Ads keep us online. Without them, we wouldn't exist. We don't have paywalls or sell mods - we never will. But every month we have large bills and running ads is our only way to cover them. Please consider unblocking us. Thank you from GameBanana <3

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim

A Review

I was never a big fan of the whole 'magic, wizards and elves' experience and that's why I never really understood the devotion some people had when it came to praising The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. It was a great game, but being obliterated by an old man in a robe did not rank high on my 'Things-I-want-to-see-happening-to-my-character' list. When news surfaced about there being a new chapter in the Elder Scrolls series most of my gamer friends instantly started bombarding me with links to screenshots, news and videos of 'Skyrim' at a rate that would make any spambot jealous. When the time came for me to review this game I was already looking forward to playing it; however not as much as my friends who craved playing this game like survivors on a desert island - that had only sand and toenails to eat - and craved a proper meal.

Oblivion was renowned for its wide open world that had a life of its own: random encounters would surprise you when you least expected it and a lot of the decisions you made throughout the game could come back to haunt you later on; Making a sequel would be an incredibly hard job and yet they managed to pull it off. When you walk through the towns in Skyrim, a lot of the characters are working on the land, forging weapons, cleaning their houses, singing in taverns and even arguing about recent events in the kingdom. Almost everyone has a story to tell, so when you spend some time in a village, you actually grow fond of its inhabitants. The random encounters themselves have become more diverse - and at times - breath-taking. Imagine chasing down a thief who just snatched some goods from a store or going for a walk after having spent the night at an inn, only to find that there is a dragon waiting for you on the rooftop of the nearest house!

I have played some pretty games, but walking through the snowy landscape in Skyrim has to be one of the most visually pleasing experiences yet in a videogame! You hear the wind blowing across the hills, snow slowly falling towards the earth and aurora borealis gently rippling like a banner in a breeze. This was probably the first time I actually stopped to stare at all the magnificence from a game. The detail on the dragons, characters and enemies is truly amazing: the appearance of the characters and enemies changes depending on what location they're in: frostbite spiders living in snowy areas are covered in a coat of snow, but if you encounter them underground, they are far more likely to have a darker texture than their 'standard' counterpart. The only issue I've noticed with the graphics is when you turn down the settings to medium or low, landscapes in the distance tend to show off a lot of repetitive textures.

Just like in Oblivion you start the game as a prisoner - only this time you and some rebels called 'stormcloaks' are on their way to the chopping block after an ambush by the imperial army. Just as your head is about to roll, a dragon attacks and you manage to escape in the confusion. From there on, you decide the fate for the whole of Skyrim - not just yourself of course. Despite the fact that this game revolves around magic, medieval folklore and dragons, not once did the story make me think 'now that's just silly'. The amount of things to do in this game is just baffling; I have played this game for over 25 hours and it feels like I have yet to scratch the surface of the things I can do and discover! ? Skyrim brings back all the good things from Oblivion, but sadly it has also taken some of the bad with it as well; Bugs are not uncommon and your companions still prefer walking five miles around a pebble because it was too much of an obstacle to get to you., walking into a small room with only one exit is still one of the worst things you can do since most of the time your companion will block the doorway and refuse to move, making you crawl into the furthest corner, hoping they follow you deeper in said room so the door is no longer being blocked. I am well aware that they move if you stare at them for a while, but in my case they only moved when we were in the outdoors where the nearest obstruction is a rabbit fleeing from the sight of two burly men staring at each other in the moonlight.

I've heard a lot of complaining about Skyrim being a port but aside from the menus and the odd mouse controls, I never felt like I was playing GTA: Skyrim. It has to be said that the menus can and will be devious at times. For some unexplainable reason your character will sometimes select something completely different than what you had in mind. This isn't an issue when you select the wrong weapon after looting a chest, but when you're talking to a jarl and your character says: 'I'm going to destroy this city and leave no one alive'; instead of: 'you have a lovely city and I want to buy a house here'; You seriously start to question whether or not the developers were paying attention when they were testing the menus for the PC version. Controlling your left hand with the right mouse button and controlling you right hand with the left mouse button can cause some confusion in the heat of the battle. The sound and music in this title is outstanding: whenever a dragon appears overheads, exciting music starts playing; whenever you're near an important place or artefact, the music swells; and when you level up, a large group of singing men starts cheering you on. The sound effects themselves are very impressive, the combination of a dragon's roar and the whoosh you hear when he flies overhead is always very intimidating and hitting someone in the face with a shield has never sounded this rewarding.

The core gameplay mechanics remain untouched: you level up by performing a variety of tasks. If you try and persuade a lot of characters, your speech will increase; if you fight a lot of people, your armour and weapon skills will improve and so on. The combat itself has received some additions, when you're blocking a hit from maces, your shield will give way when your enemy strikes and if you push your enemy back with your shield, they will stagger for a bit, allowing you to deal some more damage before they get back on their feet. Bethesda also added a more constructive side to the game; you are now able to craft weapons, armour, potions and even spells from the materials you find on your travels. If you have a pickaxe you even get the chance to mine for the ores needed to create your armour and weapons!

