Skyrim skyrockets

The possibilities are endless

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Todd Miller | Collegio Reporter

The long-awaited fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series was finally released on Nov. 11. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim appears well worth the wait.

Skyrim not only feels like a very complete game, but also goes above and beyond that. There’s so much in Skyrim, there’s no way I could take in every possibility in the three days I had to play it. I don’t’ think four weeks would be enough.

“Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” 2011

“Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” 2011

The actual plotline of Skyrim isn’t too involved. The player character starts as a prisoner from another land, but before he or she can be executed, a dragon (creatures expected to be extinct by this point) attacks, both saving and endangering the life of the player. The player spends the rest of that plot tree trying to find out why the dragons have returned while understanding the power within them.

But that’s just one plot thread in a fabric store of the game. There are so many storylines, plot trees and characters to interact with, the player is pretty much guaranteed to never run out of things to do.

Bethesda has created a huge and real-feeling world, and you can go anywhere and look at it all, regardless of your progress through the plot.

Sometimes, the realism goes to the point of breaking traditional RPG archetypes. For example, if you sell too much to a shopkeeper, they’ll run out of money. This can be good or bad, depending on how annoying you find it.

The role-playing part of the game is personable, as you can choose what skills to use depending on how you want to run your character.

If you want to do sword fighting and alchemy, you can. If you want to cast healing magic and double in blacksmithing, you can. You can focus on two or three things, or practice in everything. The game is free enough to let players do whatever they want.

The graphics are wonderful. In ordinary scenes, things just look really nice but there are other places where the environment is beautifully done. Sometimes, I found myself going around just to look at all the pretty environments.

It’s not perfect. There are some clipping issues, especially if you pull the camera out into the third-person view. But that tends not to happen too often, and takes a back seat to the game’s beauty.

The controls are pretty tight, though the default settings tend to be a little sensitive. However, I played the game on an unfamiliar system so I had a little trouble. But the game is good about explaining things to new players and it is a simple matter of learning how to do anything.

What I heard of the music was pretty and environmental. However, the game tends to pull me away from the music with the action, so I don’t remember it well. The audio levels can be changed so that the music is dominant.

The game keeps up a good difficulty curve. Most monsters are balanced to be around the same level as the player character, but enough so that the game isn’t simplified in areas you’ve been to before. It does a good job of keeping up the challenge without it seeming impossible.

Another plus: The game is forgiving about deaths as long as you remember to save frequently.

Overall, Skyrim is a well-made game that people could have fun with in many different ways. Just avoid the chickens and have a blast.

Skyrim is available on the Playstation 3, the X-Box 360 and is available for download from Steam for the PC.

Rating: 95%

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