Archive for December, 2011

Game Review: Elder Scrolls Skyrim

December 18, 2011 2 comments

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“I used to write quick reviews, but then I took an arrow on the knee”

For this month’s game review, I’ll take a hit on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim role playing game released around last month (so far I’ve been playing almost 50+ hours on it).

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Elder Scrolls series of role playing games has been around for a while and I was interested as to what it has to offer. I’ve started to pick up and liking PC based RPGs within the year. Fall Out New Vegas, Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 2 and Fable 3 (not counting Mass Effect 1 a few years back).

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The game focuses on another section of the Elder Scrolls world called Skyrim, which is described as the cradle of civilization for the Nord (something of a mix of Austro/Germanic and Scandanavian blood, think of seeing Thor and hearing him speak like Arnold Schwarzenegger). In Skyrim, the story mainly covers the return of Dragons which, as retold in stories or books within the game are the harbingers of their apocalypse. Other than that, there’s an uprising of a Nord group called the Stormcloaks who are fighting the Imperials (Roman looking guys) for their independence. Other than the two storylines, there are several minor plots as well as minor fetch/deliver quests and your occasional mop up quests.

The player chooses the gender/looks of his character at the start of the game, and from there is left to choose as to which side he’ll take (Rebels or Imperials). The game also leaves us pretty much on our own to decide what kind of play style our character would have. A straight-out warrior, a mage or a thief (and these can mix and match according to our tastes/needs). The current build I made is a heavy swordsman (two-handed) / archer combination who looks close to some other fantasy novel character (which included orcs, trolls, elves, and dwarves in the game… but lacks those 4’+ high kids… err people).

Music is impressive, as well as the sound. It dynamically changes and sets the mood, especially when getting close to dragon nests, cities or other places of interest. Also the thu’um the Dragonborn belts out is something (when listening hard on the earphones (playing it loud at my place certainly draws out the neighbors).

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Combat is simple, just hack and slash for multiple hits, charge up the attack button or key to do a power attack for melee weapons at the cost of speed and stamina. Magick, holding down the attack button lets out a stream of magick that would empty our reserves.  Shouting has a different meter to follow, the compass color would slowly return to its original color signifying the ability to shout once more.

As we have the ability to shape our own character, there’s a wide variety of clothing and armor as well as weapons to choose from. Since my character’s from a book involving rings and a lord, I had him carry his bow and arrows along with either a great sword or a basic sword. (now that sounds really familiar).

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Overall my quest around Skyrim isn’t even complete yet, though I’ve finished 2 group’s quests and would be moving onto the main quests to further the story. For having played over 24 hours I’m still in Act 1. However, it’s quite amazing that there’s tons of things to do inside the land of Skyrim and I’ve yet to explore the entire map. It’s one of the most impressive Games for Windows titles this year.

By the way, the system requirements for this game is not that too high assuming we’re using technology from 2008 onwards (besides, they’re cheaper now and more powerful than the 2005-2007 tech). Here’s the specs breakdown:

System requirements

Microsoft Windows
Operating System Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit of any)
CPU Intel or AMD 2 GHz dual-core Intel or AMD quad-core
Memory 2 GB RAM 4 GB RAM
Hard Drive Space 6 GB free HDD space
Graphics Hardware Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512 MB of RAM Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or ATI Radeon HD 4890 1 GB
Sound Hardware DirectX compatible sound card
Network Internet access for Steam activation
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