The tempting short one
Skyrim Teaser Trailer debuted from Bethesda Softworks late last year
filled my mind with visions of titanic struggles between humans and animals; to shine
Steel bathed in old flames; a champion from a humble background,
ready to sacrifice everything for the fate of the world. After more than 60 hours with
In the game, these visions were fully realized – and largely rendered
In the cold northern province of the continent Tamriel the legendary
The dragon god Alduin rises and brings a plague of wild flying lizards with him
and the promise of the end of the world from Nirn. Only one being stands in between
this malevolent force and the people of the eponymous province of Skyrim: Dovahkiin,
the Dragonborn, a figure gifted with the ability to precisely absorb the forces
These terrible creatures are trying to unleash the land.
It's the kind of story that powers ancient epics and trashy fantasy novels
Trilogies alike, certainly enough to serve as a plot for that
This is not your average RPG. In The Elder Scrolls V:
Skyrim, this titanic story is just a framework for a much larger one
Fighting a dark dragon god is just an excuse to overthrow the player
upside down in this giant Nordic-themed fantasy sandpit, similar to
The assassination of Emperor Uriel in Septim VII served as the gateway to Cyrodiil in
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. In the tradition of the great Elder Scrolls
Players begin the game as a prisoner, limited to an exciting but linear one
Introduction before being freed from the cages imposed by more structured ones
RPG experience. You can always return to the cage, but there is one
Exploring the whole wide world, and what the hell, it's not like Alduin is
Date for the destruction of everything; overwhelming evil work of evil
Schedule is one of my favorite parts of the show.
The player can explore this unhindered by a ticking doomsday clock
beautiful scenery of Skyrim to your heart's content. Far from that
strange landscapes of Morrowind, his neighbor to the east, Skyrim's rolling hills,
cold tundra and towering mountains would not be out of place in a real world
Nature documentation. I could easily see myself climbing the peaks and exploring them
Down and cross its streams (sometimes that's fine) and when the dragons
This realism serves to make these encounters all the more
But these dragons, so immense and impressive at first, soon became nothing
more than an occasional break in my personal story that emerged from the
Heaven, just as I was about to enter a mysterious excavation site at the behest of the magician
College or worse, an early end to Herd the cocky games
I never said my story made sense.
I'm not sure if it's evidence of Bethesda's open design or my design
my own frivolity in a world full of thousands of built-in activities
spent hours inventing my own. I haven't earned any Ability Points for Relentless
Track moose over the frozen waste, dive cliffs into shallow ponds or
I've tried walking across entire cities with only roofs on, but I felt the same way
fulfilled as I did when I stole a valuable piece of jewelry for the thieves' guild,
stop a ferocious bard from chasing after or fighting an unwilling girl
Dark Elf racism with bare hands. Skyrim is the ultimate obsessive-compulsive disorder
Adventure playground packed with fun new experiences for you
can hardly be completed before the next one appears on the horizon.
In the end, my 60+ hours of adventure might be over
seven hours with Alduin and company, ten hours of random exploration and the rest
I only devoured a small part of the side quests – the real meat
of the game. Ranging from short retrieval missions to lengthy and adventurous adventures
memorable, they compete with the core story, it's almost insulting to call them side
Quests. You are the beating heart of Skyrim.
Skyrim is traditionally a single player game
own social multiplayer component. By adding so much to the game
Content that only the most committed gamer (or those armed with strategy)
Leader) might hope to see it all, Bethesda has created an ever-growing community
from storytellers, each eager to hear others' unique stories as they share them
their own. It happens on internet message boards. It happens on Facebook
and twitter. It even happens in game stores where the mere mention of the
The name of the game evokes a lively conversation between complete strangers. How I write
I actively refuse to tell stories of my magician's exploits. He is
really pretty spicy.
Skyrim is in no way a flawless game, but one that fans of
other titles could rise against rampant glitches and bad programming
passionate community accepted it. Thrown in the air by a huge club?
That's funny. A horse that mysteriously squints in and out of existence? He is
our legendary steed. A general lack of an appropriate combat target? Damn them
stupid non-player characters jumping in front of my fireball. I have seen
Allegations since the game's release that reviewers are giving Bethesda a pass
because their games are always buggy, but it's not the reviewers. Damn I would
Now decrease ten points if a) we used a point system and b) it wasn't me
Afraid of being trampled by an angry mob.
In the wee hours of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a single word
heard echoing from the sky. "Dovahkiin" calls out a mysterious voice and urges
You must go on a heroic quest to save the world. "Dovahkiin" is too
Bethesda's call to arms beckons any gamer who has ever dreamed of crossing one
magical land, armed with magic and steel, an unforgettable role-playing game
Experience. Ignore it at your own risk.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released for PlayStation on November 11th
3, Xbox and PC. Bethesda Softworks provided a copy of the game to Kotaku.
Played 20 hours of the game on Xbox 360 before switching to PC. Played
through full single player story on PC. Tested both melee and just magic
Character. Hunted a hell of a lot of moose, moose, whatever.
Republished with permission.
Michael Fahey is a video game journalist based out of Atlanta, Georgia, and currently works as an editor for Kotaku, at least until they find out that all of his stories were written by magical gnomes. You can contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.