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elder scrolls skyrimOne of the most anticipated games of this holiday season was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Call of Duty and Battlefield are terrific games, but it’s delightful to see something a little different become a bestseller. I love first person shooters, but to see a game like Skyrim become a blockbuster success is a beautiful thing. Modern video games tend to hold the player’s hand and assist them a lot more than in the past. It is refreshing to see a game like Skyrim come along and sell millions of copies.

Even with all the critical accolades Skyrim is receiving, I’m sure there are gamers who are still unsure if it is for them. Maybe they are scared that a game of this scope is too much for them. Maybe some of the crazy glitches that are so prevalent in Bethesda games turn them off. If you are one of those people, I am here to ask you to reconsider. I only do this because the game is that special. It is a once in a generation game. Anyone who considers themselves a gamer needs to sit down behind a controller or a mouse and keyboard and play Skyrim.  Here’s why.

The Crazy Stories

The crazy things that happen in Skyrim make the game something truly remarkable. What makes them so impressive when compared to other games is that, in many cases, they are difficult to duplicate. Every video game has outstanding things happen. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons we play them. With Skyrim, it feels like all the stuff that’s happening is just for you. You can tell your friends about something silly that happened, and they will have their own stories that differ entirely from yours. Many times these differences will occur on the same quest.

elder scrolls skyrim

I’m about 30 hours into Skyrim. I recently had a fight with a couple of bears for a quest. My character is extremely magic heavy, and I wear light armor. Bears hit terribly hard, and my magic seemed to have minimal impact on them. After trying every creative strategy in existence to eliminate these bears, I decided it was impossible.

However, I realized there was a town near the cave, so instead of fighting the bears I decided to lure them to the town. It worked – the bear chased me all the way, and when he got there, the townspeople killed him with ease. However, I shot some fire at the bear during the epic battle, and my fire hit some of the townspeople. Thus, my celebration was shortlived, as the whole town attacked and killed me as soon as the bear fell.

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the elder scrolls v skyrim

That is just one small example of the kinds of things that happen in Skyrim. They feel as if they happened to me and me alone; not just part of some scripted experience.

The Massive Scale

Skyrim is enormous. It would be easy to spend 100 or more hours playing this game. For me, that is an immense value proposition. I can go out and buy 4 or 5 games and perhaps still not have it match the amount of content in Skyrim. Realistically, the only games that can compete with Skyrim for the amount of time you can dedicate to them are multiplayer-heavy games like shooters and MMOs.

the elder scrolls v skyrim

What makes this game so special is not just that it’s massive; it’s the fact that almost all of the content in the game is so good. So many RPGs like Skyrim end up seeing the player doing a bunch of fetch quests and other useless tasks just to make the game longer. With this game, every little quest has a story, and every new area feels fresh and new. Making a long game is not necessarily spectacular; what is impressive is making a long game that has such rich content that it feels like a new game every time you play.

Improvements From Previous Elder Scrolls Games

This last reason is more specific to people whom some of the flaws from previous Elder Scrolls games have turned off. In the previous games, there was game breaking glitches. When I say game breaking, I don’t mean turn your console off and restart. I am talking glitches that would cause you to have to start the whole game over. This was obviously devastating. I had over 60 hours in Elder Scrolls IV, and then I hit a glitch where I was stuck in a spot, and there was no way for me to overcome said spot. I had to forget the 60 hours I had already spent and restart.

Thankfully, Skyrim seems to have none of these problems. There are some glitches, but they are all small. The game also keeps your last three auto-saves, so if you are stuck, it is easy to reload back and only lose a few minutes instead of dozens of hours.

the elder scrolls v skyrim

Bethesda improved the third person camera as well. In Oblivion the third person camera was completely useless, but in Skyrim the game is fully playable from a third person perspective.

