I'll just preface this review by telling the reader who I am. 65 years old and now quite curmudgeonly. Fell in love with rpg games when my boss lent me his zx81 with a copy of the hobbit, from then on I was hooked.
I bought a vic20, then a c64, then an Amiga, etc etc. I have played every rpg off and and online. Offline Bards Tale was to me the best, some of the Final Fantasy series came close, online Everquest gave me the best experiences in gaming in my life, and many many good friends, who I met in the real world, and proved to be as nice in RL as in VR.
I have played all of the forerunners of Skyrim, and never got hooked, no more than 9 months ago I sold my copy of Oblivion on Amazon Marketplace, and threw my Oblvion guide in the recycle bin, yes stupid with a capital S
Back to now, bought Skyrim, hoping that it could the void, and so it did.
If you look at other reviews you well see many criticisms for bugs and loading lags, well they are all legitimate, but it has improved on the PS3.
There are still gfx bugs, and other glitches. The final line however is how enjoyable is the game, and in my book it gets full marks.
The size of the world is amazing, you can go anywhere; just wander about and collect ingredients, mine ores and kill stuff.
Quests are everywhere, with huge rewards, and on many occasions when you make a kill, you are rewarded with a slow motion cut scene of the kill.
Weapons, armour, skills, crafts it has it all.
I have recently broke 200 hours of playtime, and looking at the map and available quests, I would guess there is at least another 200 hours at least in the game.
So the bottom line is that Skyrim, has put the fire back into an old gamers heart.
And just to add more spice to the meal, we have Kingdoms of Amalur in a few weeks, happy days.
on 11 April 2012
Usually this type of game doesn't really interest me but after hearing all the hype about it and seeing video clips I thought I must give it a go and all I can say is it is stunning!
Do whatever you want: Once you've done the start you are pretty free to do whatever you want go live in a village and work for someone or get a weapon and go out and explore the wonderful carefully crafted world that's been made for you to explore. You can tell the game makers have spent loads of time and detail to make it wonderful.
Dragon Born: Your character is special they are a dragon born which means you can use shouts and absorb dragon souls when you kill them this gives you a important role in some parts of the game and in the main story line.
Gameplay: So much to do! I've been playing for 3 months now and still have a huge list of quests to do its amazing its like an unlimited amount of adventures in this game something which not many games have to offer, I would say well done to the creators and writers of this game on spending so much time on quests and storylines.
Good graphics and detail everywhere.
Very good gameplay.
Only takes about 5 minutes of playing to realize this game is a masterpiece.
Plenty to do.
Difficulty settings if you are new to this type of game make it a bit easier or if you want more of a challenge you can adjust it to make you happy.
You can be a mage, archer, or a armed warrior.
Some bugs and glitches around which every game has but there are some missions that don't work.
Some people say the same thing over and over again it gets annoying.
I'm not fond of the navigation system and maps I find it hard to get to the quests sometimes.
Sometimes the quests could explain a bit more on what your meant to do.
I don't often play games and write reviews that say this is one of the best games ever but it has to be said for this one. This game holds a big adventure for you a massive wonderful world waiting to be explored now go and slay some dragons!
on 12 November 2011
2 days in, 30 hours down, grip on reality ebbing ...
As an experienced RPG gamer, I am not easy to please. I want true freedom in character creation. I want an excellent story (sorry Dragon Age 2, you really let me down). I want the best swords, axes, spells, enchantments, robes, shields and even books/journal entries (depending on the RPG) possible. I want bloodthirsty enemies and damsels in distress. I want excellent graphics. I want well-thought out side quests and sandbox style play. I want maps that are actually exciting to explore. I want that experience when you turn a corner and have absolutely no idea what to expect. I want the detail. I want a game you can get lost in, and give up your life for. And most of all, I want DRAGONS.
There is absolute delivery here on all of those things and more.
This game goes back to its Oblivion roots and thankfully Bethesda have listened to what the fans wanted and removed many annoying elements that plagued the prequel. Lots of the pointless skill attributes have been removed to streamline the experience (inteligence for one), and other little graphical issues (swimming anyone?) have been much improved.
