Sorry everyone, I know we haven’t been posting recently, but we have a legit excuse: we were all swamped with schoolwork. Now that we’re pretty much done with that, we’re suffering from IATELDA syndrome. That is, the I Am Too Exhausted and Lazy to Do Anything syndrome. I am, at the very least. But in order to actually post something so as to not have an inactive blog, I’m mustering the last bits of my dying will and prating about Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Okay… I know this game is ancient: just over a year old. (Oh, the horror of playing a year-old game! Note my sarcasm.) So I’m just going to give the basic review because I figure if you’re interested in Skyrim in any way, you’ve probably already bought it based on its amazingly awesome awesomeness and the sheer amounts of good reviews there are.
Plot: The sound of rolling whels over a rough dirt road wake you up from your gentle slumber. You look around, only to find yourself in a horse-pulled carraige filled with other captives; they tell you they are Stormcloaks (except for a random horse thief), captured for their attempts to claim back the land for empirical freedom. The carraige slowly pulls up to a small town known as Helgen, where you are forced to dismount. The horse thief runs away after his dismount, and is shot within seconds. After being asked for your name and designing a character, you are sentenced to death by execution. A Stormcloak is killed before you, he dies with his pride intact. Just as the executioner raises his axe to chop your head off, a load roar reveberates through the skies and a dragon lands on the tower just in front of you. You escape in the confusion, but in order to flee from Helgen, you must follow either the Imperial Hadvar or the Stormcloak Ralof. Regardless of whichever one you choose, you end up in Riverwood, where your adventure begins. You can either continue on the main quest immediately, or do one of the many side quests that quicky become available through conversation with other NPCs.
Gameplay: The gameplay is a pretty much a nonlinear RPG. That is, you can do whatever you want, so long as you fufill the plot in a satisfactory way. Or, you can ignore the plot; you can just wander the lands of Skyrim, battling whomever may come your way. You can play tag with children, become thane of whatever region you may choose, clear out dungeons, join a guild or eight, partake in a dramatic political debate that will eventually result in a civil war, etc. And you can do all this while ignoring the main plot. Heck, you can even do “criminal” things: join the thieves guild to earn extra coin by pickpocketing it from others, join the Dark Brotherhood and murder the high king among your other various victims, become Namira’s champion to become a cannibal, or just massacre an entire town just for kicks (well, if you think you can take on all the guards, but the point is, there’s no rule stopping you)! There’s also “good” things you can do: join the Companions in Whiterun to become the ultimate superhero figure against criminals, go to the College of Winterhold to become a kick-butt mage that is destined to save Winterhold from magical anomalies, help out the daedric prince Meridia with her Beacon of Light, or just help out the locals. During all these things, there is an intriguing plot for each individual attempt, keeping you entertained throughout your entire time playing.
Graphic quality: Everything in Skyrim is painstakingly detailed. You can see the patterns etched into whatever weapon you may be wielding and any magical enchantments on said weapon. Your clothes/armour are detailed as well: all patterns and creases are eminent, and layers of fabric (or metal or bone)are shown beautifully; the attention to depth and movement is gorgeous. The colors are beautiful too; the sun’s pretty white glow shines onto colorful plants whose grey shadows dissapear as you pluck them for your alchemic creations. The buildings have a grey brick pattern that contrast against the usually clear blue sky (the exception being when it rains or is night), the wild animals that are scattered across wild lands are realistic shades of anything from white to red to black. In short, the graphics are detailed and amazingly gorgeous.
Art style: The art is highly realistic. Not to the point where you may think a real dragon is going to come out to rip into little shreds, but realistic to the point where you are completely immersed into the game. The butterflies look like butterflies, the children act like actual children (as annoying as that may be), and the people have natural looking movement as the carry on with their everyday lives and jobs. The scenery should be mentioned as well; beautifully crafted buildings and roads are littered all over Skyrim. There are usually mountains in the distance (that actually become clearer as the approach them, they don’t just continue on indefinitely) that are covered in thick mists. The grounds are covered in plants and animals, whether they be domestic or wild.
Pacing of story: It really depends on the player. For me, personally, the stories are decently paced, but the sheer amount quests will keep you going forever. And ever. And EVER. If you want a quick fun game, Skyrim is not the one for you; it’ll totally immerse you with its awesomeness, so you’ll forever just playing it. Not to mention, Bethsada keeps on developing add-ons. It’s never going to end.
