Product Type: Bethesda Xbox 360 games
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Skyrim: One of the Best Games of the Year!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Xbox 360)
Member Name: MonsoonBaby
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Xbox 360)
Date: 20/11/11, updated on 20/11/11 (26 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent gameplay, graphics, plenty of things to do, vast improvement on Oblivion.
RPG's have always been my favourite time of game. I love immersing myself in hours of quests and free-roaming exploration, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was by far one of my most anticipated titles of the year.
The follow-on from Bethesda's brilliant Oblivion, Skyrim invites players to a brand new map, and, most exciting at all for myself-dragons. Say goodbye to your social life, as you'll be leaving it behind for a significant amount of time. In my seven days of playing Skyrim, I've noticed that it's easy to sink hour upon hour into the game, without noticing just how much time has passed. That's the great thing about it-it pulls you in and keeps you entertained, hours later.
Skyrim presents a brand new main quest storyline, and hours upon hours of side quests. From the moment I started the game, I noticed that Skyrim felt like a huge improvement on Oblivion. For starters, the interface has undergone a large overhaul. Although I loved Oblivion, I always felt the menu was a tad fiddly. Thankfully, Bethesda has streamlined the interface in Skyrim, allowing for a smoother and easier experience.
The selection screen is not the only thing that is significantly more streamlined. The character creation screen is a lot less cluttered. Gone are the athletics, endurance and intelligence skills, as well as a few others, and there is no longer any confusion as to what skills you assign your character. Skills are now levelled up in a brand new system which allows players to level up a particular skill by progressing further up each chart. No more bothering about picking major and minor skills, as the character creation screen allows players to choose one of ten races, each of which has their own specialities. On this occasion, I chose to play as an Argonian, due to their ability to breath underwater for an unlimited amount of time. The game will change depending on what character you decide to go with, so take some time out to look through each race before you decide. Specialising in a class or skill does not have to be decided upon straight away, thankfully. Unlike Oblivion, Skyrim allows players to create their character, try out their magic, sneaking, and combat before they decide what they would prefer their character to excel in.
There is a great sense of freedom in Skyrim, which personally I have absolutely loved so far. Like Oblivion, Skyrim allows you to complete quests, as well as exploring the world freely, and believe me, it's an excellent experience. It's a joy to aimlessly wander through this huge map, and Bethesda has included some simple aspects that make it that little more enjoyable. For one, the soundtrack is beautiful, and somewhat serene for the most part. Combine this with beautiful graphics, and a variety of explorable dungeons, towns, farms, etc, and you're on to a winner here. The game is packed to the brim with content, so walking through what appears to be barren land will never be barren. Exploring and unlocking new places on the map is somewhat addictive. It's like Pokemon-you've got to catch them all.
You'll never know what's lurking around the corner in Skyrim. Sometimes it could be a harmless Elk, a slow-moving Mammoth, one of the many bandits, or something much more grand, like a dragon. Encountering a dragon is pretty breathtaking. The dragons themselves are incredibly detailed, and it's a joy to watch them fly through the sky, swoop, and breathe fire. You'll encounter dragons often in Skyrim, and you'll soon master how to defeat them after a few encounters, but it does not make it any less fun.
Another new aspect of Skyrim is the Shout system, which is a power that can be collected from dead dragon's souls. They're magical abilities that enhance your gameplay when activated. These range from you quicker spell casting, throwing your voice (an amusing one-do this to villagers and they'll run away screaming, until eventually the guards come to warn you), calling in allies if a fight has become particularly tricky, using fire and ice attacks against an enemy, and knocking back enemies with a forceful wave.
Crafting plays an important role in the game. Players will collect items on their travels which they can use to create new or upgraded weapons or armoury. Alchemy tables are dotted around, which allow harvested items, bought or collected trinkets to be combined to create a variety of different potions. Players can also cook at fires, which allows helps to level up your character.
Combat feels a lot more fluid this time around. Like Fallout 3, Bethesda have adopted slow-motion deaths, for critical hits. It's definitely satisfying evoking these. In first person mode, your hands are visible at the side of the screen, which can both be used during combat. Whether it be dual-wielding swords, firing a bow, shooting spells out of your left hand, or using both hands to swing a heavy weapon, it's up to you. The great thing about Skyrim's combat is that it can be customised to how you want to play it.
So in conclusion, I'm loving Skyrim so far. Promising over 100 hours of immersive gameplay, Skyrim is on track to becoming one of the best RPG's in a long time. It's incredibly addictive, the graphics are amazing, the soundtrack is perfect, and the quests on offer are a joy to complete. With the promise of plenty content, and the inevitable downloadable content somewhere along the line, I look forward to sinking plenty more hours into it yet!
Also on Ciao under "MonsoonBaby88" and 8-BitGirl.blogspot.com
Summary: A highly addictive, and impressive fantasy RPG. Definitely one of the most impressive games of 2011.
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