The game runs on a new graphics engine and thats plain to see from the draw distance and stunning vistas, to the way the water runs down the river with the spray and ripple effects. I played Oblivion on both the PC and PS3 and after seeing this run on both, I think the difference is smaller this time in terms of quality- really pushing what the PS3 is capable of.
The learning curve to get in to the game is shallow by comparison to other RPG's, and its not that which will put off the first time Elder Scrolls adventurer but the shear scale of the world you live in- its beyond words and something you'd usually associate with a massively multiplayer online game. Even I (a hardcore geek gamer!) was slightly intimidated by its scale. But that only adds to the immersive nature of the Skyrim world- hours flash by in seconds as you explore that tiny little cranny behind the stables, or have a swim down the river just to see where it takes you. I have never quite felt so involved in a game before.
If you like a nice chronological gaming experience, with limited choice and mainly hacking and slashing (bah, you unimaginative types) then this game probably isn't for you. Otherwise, buy it now.
Just don't expect your friends/family/boss/significant other to be too pleased about it- you're giving up 100+ hours of your life. And wow, is it worth it.
on 10 April 2012
This is an absolute must have game!
It has an incredibly immersive map, and you would think therefore that overall it lacks detail, but you would be wrong. You can spend hours simply exploring a few crypts, and once outside there is a beautifully constructed landscape awaiting you. The graphics load smoothly, and while I have experienced the occasional lag in terms of the textures loading, there have been no serious issues.
The main storyline is good, but it is the sheer number of side quests that make this game excellent. The side quests are well thought out, and include detailed plots, and numerous NPC's will have some form of small task for you to complete.
The level-up system is a joy to use, with a clear description of what each perk gives you, and working your way toward those perks is not arduous at all.
The number of things you can do in the game is overwhelming, from simply chopping wood to crafting your very own set of dragon armour, and the range of skills is incredible
However, I have experienced some trouble with this game. Once, a dragon I was fighting duplicated, the original disappeared, and the second dragon just circled over head, not attacking and I wasn't able to harm it.. Once or twice the game has come to a shuddering halt, and frozen (but not often). But do not let these deter you from getting this game! A quick restarting of the console, and it was as good as new.
It easily makes its way into my top five, and if you get it, i'm sure it will be in yours too.
on 18 November 2011
Bethesda create worlds. That world is Tamriel, a land of great beauty and breathtaking spectacle and Skyrim, it's northern province, is no exception.
The art design is fantastic, the soundtrack glorious, the quantity and quality of things to experience within it's cold, jagged enviroment are a testament to the ability of Bethesda to craft a living, breathing sandbox.
Character development has been trimmed and refined, stats are gone but the rpg element is not dumbed down. Progression feels far more natural with no need to game the system to pump up the stats you want, with each level providing an opportunity to increase health, magicka or stamina, along with a perk. Each choice has a tangible effect on how you play the game and beefing up a particular skills' perk tree is very satisfying. Combat, magical and melee, feel the best in the series yet, stealth and archery are also very well done.
Graphics are improved over Oblivion and Fallout 3, but not by that much, yet again it is the art design that is so much better. From the grimy, earthy look of the Nords to the sleek and deadly Dark Elf, the characters look more natural and less plastic wrapped and shiny than those of Oblivion. Voice acting too is better for the most part although there is one awful voice actor who seems a regular in these games who sounds like a teacher reading to a class of infants. Max Von Sydow and Christopher Plummer lend their talents to the game so the bad is certainly eclipsed by the good.
The quests come thick and fast and it is not long before you have a shopping list of tasks to complete and many will lead you to the underside of Skyrim, to the dungeons and crypts. I have enjoyed each and every barrow, temple, tower and treacherous cave i have assaulted. They are well designed and feel hand crafted. Each has a tale to tell and while there is no lengthy exposition explaining the back story it is perfectly illustrated in the details of the surroundings.
The game has the usual Bethesda glitches and bugs. Dragon corpses and other dead bodies you just wish would disappear sometimes seem to drop from the sky right before you, performing a shaky, shaky limb dance before they come to rest. I had one decapitated enemies head thrown at me whenever i re-entered a particular area, flung by his angry ghost perhaps. These, along with some other oddities, are little things and have become part of the Bethesda experience and is an easy price to pay for a game of such scope and depth.
