The year was 2011, and it was a long, five years since Elder Scrolls fans got a taste of the award-winning franchise. Then came the release of one of the most revolutionary games ever made: Skyrim. With graphics three years ahead of its time, as well as improved game mechanics and an instantly vast world to explore, the game quickly became a cult classic, greatly succeeding its predecessor, Oblivion. Five-years later, to mark its fifth year anniversary, Bethesda decided to bring back the dragon-slaying fun with an immensely improved graphics engine. Bethesda, once again shows why they are the kings of open world RPGS.
In the first moments in the game, your character is carted down a valley with some prisoners; immediately, you can see the amount of detail and effort that Bethesda puts into remastering the legendary title. As you get to the bottom of the valley, you see a beautiful stone pathway down to the village; it seems to have a heavy military presence. You then see a prisoner; another tries to run but is killed by one of guards, showing the brutality of these people who call themselves the Imperials. You are then introduced to one of the most adept customization menus ever, where you get to choose between 10 races and 100’s of other options, from eye color to voice. Once you’re done creating your character, a cut scene occurs in which a dragon attacks, and you escape its wrath into the land of Skyrim. Through the rest of game, the choice is up you: do you want to pillage and play your own way, or do you want to become the “Dragonborn” and save Skyrim from the dragon threat that may end Skyrim’s people– or maybe even both? That’s the beauty of the Elder Scrolls series: you can do what you choose to do, not follow a set mandatory story.
One thing that sticks out immediately for anyone that has picked up the game is the sound track, composed by award winning Jeremy Soule, who has done the music for such movies and games as Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic; he truly catches the image of the Nordic time and the excitement and thrills that wait for you in the game. Another great feature of Skyrim is the random events and happenings that occur. Thus, every time you boot up Skyrim, your experience will almost never be the same.
Even though Skyrim has won many awards, there still are some issues. The biggest problem that comes up is that a new player may experience problems with the game controls, which can come across as complex; however, if you are an Experienced Elders Scrolls fan, this game uses the same controls that Oblivion used. Another problem is that the dialogue is often repeated when interacting with various characters, which at times is acceptable but can become irritating after a while. The only other issue is the length of playtime; the main story can take up to 80-90 hours long to complete, and some players may find this overbearing.
Though being an old favorite, this new remastered edition shows many fans how the Elder Scrolls beat the test of time in order to ensure its original theme and aesthetics. Not only does this game bring a massive variety of new and innovating ideas, but provides many hours of slaying and playing. At the very least, this game is revolutionary, and at the most, a must-pick up for fans of open world style games.