The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

5.75 Overall Score

The Mods, The Scope, The Lore

Sloppily done, Minimilistically presented, Glitchy

*NOTE: Please read my comments carefully in the Game-play section as the score there is elevated for certain factors.


I have been a huge fan of The Elder Scrolls series ever since a friend first introduced The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on the XBox console so many years ago. Prior to that all I had for RPG’s was D&D, a few text based RPG’s, an MUD (MUME for those who have not tried it, give it a shot!), and some JRPG’s which I could barely stomach for their ridiculously forced story-lines. None of those gave me a proper combination of character build customization, open world, and actual visuals of the open world I was supposed to be experiencing (again for the benefit of those who have not tried text based games and MUD’s, you quickly learn to ignore the room description and focus on quickly responding to threats and memorizing directions and actions). So when the game was first releases I was overjoyed by the experience. I had a whole island to explore with it’s different unique terrains, structures, and cultures. I still remember walking out of the guard official’s office for the first time and experiencing Seyda Neen, my first experience with slavers, skooma dealers, visiting ancient burial halls for treasure, looking Daedra Shrines and nearly being killed or actually being killed by a dremora (they where scary strong back then!). But what it truly did to wow me was provide a story that a few friends and I still debate over as the lines between good and evil weren’t so pronounced in it.

Then came Oblivion and with it came improved graphics different game-play, bland scenery, and some improvements and some issues with game-play. The story was reminiscent of the Farseer Trilogy and Tawney Man Trilogy by Robin Hobb where the main player wasn’t the real hero so to speak, but the person who helped create and shape the hero (Martin) and supports him. Perhaps in a novel that would have been engaging but from a players perspective I felt like a tool. Literally.

Much later came Skyrim… and here we are. A little late reviewing a game that I have pretty much played all it’s prices worth on but whatever.


Story: 5/10

I have to say that I was glad that Skyrim went back to basics with it’s main plot-line making the player once again a fabled hero of prophesy. Not only that but he could Shout in dragon! Unfortunately, the main plot-line was incredibly short, the main villain did not engage my enterest as nothing about him felt epic unlike Dagoth Ur. Furthermore the supporting characters of the main story where bland… so very bland. I couldn’t even be bothered to care as to how everything tied in together. The entire thing felt forced as if trying hard to explain this new game-play mechanic called the “Shout”.

As for the side missions and faction missions, many fell short of my expectations in terms of providing depth to events that have occurred or are occurring as every faction event felt rushed and once more I say forced,  but I did find that the Daedric quests where interesting, if only to see how the daedric lords where fleshed out. The actual missions did not engage me as much as the ones in oblivion did even if some of them where longer, but the characterizations of of Hermaeus Mora, Sheogorath, and Sanguine very strongly caught my attention and their missions no matter how simple where actually enjoyable (Ok maybe not old Mora as I had to run around collecting blood but yeah!).

So would I recommend Skyrim for story alone? No probably not since it just barely made itsself worth the money I would have paid in that respect (I actually didn’t pay as it was a gift from a friend).


Gameplay: 7/10

If I where to rate the game on consoles this would be a HELL of a lot lower. The PC game-play was solely improved by the fact that we have a community of AWESOME modders who really made the game enjoyable, customizable, and sometimes fairly pervy! But before I get into that I think I should introduce the basic game-play. I was strongly disappointed that I could no longer cast and wield Items at the same time like I could in Skyrim’s predecessor, Oblivion. Yes that game mechanic was broken and unbalanced, but who plays the Elder Scrolls series for balance? Not me anyways! I found it irritating to switch between my thunderbolt spell and other items that I used for “style”. Another thing I truly abhorred about the new changes was the fact I couldn’t custom make my own spells like I used to, something I found incredibly irritating given I had to rely on modders to give me variety and even then I was constrained by their imagination not mine. I had always seen the Elder’s Scroll series as a way to experiment with how you can abuse a game. It is not like I didn’t find my way of abusing the the sh!t out of the game, it’s just that I could no longer do it with magic and had to depend on weapons usually in the form of a max enchantment fire and lighting bow crafted to perfection and complemented with my character’s deadly archery skills. And sure I found was to make that interesting, but who of us who has played Oblivion has not spammed with paralysis spells and beat our enemies to a figurative bloody pulp only to heal them and repeat just so that we could train our offensive skills in a slightly sadistic way (I think I need help if non of you have!). The point is, the game was incredibly limiting and many of the skills that I used to love and enjoy so much where merged into other skills for what seems like basic laziness to me. The game could have been better as Modders have shown me. But it was rushed, and what was worse was that the game felt like it was pushing me away from being a pure mage and more into being a fighter because a true warrior of Skyrim should wield an effin blade and Shout “Fus Ro Dah!” where ever he goes.