So why two stars for such an amazing game?
The PS3 version of Skyrim plays progessively worse the more time you spend in it. The PS3 owners i know who have also bought and played Skyrim suffer from the same problem (we don't have a decent PC j/k) the game reaches a point, after you have sunk many hours into it, where it starts lagging. And the lag gets worse and worse. It effectively kills possibly one of the best, most well crafted and involving games i have played in ages. Maybe ever. Travelling outside or heading into a town becomes unplayable, controller functions non-responsive. It is heartbreaking.
If the lag problem was fixed i would recommend Skyrim without question to those with the time and desire to explore and experience a fantastic world. You still can for the first 20-40 hours of play but just as you start to really dig into the game it starts flaking out on you. Some PS3 owners seem to not suffer the problem as soon as others and maybe there are some lucky owners who haven't suffered at all with the lag. But for me unfortunately Skyrim is a masterpiece of gaming that revealed itself to be broken.
on 19 April 2016
Even after all these years, this Bethesda series still brings joy and hours of entertainment. An engaging story, gameplay and the ultimate freedom make this one of my favourites to this day. My only wish is that they would release an updated version for the modern consoles such as PS4 and Xbox One, so I wouldn't need to wire up my PS3 for this all the time.
Sure I could play this on the PC with mods, but I much prefer console play.
on 27 December 2011
You'll love it for being so good but hate it for being better..
This game is VAST.. I mean seriously huge. You'll get 300 hours of game play at least out of it. It's addictive and enthralling. You will get lost in this world and find it incredibly hard to put it down as one quest leads seamlessly onto another. Value for money wise, it's got to beat everything else out there hands down.
Here you have a game of breathtaking scale that interweaves action with character building, crafting, exploration and shaping the course of a land's history.. with dragon slaying. What's not to like?
It's a really good game, but as it turns out there are a few things...
- It hangs/freezes regularly. About every hour or two in my case and it seems to have gotten worse with the last two updates - not better. This is frustrating to say the least.
- Glitches and bugs do pop up , most minor but there do exist a couple of major ones that affect your quest lines and cause dramatic drops in the enjoyment of it
- Loading times. The waiting every time you go inside, outside or (in some cases) change rooms of a building) are long and drag. I understand why they are there but I think they need to re-think the way/why/when and how they do this as it breaks up the gameplay too much in many instances.
- Difficulty. They have not quite got it nailed in my opinion. The start is ok, challenging enough and then it settles into a good curve more or less but by the time you get to level 40 it really starts to lose its shine because most things pose no threat to you whatsoever. Also the availability of things (items spells and stuff etc) is weird and not natural. eg. Why should there be less gold in a rich person's house because your level is low than later when you're more experienced? I think these sorts of things should be re-thought.
- Story and Character - the biggest issue with this game and the thing that stops a good game from being truly great. Like many MANY games out there, they get the 'what' you do sorted out but not really the 'why' you'd bother. No one has any charisma, personality or endearing qualities. The voice acting and general story writing is average and it feels like if they learnt a few lessons from Naughty Dog (Uncharted series) they'd have something truly great. They have spent years building thousands of different dungeons to pillage but it fails to get you excited enough to bother most of the time or provide any reason for you to care about any of the characters you should be helping - or not.
eg. There is a political struggle going on and you are pretty much expected to side with one faction or the other (Imperials or Stormcloak rebels) - but don't really have an option to choose neither. What if (like me) you think the Empire is a largely corrupt and fascist entity that has no legitimate claim to rule over others but then the Stormcloak rebels are a bunch of redneck white supremacists whose leader is a murderous egotistical megalomaniac who has no claim to rule others either? What can you do? Frankly if I'm the Dragonborn and can defeat Alduin, run three guilds and be a Thane of several regions I should either be able to suggest myself or tell them all to get knotted and undermine them by establishing an anarchist independent state.. but no.. I have to play along with this ridiculous feudal paradigm. Sigh.. anyway.. there's more.
