Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

Box Art
     Hello everyone and happy Wednesday, hope your all doing good.  I know I'm pretty late to the bat for this one, since this is my first post in a few months I thought I'd write about probably one of the best games to hit the marketplace.  Developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks, released in November 11, 2011, this game was met with great profits and many happy fans.  It is a med-evil RPG style fantasy game that would be what England looked like in the Dark Ages if it had magic, dragons, cat people, and everything that moved wanted to kill you.  Literally everything does, its scary.  The Elder
Scrolls series, has one of the largest and expansive lore in the video game industry.  So for those of you who have not played one of the games (God have mercy on your souls) I will provide a little bit of back story to whats going on as simply as I can.
    Okay, Bethesda's last Elder Scrolls game was Oblivion, which took place 200 years prior to Skyrim.  The only thing that need be known about Oblivion is that a bunch of powerful monsters emerge from the demotic plane of Oblivion led by Merunes Dagon, a god like being called Daedra who is looking to ruin every-ones day.  He is defeated by Akatosh, leader of the Divines; the gods who created everything.  Fast forward 200 years and travel across the continent of Tamriel to Skyrim. A frigid northern realm that is home to the human race known as Nords, yet under control by the crumpling Empire based out of Cryadil, where the last game took place. For some time the Empire fighting a civil war in Skyrim with the Nords, who believe their way of life is at risk.  The player awakes in the back of a wagon bound in shackles on the way to his/her death with other prisoners including the rebel leader Ulfric Stormcloak.  The Elder Scrolls Series has always been about choice, in the wagon, the only information you have about yourself is that you were trying to cross the border, so your back story is up to you.  After arriving in Helgen, you notice the leader of Imperial troops in Skyrim, General Tullius is present.  This does not bode well, the atmosphere intensified a roar sounds in the distance. You are unloaded off the wagon and the guard asks who you are.  As mentioned earlier about choice, you the choice to choose between 10 unique races from the cat-like Khajiit, the reptile-like Argonians to the Orcs of the high mountains, a few
Cool picture of what Alduin looks like
different elves and humans are also in the mix. Depending on the race you choose, this will affect your starting stats such as sword skills or magic.  Don't worry though, your skills will advance over time in every area.  The game's environment also treats you differently depending on your race.  Basically unless your a human, everyone is a racist f*ck to you, the High Elves think their better than everyone and your constantly the butt of all the racist jokes, you know, typical fantasy setting.  Now you choose your race and watch a guy get decapitated and then your called up to the block.  Just when your about to meet your end at the head of an ax, a giant black dragon swoops down and then every things on fire followed by everyone screaming for their lives.  After running around trying not to be dragon chow, the guy who asked your name calls you over and cuts you loose.               Some more running and then you reach a crossroad, you can go with the racist rebels or the guys who just tried to cut your head off.  Whatever you choose, you fight a few guys, pick up some stuff and then emerge the only survivors, except that guy you didn't choose to go with.  Then you make your way to Riverwood, where you say hi to the guys family who went with, loot every coin in the town and run to Whiterun to tell the Jarl that dragons are back after thousands of years.  Everybody flips out and believes that only logical thing to do is send you, the messenger, to find out whats going on, yay logic.  After a series of quests that take you to tombs to find out stuff about of dragons and almost dying several times because of
scenic view of how large the world is
your crappy gear.  You get back to the people at Whiterun and fill them in on whats going on.  Then you go with some guards to investigate a nearby dragon sighting.  Which you then find the watchtower in ruin, dragon appears, you fight dragon, and dragon dies.  The dragon suddenly bursts into flames with energy swirling around it that then wraps around the player.  The dragon is now nothing but bones with the guards saying you are Dragonborn. You learn that you are the legendary individual with the body of a mortal and the soul of a dragon, Dragonborn, they come rarely every couple hundred years.  The last one conquered all the known world, so you have alot to live up to  You then hear a booming shout later in town and are then informed that the Greybeards, masters of the Voice; the powerful magic which dragons shout.  They have summoned you and then you are on your way. The thing that makes you special is that others have to practice for years to shout one word of power, while you are naturally gifted. After walking up the largest mountain on the continent, you talk to the Greybeards who teach you a thing or two before telling you that you must stop Alduin, the World Eater from destroying the plane of existence you exist on.  Also Alduin is the son of Akatosh, the Ruler of the Gods, so this won't be hard or anything. Why must you do this? Because it's your destiny, don't ask questions!  I'll leave it from there involving the story and focus more on the gameplay.  Skyrim improves alot on it's predecessors, adding a better skill learning tree, a more expansive world with more quest opportunities to be had and five quest lines that are awesome.  Also, if you get the game on PC, you have the Steam Workshop and mod community at your fingertips, so that literally makes the game endless.  The level up system is well balanced, gaining a skill point that you can spend on one of many different skill trees from destruction magic to smithing to one handed sword combat. These things will effect the quality of gear you can craft, how well you use that gear and how big of fire balls you can shoot from your hands. You also can upgrade of three player base traits every level.  These are Health, it speaks for itself, Stamina, how long you can run, how effective your block is or how many power attacks you can use until you die of exhaustion.
The holds of Skyrim
Last there is Magik, which affects the amount of spells you can cast and the difficulty of the spell. The game also levels with you, so one area doesn't have enemies that are harmful as tissue paper being thrown at you while the other would be like being covered in honey while being chased by bears, and when I say bears, I mean dragons.  None of that, the game is well leveled and all area's enemies get harder to fight, from men to trolls to dragons, things change.  Next topic is the world.  Cool thing about Skyrim, you will never run out of things to do.  Even once you've beaten all the quest lines, all you have to do is pick a direction, start walking and you'll find something to do.  You also have a really expansive world to work with, while Skyrim is only 14.8 square miles total, there are also hundreds of underground dungeons and place that technically don't even exist on the mortal plane of existence, like going to the afterlife.  If you have this game on PC, you have the Steam Workshop and mod community which literally makes the game endless.  Also mountains, lots of mountains to walk up with your horse. The combat is pretty straightforward, you swing sword at guy, also be sure to block, and then slicing him in half.  Magic is the same, shoot flames at the guy until he's ash, although being a mage is pretty lame, as the spells are weak after you pass level 10 and master spells take to long to get while also using all of your Magik. The environment of the world changes as you go places.  Such a ice frozen cities, marsh lands and sunny meadows are all places to go, and you can buy a house in the city of whatever climate is to your liking or with the Hearthfire DLC installed you can build your own. The best part of the game, other than the epic scenery and soundtrack, is the dragon language.  The Dragonborn can learn up to twenty shouts, which have three words apiece, so thats sixty dungeons to walk through, so you'd better get moving.  The DLCs add seven new shouts total, more tomb raiding, yay.  These shouts do things like throw enemies off cliffs, freezes them in ice and summons storms to call down lighting to rain down on your foes.  While there is much more to say about Skyrim, I warn you that this game will suck you in.  Also another huge thing, which IS my favorite about The Elder Scrolls Games.  THE LORE! Other than World of Warcraft, I can't think of a game with a more expansive story, THERE IS SO MUCH TO LEARN!  My God, you could spend days learning all the backstory of the game's universe, but that doesn't mean you can't play the games, you will learn. The only thing that I do not like about Skyrim is that it can be buggy alot of the time, though it does make for some funny stories to tell your friends.  I highly recommend it, you will get your money's worth out of this game.  Thanks for reading, hoped you enjoyed and I will be back with another post next week.  I now leave you with one of the coolest game trailer ever.  This has been Jacob Arnold, signing off.
Awesome, 720 HD recommended