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This highly anticipated fifth installment of Bethesda Studio’s high-flying series brings the story of Dragonborn on his quest through Skyrim. Packed with beautiful graphics, a stunning landscape, and epic sounds, Skyrim is sure to make all your weekend fantasies come alive.
Graphics — 4.5/5
Though the CGI on Skyrim isn’t entirely HD when zoomed from up close, the beautiful landscape and an epic soundtrack completely capture the imagination. The developers did a great job of cranking up on the titan that was Oblivion. During the tamer moments of the game, you will notice that the scenes are a bit pixelated. However, this shouldn’t take any of the excitement away from playing Skyrim.
Gameplay — 5/5
You are the Dragonborn, and you are on a quest to destroy dragon Alduin – the prophesied world eater. This mission takes you through the province of Skyrim, with a memorable landscape that adds to the experience that was already in Oblivion’s Cyrodiil.
The environment in Skyrim consists of dungeons, forests, fortresses, villages, and a whole host of other open habitats. Horses are back in this game, and you can use them to move through the entire province, or you can warp to locations much faster. At the beginning of the game, players can select from a variety of races such as humans, elves or orcs and customize their appearance in the game.
You have three main attributes in the game: health, stamina, and magicka. Though they get depleted, you can replenish them by casting spells or creating potions. You’ll also encounter formidable dragon foes, which also engage NPCs. As the Dragonborn, you can use the “Thu’um” which is a mighty Dragon shout from hidden words to cast spells.
Controls — 4/5
The controls on Xbox are quite suitable for the RPG style of Skyrim, although on occasion the player movement is a bit sluggish. Movement such as sprinting and sneaking, or switching from left to right hands, is fairly easy with the controller, and you can also quickly toggle between first and third person. Customizable controls work for players like myself, who are yet to make the transition from PlayStation to Xbox fully.
Replay Value — 4.5/5
The game doesn’t have the most memorable combat sessions, but the locations are stunning, and you’ll quickly get addicted. Conflict is bound to arise in Skyrim, so the action always keeps you on the edge of your seat. Your new role as the Dragonborn sees you rise through the ashes and transform into something akin to a god, with improvements from your efforts. The opposition always has mostly single combat strategies, so you might need to vary your approach.
The Bottom Line
Though Skyrim has a lot of graphics development flaws that you may eventually notice if you play long enough, they are not nearly enough to affect the content and exciting storyline of the game. Skyrim has excellent gameplay, fluid controls, visually stunning locations, and a fantastic storyline that might just turn you into a couch potato.
You can get lost in Skyrim for weeks, and you can easily see why this is the best in the Elder Scrolls franchise thus far.
Replay Value 4.5
Lackluster combat scenes.