It sits among the greatest of the year
By Bryan Travers
I find it challenging to review games like The Elder Scrolls: 5 Skyrim because no matter how much you play it, you’ll always feel like there’s something you haven’t seen yet. It could be a boss you haven’t killed, a town you haven’t helped or a dungeon you haven’t cleared. This however, is what makes The Elder Scrolls stand out. There are huge side quests that aren’t even part of the main story; you can just skip them if you want. There are very detailed quests all over the place, creating the illusion that the world is alive and that there are real people inhabiting this game.
The map in this game is littered with side missions, quests are everywhere and each of them has an impressive story. One mission has a man approach you, he then starts telling you how he wants to be an adventurer like you but his father won’t let him. At this rate he’ll be working on the farm for his entire life, even if his dad thought it was safe enough to live as a mercenary, he can’t afford it. Now this quest has a few possible endings; you can either tell the son it’s too dangerous and then leave, you can brag about your life and taunt him or you can tell him that you’ll talk with his father. If you chose to talk to his father you can: support the dads’ decision and ruin the sons’ dreams, bully the father into making his son a mercenary, or give him the proper money for armour and let him decide… actually there’s one option I didn’t say; you can go in there and brutally kill everyone. Personally I gave him the money and the next day the son approached me and offered to follow me around and aid me in battle, which wouldn’t have happened if I did anything differently. A side mission in this game is like an onion being smashed by a hammer, it has so many layers that depending on how you hit it, you’ll always get a different ending result.
This game is phenomenal, but I do have some small complaints; one being the voice acting. The game has only a few voice actors for the non-plot related characters (or at least it sounds like it does), so be prepared to hear the same voice more than once.
Luckily you won’t be talking to the non-plot related characters that much anyway. Secondly is the fact that sometimes I’ll load up the menu and click a button… but it won’t register on screen for a while. My final issue is that the “sneaking mode” isn’t very consistent; one side mission has you sneak into someone’s house to search for proof that they committed a crime. When I personally played it and got inside I began searching, I was almost done when an indicator popped up to show that I was discovered. I then hid in a corner in hopes that they would think that it was just their imagination, and not call the guards. The indicator stayed and no guards were called, I was getting really curious as to what was going on so I stood up and saw a man just staring at me, he then said “what can I do you for?” Out of curiosity I clicked the talk button and he started talking about a farm and an option popped up that said “sell potatoes.” So I backed away, found the proof and left while he just watched and smiled. These 3 issues are my only complaints of this entire game, and they barley effect the amazing experience that I had.
As with every Elder scrolls game, it’s not about what the game wants you to do, it’s about what you want the game to do. The game is really up to you because every decision you make will affect the outcome of the story, this means that no two campaigns will ever be the same.
I could go on for days about how amazing this game is. The time between deaths and re-spawns are handled in a way that makes you want to keep fighting, there are some famous voice actors, the creature design is amazing (cool but not too cool, creepy, but not too creepy and gross but not to gross), stunning graphics, an amazing story, secrets you can reveal or leave alone, even the skill tree is set up in a cool way. The last point that I’m going to make is that if you’re only going to buy a few games this year and you like open world RPG’s, it doesn’t matter how much you love Call of Duty, the Legend of Zelda or pretty much any other game franchise (unless you’re a super fan), in my opinion you should get this game. I’m saying this because it will take a very long time to finish, and once you finish it, restart it but take a different approach. If you were naughty be nice or if you were helpful then try sabotaging, depending on what you do, the ending will change dramatically.
If I were to write a list of what I loved in Skyrim it would be a while until you found the word “and”, because there’s so much to like. It feels like every time I turn a corner, I find another reason to fall in love with this game. Is there really any debate? 10/10