Why are none of the special or amazing legendary quest items nowhere near as good as the stuff I can make myself? It cheapens things..
Why don't people remember/respect who you are? The world doesn't really change in any meaningful way as a result of your actions or achievements which takes a lot of the shine off.
Some things are earned too easily also. Eg. I (reluctantly) became the Arch Mage of the magical college just by completing the quests. I don't even use that much magic and (unfortunately) spend most of time killing endless undead in caves - not running an arcane academy. Am I the best person for the job? No. Did I have a choice? No.
I am now also the head of the Thieves Guild but still get treated like a common piece of dirt by my underlings when I pass through. I also have one quest where it still doesn't consider me to have completed the 'join the thieves guild' part of the quest when I'm supposedly running the place. Also why is almost every structure around the place run down? Anyway.. I could go on.. but the point is that it felt a bit rushed and while it is impressive in scope and brilliantly engineered to suck you in and take hours, days and even weeks of your life - it should be better I feel.
Buy it, enjoy it, be frustrated by it but keep the pressure on them to do better next time and write some fascinating stories and characters to bring the world truly alive.
on 6 March 2016
Overall I like the idea of a massive open world game and I love the story, but I admit I couldn't ever truly get on with this game, since it doesn't 'feel' like a console game, it feels like a pc game, and when you're playing a console game you don't want that. The problem may also have been with what happened pretty quickly (which kinda was my fault) where I attacked a friendly NPC, and after hitting him for about half a minute with no response he suddenly drew his sword and nearly decapitated me. Then he and his buddies chased me across half the map and apparently wouldn't listen to reason. I got lost very quickly in the vastness of this games story and map, and felt there wasn't enough to guidance at the start to prevent that.
Despite all this I still recognised the beauty of this world, and how engaging and immersive it could be, and I wish I had the patience to continue playing it as I believe I would come to love this game and maybe even find it is a bit addicting.
I wouldn't let my experience put you off playing this game though, and if you're a fan of open world games and RPG's, then I know you'll love Skyrim.
on 11 November 2011
I ordered Skyrim mid August 2011 and shock horror, it arrived one day before the official release date! How pleased was I. Very, I can tell you. The Elder Scrolls is evolving game after game. I found Morrowind a real chore, Oblivion was a bit better but levelling took forever. Now with Skyrim, everything feels more streamlined yet still as deep if not deeper than Oblivion. Combat feels easier. The controls feel tighter and the graphics are, well just incredible.
I am 10 hours in, level 5 and I have killed my first dragon. We'll actually I stayed well back so I didn't get fried then ran in and whacked it a couple of times. Whoo hoo. At age 53 I have been playing computer games for what 4o years. Eek! It's games like this that keep me playing. Must go. I have mountains to climb.
on 7 December 2011
This is a great game with a lot of potential - however, before you commit to purchasing the PS3 (or any version) do a bit of research on the current state of the game.
The game is buggy. It starts off fine enough and a lot of fun, however go to youtube and you can see the massive drop in framerate as the game goes on. More so, a lot of the quests are broken. The new patch (1.2 / 2.1) made the game worse. It bugged all forms of magic resistance and made dragons fly backwards and become quite...passive.
Worse, the newest report from Bethesda states:
"Updated 12/6: While the 1.2 update fixed the long-term play issues for most PS3 users, we are aware that is not the case for some. We've been reaching out to a number of those users to collect save games, so we can take a look at their specific issues. Right now we know it's not one thing, but a combination of smaller ones that some folks are seeing, but others are not. Some seem to be the PS3 autosaving in the background (you can turn that off), some may be SPU AI updates, and some may relate to dynamic system memory allocation. These fixes are not in the current 1.3 update that is in final testing, but will be in future ones. We understand how frustrating it can be when your game is having issues, and we thank all of you for your continued feedback and patience. Rest assured we take your gameplay experience seriously and will continue working on this until it's resolved. "
This means that we won't have a working game for quite some time. The 1.3 patch isn't even out yet, and they already stated it won't fix our problems. Don't bother getting this now. Wait for a Game of the Year edition... as with Oblivion, which took them over a year to get the game in a playable form.