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Two or three years late but whatever! We can't all buy stuff day one, right? Anyway, if you've been following my journal entries as I've started playing Skyrim you can probably tell how this review is gonna go down.

I hate complicated things, and Skyrim is a game with a deep and rich history that can be  very difficult for newbies like me to get into. Right off the bat the game throws all sorts of names, races, powers, legends, lore, etc at you. Too much of that can be a big turn off (heck I know people who still haven't read Lord of the Rings because there were too many names), but luckily Skyrim does a good job of easing players into the game.

There is a main campaign you have to follow to technically "beat" the game, but you don't have to follow it. The moment I had a chance to break free of the story I did so and I went exploring. That allowed me, a new person unfamiliar with any of the lore of the Elder Scrolls series, to experience the world at my own pace. The world is so enormous and diverse and full of nooks and crannies, it's incredibly easy to get lost in it. And bit by bit, you slowly start to learn the history of the land and it's people. I'm sure some will say "that's what the main quest is for!" but for my part I disagree. The main quest hindered my experience and being allowed to enjoy it on my own terms made it much more personal.

And that's one of the key aspects of Skyrim which is so unique. Every play-through is personalized. Your character grows as you play through an imaginative automated level up system. What you do affects how your character grows. If you hack and slash a lot, your aggressive attacks will automatically rise faster than others. If you sneak more, that will rise. The game keeps tabs on literally every single thing you do, and it uses those stats to make your character highly personal. You can be a jack of all trades, or you can focus all your energies on a single skill and obtain amazingly strong perks.

The world in Skyrim is enormous, another big draw. It's so massive and huge that even on multiple play-throughs you'll still find new places to explore and discover. The graphics don't always live up to the grandeur, as things can sometimes get a little sharp and polygonal, but there are moments when the graphics just astound me and paint beautiful landscapes with gorgeous skies. I've always enjoyed the woods and mountains, so being allowed to explore and play in such a tremendously huge world was a big bonus for me.

This is the sort of tech that I talk about wanting to see more of. GTA is a series with a huge massive over world where you can do practically anything you want... but the setting is someplace I don't want to play, with characters I don't want to play as. I love the tech behind GTA, but I hate the world it exists in. Skyrim gives me the same freedom but places me in a world that's much more conducive to my imagination. And the game allows me to create my character however I want. I can be male, female, fat, skinny, white, black, human, cat, lizard, gay, straight, etc. The amount of variety and options keeps making it such a personalize experience.

It's not without it's flaws, of course. With such a massive game there inevitably will be a lot of bugs and oddities you'll run into. Physics, for example, work on a very floaty rag-doll simulation that makes certain things feel like they're drifting in transparent water. Some characters and enemies can get a little blocky when up close. Even on the lowest settings the game can stutter and jerk in the frame rate department depending on your computer specs. And the characters are often portrayed as stiff lifeless robots with only a handful of voice actors doing everyone, resulting in a lot of people sounding the same. For me, hearing Jim Cumming's voice kept breaking me out of my immersion because instead of a curmudgeonly old man I heard Tigger from Winnie the Pooh.

But the wonderfully diverse range of options, quests, freedom of the player, and occasionally spectacular graphics far overshadows any technical shortcomings. It took me a while to be able to play it (being on a MAC and having to run it in a Windows emulator), but it was still worth it. Skyrim was a phenomenon a few years back and for damn good reason. If you haven't already played it, go and play it. Find a copy however you can and just experience it for yourself.
  • Listening to: The Halfman's Song
  • Reading: The Dark Brotherhood
  • Watching: Gravity Falls
  • Playing: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Drinking: Mead
Add a Comment:
 
:iconzananos:
zananos Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My first play through I got two maces and bludgeoned everything. This playthrough I am a sneaky master thief assassin vampire master illusionist. The way I do everything is completely different. More focus on dagger, bow, and invisibility.

