Fans of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls video game series had to wait years for Skyrim. Now that it’s here, gamers are busy exploring the open-world RPG set 200 years after Oblivion. As the last Dragonborn, players embark on a quest to stop the Nordic Dragon god from destroying the world. Is Skyrim everything gamers hoped it would be or will its glitches cause too much frustration?
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’s graphics are gorgeous. From the snow capped mountains to the fish swimming in the streams, everything looks amazing. The world and its animals and people are varied and well rendered. Even the books you find throughout the game are detailed. You can read every one page by page, and some of the them are very entertaining and funny. The character creation choices feel limitless. Players can augment the tiniest aspect of their appearance. It’s so detailed, I created my character to look just like my cat.
In Skyrim, the gameplay is improved over Oblivion.The biggest improvement is the lack of a class system. Instead of having a skill set tied to each class, players can now pick skills and other perks they want. This makes for a more personalized experience, as skills feel more natural and not forced upon you. The annoying lock picking from Oblivion is replaced by Fallout’s more streamlined and realistic approach. Duel wielding magic and weapons is another improvement. Instead of switching back and forth, you can have them ready at the same time. This also works for duel wielding just magic or weapons. The time saving Fast Travel is back, making it easy to get to places you’ve been before. The combat is typical for a Bethesda game, but on certain kills, players are treated with small, but awesome fatality cut-scene.
Skyrim is one of those games you can completely lose yourself in. The massive world is ripe for wandering around, finding side missions, and joining different factions. Besides those usual distractions, there are multiple jobs from crafting to farming that players can take part in. By ignoring the main quest, the game never seems to end. In fact, Skyrim has the ability to generate quests, making it so gamers never run out of things to do. Even if you choose to complete the game and start over, the number of different ways Skyrim can be approached is astounding. I don’t see how any RPG fan can get tired of the game any time soon.
Unfortunately, a video game as large and detailed as Skyrim is prone to glitches. Bethesda is busy trying to fix these by releasing patches, but sometimes they cause more problems. The first patch released caused dragons to fly backward, among other things. There are currently fixes in the works, including one especially for the PS3. It seems larger save data files are causing frame rate issues, making Skyrim difficult to play without lag. Fixing this problem is a major undertaking for the gaming company. There is no word on when the PS3 patch will be ready.
Skyrim will certainly be on many “Best of 2011″ lists. While the game is beautiful to look at and exciting to play, Bethesda must keep up with gamers’ concerns over the problems.. As long as the company continues to fix the glitches and release patches, Skyrim players will be happy for quite a long time.