Video Game Review: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PlayStation 3)

*written in 2015.

*I played the PlayStation 3 version. The game is also available on Xbox 360 and Windows.

Yes, this game is a bit dated. I don’t care. I put it off for very good reasons.

First of all, it is made by Bethesda, who have made four other Elder Scrolls games before this one, as well as the last two Fallout games, which took away big chunks of my life, as I was immersed in their world for not just weeks but months. Well, Skyrim was no different and I knew that for a long time before I started this masterpiece, that I had to be prepared to devote an insane amount of time to the game to truly get the full experience.

Over the last month of my life, I have spent most evenings and weekends traversing the mystical land of Skyrim – protecting its citizens from massive dragons, frost trolls, giants, liches, vampires, werewolves, orcs, dark elves and civil war. There are several other threats, such as gods and small armies of bandits. Actually, almost everything is a threat.

Additionally, this is the ultimate sandbox style game and the world you play in is so massive that it makes the Fallout games feel like they take place in a cereal box. Now it might not be as massive of a map as Just Cause 2 but it is pretty close and a lot more diverse. If you count all the square footage of the dungeons and caves in the game, plus all the DLC content, it probably exceeds Just Cause 2 in total area.

The game also features a slew of radiant quests, which are quests that reappear as the game goes on and each time that they do, they have differences that set them apart from their previous incarnations.

Essentially, this game is designed so that the player can play forever. There is always something to do. It took me less than a week to finish the main quest but with all the DLC content, radiant quests and several other quests I haven’t even unlocked yet after a month’s worth of play, I could just keep going and going and going.

The engine is pretty much exactly like the one that Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas were built on. They’ve fixed and polished some things though and this is a much more enjoyable experience from a technical standpoint. It does still have its issues, especially on the PlayStation 3 – the version I’ve been playing, but they aren’t anywhere near as bad as the freezing, lag and annoying other little things that plagued the Fallout games once you got deep into them.

There is lag here and there, the game has frozen up a few times but it is rare in comparison to Bethesda’s other PS3 releases. My biggest complaint is that the load screens take a really long time and that gets worse the bigger your save file gets.

However, Skyrim has provided me with one of the best video game experiences I have ever had. Yes, I’ve wasted a ton of time on it but it isn’t a waste if one is truly enjoying themselves.

Besides, what is cooler than building your character up so strong that you can kill a dragon with just your fists? Yeah, I’m at that level and it is fucking awesome!

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