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Review: Skyrim (SPOILERS WITHIN! maybe)

Posted April 24th, 2017 at 3:22 AM by Desert Stream~

Skyrim is by far one of the best games I've ever played, and I've put more time into it then any other game. My PC version of the game has 419 hours on it, in 4 1/2 months. My xbox version of the game has way more. However, that is not to say that Skyrim doesn't have it's fair share of problems.

Character Creation:
I honestly liked oblivion's character customization system better. Skyrim's graphics obviously made it look more visually appealing, but you lose the ability to change a number of things, such as the blush on the face, not to mention that I just didn't like the hairstyles that much personally.

The leveling in skyrim is one of my favorite parts of the game. Or at least, after the patches it was. Before the patches, there was a level cap of 81 and a weird fraction, which just bugged me so much. It wasn't a perfect number, instead you get a freaking fraction, which means your last skill increase is pretty much for nothing... However the patch (and later the DLC) added "Legendary Skills" to the game, which let you reset a skill to level 15 (why 15... that always bugged me as well) and allowed for infinite leveling, not only unlocking all the perks, but also allowed for a kind of stat redistribution later in the game.
The perks are also great, I just wish that you could get them all from the beginning. It takes forever to unlock all the perks, but in a style similar to Final Fantasy X, it allows you to go any direction you want with your character.

One thing I'm sad about is the removal of Athletics and Acrobatics. Watching your character glitch insanely as they jump 6000 feet into the air is so satisfying... it also makes it annoying to jump over certain obstacles in the game, but oh well...
What I do like is the separation of Pickpocket and Sneak. In oblivion, they were the same skill, but in skyrim they are separate which makes sense if you ask me.

The gameplay is great, although a little boring at times. The difficulty settings are really good, with Novice difficulty being super easy and allowing you to kill most (but not all) things without much strategy. Legendary on the other hand is extremely difficult, and one wrong move fighting even a wolf can easily kill you, so there's something for both casual and hardcore players.

The gameplay is combat centered, and if you aren't fighting, you aren't doing much. The combat is split into 3 types: Magic, fighting, and stealth.
Magic is very fun to play with, but limited Magicka reserves leaves you running or desperately trying to heal on higher difficulties. Luckily there are potions to fortify or restore your magic.
Straight up combat with swords and stuff is useful in any situation. You rely on Stamina a lot, but you can survive without it, and the large amount of weapons available gives you many options, similar to magic. The problem is that swinging your sword over and over thousands of times gets pretty boring after a while. There is a lot of strategy involved with the higher difficulties.
Stealth consists of shooting bows, and backstabbing for the most part. You'll want to improve your combat skills, not only because it helps you quickly take out enemies undetected, but it's always nice to have a backup in case you get detected. The problem with this style of play is that arrows are costly, they don't just reappear like Magicka, and if you run out, you could be screwed depending on the difficulty.

Skyrim adds, removes, and changes a few combat related things. First of all, the duel wielding system is absolutely fantastic, as well as the ability to equip 2 spells in your hands instead of a weapon and a spell in the same hand. Makes way more sense. Additionally, armor and weapons no longer break, which is also great. Sure, it makes the game more realistic, but stopping every 5 minutes to repair your entire set of armor is costly, both in time and repair hammers. I wouldn't even use the daedric artifacts in Oblivion, because they just break so fast.

Skyrim added a new type of magic called shouts, which I find great. Mowing down enemies with unrelenting force is fun to watch, and it could very well save your life. The problem is that they are kind of glitchy sometimes (although is that really a suprise? I don't want to go on and on about the glitches, so I'll stop now :P) The selection of shouts is also great.

Vampirism and Lycanthropy: Skyrim added werewolves, which is a huge improvement IMO. It also made a few fixes to vampirism IMO (especially in the dlc). Vampirism didn't outright kill you if you walked outside, but it's still super annoying and very well could kill you.
Overall, I liked it but what I don't get is that a) you can't become a werewolf infinite times (iirc)
and b) Before the DLC townspeople would attack you as a vampire, but the cure is conveniently... in a town.

Pretty much every "modern" elder scrolls game has some kind of crafting.

Magic Crafting:
Usually, there are 3 types of magic crafting- Alchemy, Enchanting, and Spell making. Unfortunately, skyrim removed the ability to create custom spells... In my opinion however, Enchanting and Alchemy were both improved slightly. You aren't able to make potions anywhere anymore, but making potions in the middle of combat was weird anyways...
If you have the DLC, there is a third method of magical crafting in the form of staffmaking. You can only do this in Solestheim or with mods though.