They have also improved the characters during conversations. Previous games were always very uncomfortable when conversing with a non-player character. Now, the characters have a lot more life, and conversations feel much more relaxed. This is important, because you do spend a lot of time conversing in Skyrim.

elder scrolls skyrim

They took a winning formula and added much of what they learned from their experience with the Fallout games and made close to a perfect role-playing game.

Conclusion

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Skyrim is certainly in the top five games I’ve ever played. I’m not writing a review in the traditional sense, but if I were to give Skyrim a rating I would have to give it a 10 out of 10. The bar for role-playing games is raised to an extent that I didn’t think was possible, especially in the current console generation. Please, if you fancy yourself a gamer, play Skyrim.

Let me know in the comments whether or not you agree with me, and if not, why.

  1. LiquidYogurt
    May 25, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Skyrim combat is crap, I tried to play this game several times but I'm still blocked by the combat mode.

  2. shinko9
    December 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    i can't afford skyrim it really hard just taking care of my kids is there anyway to download it for free?

    • Tina
      December 30, 2011 at 10:02 pm

      I'm afraid there is no legal way. Sorry!

  3. Oded Yaron
    November 30, 2011 at 2:55 am

    great guys thanks a lot,

    really needed that. 

    pls tell my wife, my job, my 2 kids.

    no no pls keep rubbing it in.

    oh no i'm not an aging bitter gamer. i'm on the verge of becoming an ex gamer

  4. John Jiang
    November 29, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    I remember there's a flaw when you're stealing the town's people belongings, it's an exploit would be using a bucket to cover their heads then you're freely to pillage their homes or shops.

    • josh w
      November 29, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      That's not a flaw, that's just good thieving. And you have to spend the time doing the bucket arranging. It's not so easy...takes me 5 minutes or so to get it done. I can spend that same 5 minutes sneaking around and getting whatever it is I wanted or just selling all of my potions so that I can buy it. I have 95,000 septims, so I'm really not sure why stealing a few more tankards is going to make me happy.

      • Dave LeClair
        November 30, 2011 at 6:48 pm

        I agree, I don't think that was an accident.

  5. Maigaard7
    November 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    My little brother stumbled upon a game breaking glitch that caused him to have to start the game over. It was during the quest line "Forbidden Legend" and he reached a small gate with a chain-lever next to it. Obviously this chain was for opening the gate, but when pulled nothing happened. Apparently the entrance to the cave had collapsed or something, because this gate was the only way out and it just wouldn't open. And it wasn't a puzzle gate - there were no rearrangeable pillars or series of levers next to it. So he had to start over. Which was fine, cause then he got to make a new guy, which is just such a joy.

    • Max_Sparta
      November 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm

      What you can do to bypass that gate if you are really stuck is hit the ` key (left of the 1 key and above the tab key) to bring up the command line and type 'tcl' This turns the clipping off and will allow to you pass through the gate T100 style :p. Once through just retype tcl and carry on as normal. Its got me out of a couple of situations like that so its useful to know :p

      • Maigaard7
        November 30, 2011 at 10:48 am

        We got it for the 360.
        On the PC there can't be any game breaking glitches, 'cus you can just bypass everything whenever you want to :-p

        • Dave LeClair
          November 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm

          Hmm, I haven't heard about this one yet. That sucks big time.

    • Trevor Lenten
      November 30, 2011 at 11:35 am

      save often over multiple save files and this should almost never happen. I save to a completely different save file before I enter each dungeon and leave that one alone until the dungeon is cleared and I also set the autosave for 5 minute intervals. I too play on 360. I know this seems paranoid but I learned this exact lesson years ago with FF8

      • Dave LeClair
        November 30, 2011 at 6:49 pm

        I do the same thing. Save often, it takes a second and can save hours. 

  6. Trevor Lenten
    November 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    75 hours in and loving every second. Skyrim has got to be my favorite game of all time. I am blown away by something new every time I get in game.

    • Dave LeClair
      November 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm

      I think just about sums it up. It feels like a new game every time you play!

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