The largest open-world experience hit video game consoles in 2011 when Bethesda released The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Skyrim would earn critical praise and massive commercial success by most of the video game community. It’s one of the most popular games in history and guess what? I don’t like it. I used to be an adventurer like you until I took an arrow to the knee in this Skyrim review.
You are the Dragonborn, it is your destiny to free Skyrim of dragons because they have returned whether most people believe it or not to wreak havoc on the land. You find yourself captured in Helgen about to be beheaded until a dragon flies overhead and sets the city on fire. You’re able to escape with other prisoners and after the basic tutorial level, you are set to do whatever you wish, and I mean whatever.
Aside from saving Skyrim from Dragons, there is another main quest and that is to unite Skyrim as it is under political distress. The Empire is fighting a rebel clan called the Stormcloaks. There is no clear-cut bad side between the two factions, it is merely different political views. The Stormcloaks want only Nords (humans) to have Skyrim and want to ban other religions. I was surprised that I viewed them more as the bad guys than the Empire during my Skyrim review. Usually, in most stories, the Empire is evil, but that wasn’t the case in the game so I joined the Empire which accepted all races and wanted peace among its country.
195 hours, 42 minutes, and 45 fucking seconds.
That is how long it took me to beat the game and complete my Skyrim review. I didn’t even complete every quest or explore every cave, although I certainly tried. This game was so ambitious but because it was, it had many flaws that I just couldn’t overlook.
I never thought I would ever say this but the game is just too damn big. It’s an open-world setup but the layout is massive. Mountains, rivers, lakes, caves, cities, towns, outposts, towers, forests, you name it, they created it. Except for a volcano, which surprised me.
The missions for the Empire were about the most fun my Skyrim review got. They included the basic clear-out Stormcloak forts, intercept letters, defend a city, and finally invade a city. I did this at the very end of the game after exploring about 90 percent of every nook and cranny of Skyrim. I was leveled up so high that I was a one-man wrecking crew and often ignored any suggestions from my general about teamwork because I was the grim reaper. Anytime I touched an enemy they died before my feet, and it took three blows at once from three different enemies to even damage my health bar. I was unstoppable.
I give credit to my OCD of searching every cave and taking on every quest that was given to me. My countless hours of level grinding during my Skyrim review and cave exploration led me to become a war god in battle. I feared no one, and even the final boss took less than a minute to defeat and barely did any damage to me.
The sheer amount of customization in Skyrim is amazing. You can be just about anything you want, and for almost a year I thought I was living in another world. You can pick from a few different races and choose between different classes with how you battle. The weapons and magic spells are almost endless, and in every city, there are so many quests to do and skills to learn it becomes overwhelming. You can learn different magic, blacksmithing, cooking, alchemy, enchanting, lumbering, seriously, just about anything in the real world you can do in Skyrim, and that includes getting married.
Those were the cool and ambitious parts of playing Skyrim, but there were many flaws too. Many of these flaws during my Skyrim review brought my level of excitement for it to a screeching halt and made it a chore to play. These flaws overcame the fun for Skyrim and ultimately ruined the game for me.
When someone creates a game so big, there are bound to be problems with it. Well, there were. There was lag from time to time in battle. Occasionally, I found my character randomly stuck on a log or between rocks unable to move. I would have to reload my game wiping over an hour of gameplay that I had to redo. The graphics were far from polished, and sometimes in a cave or castle, if you toggled the camera, the interior would become see-through and glitchy. But wait, there is more!
Loading screens that are required when you enter almost every door vary on loading time. Sometimes, it would take a few seconds, other times it would take five minutes and in some cases, it took so long to load that I shut my PS3 off because I assumed the game froze. When you fight a dragon, their carcass would disappear after some time which was supposed to happen. Sometimes, however, a dragon would be defeated inside of a city. As in the case of the city of Whiterun, I defeated a dragon early on in the game inside the city. Whenever I returned to the city, (It was where I called home) the dragon’s body would reappear right in front of a shop making it near impossible to enter the shop and trade goods.
Want to know other glitches I faced during my Skyrim review? Let’s talk about my bow and arrows. Occasionally, I would try my luck with my bow to take down a dragon, well midway through the game, my arrows stopped flying. I Googled what the hell was the matter with them, and found out this was a common glitch in the game. It would randomly stop after you “shot” hundreds of arrows. Sometimes, if you didn’t do the quest in the correct order, the arrow on the map which would direct you to the next step in the quest would remain there even if you had finished the quest. You can take one companion with you on your quests, if they are killed then they are gone forever (most of the time) I went through a ton of companions during the game as many died in battle. (Whoops!) but one of the more frustrating things was when a companion would be killed and you return to a city to recruit another person only to see the same companion alive and well, ready to quest with you. Sometimes, I would purposely behead my companion to see if they would show up alive at the fort or wherever they were previously before I recruited them, and sure enough, they were like a lost puppy, happy to see me, ready to go fight by my side.
I can’t tell you enough how frustrating and annoying these glitches in my Skyrim review were for me and how much it really took away from a game that had great quests and battle mechanics. Skyrim reminded me of a school project that a student was very ambitious about. They started the project with a bunch of ideas and cool features but in the end, didn’t have enough power to do everything they wanted and ultimately turn into a sloppy product after being on the verge of producing something great.
In the end, after uniting Skyrim and saving it from dragons, I retired my character to his home in Whiterun. I unpacked everything and put the equipment in the chest, and changed into my underwear. I bid farewell to the world of Skyrim and laid my character to rest forever in his bed.
I played Skyrim every day after work for a few months. I’d get home at around 5:15 PM and play until 8:30 PM forcing myself to play every quest I found. I’d get so mad at the game because of the glitches and it ended up ruining my experience. Once I beat the game, I didn’t know what to do with my time after work. I’m sure I did something much less frustrating.
Skyrim Review Score:
A huge world filled with quests and characters is ruined by endless glitches and headaches.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim scores a 6.4 out of 10.
What would you write in your Skyrim review? Do you remember when Skyrim first came out? Were you able to beat the game? Who did you side with? What was your character like and how many glitches did your game have? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!