It’s cold and windy in the GameStop parking lot; I’m standing there surrounded by half-frozen gamers and filled with excitement. It is 15 minutes before midnight on 11/11/11, one of the most important days in gaming history: the release of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
If you’ve played any other Elder Scrolls game, or any other game by Bethesda (the Fallout series comes to mind) you’ll understand the games they create are masterpieces. They grab you by the torso and suck you into your TV.
To start out, this game is huge. There wasn’t much time for me to fully accomplish everything in this massive world. But this game did take up most of my Veterans Day break.
My first note about Skyrim is how stunning the environment is. It takes place in the fictional region of Skyrim, an enchanting, vaguely Scandinavian land filled with hills, calm rivers and all kinds of interactive critters. The game does an amazing job of immersing the player into the environment.
Skyrim has a nonlinear game play style. This open-ended approach to role-playing is what made the Elder Scrolls franchise so popular. The game has a straight-forward story arc that involves the player being the only person in the land capable of killing dragons and devouring their souls. The narrative style is bland in the beginning, however, as the game opens up to the player, the manner in which the story is told expands and becomes more interesting.
Aside from the main arc, there are many other things the player can do that make the game massive. The player can work as a thief, assassin, bounty hunter, etc. There are various odd jobs townspeople have you do which is about 80 percent of the game.
There are also caves and wilderness areas to explore, which are very in-depth and imaginative. You can also learn several types of trades for both an economic and character strength increase.
In Skyrim I feel like I am actually in my character’s shoes. The controls are simple and straight-forward. Amazingly the left trigger of your controller controls what your left hand does, same with the right. There was an issue in the game’s predecessor Oblivion with casting magic, but now with simplified combat controls, magic casting is far smoother.
There is so much to this game I haven’t touched on; it’s just too massive. From what I’ve played and what I’ve seen, the only real drawback was the beginning cut scene.
With a game like this, there really isn’t any other way to start out. Every other aspect made up for the dryness of the opening of this masterpiece. The fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series is a massive success. Bethesda does it again with Skyrim and I look forward to losing myself in this world on more than one occasion.