THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM [REVIEW]
By Kimber Streams
So, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim releases tomorrow (11.11.11) and it's pretty much the only thing that matters. Here's why:
First, the game has an infinite number of adventures thanks to the Radiant Quest System, where different guilds and non-player characters provide randomly generated quests to kill bounties and gather resources. When added to the fact that there are an infinite number of dragons to slay, we're not sure you'll ever be putting this game down.
But developer, Bethesda, and director, Todd Howard, weren't just aiming for quantity with Skyrim, the game has also addresses pretty much every issue with its predecessor, Oblivion. The more obvious improvements include the voice acting (more varied) and a character creation system that actually produces figures that don't look like they've been mauled by a bear. The user interface is also much improved, with 3D item models and cleaner, more intuitive categorizations of items.
Skyrim's also got this brand-new Crafting System that allows players to create and enchant weapons and armor. Similar to the alchemy system in previous games, where you would combine various ingredients to make potions and poisons, you can now tan hides for leather accessories, or mine and smelt various metals for weaponry. Pretty cool, huh?
And now for my Playthrough (*WARNING* Spoiler alert):
I started my quest as a prisoner about to be executed for what I'm sure were ghastly and bloodcurdling crimes, when a dragon showed up, wrecked the town, and saved my Argonian hide. In the first five minutes of the game I was asked to make a choice between the Imperials and the rebels, but I honestly didn't even know I was making a choice at the time, I was running away from a huge dragon who wanted to kill me and everyone else in the town! So I haphazardly ran from the fire and destruction into the keep with a guy who was apparently an Imperial, and together we set about killing a bunch of rebels who wanted my blood in a sort of tutorial on the various aspects of combat and dungeon-crawling.
After we escaped the burning town, I was free to go and do whatever I could possibly want (although the Imperial I had befriended did suggest that I go talk to his Uncle in the nearby town of Riverwood). Instead, I found an abandoned mine, looted it, chased around butterflies, dragonflies, and picked some pretty flowers. Then, I noticed that the way to discover new alchemical properties of ingredients is to eat them! So I roamed the countryside some more, picking flowers, catching insects and shoving them all indiscriminately into my lizard-mouth. Eventually, I stumbled across a witch's house. She had a human heart on her counter, so naturally I stole it and ate it, in the name of science (awesome).
When I eventually decided to give the main plot a whirl, I went into a dungeon, retrieved a golden dragon-claw, and went to meet the lord of a nearby city. While talking to him, a dragon attacked, and thus I fought my first dragon of Skyrim and it was amazing. Skyrim succeeds in making every adventure, whether part of the “main plot” or not, feel like its own story, thus making every dragon kill feel like an epic accomplishment. I'm never putting this game down. Ever! You probably won't want to either.
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