Non-magic crafting:
Smithing is a kind of new crafting feature that replaces armor repair. Instead of repairing armor, you create completly new armor in skyrim, and can upgrade it to almost unlimited potential through tempering and enchanting. A fully improved iron sword does almost as much damage as a deadric sword.
The weapon and armor making process is split into 5 different sections.
You can tan leather on the tanning rack, smelt ore into metal at a smelter, improve armor at a workbench, improve weapons at a grindstone, and create stuff at an anvil or forge.
Also there's no water walking without the dlc :( And even then it's only 1 item

Skyrim also adds cooking to the game. Using salt, and various other ingredients (but always salt. always.) you can create some of the best healing items in the game.

Finally, there are the ways to get materials. You can chop wood at a wood chopping block, mine for ore, or just buy everything you need.

Dungeons in skyrim are interesting. There's a lot of them, that's for sure, but they all kind of resemble each other. I suppose they did in Oblivion too, but you really only see 4 types. Caves, Nordic Ruins, Dwarven Ruins, and Fortresses. Not to say that there aren't some cool ones, like Kagrunzel.

Quests in skyrim as a whole are... sub-par. They all fall into one of 3 categories. Kill quests, fetch quests, and the few quests that aren't kill or fetch quests...
Also, the questlines are ridiculously fast-paced and short, with a few exceptions. In the companion's quests, you get introduced to the major conflict in the first real quest (I don't count the joining quests as real quests). In the college quests, you discover the conflict in the second real quest. The theive's guild does a good job of keeping the main conflict hidden, but your second real quest happens to be a quest that their third-in-command couldn't even do... How are you supposed to do it?
The main quest introduces the conflict immediately, but at least it has decent length.

Downloadable Content:
The DLC are very, very worth it. As I mentioned above, not only does it contain sooo many fixes that the game needed IMO, but they all add TONS of content to the game. The dragonborn and Dawnguard DLC have some of the longest questlines, both add HUGE new locations to discover (I think the size of Solesthiem is comparable to the Shivering Isles), Interesting Landscapes and Characters, some of the best followers in the game, awesome scenery, epic boss fights, and tons of hours of gameplay. It may not look like much at first, but the amount of locations, collectibles, artifacts, and misc. quests is just amazing.
Then you have Hearthfire. Arguably the worst DLC, but it's much cheaper then the rest, and I still recommend it. Adopting a kid is kinda... meh, but building your own house? Fun :D Your house has tons of storage, and each house is unique, with exclusive features to each. Not to mention you can have a pet, and it adds lots of crafting to the game.

The graphics of the original game were already great compared to say... Oblivion, and the Special edition just makes it better.

Story: The story is ok. The theme is really cool, and the main story is done quite well, but there are a few areas in which it could have done better.

Replayablility: Chances are, you didn't do everything the first time around. Also, mods. High replay value.
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  1. Old Comment
    Judge Mandolore Shepard's Avatar
    Yeah, Skyrim is a really fun game. I have played through it multiple times with three different characters. The three characters being as follows:
    Mandolore Great, Male Nord that wears heavy armor and wields One handed weapons. Joined the Imperial Legion in the Civil War
    Tiki Tali, Female High Elf that wears light armor and wields Two handed weapons, Joined the Stormcloaks in the Civil War
    Boss gro-1138, Male Orc that wears heavy armor and wields Two handed weapons, Joined the Imperial Legion in the Civil War.
    Posted April 24th, 2017 at 6:12 AM by Judge Mandolore Shepard Judge Mandolore Shepard is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Desert Stream~'s Avatar
    Originally Posted by Judge Mandolore Shepard View Comment
    Yeah, Skyrim is a really fun game. I have played through it multiple times with three different characters. The three characters being as follows:
    Mandolore Great, Male Nord that wears heavy armor and wields One handed weapons. Joined the Imperial Legion in the Civil War
    Tiki Tali, Female High Elf that wears light armor and wields Two handed weapons, Joined the Stormcloaks in the Civil War
    Boss gro-1138, Male Orc that wears heavy armor and wields Two handed weapons, Joined the Imperial Legion in the Civil War.
    Speaking of the civil war, I do wanna do something on that someday :/ Maybe I'll do a YT video...
    Posted April 24th, 2017 at 11:18 AM by Desert Stream~ Desert Stream~ is offline

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