|System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC|
|Dev: Bethesda Games Studios|
|Pub: Bethesda Games Studios|
|Release: November 11, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol|
However, aside my unfortunate world-crashing experience, I found the Skyrim universe to be incredibly immersive. The developers have taken great pains to pay attention to even the smallest detail. Any object can be picked up, dropped or used; every animal can be stabbed; and every NPC is willing to have some type of discussion. Well, it would probably be more accurate to say that mostobjects can be picked up. Larger objects like rocks and furniture are still immobile, but it definitely doesn't detract from the overall experience. You know how you can steal all of the towels and shampoo bottles from your hotel, but the TV is nailed to the wall? It's kind of like that.
It's probably worth noting that this isn't a direct sequel to Oblivion—and this is a good thing. Skyrim's plot is set a couple hundred years after the events of Oblivion and in a completely different location. Also, both the graphics and gameplay have received roughly 200 years worth of upgrades. The controls feel somewhat less clunky than its predecessor and the combat system isn't nearly as frustrating. However, it's definitely not perfect, and hopefully it won't take Bethesda 200 more years to work out the kinks.
Also, if you consider that Skyrim might be the biggest open-world game ever made, it's incredibly impressive that they've also managed to make it easily accessible to the non-RPG lover. The controls are straightforward and intuitive and the character setup (armor, weapons, magic, etc) has been wonderfully simplified since the last Elder Scrolls incarnation. I'm sure some of the hardcore fans will argue that it's overly simplistic, and they might be right, but there's a certain level of elegance in its streamlined interface.
In the end, Skyrim will be hailed as both the best and worst title of the year depending on whom you ask. RPG gamers who look for subtle storytelling and endless replay value are going to love every minute. But gamers that have even a slight problem with impatience will quickly become frustrated. However, even the most devoted naysayer has to admit that Skyrim is at the top of its genre, and that's no small feat.
Also, killing dragons will never get old.
CCC Contributing Writer