Or – to give the game its full title: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – a legendary, open-world RPG with a dragon-riding, fantasy horror setting, and a chilly, Nordic, snowy feel to the landscapes.
Skyrim opens with you riding on the back of a cart, on the way to your own execution, and within a few short minute explodes into a startling escape from a fire-breathing dragon. None who’ve ever played Skyrim will ever forget the introduction…
From there it’s a long grind to greatness, with endless quests, bounties and conundrums to solve – all via a first-person viewpoint. A sword in one hand – a shield in the other – it’s up to you how you play the game out.
Add also a bunch of superb DLC and you have one of the best reasons to level-grind in existence. Skyrim is dungeon-crawling creepiness, and dragon-riding exhilaration, made real, for devotees of real-time, 3D adventure games. Atmospherically it is arguably at its best when underground. Clearing vast underground caverns of undead (the Draugr are inspired), or monsters, or Dwarven machines, or ghosts – or worse – is absolutely gripping. Storming castles full of bandits or vampires is also fun too. And learning the various spoken magic words to inflict great damage upon your enemies is unique and inspiring. Crafting, item enchanting, and potion-making are also incredibly detailed and fun too. Skyrim is a gigantic leap forward from Oblivion.
If it did have its downsides: it would be that the dialogue isn’t great at times – it isn’t particularly well-written – and there are some strange and frustrating paradoxes in the quests (not to mention game-breaking bugs). Also: the magic system isn’t as open and flexible as the one much-loved by TES fans in Morrowind – the magic’s been ‘reined-in’ a bit for Skyrim (there’s no levitation or long-jumping as seen in Morrowind). Other than that, though, Skyrim has more detail, more stats, and more grinding than pretty much every other RPG out there. Except for maybe The Witcher 3… 🙂
The original Skyrim was released in 2011 by Bethesda Softworks. A High Def remaster was released in 2016. These grabs are from the remastered HD version.