quest system continues the game even after you complete the main storyline, so the game never truly “ends.” That way, if you haven’t explored the entire world, you can continue, something most RPG’s fail to do. Even after this, there are other game paths you can go along. For example, think of the game as a choose-your-own-adventure book. After you finish one part, you can try again and open yourself to a much bigger experience, with new people and places.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim can be described as the rebirth of the RPG series, and is certainly one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2011. With 10 million copies sold in just one month, there is no doubt why it still sells to this day. If you do pick up a copy, remember the tip of all dungeons: Always pack a helmet!

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