This is one of the best games I have ever played! It is almost a perfect wedding between sound, visuals, gameplay and story. Rarely have I played a game where I didn't like the setting, and yet I got carried away with the whole experience. The raiding of bandit camps, the long fights with Dragons and frost trolls - who just didn't want to die - have from this day forward been turned into gaming experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life, if you haven't gotten this game yet, you should. The only thing standing between this game and a perfect score is the fact that it does have a considerable amount of bugs and the menus that act up now and then. Only now do I understand my friends' enthusiasm about this game, and I hope that you would give this game a chance, even though you don't like the fantasy setting or the developer: because Skyrim is a masterpiece!



Sign up to access this!
11-20 of 36
2
Pages
Go to page:
  • Mr. John avatar
    Mr. John Joined 10y ago
    Maybe on steam?
    6,144 points Ranked 1058th
    11 medals 1 rare
    • 6 years a member Medal icon
    • Reached 1,000 Points Medal icon
    • 1 post awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    • 5 posts awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    • One month a member Medal icon
    • 6 months a member Medal icon
    access_time 8y
    Yes, both of the games Ive tried from Bethesda (Fallout NV and Skyrim :>) were glitchy at times. Ive learned that using W and S to scroll through the menus and then E/F (action) to select is much easier. Also the inventory menu for Favorite and Equip might act up if you change the Action buttom. Even if you cheat every perk and skill to 100, you still have a HUGE way to go before your done with Skyrim. The way the developers have gone for this game is yes, truly amazing. Dozens, nay hundred thousands of animations, roam thought the game. Still a few small issues in gameplay persist. Sometimes autosaving is alittle too less frequent (can be changed I guess), if stumbling across good enemies with bad equipment youll die alot :C and fighting dragons becomes real easy a few spots. Sword fighting is alittle baland (really it should be alot more cutscenes where youd slice em open >:D) and some kill scenes are cut off or missing shields/clipping through shield. The hardest enemies in the beginning are giants, which made little sense. Still, SKYRIM rules pretty bad!
    I remember the Name...
    URL to post:
  • 4Echo avatar
    4Echo username pic Joined 8y ago
    Moderator
    I'm busy.
    Destiny Flag Affiliation: Destiny
    10,255 points Ranked 572nd
    46 medals 3 legendary 10 rare
    • Returned 5000 times Medal icon
    • 1st Place - The Sci-Fi Skinning Contest Medal icon
    • Became a Ripe Supporter Medal icon
    • 3rd Place - Movie Replicas Modeling Contest Medal icon
    • 3rd Place - The
    • 25 posts awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    4Echo avatar
    4Echo
    Destiny Flag
    Affiliation
    Destiny
    Source Shaders Expert
    access_time 8y
    Pro Skyrim tip: DOnt kill the chickens
    Metalness workflow is cancer.
    URL to post:
  • Strelok avatar
    Strelok username pic Joined 11y ago
    Offline
    586 Studios Flag Affiliation: 586 Studios
    89,284 points Ranked 41st
    44 medals 2 legendary 11 rare
    • Reached 100 subscribers Medal icon
    • 10 years a member Medal icon
    • 2nd Place - Summertime Skinning Contest Medal icon
    • 3rd Place - GameBanana Around the Globe Contest Medal icon
    • Reached 75,000 Points Medal icon
    • 50 posts awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    Strelok avatar
    Strelok
    586 Studios Flag
    Affiliation
    586 Studios
    access_time 8y
    glitches are like a signature mark of bethesda, their games have a shitload of glitches, specially when it comes to the AI, however that doesn´t stop most from playing their massive games and enjoying them, although, there are picky players that focus on every detail, and if something isn´t right ingame, it will ruin their experience
    Dragons! avatar
    Mantra
    Dragons!
    URL to post:
  • bugxy14 avatar
    bugxy14 Joined 8y ago
    Offline
    362 points Ranked 48753rd
    access_time 8y
    Nice Review! Found some bugs but not really that noticable. Anyways good game enjoy every minute of it! 16 hours a day! :)))
    lol
    URL to post:
  • niceboy_ avatar
    niceboy_ username pic Joined 11y ago
    Offline
    3,783 points Ranked 2102nd
    11 medals 1 legendary 1 rare
    • 10 years a member Medal icon
    • 6 years a member Medal icon
    • GAMEBANANA Spray Contest Entrant Medal icon
    • One month a member Medal icon
    • 6 months a member Medal icon
    • 1 year a member Medal icon
    access_time 8y
    I much prefer this series over Fallout, I don't know why, it just seems more playable. I rented this from Redbox a week or two back and I sent it back because it's two bucks a day. I've been having serious withdrawals ever since. Thankfully I've asked for it for Christmas. Very fun game, the amount of spells and skills you can learn is rather amazing and the menu design is really fuckin' cool. Level design is also superb, a definite must have game from the Elder Scrolls series.
    Dumper