Then there was the tired perk system which once again reminded me of how many games during the last few years have tried to use and abuse what I have come to call the Call of Duty Band Wagon.


There where a few good parts though. The world was large, while still bland in comparison to Morrowind, it was MUCH less bland than Oblivion and enjoyably huge, while the water current was still unrealistically bad (seriously not even close, stopped me from really being able to immerse myself fully), it was still a step up, along with the little things like diving in to catch fish, cooking food, and other little tidbits which I found amusing for the first hour of the game. Four shouts out of the whole list actually caught my attention, the famous unrelenting force (“Fus Ro Dah!”), a shout that could literally freeze your enemies solid, a slow time shout, and the whirlwind sprint. But at the time, the game was very lacking.

What I did love though was the fact that the game was open to be modded on steam and the mods where easy to incorporate into the game for a tech “grandpa” who finds some of the simplest acts of installing a mod to be quite tricky! There is a wealth of mods, some which improve the way characters and NPC’s look some that add spells and powers, and some that add awesome items. Admittedly some of those mods aren’t so awesome. My personal favorite is the toggle slow-time power which when combined with the spell Bound Bow made me feel a little like Ishida Uryuu from Bleach launching ten or so arrows from multiple directions before the first arrow hit it’s mark, giving the game a somewhat anime feel since I found the game to be easy anyways regardless of whether I used the mod or not.

Speaking of the difficulty, the game while slightly and only slightly more difficult than Oblivion was too easy to my liking and weapons of incredible superiority where very easy to get or craft on my own. The enemies did progress as the player level’s up but the changes weren’t as blatantly obvious as they where in Oblivion. That’s actually one thing I truly miss about Morrowind where monster difficulties where set and if you where stupid enough to tangle with a tougher monster before being strong enough, you had to accept the consequences and pretty much run or die. Something tells me that this aspect of Morrowind may never be seen again as it stops the games from being accessible to the wide majority like both it’s successors where.


Visuals: 5/10

Graphically Skyrim was superior to it’s predecessors, but I cannot truly say that the game was astounding in that respect. In fact, I would have to say that while it was aesthetically pleasing in many respects namely the detail, and could be further improved by mods; the graphical glitches even without any mods where often poorly done or just outright bad.

Another thing that bothered me was that while still a step up from Oblivion’s scenery, they where fairly bland and repetitive outdoors with very little variance. It was either Mountains, Forests, Marsh, or plains… And almost always… SNOW. The castles, dungeons, and ruins where generic to their categories so that every Dwemer Ruin was a “typical” Dwemer Ruin and every Nord Burial site was the same basically… there where some minor variances  obviously in each site, but the “decor” was always the same. It was a large world of the same stuff copy pasted with minor changes to give the illusion of having a grand scope. The NPC’s all seemed similar to me after I began noticing the same face with some random NPC’s save for different Armour or clothing. The clothing was not distinctive and you would thing that you would get more visual variety with a game that came around eight years after Morrowind (I am referring to Skyrim if you didn’t that) but all I see is more detail, not variety. A larger world with less terrain types. Basically a huge disappointment.



The game had an epic sound track and main menu music. The reason I love it so much is that it was Morrowind’s theme music with words (albeit made up dragon tongue, but who’s to say that isn’t awesome?) Also, if you don’t blast a Dragon out of the sky with dual cast thunder bolt or chain lightning, it was pretty cool having that same music being played in the background and gave an epic sense to what I consider an ordinary battle since dragons where anything but epic without that music. Shouts, especially the male shouts (no sexism intended) sounded pretty cool when coupled with their effects (ok not all the shouts, mainly Unrelenting Force and that Ice Form one…)!

One thing that did bother me was the tired recycling of voices for characters. Before anyone actually argues that the game is immense is scope and as such it is inevitable that characters repeatedly use the same sentence like the notorious meme “I used to be an adventurer like you” or the much less known but significantly more annoying “for Sovngarde!”; I would just like to state that I can live with repetitive lines but not when they don’t really make sense. I mean to say that I get it when a Nord regardless of what political faction they favor scream “for Sovngarde!” right before I cut them down where they stand for defying me. Why? Because they believe they are dyeing a heroic death and would be rewarded by going to Sovngarde, but why in hell would a bandit cry that before going to work?! I mean REALLY? how lazy is that?!


Story: 5/10

Visuals: 5/10

Gameplay: 7/10

Sound: 6/10

Total: 5.75/10 (Acceptable)

Please refer to our Score Guide

This game is for:

Open world fans

Elder Scrolls Series Fan

Lore enthusiasts

Easy going RPG players with time

RPG Sandbox enthusiasts



Author: Figment View all posts by