[Spoilers] The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Review of Epic Adoration
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an action RPG by Bethesda Softworks and is the fifth installment in the series - following Oblivion. Skyrim is available on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. The game also has three DLC add-ons: "Dawnguard," "Hearthfire," and "Dragonborn."
The open world environment of Skyrim consists of towns, cities, wilderness areas, dungeons, ruins, mountains, and villages. You can travel through the game's world faster either by horse or by the fast-travel system to previously-discovered locations if you don't feel like walking. The main storyline can be completed or ignored after the first part of the quest is finished which is cool - there's no rush to finish the game.
NPCs can be interacted with in two ways: engage them in a conversation or kill them, it's pretty much up to you. Crimes for murder and theft form bounties in each of the world's nine districts; so if you get stopped by a guard, you can wipe your bounty with gold, jail time, or by resisting arrest. I should warn you, if you do opt for jail, anything you have taken in theft will not be returned to you (unless you steal it back from the Evidence Chest - just a tip).
NPCs can give side-quests, some can be befriended or be hired and provide help when in combat. You can choose to join factions like the Dark Brotherhood, the Thieves Guild, or the Companions - a band of Werewolves. Each of the factions have specific quests that you must progress through.
Okay, you've just read that information regarding the NPCs, you may be sitting there asking yourself, "Why do I care? So what?" This is why you should care. NPCs can be your biggest allies throughout the game when you need help. Not only that, they provide side-quests to unknown locations that you won't have access to otherwise, like the screenshot above. Doing quests for them can add up to some serious gold and nice loot. I always make it a point to help out a fellow NPC when I can.
Bounties, escaping from jail - add up to achievements as well. Talking your way out of situations builds up your Speechcraft which helps your character develop and progress. All of these things add up to building your character the way you want.
What I love so much about Skyrim are the gorgeous graphics!
Everything in Skyrim is just stunning. I seriously have so many screenshots like the one above and below of so many amazing views. I feel like a part of me plays just for the "game photography" and that isn't an exaggeration in the slightest.
The music composed by Jeremy Soule is just an epic masterpiece. As with his previous work in Morrowind and Oblivion, it's no wonder why Bethesda had him return. The music is powerful and accentuates the gameplay at every turn. It's one of my all-time favorite game soundtracks.
Skyrim is the first entry in The Elder Scrolls to include Dragons in the game's wilderness.
In the open world you encounter wildlife like different variations of bears, mountain lions, saber tooth cats, wolves, spiders, mammoths, and dragons. Many creatures are immediately hostile towards you, so get used to it. Like all creatures, dragons generate randomly and will engage in combat; or even attack cities and towns when in their proximity.
You can absorb the Souls of Dragons in order to use powerful spells called "Dragon Shouts." Each Shout contains three words, and the strength of the Shout depends on how many words have been spoken. The words to Shouts are learned by visiting "Word Walls" in the dungeons. The words to each shout are unlocked by using the absorbed souls of slain Dragons. There is a regeneration period for the use of Shouts in gameplay. Some Shouts like "Od Ah Viing," meaning "Call Dragon," allow you to call a dragon to aid you in battle in time of need; or "Krii Lun Aus," meaning "Marked for Death," renders your targeted enemy's armor and lifeforce weakened.
Being in combat relies on the use of weapons and armor. They can be bought or made at forges. Magicka can be bought or unlocked by finding spell tomes. Weapons and Magicka can be assigned to either hand, allowing for dual-wielding. Shields are useful to fend off enemy attacks and by reducing incoming damage, or offensively through bash attacks. I tend to use a sword with shield, depending on the mission - I'll equip the "Healing Hands" spell with sword when traveling with an NPC or my bow.
Bladed, hacking and blunt weapons can be used in close combat. Magicka can be used in the form of spells, such as Health Regeneration or Ravage Enemy Stamina. Bows are great for combat from a distance. You can sneak and pickpocket, and deliver sneak attacks to unsuspecting enemies. It's pretty much your choice. There are various types of weapons found throughout the game that vary in level of damage and Magicka abilities. I just love the various weapons and armor that you can make. Learning Enchanting and Alchemy became my best friends in the game since I died a lot in the beginning thanks to those... Giants. Did I forget to mention those guys?
Yes, there are Giants, Werewolves, Hagravens, Vampires, Falmers, Spriggans, Trolls, Wisps, and Skeletons... I can go on and on.
Overall, Skyrim is a masterpiece - period. It's also long and I'm not exaggerating. The numerous amount of side quests can have you exploring forever and a day, as it's meant to. The game is designed to be enjoyed, not to be rushed through. You are meant to go explore in this vast world, interact with the numerous characters that you encounter, be fulfilled in combat and feel like the Dragonborn you are meant to become. The main storyline is fantastic and is well worth the journey. All the other stories along the way are just magical... a never-ending fable that urges you to keep going.
The guards will have smart comments of sweet roll thefts and tales to be told of arrows to the knee, so enjoy them. I certainly did. By the way, don't kill the chickens!