Type of Media: Video Game (PS3/Xbox 360/PC) The Elder Scrolls V - Skyrim
Date: Saturday-Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
Time Spent: Viewing/Interactive: 50+ hours
Purpose of Media: Video Games
Description: The fifth game in the popular Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim is an action role playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios. Following its predecessor The Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivion, The Elder Scrolls V takes place in Skyrim, the north most province in the contienant of Tamriel. Set 200 years after the events of Skyrim, the player begins the game as a captive prisoner of an Imperial ambush, caught trying to enter Skyrim. Along with him or her are various Stormcloak soldiers, among them the usurper Ulfric Stormcloak - the Jarl of Windhelm and leader of the Stormcloak rebellion. After a dragon interupts the execution of the player, he/she escapes, eventually learning that the province is in a state of civil war and that he/she is Dragonborn, a mortal with the soul of a dragon. Like other dragons, the Dragonborn has the power to absorb the souls of slain dragons. The central main storyline of Skyrim involves the return of Alduin, the Dragon-god of destruction, and his plans to consume the current world. Like previous installments of The Elder Scrolls series, the player is given the freedom to either pursue this quest line or to ignore it entirely, with the entire game centered on its open world play style, allowing the player to choose how they wish to accomplish objectives or set their own goals within the game itself. The game is has been noted for its sheer amount of explorable content, with three downloadable DLCs to compliment this further.
Critic Review/ My Opinion:
Matthew Keast from Games Radar writes: "We asked for an intuitive skill system. Skyrim responded beautifully. The system is extremely simple on the surface, but super deep with options." In regards to this, Skyrim features a revamped skill system from previous Elder Scrolls: "Each time you level up, you simply choose to increase Magicka, Health, or Stamina, and then you have one perk point to spend. Perk slots are unlocked based on how high of a skill you have in a given area for example, in order to spend a point on a perk that makes casting Novice level Destruction spells cost half as much Magicka, you need to have built up Destruction to 20 or whatever. That’s really it. However, there are so many perk slots available, the possibilities are staggering. It’s totally freeform, easy to understand, and exciting when you see the crazy stuff available at the higher perk slots. Also, if you can’t decide what to purchase, you can save your perk points for later." This fresh new innovative skilling system not only makes every level up feel rewarding, but stream lines it so that nothing is dumbed down yet is no longer punishing for players who "messed up" with stat point distribution at the beginning of the game.
Gameplay: Improved in nearly every way from Oblivion, including a more crisp and visceral combat system, a smoother user interface, crafting, random encounters, and a new skill and leveling system which allows you to craft your character as you play.
Story: Fresh and innovative, moving away from the fiery infernos of the Planes of Oblivion to the cold icy Nordic mountains, Skyrim's story expands into a new realm of exploration; much more enjoyable than closing Oblivion gates, however still not as rich and immersive as Morrowind's.
Sound: Skyrim features a beautiful rich soundtrack, composed by renowned soundtrack composer Jeremy Soule, who also wrote the music to the previous Elder Scrolls games.
Graphics: No more blotchy staring NPC faces! Skyrim's graphics have leaped miles since Oblivion's, just check these face comparisons.
Multiplayer: No online multiplayer. The Elder Scrolls has always been known for its lack of multiplayer due to the amount of open ended gameplay it features, however there is soon to be a release of The Elder Scrolls - Online, coming sometimes 2014.
Value: Now being sold for around $29.99, Skyrim is a steal for its price.
Final Score: 10/10