Skyrim, the northernmost province of Tamriel. Home to harsh climates, Nords, and the thought to be extinct dragons. Set two hundred years after the events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim spins a tale of ancient forgotten power and the coming end of days. As the Dragonborn you are gifted with the power of the thu’um, the very power of the godlike dragons themselves, and as such are the only hope for Tamriel against them.
This highly anticipated open-world RPG delivers on all fronts with vast, beautifully rendered environments, superb voice acting, and deeply engrossing gameplay that will quickly suck you in. Skyrim features around three hundred locations to explore along with countless ambient quests and of course the standard guild-style missions expected of an Elder Scrolls title.
Major differences from The Elder Scrolls’ last installment are the aforementioned “thu’um” shouts which are used independently of the magic meter and are crucial in defeating the new and powerful dragons with abilities such as Dragonrend, which forces dragons to land in order to make them vulnerable for a ground assault. Skyrim also features a new smithing skill used in fabricating your own armor and weapons from animal hides and ore found during exploration. The skill of athletics has actually been done away with entirely in favor of a sprint button relying upon the character’s maximum stamina. Dual-wielding though is the biggest addition. New setups may be used such as two one-handed weapons or two magic spells, magnifying their power when in conjunction.
Skyrim’s presentation is inspired heavily by Bethesda’s other open-world RPG, Fallout 3. Character models, dialogue presentation, third-person camera mechanics, Lockpicking style, and the newly added “kill cams” have Fallout’s design sensibilities written all over them. Not much can be said negatively about Skyrim, aside from dragon battles eventually growing stale and the game’s glitchiness which continues to be improved via patches as well as updated with new features such as horse-mounted combat (coming soon for consoles).
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is undoubtedly highly recommended and is simply the game to play this year, especially with new updates and DLC rolling out in the months ahead. It’s a no-brainer, do not miss out on Skyrim.
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