Thursday, 16 February 2012

Skyrim - Review

So finally had the chance to get deeper into this massive game a couple weeks ago.  Now that I've got some more time into the game, and completed some more of the bigger side quests, I am hooked.  Now my character is around level 36, I'm the archmage of the college, a Companion, and taking part in the Stormcloak's side of the civil war.  I have yet to finish the main quest, but I'm in no hurry at this point.  I'm now working on getting better equipment, and saving up to buy some of the homes.
At first I was somewhat put off by the low details for a PC game of 2010's, but then I discovered the world of mods (  I knew there were mods, but thought they were more mods to make the game easier, or to add weapons.  But there are mods that re-skin characters, and the most important mod to me, was the improved texture mods that installs higher resolution textures to the game, so things look a lot better.  I was also surprised at how easy it is to install and remove mods, which definitely helped.  I was under the preconception that I needed to do a lot of file editing to work the mods in, but was quite surprised that there's an easy installer that manages it.  Approximately a week ago, Bethesda released their official mod "shop".  Along with their official higher resolution texture pack.  I tried it out, and unfortunately it was not as good as the current mod I had installed.  So I removed it and re-applied the mod I had previously.  There was a video that Bethesda made to show off the mods, and there were quite a few that I would definitely like to see.  Such as the spear weapon, fighting while on a horse and the dynamic platforms for dungeons.

So back to the game itself.  After doing a bunch of side quests and some of the main quests, I think there should've been more variety in the main quest, maybe make some of the side quests mandatory instead of being completely optional.  Maybe not the entire series of quests, but at least a couple.  It would complicate the story a bit more, but I am sure a good writer can find a way to tie things in.  Maybe force the player to pick a side of the civil war before progressing through the story, then have their first sign of the character being a dragonborn happen when a dragon interupts a battle between the two sides? 

The levelling is done really well here, and I like how they did the skill treats with one exception.  The smithing skill tree should've been approached differently.  I feel that instead of using a skill point to unlock a type of smithing, that you should have to go somewhere to learn it, like learning magic from books.  Looking at it now, it is somewhat doesn't make sense when you can just suddenly know how to make weapons of a certain material/style without reading something or learning from another blacksmith.  I think that would have been more interesting than the way its currently setup.  Then you open up the oppertunity for different perks within that skill tree. 

The voice acting is really good, and you can see a lot of attention was given to this.  Although, after 40+ hours, you do start recognizing the voices. 

The dragons are done very well, and was surprised a couple of times when they randomly attacked me while I was walking around.  The sound of the wings flapping, and the sudden change in music adds to the excitement.  Although once you get a bit higher in level, they don't feel as dangerous, although they still have a chance of instant killing you if you stand still for too long.  Yes, it happened to me a few times already, dragon almost dead, and then the game slows down a bit and I get the animation of the dragon biting down and throwing me across the field.

The only other "complaint" I have about the game is in the begining, not much instruction is given.  It took me a while to realize I could use magic without going to the college, or know how to sprint.  Also the favourites menu was discovered only after watching some videos on youtube.  But the game was still enjoyable as it actually provided more of a challenge.  The only frustrating part was trying to visit the greybeards and because I didn't know I could cast magic, so I had to run away from the Frost Troll.  I swear I went up that mountain about a dozen times before deciding to tell my follower to wait at the bottom, and just make a run for it past the troll.

So in the end, I would say, this game is definitely one to get, especially for PC, since the mods add so much to the game and I am glad I did not get it on a console in this case.  The game is massive, lots of side quests, lots of things to see and do.  I can't wait to see what new stuff comes out.

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