Before I begin, I have to first admit that I’m not much of a gamer. I don’t play many games, and I don’t play a lot. Frankly, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is my first RPG in a long while. I cannot give critiques like hardcore gamers, but what I can offer you is the fresh perspective of a newbie that has nothing to compare Skyrim to. Well, this review will certainly be different from the usual reviews out there on the Net.
Bethesda Game Studios released Skyrim as the fifth installment to the Elder Scrolls series on 11th November 2011. When I first went to purchase and play the game, I had no idea about the previous series, such as Morrowind and Oblivion. Alright, I still don’t know anything about them apart from their names. But that did not degrade my gaming experience any bit.
So off I was, an ignorant newb trying to play this highly-anticipated game. The install was smooth, and surprisingly quick for such a large game. The game starts with a cinematic where the protagonist (meaning you and me) sits in a horse-driven cart along with 3 other people. What really jumped out at me is the amazing graphics from the get-go. The surrounding forests looked so surreal. In fact, it was so beautiful that it was jarring to see the characters. The characters weren’t particularly ugly, but it was incomparable to the scenery.
Gradually, I understood my predicament and that of the people around me. I couldn’t really pick out what they were saying, but I managed to find the subtitles option. Subtitles really helped to enhance the gameplay, mainly because the storyline is so rich in Skyrim. I would think that the game would be less exciting if I couldn’t understand the underlying story for the various quests in the game.
Eventually, I got to choose what my character is going to be. What’s unique in Skyrim over most other RPGs is the ‘classless’ system. Skyrim doesn’t force you to choose a predefined mage or warrior or thief class. Instead you get to shape your character according to how you want it to be: Your gameplay determines how your character develops.
To me, that is a really novel character development system. A mage isn’t going to stay a mage. You can make a mage a warrior (Battlemage) or you can make a thief a warrior (whatever that is called. An Assassin?) . In any case, it opens up endless possibilities to grow your own character. Every player will likely have different characters, armed with a variety of different playing styles. I surfed some forums in preparation of this article, and I was impressed by how players can have markedly different characters. The 10 races available add to the seemingly infinite ways to play this game.
I played a Wood Elf because the Command Animal power intrigued me. It turned out to be useless, but it wasn’t too detrimental on my gameplay. Looking back, perhaps playing a High Elf would be better since I played a mage-style. You get to choose your character’s appearance too, but that bit was quite bad because all the options you have generally makes your character look like a mindless brute.
Skyrim has a lot of depth. The world is huge and filled with content. Even regular gamers are (pleasantly) surprised by the immense world of Skyrim. This review barely scratched the surface of this game, and I hope to continue to scratch this game so to speak in following parts over the next few days.
Enjoy the game, and go out and slay some dragons!