The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Moby ID: 53545
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Description official descriptions

Two hundred years after the events described in Oblivion, the continent of Tamriel is in turmoil. The Emperor's throne remained without heir; the Blades, Empire's elite guards, have been disassembled; elven nations began capturing territory from the Empire. The assassination of the King of Skyrim, Tamriel's Northern-most province and home of the Nord race, led to a civil war between those who wish independence for Skyrim and those who wanted it to remain under the Empire's control.

A prisoner is brought to a small town, awaiting execution for alleged involvement with the Stormcloaks, a group that was founded by the king's assassin Ulfric Stormcloak. Just before the executioner's axe lands on the prisoner's neck, a dragon attacks the city, forcing most people to flee. The unexpected freedom leads the ex-prisoner into the snowy Skyrim, where the rumors of the dragon begin to circulate.

Like its predecessors in the Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim is an open-ended role-playing game with action-based combat. The player may explore the vast environments of Skyrim from either first- (default) or third-person perspective, being unrestricted in his or her travels and free to undertake any side quests in any order, or follow the main quest. It is possible to fast-travel to previously visited locations directly from the world map. The player can also opt to buy (or steal) and ride a horse.

There are ten races to choose from: Altmer (High Elves), Argonian (reptile people), Bosmer (Wood Elves), Breton, Dunmer (Dark Elves), Imperial, Khajiit (cat people), Nord, Orc, and Redguard. Each race has their own perks and limitations, such as Nord being resistant to cold, Khajiit being weak with magic, etc. Unlike the previous games in the series, the player cannot choose a class for the main character; rather, the latter evolves into any class-like combination gradually, according to the play style. When the protagonist reaches a new level, the player may increase his or her Health, Magicka, or Stamina and a new perk may be added to one of the skills. There are eighteen skills altogether, and each skill has several levels and perks which may be obtained. Most perks are only accessible after a certain level has been reached in said perk. For instance, in order to reach higher perks with Destruction, destructive spells must be leveled up. Skill levels can increase either through extensive use, skill books, or even paying for training from certain non-playable characters.

The game contains some features that were introduced in Fallout 3. Enemy level-scaling is done in a similar way, as opposed to the more intrusive system of Oblivion. The player may hire other fighters to follow the hero around and lend a helping hand in combat. Also, the lockpicking system of the previous installment has been replaced by the lockpicking methods of the recent Fallout games. Conversations with NPCs now occur in real time rather than "freezing" time as in Oblivion.

Players can craft, cook, or build any number of items depending on ingredients and skill levels. Alchemy allows players to make potions, Enchanting allows players to imbue armor and items with magical abilities (such as increasing the effectiveness of magic resistance), and Smithing allows players to either craft or improve weapons and armor. Smelting, tanning and cooking are also a part of this mix as well: Smelting is the skill of turning raw mined mineral ores into usable ingots for smithing; Tanning is the process of drying animal hides to make leather strips, useful in creating or improving armor and weapons; Cooking allows players to turn otherwise minimally useful food ingredients into much more beneficial meals.

Melee attacks can be performed using either two or one-handed weapons. Blocking reduces damage and allows for the opportunity to bash an opponent with a shield. Archery is also available for some ranged attacks, as is quite a bit of magicka. Each race also has a distinct magic-like power ability; only one power may be equipped at a time. For instance, a Nord power is to frighten enemies away for a while. New to the series is the Shout ability, which is a special power based on Dragon language. These require a special set of circumstances to unlock: first, the ancient words must be learned from Word Walls hidden all over Skyrim; secondly, they can only be activated by acquiring a dragon soul (from slaying a dragon).

Crimes may be committed by stealing, pickpocketing, murder or attacking innocent people, or even by trespassing. Generally this puts a bounty on the head of the player character, unless said character is quick enough to eliminate all witnesses. Fines and jail time, or a beat-down from authorities, are likely to ensue if the hero commits too many crimes or merely ends up getting caught. The protagonist can serve out his or her sentence on the jail bed, or pick the lock and escape; however, going to jail is likely to cause current skill progress to be lost.

As before, there are several groups, guilds, and the like that the player may encounter and join, each with their own advantages or disadvantages, each with their own views on the current events of the world, and each with their own quests. The abilities to become a werewolf or vampire are also present and have been somewhat streamlined: for instance, sunlight is not instantly deadly to vampires, and lycanthropy can be spread around.

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Credits (Windows version)

810 People (782 developers, 28 thanks) · View all

Game Design
  • Bethesda Game Studio
Game Director
Lead Programmer
Lead Artist
Lead Designer
Co-Lead Designer
Production Director
Lead Producer
Audio Director
Senior Producers
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Lead Systems Programmer
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[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 91% (based on 73 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 185 ratings with 8 reviews)

По суті, Скайрім - це така екшн-РПГ пісочниця, яка живе за рахунок модів.

The Good
Атмосфера, Імерсивність, Бойова система, Моди, Дракони, Пересування верхом на коні.

