Looking back on Skyrim

We are at a point where we like to play games, get our fill of them, then move on. Often times the games will sit on the shelf (or the HDD) never to be played again. But there are a select few that keep us coming back. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim continues to pull me back into its RPG clutches and I am about to discuss why.

Setting

Skyrim takes us to a beautiful, wide open land full of adventure and discovery. Often times we refer to it as the “world” of Skyrim but in actuality it’s a continent or land contained within a bigger world. But you wouldn’t be able to tell from the start when you see the size of the land as shown on the map. Vast open fields, dense forests, mountain sides white with snow, Skyrim has it all. That encourages exploration and the feeling of anxiety never knowing who or what you may encounter. Most of the games we play have very strict limitations on where the player can go and what he or she can do. The world of Skyrim gives us the feeling that there are no limits to what we can see and do.

Gameplay

Here was an area where I was torn. On one hand the gameplay was fun, unique and, challenging. On the other hand, frustrating and unbalanced. Playing a game and being able to explore every nook and cranny is an amazing feeling. Walking into a home or other structure, picking up objects or books, and snooping all over is addicting. Also the feeling of being able to speak to just about anyone walking by makes the world feel alive. But the combat always felt as if it were lacking. Dragon shouts and spells are effective and entertaining but swinging my sword around like a madman, not so much. Skyrim is also a game where there are no backflips, side steps or dodge rolls but some enemies are very fast and agile making the combat feel a bit unbalanced. But there were awesome moments where bashing a baddie with the shield following it up with a powerful blow from my enchanted sword felt empowering. Overall when there is so many other things to see and do, combat issues seem very small.

Story

Here is also another weak area of Skyrim but, this is concerning the main story. You have to understand that Skyrim has a main narrative but there are also a plethora of other small stories to keep you occupied. You can join guilds, become a resident in the various towns and, side with powerful individuals, all of this containing their own stories and quests. So playing for the main story only is the wrong way to play. Getting fully involved in the world, exploring all of the towns, reading the books scattered about and, speaking with everyone you meet is the way to enjoy what the game has to offer as far as story goes. Even some of the smaller miscellaneous quest have interesting plots. Although the main story is lacking in a lot of ways there is still so much more Skyrim has to offer. And I have yet to play the expansions that were released over the last couple of years!

If you have finished Skyrim try to go back to it. You are bound to find more to accomplish and more to appreciate. If you have never played the game at all, now is a good time to find it at a budget price. And paying very little for over a 100 hours of gameplay is never a bad thing. Going back to Skyrim is one of the best gaming decisions I made in 2014.

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