    URL to post:
  • cheezit avatar
    cheezit username pic Joined 13y ago
    Offline
    3,741 points Ranked 2123rd
    14 medals 1 legendary 1 rare
    • 10 years a member Medal icon
    • 6 years a member Medal icon
    • Reached 1,000 Points Medal icon
    • Reached 2,500 Points Medal icon
    • 1 post awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    • 5 posts awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    access_time 8y
    > **Posted by Kosai106** > > **Posted by cheezit** > > >Can you also block a hit from sword? > > Yes. I'm glad he fixed that.
    Roll Fizzlebeef
    URL to post:
  • The Fool avatar
    The Fool Joined 12y ago
    Offline
    536 points Ranked 44986th
    11 medals 1 legendary 1 rare
    • 10 years a member Medal icon
    • 6 years a member Medal icon
    • Reached 1,000 Points Medal icon
    • 1 post awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    • 5 posts awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    • 10 posts awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    access_time 8y
    I think one of the most impressive things about Skyrim is the level of detail that the developers have reached. In my personal opinion as a level designer for games such as Counter-Strike:Source and Half-Life:2, I have to say that this game is nothing short of incredible. Down to the very last vertex, to the very last word in one of the game's hundreds of books, the game's creators have gone the extra mile. The time and effort behind writing those books, behind creating the world that you explore, behind the character interaction, the quests and the leveling-system is almost stupid. Even with hundreds-- nay, thousands of people-- the game would have taking weeks upon weeks of painstaking hard work and creative talent. Having designed thousands of levels and game environments myself I can fully appreciate the magnitude of effort that has gone into making the game's endless landscape pleasing to the eye and aesthetically beautiful. There's just something to be said about the dedicated efforts of hundreds of geeks with a single goal in mind: Creating the world's greatest and most realistic medieval RPG to date. God bless the Elder Scrolls team and Bethesda.
    Mapper, Graphic Artist avatar
    Mantra
    Mapper, Graphic Artist
    URL to post:
  • Kosai106 avatar
    Kosai106 username pic Joined 12y ago
    Offline
    Avenger Corp.™ Flag Affiliation: Avenger Corp.™
    4,149 points Ranked 1661st
    25 medals 1 legendary 5 rare
    • 10 years a member Medal icon
    • 25 posts awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    • 50 posts awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    • 6 years a member Medal icon
    • Reached 50 subscribers Medal icon
    • Returned 1000 times Medal icon
    Kosai106 avatar
    Kosai106
    Avenger Corp.™ Flag
    Affiliation
    Avenger Corp.™
    access_time 8y
    > **Posted by cheezit** >Can you also block a hit from sword? Yes.
    Former super moderator avatar
    Mantra
    Former super moderator
    URL to post:
  • cheezit avatar
    cheezit username pic Joined 13y ago
    Offline
    3,741 points Ranked 2123rd
    14 medals 1 legendary 1 rare
    • 10 years a member Medal icon
    • 6 years a member Medal icon
    • Reached 1,000 Points Medal icon
    • Reached 2,500 Points Medal icon
    • 1 post awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    • 5 posts awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    access_time 8y
    > blocking a hit from mace
    Can you also block a hit from sword?
    Roll Fizzlebeef
    URL to post:
  • 4Echo avatar
    4Echo username pic Joined 8y ago
    Moderator
    I'm busy.
    Destiny Flag Affiliation: Destiny
    10,255 points Ranked 572nd
    46 medals 3 legendary 10 rare
    • Returned 5000 times Medal icon
    • 1st Place - The Sci-Fi Skinning Contest Medal icon
    • Became a Ripe Supporter Medal icon
    • 3rd Place - Movie Replicas Modeling Contest Medal icon
    • 3rd Place - The
    • 25 posts awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
    4Echo avatar
    4Echo
    Destiny Flag
    Affiliation
    Destiny
    Source Shaders Expert
    access_time 8y
    my save is about 13 mb
    Metalness workflow is cancer.
    URL to post:

Embed

menu
Share banner
Image URL
HTML embed code
BB embed code
Markdown embed code

Score

Graphics
9
Sound
9.5
Gameplay
9.5
Fun
10
Ambience
9.5
Overall
9.5

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Immersive story
  • You'll always stumble on something new
  • Stunning scenery
  • Epic fights
  • The whole region feels 'alive'
Cons
  • Buggy menus
  • Long distance textures can look repetitive
  • Your social life will be gone when you buy this

Reviewer

Colt_ avatar
Colt_ Joined 13y ago
Offline
3,672 points Ranked 2174th
13 medals 1 legendary 1 rare
  • 10 years a member Medal icon
  • 6 years a member Medal icon
  • Became a Club Leader Medal icon
  • Reached 1,000 Points Medal icon
  • Reached 2,500 Points Medal icon
  • 1 post awarded Exemplary Feedback Medal icon
Colt_
Sign up to access this!
Sign up to access this!
Sign up to access this!

Share

  • Share on Reddit
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 12.9k
  • 36
  • 8y
  • 3y

More from Submitter

menu