Aaaaand when people piss me off, instead of violence I just pickpocket their cloths. XD More fun that way lmao.
Reply
:icondartpaw86:
Dartpaw86 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I enjoyed this review, I find it fascinating hearing views on a series from someone brand new to it (Like a V-Log of someone watching Doctor Who or Adventure Time for the very first time) and gradually understanding it as they watch more and more.


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:iconzephyrthedragonlord:
ZephyrTheDragonlord Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
In all technical terms... Skyrim is only as big as the state of georgia... so, yeah... it's massive as far as several things are concerned, but when you think about it... They fit all that into something about the size of Georgia.
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:icontompreston:
TomPreston Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Georgia is pretty damn huge... I come from Massachusetts. A state that literally takes about 40 minutes to drive from top to bottom.
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:iconzephyrthedragonlord:
ZephyrTheDragonlord Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I know, and the fact that they fit so much story into a place the size of georgia... That's amazing.
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:iconjnsucker12:
jnsucker12 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013
Well...there's more stories actually in the state of Georgia...but that's in real life.
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:iconkapten-n:
Kapten-N Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
It should be noted that playtime and replayability is greatly increased through mods. So are also graphics and performance.
Reply
:iconfroslassmaniac:
FroslassManiac Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Atleast you haven't seen people glitch in the ground yet and just talk to you as if nothing happened. But gotta agree, sometimes skyrim glitches. For me it often happens in the mountain, so I can see through some walls.

And speaking of the main quest, it's only worth doing as a warrior most of the time. And for a sneaky archer assassin like me... heh... ^^;
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:iconautumn-gracy:
Autumn-Gracy Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Student General Artist
I had a good time reading through your journals :) I'm on my second playthrough (never finished the first) and end up doing what you did and trying to stay on the lawful good side of quests from my prior knowledge of them.
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:iconsomethingface46:
somethingface46 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013
It is a beautiful game and has been my favorite RPG since it came out.  My view may be biased on playing previous games in the bethesda series, but I just felt so engrossed the first few weeks it came out.  The massive world is ever so impressive, and engrossing as you have put it. 
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:icondocswiss:
DocSwiss Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013
I'd agree with you about the main quest. I bought the game on Day 2 and still can't be bothered to get past Kynesgrove. Everything else is so much more entertaining.
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:iconnave1295:
Nave1295 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Now somebody just has to link him into the mods, and the party can really get started
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:iconr603:
R603 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
If you were to play it on the console instead it would never turn blocky at all, and the AI characters wouldn't seem near as 'lifeless' in movement.
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:iconginger-bean:
Ginger-Bean Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013
Even though I've yet to play this game, I happen to like deep stories with crazy names and lore and all that crapola. That's why I love LOTR so much. I'm just a High Fantasy fanatic, so for me, I think this game must be great! I'll try it out if I can ever get my hands on a copy! :p
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:icontomllama2:
tomllama2 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Student Digital Artist
"I know people who still haven't read Lord of the Rings because there were too many names" Essentially stupid people with little attention span. Not a great group to be empathizing with. Maybe you're just new to RPGs but Skyrim isn't that deep in comparison to other Elder Scrolls Games (it's wonderfully rich of course but not exactly hard to comprehend). 

Fair review otherwise, I'm a late gamer as well (I only just played Bioshock Infinity) and I totally need to play Skyrim properly, I can't get the damn thing to run without graphics issues. I've only played it on a friend's account. 
Reply
:iconspeedway66:
Speedway66 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
I asked this before and I'm sorry that this isn't related, but could you do a spotlight of some sort for the new Shantae Half Genie Hero games' paypal www.wayforward.com/shantae-hal… . We need your help if we're going to reach the remaining stretch goals. you have a drawing of Shantae in your gallery so I was wondering if You'd be interested in helping.
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:iconsereneautumn:
SereneAutumn Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
if you get the expansions there is even more hearthfire (my favorite) allows you to build houses and adopt orphans
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:iconscyoni:
Scyoni Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I played hearthfire a while ago, and I wasn't expecting the orphans outside of the orphanage. I paid a begging girl and she asked if I'd be her mother, and first I was like "I'm not getting kids yet! I like having an alchemy laboratory in breezehome!" and then I walked by her one more time and ended up at the Jarl's place handing over my money. 

