A Review of Bethesda Softworks’ Skyrim


AKA where Lindevi has been the last few days.

Dragon Age was a refreshing addition to the stagnating RPG category, but Skyrim brings it back to life. Bethesda took the flaws of Oblivion (difficulty scale, combat) and made them strengths in the latest installment. The perk system, while reminiscent of modern talent trees, specializes your character in a way that was only loosely touched in in Oblivion. Combat feels much more like an action RPG now, with the fast paced and showy elements of Diablo (though minus the monster hordes) and the final blow cinematics of Assassin’s Creed. Additionally, having to utilize the environment to defeat certain enemies provides for a level of problem-solving not seen before in the series.

The quests are more creative, and the main quest comes in various shades of gray. Not to mention I just got to the part where I have to crash a noble fete to unearth clues as to who is behind the revival of the dragons (win!).

I find myself liking the Alchemy, Enchanting and Smithing elements a lot, again, having been greatly improved upon since ES IV and providing a way of making money from harvesting raw materials, as opposed to dungeon crawling and thieving, the only options in the last game. They allow you to really customize your gear. Dragon Shouts, though seemingly cheesy, are actually really useful, cool, and a pleasure to unlock and upgrade. And, of course, fighting dragons is a momentous task but highly satisfying.

The only flaws are the usual glitches, with animals walking in water awkwardly and rolling down hills, limp after they’ve been killed. You can walk down sheer cliffs and bug out the AI’s pathing if you’re clever, but you can avoid these if you find it too distracting from the otherwise immersive experience.

It’s simply easier to enjoy Skyrim than Oblivion, with a lot more power at your fingertips from the beginning while still feeling challenged by the world. The combat flows, the world glimmers, and the multiple quests and storylines will engross you for days and days of game time.

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