For the past couple years this game has been sitting untouched in my Steam library. Until recently, I've never actually downloaded it and played it. This week though, I did just that. Not only have I never played this game before, but I've also never played any of The Elder Scrolls games before. When this game came out back in 2013 I'd stepped away from gaming for a bit and lately I've been trying to get caught up on games that I'd missed out on back then. Without further ado, let's get into this review!
Visually, this game is gorgeous! That was the first thing that I really noticed when I'd started playing. From what I've heard, the special edition version of this game (which is the one that I own and have been playing) is a remastered version of the original game that came out back in 2013. Everything about the massive world of Skyrim is really breathtaking from the huge open valleys to the tops of the snow covered mountains! I haven't even tried out mods yet. What I've seen comes vanilla with this game! With Skyrim Special Edition, everything looks so surreal and scenic. I love it!
Gameplay wise, there's quite a bit to talk about. The first thing to note is that this is an open-world RPG game set in medieval times. The world is huge with so many locations to discover that in my 16 hours of playtime so far that I haven't even began to scratch the surface! I talked previously about how huge the world of Final Fantasy 15 was and I think that this game's world is probably even bigger than that one was. Luckily, there's a fast travel option in the game to where you can instantly travel to locations that's you've previously visited. Without it, just traveling would feel like a grind in and of itself.
Throughout the game you'll see many different villages and talk to countless people throughout the world of Skyrim. You have merchants who'll sell you stuff, bandits who are always wanting to start a fight, and numerous people who will give you quests to complete for various rewards. It seems like anytime you complete one though, five more pop up in it's place. When I first heard of people spending hundreds of hours playing this game I thought it was ludicrous. After having 16 hours of play time so far and only completing a couple dozen quests at most, I can see why it's so easy to get lost in this game for so long.
This game reminds me a lot of Fable which is a game that I played so many years ago. You have the choice of whether you want to be good, bad, or a bit of both. Here lately, I've found myself stealing and pickpocketing quite a bit to try to have enough gold to buy a house in Whiterun. It seems like every time I get close to having that 5,000 gold needed that I'm always needing to buy potions as I'm encountering a lot of fights from both angry villagers whom I stole from as well as the various beasts that roam the land.
Speaking of beasts, let's quickly talk about them. There's a lot of them. From wolves to crabs to trolls to dragons, there's so many different beasts to try to kill. One of the first thoughts that I had about Skyrim when I first started playing was, "Everything is trying to kill me!". That's something that you'll learn quite early on in your playthrough of this game. A weapon, armor, and potions aren't just nice to have, they're required if you want to live! It's "kill or be killed" in the wilderness of Skyrim.
Leveling is something else that I want to touch on really quick. Not only do you gain levels like in most games, but you also have various skills to try to level up. Some things deal with more traditional armor and weapon skills while some deal more with things like magick and pickpocketing. The race that you choose at the beginning of the game will also influence these things, but once you've picked your race, you're stuck with it. No need to fear though, no matter what race you choose, you can still be a master of all trades assuming you take the time and dedication required to hone all of them.
Throughout my 16 hours of playtime so far, I tried really really hard to pick out something... anything that I didn't like about this game. Even some of my favorite games of all time I can find something to nitpick at. With Skyrim though, I just can't find anything that I don't love about this game. It's an incredible game in every sense of the word and now I've finally seen first-hand why so many people have fallen in love with this game over the years!
I never thought this day would come, but the first time ever I'm giving a game a...
Final Score: 10/10
"It's a flawless masterpiece of a game in every sense of the word!"