Oh, children. ;A; wry you tug on my heartstrings. 
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:iconsereneautumn:
SereneAutumn Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:giggle:
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:iconpassin:
Passin Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
I wasn't particularly impressed on my first time, but maybe I should give it another go
Reply
:iconarielxgarcia:
ArielXGarcia Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Morrowind = Best Story.
Oblivion = Best Quests.
Skyrim = Best World and Combat.
Reply
:icondreamingmystic:
DreamingMystic Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You should have seen Oblivion, the game prior to Skyrim; waaaaaaaaaaay less diversity in voice acting there. Every male of the same race had the same voice actor as did every female of the same race. Thankfully, they had you interacting with a wide variety of races throughout all the quests, like you would mostly interact with khajiit characters in one on quest and orcs in another, unlike Skyrim where almost all quest related people were nords, so it wasn't very noticeable.

And judging from what you have said in your journals on how you like to play I suggest that the next time you make a new character that you focus primarily on the illusion skill for battle. With strong enough spells and with the right perks you can just walk through a dungeon without killing anyone!
I tried the challenge myself, fighting with only illusion magic, and it can be really difficult to do since a lot of the time you HAVE to kill something and just putting out a frenzy spell is not always enough, but it can be really satisfying for some people.
Reply
:iconkayru-kitsune:
Kayru-Kitsune Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'll be honest, if you see things getting sharp and polygonal, that's more likely due to the limitations of your computer. :\ I have a good computer so that game is beyond gorgeous even in Vanilla form (and mods only make it better - honestly I worry about Nexus mods, but you really should look into Steam workshop mods, it really doesn't require you to really know or do much, you just 'subscribe' to ones you want). There are mods to fix bugs and physics oddities too, so really with mods you can get a near flawless experience.
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:iconauriman1:
Auriman1 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
Glad you've been enjoying the Skyrim.

I also like how supportive Bethesda has been for user-created content. In terms of personalization, it doesn't get much better than being able to easily add pretty much anything you want to have into the game, and having access to unofficial expansions and content.
Reply
:iconpixx-007:
Pixx-007 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I find it funny that you here Tigger with Jim Cummings because I still don't readily associate him with Winnie the Pooh. Every time I hear him the first voices I think of are Robotnick or Darkwing Duck, but those two shows were also MASSIVE parts of my childhood. I'm not saying associating him with Winnie the Pooh is bad or wrong (don't want to be misunderstood) just that every time you mention it there's a little moment of "oh yeah!" in my head.
Reply
:icondaroga1:
Daroga1 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I always hear that big ole fat Disney dog. What's his name...Pete!
Yeah, I'm not sure if he even was voiced by the same guy, but Pete is what that voice reminds me of the most.
Reply
:iconpixx-007:
Pixx-007 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Pete's a cat. :)
That's why he was always Mickey's enemy in the old cartoons.
And Jim Cumming's has voiced Pete since the Goof Troop T.V series.
Reply
:icondaroga1:
Daroga1 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Oh yeah, Thanks :3
Reply
:iconrathdrgnknight:
Rathdrgnknight Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
See, I always associate Jim Cummings with either Pete (from any recent Disney incarnation like Goof Troop or the Goofy Movie) or Steele from Balto because that's what I watched the most as a kid.
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:iconscyoni:
Scyoni Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I thought it was him, but I hadn't looked it up. xD Yes, Pete's voice is what I kept imagining too. 
Reply
:iconpixx-007:
Pixx-007 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I forgot he did Steele!
I need to watch Balto again now.
Reply
:iconlapulta:
Lapulta Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I never knew he voiced Steele! //life has new meaning
Reply
:iconyoichi-masaki:
yoichi-masaki Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
no that your used to it i think you should go back and do some of the missions

the big draw of the game is all of the "shouts" you get and free roaming will be ALOT mor efun with them