Customization: It’s pretty customizable. You can design your character; that includes race, gender, facial features, height, and build. Your clothes can be changed quite easily, so you can wear casual clothes (which are totally useless except for looking fancy), or any type of armour you choose. There are 32 different sets of armour (not counting those that are included in the add-ons) which constitute of about (this is a pretty rough estimate) 160 various pieces of headgear, bodygear, footwear, gauntlet, and shields. Not to mention for each set, there are about 7 weapons: daggers, swords, war axes, battle axes, greatswords, war hammers, and bows, which you can buy a matching set of arrows (since they can’t be used by themselves, I’m not counting them as individual weapons). If you add the staves (which don’t really come in sets with the typical wizard’s “armour” (code for magical robes; they sorta just look like ugly dresses)) as well, that’s a heck of a lot of weapons for customization. There is also an impossibly long list of accessories, i.e. rings and necklaces. There are unique weapons, armour, and accessories that only be obtained through certain quests. There’s also the stuff that appears when you buy add-ons. It’s pretty customizable.
Difficulty of game: It wasn’t that hard for me. The most common cause of death for me was falling of mountains that I shouldn’t have been climbing. (I was looking for a shortcut, because it’s really easy to get lost. Even with a map and a magical spell telling you where to go. I’m usually directionally challenged, though.) It’s not easy enough to the point where you can slack off without the worry that something will kill you, but it’s not hard enough to want to give up on a quest of any sort. It’s just right.
Music soundtrack: I love the soundtrack. There are a fair bit of songs, all of which you’ll subconciously have memorized by the time you’ve killed, say, 3 dragons. The soundtrack is always cool, whether it be a dramatic battle song during a fight or a soothing ballad from one of the various bards found in inns/taverns. I literally transcribed a mash-up of some of the Skyrim songs in my free time (it’s not my mash-up arrangment, though; I stole from the wonderful Youtube covers, I’m not that creative), although it’s accidentaly transposed. (I didn’t bother to fix it.) Heck, part of it is my ringtone. I love the Skyrim soundtrack. Love it.
Price of game: Ouch. Okay, it’s really pricey, I admit. But most video games are. If you want to buy it new (which I would. No person in their right mind would sell their copy unless it was majorly glitched), it’s $59.99 plus tax. If you want to add Dawnguard, it’s another $20. Hearthfire? Another $5. And you also want to buy Dragonborn (which is actually a pretty new add-on)? Oh boy, it’s another $20! It’s a grand total of… $105! Unless you want to go broke, I don’t suggest you buy add-ons until you’ve finished most of the original game, that is, Skyrim (without the add-ons). I also don’t think Hearthfire is worth buying as it’s mainly for decorative use (if houses can be counted as decorations). It’s basically the ability to buy land, build/design houses, and adopt children. It’s not really my thing. I haven’t played Dragonborn yet, but I think Dawnguard is well-worth the $20; there’s quite a lot of content for an add-on, so I would consider it once you’ve finished Skyrim without the add-ons. Well, “finished.” I don’t think it’s actually possible to complete everything, but you can pretty darn close if you finish all the daedric and guild quests. Anyways, I think it’s totally worth the $60. Totally.
Lasting appeal: I’ve been playing this game for about a year straight. (Well, I took a week off for Assassin’s Creed Revelations, but that was so short it doesn’t really count.) It’s appeal is still strong. I play or talk about this game anytime I get the chance; it’s still awesome, even after countless hours of gaming.
Stars out of 10: Definently a 50/10. It’s way too awesome for a normal rating. It’s actually abit glitchy from time to time, but it’s usually something so negligible you don’t care. At all. It’s too awesome sauce for words.
Final consensus: It’s amazingly awesome. If you haven’t bought it, buy it. I practically live for this game, even more so than the Assasin’s Creed, Modern Warfare, Halo, and Bioshock series(es). (how do you pluralize “series”???) I would suggest this game to anyone who can stomach a little blood, violence, and profanities. Oh, and people who are okay with crossing real life moral codes while gaming. (Most gamers can, so I’m not worried.) Seriously, buy it.
Disclaimer: We do not own, nor are we affiliated with the makers of the Elder Scroll series, nor anything else mentioned here. They all belong to their respective owners and creators. This is strictly a personal review of the product. We were not paid to review this product, nor were we given the product by any company. The Girly and the Geeky blog is not associated with the aforementioned makers in any way, nor is there any profit made for the blog, it’s owner, and other writers