The Bad
Нецікаві квести, В діалогах недостатньо вибору для відігравання ролі, Варіативність на низькому рівні,

The Bottom Line
Команда Тода Говарда завжди старається наповнити свої ігри максимальною кількість контенту та зробити їх настільки масштабними, наскільки їм це позволяє бюджет та технології, але якість цього контенту завжди під питанням. Це ігри, які багатьом подобаються, але водночас їх мало хто проходить до кінця. До того ж, без модів Скайрім вважається дуже сирим навіть серед фанатів.

Windows · by Oleh Wixel · 2023

Bethesda marches forward

The Good
My feelings for Elder Scrolls games changed from complete indifference to annoyance and finally admiration. Over the course of my game-playing career I've come to appreciate and enjoy all of its installments, from Arena to Oblivion. I eagerly anticipated Skyrim and was eventually rewarded with a game that, while not exactly re-inventing the formula, polishes and embellishes it to the utmost degree.

Skyrim has everything we love in Bethesda's RPGs - above all, of course, a huge, engrossing open world full of things to try out. I won't go into detail here; anyone familiar with the company's previous works will instantly recall the addictiveness of nearly unlimited exploration and the joy of methodically developing a character in a free-form way. Skyrim keeps everything intact: it is one gigantic, delicious chunk of gaming to entertain us for hours upon hours.

In this review I'll concentrate of what Skyrim does better than its predecessors. In two words, that would be "almost everything". Indeed, Skyrim is a clear example of developers actually listening to fans and working to improve and rectify whatever was wrong in their previous games. So much of the criticism leveled against Morrowind and Oblivion has been addressed that many of these predecessors' most aggravating issues disappeared almost fully.

Elder Scrolls games were gradually getting better at concealing the randomness of their enormous worlds, the artificial way they were constructed, the lack of personality in places and people. Skyrim feels much more "seamless", more homogeneous than Bethesda's previous games. Everything is designed with greater care, and it really shows. The NPCs are by far more life-like, more natural; locations ooze poetic atmosphere; the detail is overwhelming. It is hard to define this volatile sensation, but Skyrim does away with unpleasant stiffness that plagued all its predecessors. Its world may be covered by snow and ice, but it is much warmer.

Earlier games in the series had problems with dungeon design. Skyrim offers atmospheric, interesting dungeons which are a pleasure to explore. Long and reasonably complex (without the excesses of Daggerfall), they are rewarding and fairly unique in style. Many of them have puzzles and other clear distinguishing features, and some are very impressive in design and scope. Comparing them to the monotonous copy-pasted caves of Dragon Age II, we see that Bethesda beats the competitors at their own game.

The radiant AI of the NPCs works better than in Oblivion, and everyone seem to behave more naturally in general. A lot of effort has been put into personalizing NPC lines and updating them as the game evolves. One time I chatted with a nameless guard in a quiet town and he first commented upon recent political changes and then expressed his solidarity with my decision to use one-handed weapons. In short, the conversation felt more like a verbal exchange between two normal people than a few random lines rigidly stuck into a video game to fill space. This is just an example of how the developers of Skyrim paid attention to detail.

Combat system is, in essence, the same as in the previous game, but battles are more visceral and exciting. Combat just feels right, and is enjoyable throughout. One of the best things Skyrim does is fix the terrible level-scaling system of Oblivion. Some of the enemies still scale with you, but overall the effect is by far less noticeable. There is a sense of danger when an underleveled character encounters a stronger foe, and a sense of accomplishment when preparation and tactics lead to victory. The new skill trees are interesting and do not in the least interfere with the old system. On the contrary, they add another layer of depth and complement skill development very nicely. Leveling up is faster, clearer, more logical and less confusing than in any previous Elder Scrolls game. Archery and magic have clear advantages even when fighting regular enemies, and there is a good incentive to explore different development venues. Everything is better balanced and challenging in a good way.

The game's story is decidedly better than in Oblivion and has quite a few memorable moments. The main quests are interesting and take you to spectacular locations. Some of the scenes are genuinely thrilling; the first battle against the dragon, for example, masterfully conveys the feelings of awe and fear. Dragon battles in general are fascinating, and belong to the most exciting RPG confrontations in recent memory. Besides dragons, there is plenty of interesting wildlife; all kinds of creatures, from deer to mammoths, roam the countryside, and you'll fight ferocious bears and fearsome sabre cats. The game world breathes life; it has its own culture and traditions that are interesting to learn. Fortunately, they have removed the instant fast-travel from the previous game: in order to discover a new location, you actually have to manually venture there, enjoying the beautiful, yet often perilous journey.

The Bad
All that said, I'd like to stress that Skyrim still is, for all purposes, a typical Bethesda game and has inherited some of the series' cardinal weaknesses. Though I love both games, Fallout: New Vegas was, in my opinion, a more impressive merging of open-ended RPG with memorable characters and setting. Writing in Skyrim (with the exception of Daggefall-age books) is more or less on par with Fallout 3; characters are a bit more interesting. But overall, there is still a certain lack of liveliness in character presentation and stale, formulaic conversations that have become associated with Bethesda's RPGs. There can be no comparison between the narrative quality of Skyrim and the brilliance of the writing in BioWare's and Obsidian's games. Skyrim is certainly an evolution, but not a revolution.