kinda like in GTA: SA how it is more fun to get the clothes and fastfood unlocked before causing unfortold mayhem
Reply
:iconchucktree:
chucktree Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Ive played the game since the release and I have still yet to find every location and cover every bit of land and im level 205.  very rich game and a for-runner to games of this category to look up to. 
Reply
:iconzippydsmlee:
ZippyDSMlee Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
Damn forgot to say Skyrim sucks(its oblivion light) Morrowind is better :P
Reply
:iconzippydsmlee:
ZippyDSMlee Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
Good I am not the only one bored and loathing of the gangster life style. GTA/SA boring game is boring.
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Skyrim is amazing. Even though I'm one of those poor unfortunate souls playing it on a console (and therefore no mods) it's still a deep, incredible world I find myself getting lost into from time to time. Plus I have yet to do anything in the Thieves' Guild or Dark Brotherhood and I've already played the game for dozens of hours...too busy doing side quests and the like.

Still, I do long for a more interesting combat system and more attractive character models...and perhaps a little unrealistically skimpy fantasy armor for my female Imperial would be nice too. =p
Reply
:iconallard-liao:
Allard-Liao Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013

As far as armor goes, there are three options that match that criteria (the first two, moreso):

elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Fo…

elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Fu…) (Some variants)

elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Sa…)

Reply
:iconfeeling-kitsune:
Feeling-Kitsune Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
I'm glad you enjoyed how fleshed out that world is :] For me, that's the best aspect of it
Reply
:iconoreochema:
Oreochema Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Much of what you said is the same fore me. I really love personalizing my character by learning the things that I'm interested in. I personally can't get into using two-handed weapons, so I use a sword in one hand and a spell in the other. As a result, my character is very good at destruction spells and one-handed combat. When I max out those two skills, I make them Legendary and keep upgrading. It's nice to be able to keep leveling without having to learn all of the skills that are open to me.

I  also found Skyrim to be beautiful. I've become pretty familiar with the layout of the world, though, and sometimes I wish I could just forget it all and re-discover it from scratch. It was a lot of fun. But even so, I know I haven't discovered everything yet and I'm always trying to explore more.

Have you found the treasure maps yet?
Reply
:icontx-aster:
TX-aster Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Professional General Artist
May I sugest FallOut New Vegas? It's from the same maker and you may find less moral dilemas. As it's a sorry set in the future, 200 years after the 3 WW (US versus China) there are many more 'familiar' elements than Skyrim.
Reply
:iconbaito:
BaIto Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Maybe running the game through a Windows Emulator caused the lag? I personally ran the game fine on many machines of varying gaming ability and never had issues as long as the graphics where set accordingly.
Reply
:iconzonagon:
Zonagon Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013   Writer
There have been some crazy events that I have seen in Skyrim.  People killing each other for no reason, dragon skeletons getting stuck partway into the ground for days, Couriers coming to me bringing messages while only wearing a hat and a loincloth, and the fact I can eat twenty cheese wheels in an instant during combat.
Reply
:iconreplicator13:
replicator13 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I love Skyrim. My only complains are the spiders, because im an aracnophobic and they literally make me scream as much as jumpscares in Amnesia: Dark Descent custom stories XD
Reply
:iconeyes-turned-skyward:
Eyes-Turned-Skyward Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I always have a fire spell equipped so I can kill them with fire. :D
Reply
:iconreplicator13:
replicator13 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Me too XD
Reply
:iconsupahchristine:
supahchristine Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
I think there's a mod that  just turns all the spiders into bears, if I recall correctly. May be too late now, but if you ever get the desire to play the game again you should check that out! :)
Reply
:iconreplicator13:
replicator13 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Yeah i know about that one and i would prefer in it if i would have Skyrim for PC XD
Unless it works on the consoles as well
Reply
:iconwtjohn:
WTJohn Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh gawd, yes,
the spiders always give me the crawlies
so i try to kill them real quick, lol

i totally wouldnt even let my children have them as pets
in the game, lol
Reply
:iconreplicator13:
replicator13 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Yeah, they are abominations of Skyrim XD
I always use conjured fighters to fight them. I just dont want to get any close to them XD
Reply
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