Product Type: Bethesda PS3 games
Newest Review: ... happening across all types of mystical and magical enemies and allies. Bethesda the developers are well known for their open world ... more
A great RPG, although it has problems on the PS3.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3)
Member Name: Hannard
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3)
Advantages: It's great to fun play - you can play it for ages.
Disadvantages: There's a serious bug on the PS3.
Skyrim is the fifth game in the 'Elder Scrolls' fantasy RPG series. Elder what? Apparently it has something to with some mythical prophecies that were written down many years ago. But you know what? It doesn't matter. Because Skyrim is a game that lets you shout people off a cliff. No, I'm not making this up. If that isn't enough to make you want to buy the game, then what on earth's wrong with you?
Still here? Fine. I'll continue. The truth is that the Elder Scrolls themselves don't figure into the game - instead, Skyrim's storyline revolves around dragons. Yes, the fire-breathing maiden-eating kind, who have mysteriously returned to life after being dead and gone for years. And if that wasn't enough, the land of Skyrim - a land of snow and ice - is also the subject of a political struggle between those who want independence from the occupying Empire and those who are relatively happy to have them around.
You're cast as the Dragonborn, a character who apparently has the ability to take the fight to the dragons. If you want to, that is. Your character doesn't really have a history as such, and the game's all the better for it since you can put your own mark on the Dragonborn. You can also do whatever the heck you want to without even tackling the main quest.
Once you've completed the brief opening section - which sees you awaiting execution for offences unknown - you can wander off and explore the entire land. This itself is well worth doing since the game's landscape looks absolutely superb. You'll also have to do some exploring since while the game's main cities are marked out for you, you can't actually fast travel to them until you've found them normally at least once.
I would recommend playing the game's main quest up to the 'Greybeards' quest since that's when you aforementioned ability to shout people off cliffs. As the Dragonborn, you learn a number of powerful shouts, which work a little like spells. Although you can still make your character a magic user, warrior, thief or whatever - the shouts are independent of this.
In fact, the game takes a rather interesting approach to levelling up. The system isn't as simplified as it is in Fable 3, but you don't actually have to choose classes. Instead, each skill improves the more you use it. So if you use a sword a lot, then your ability in that area will improve. Or if you firey destruction magic a lot, you'll get better that that. Improve your skills enough and you level up, which will give you points to spend on certain perks, a la Fallout 3. Given that you can also dual wield in Skyrim, it's entirely possible to attack your foes with a sword and fireballs. Sneaking is also an option, naturally.
So what exactly will you be slaughtering in Skyrim? There are a huge range of creatures to murder including bears, other people, skeletons, mummy style creatures, goblin-things, scuttling monstrosities, dragons and many more. Yes, you get to kill dragons - they're not that easy to kill, but you do get better at it as the game goes on. Some of these foes are lurking above ground, others are hiding out in dungeons. You can go into a dungeon just because you want to, or you can be sent down there in search of various items.
Skyrim's dungeons are a bit odd in that some of them are quite linear. Not all of them, mind, but half the fun of playing Oblivion was roaming around dungeons exploring. It's quite hard to get lost in Skyrim's dungeons. That said, Skyrim thankfully doesn't have Oblivion's weird monster levelling up system where enemies level up with you all the time. It's entirely possible to be outclassed in Skyrim.
There's also plenty to do above ground too. Skyrim's inhabitants go around their daily business, which seems to involve hitting the same piece of metal on an anvil for hours on end. The AI actually seems to be have toned down a little since the last game, although that's no means a bad thing since it means you're not listening to characters have endless conversations about mudcrabs. Their voices are also different so again you're not running into two characters with the same voice talking to each other.
You can even get married to one should you so desire. In fact, you can even marry the NPC who turns you into a werewolf. Yes, there are werewolves in this game, and also vampires. The latter thankfully don't sparkle, though the werewolf abilities aren't all that great - being a werewolf won't automatically let you take out a dragon easily. Someone on YouTube has however proven it's possible to punch one to death if you're hard enough.
And then there are the quests. There are loads of stand alone quests in the game, and there are also the organisations. I don't say guilds because the game is set 200 years after Oblivion and the magic and fighters guilds are all but gone. But you can join Winterholm College of Magic, or the Companions and The Dark Brotherhood is in there too. There's even a Bard University to join, and you can expect various pieces of DLC to add more quests. You can play the game for ages without bothering with the main campaign.
So that's the good. What about the bad and the ugly? Well, the graphics are pretty cool, hardly ugly, although they're not a huge leap up from Oblivion's graphics. The animation has improved a lot, though. However, the PS3 version has a problem whereby once your game save gets big enough the frame rate starts dropping. There are other small bugs, but no reported crashes. Fallout 3 and New Vegas, on the other hand, crashed a fair bit. It's worth waiting to see if the new patches fixe the chugging bug - the patch that has been released improves this a bit but doesn't fix it. If, on the other hand you're a PC or 360 owner than Skyrim is a must buy. It's a hugely enjoyable game, with a great storyline and is easily one of the best RPGs to date. Great stuff. Just be sure to bring your snowshoes.
(review also posted on Freeola)
Summary: Good, but the PS3 version is buggy.