There are companions in Skyrim, but they are painfully silent. My faithful follower Lydia made nearly no comments and reacted indifferently to whatever happened around her. I hope that next time Bethesda will put more thought into dialogue with companions. It is one of the last barriers that they have to jump over in order to triumph over their colleagues in RPG-making.

The graphics of Skyrim worked for me, but didn't quite evoke the same sense of wonder as Morrowind and Oblivion had done in their time. Character graphics are quite unremarkable. Towns, dungeons and outdoor locations are clearly crafted with heart, but the occasional coarse texture may spoil the enjoyment. The homogeneous world is detailed, but the bleak northern landscape can get repetitive and rather depressing.

I only have minor complaints about the gameplay. I didn't like the lockpicking system and would prefer the mini-game from Oblivion instead. I missed the acrobatics skill; pity they don't let us perform crazy leaps by practicing jumping any more. And the interface is, as you might have heard, weird and uncomfortable. Eventually I got used to it, and I must say that large graphical items are a step forwards compared to the boring icons from the previous game; but irrational key bindings nearly drove me mad until I installed a patch.

The Bottom Line
While New Vegas still holds the crown of modern RPG development in my eyes, Skyrim comes very close. Like earlier Bethesda products, it lacks the wit and the charm of BioWare's and Obsidian's works; but it steadily improves upon its predecessors and offers the most complete and convincingly crafted classic Bethesda experience so far.

Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (181794) · 2012

Amazing presentation, boring gameplay

The Good
Well, I suppose the most obvious strongpoints of this instalment, as with its predecessor, are the graphics and the musical score. For a good dozens of hours (I think I spent almost 100 hours on this) I was so taken with the awesome visuals of Skyrim that I really did not mind so much all the drawbacks in the gameplay section.

I haven't seen any first-person action RPG looking as gorgeous as this one before on my trusty old laptop. And I didn't even play on the highest level of detail, so that's saying something. I remember how grateful I was that Skyrim would run at all on my computer, and was astonished to realise it ran quite fluently, even with the high texture pack installed.

Also, Bethesda finally managed to make the non-player characters look more vivid in their expressions and movements. This is a point which up to this instalment has prevented me to take a liking to Bethesda games (with the notable exception of Fallout 3 maybe).

The Bad
The story is a false pretense luring the player into the amazing atmospheric charms of the game. In the beginning I really thought I would make a difference or it would be a joy to discover everything there is and grow into Skyrim and its history.

In fact, there is ample opportunity to do exactly that. As usual, there is an abundance of history to be uncovered through the myriads of books lying around in places. Unfortunately, after having completed a couple of important story quests, I realised that no-one around me wherever I go really gave a shit about my achievements. Trespassing NPCs would use their same old lines over and over no matter what. And there's not even an option to prevent them from babbling away there shit, which is particularly annoying when you're in the middle of a conversation.

Although it is possible to configure some of the default controls, you still can't configure everything, and what's more confusing is that standard keys like E and TAB or R get different functions in different parts of the interface. Also, even if you change the R to the space tab, on screen it will still show the default key. That's rubbish and poorly thought out.

And then I've been really annoyed by the harvesting uselessness. I loved to harvest as much and as diverse a plant as I could, then finally got into the apothecary in Whiterun to discover she had only three recipes or so, and for these I was lacking two-thirds of ingredients. I mean, fuck that! I sold everything I had to her and ditched this aspect of the adventure.

The Bottom Line
Appealing FPRPG, but gets tedious after a while.

Windows · by CoffeeCrack (20) · 2015

[ View all 8 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
New animations Indra was here (20768) Feb 11, 2013
Some thoughts about Skyrim The Fabulous King (1332) Jan 23, 2012
Low sound? Unicorn Lynx (181794) Dec 20, 2011

Trivia

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2011 – Best Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
  • GameSpy
    • 2011 - Game of the Year
    • 2011 – RPG of the Year
  • GameStar/GamePro (Germany)
    • 2011 - PC Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2011 - Console Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2011 - PC RPG of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2011 - Console RPG of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2013 – Community Favourite of the Year (Readers' Vote)* PC Games (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2012 - Best Game in 2011 (Editors' Choice, together with Batman: Arkham City and Portal 2)
    • Issue 01/2012 - #2 Best RPG in 2011 (Readers' Choice)
    • Issue 01/2012 - #2 Best Game in 2011 (Readers' Choice)
    • Issue 01/2012 - #3 Surprise in 2011 (Readers' Choice)
    • Issue 01/2012 - #2 Best Graphics in 2011 (Readers' Choice)
    • Issue 01/2012 - #2 Best Sound in 2011 (Readers' Choice)
    • Issue 01/2012 - #2 Best Sound in 2011 (Readers' Choice)
  • Steam Awards
    • 2016 — The 'Test of Time' Award — Won
  • Xbox 360 Achievements
    • 2011 - Game of the Year
    • 2011 - Best Original Score

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Game added by ResidentHazard.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, Havoc Crow, Yearman, Patrick Bregger, Kennyannydenny.

Game added November 16, 2011. Last modified February 13, 2024.