Weekly Game Review: The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim


Tristian Richardson, Author


This Weekly Game review is over the fifth entry of The Elder Scrolls saga, originally set to be a different game, but Bethesda changed it early on to be Skyrim. This game is the oldest one to be reviewed so far, being released initially in 2011, along with other editions being released also 2012, 2016, and 2017. Skyrim takes place in a northern country on the the mystical continent of Tamriel. Skyrim was heavily inspired by Norse/viking mythology, region, and culture. It is centered around a hero called the Dragonborn, or Dovahkiin in dragon language. You start out as prisoner heading to his/her death by being executed. Luckily for the character, a dragon named Alduin saved him/her. The character eventually kills a dragon, finds out they are the Dragonborn, then goes on and saves the world by dragons.

The game is technically endless since there are a few quest systems that are continuously looped, while allowing you to play after you beat the main story. You can play one of the many, many races that are in the game. The races include: Nord, Orc, a few different types of elves, Breton, Argonian, and a few others. You also have can join many factions but the primary ones are The Dark Brotherhood, The Thieves Guild, and The Mage guild, along with a fewer smaller ones like The Companions, and even the Bards College. All guilds, but the Bards College, offer a ton of perks.

You can’t be in all factions. There are two story arcs that make you pick between two fighing factions for various reasons. They include: picking the Dawnguard or the Vampires, and picking  the imperials or the stormcloaks. Those two are the main ones you have to pick between; you can pretty much be in any other guild unless you pick the Vampires; then you have to choose to be a Werewolf with the companions, or a Vampire. The guilds you join don’t do much besides give you more coin or give you a power like summoning an assassin or becoming a werewolf/vampire.

The game offers a major armor and weapon system. It has multiple sets of weapons and armor that the player can choose from. It includes armor ad weapons from these sets: iron, steel/steel plated, leather/hide, glass, dwarven, orcish, ancient nordic, dragon scale/dragon bone and more. If you get the dragonborn DLC, you get stalhrim and bonemold. None really offer an advantage besides strength. The only exception is the stalhrim armor set since it gives a bonus to ice enchantments.

All armor is in the heavy armor or light armor section. Only difference is the heavy armor slows you down if you aren’t an orc, or don’t have the steed stone. Here’s how the armor system works while choosing the armor: you can choose one type of gauntlet, one type of helmet, one type of chest piece, and one set of boots/shoes. You can mix and match all versions of armor, but you can eventually get bonuses from wearing the same set of armor. Some try to keep a set or two of each to show off.

You can also dual wield one handed weapons with each other, a one handed weapon and a shield, or a one handed weapon and a spell. It does have some sort of strategic stuff with weapons. You can choose a weapon that’s fast and weak, or slow and strong, or just style if you are like that. Enchantments does offer some compensation for the weaker weapons. The enchantments help a lot in terms of damage.

The enchantment system is very basic, and goes hand in hand with some of the game mechanics like skills and equipment. You can buff weapons and armor to make your character stronger. If you practice enough, you can dual enchant equipment. You can enchant pretty much any character buff into armor, and anything damage enhancing into weapons. You can do frost/resist, increase damage, and increase health/magic/stamina and more into the various armor pieces. With weapons you can enchant it with fire/frost damage, soul capture, and more. All offer a more effective character build that you want. You may be wondering how what do I mean by a character build. To fully explain that, I need to explain the perk system, and the stones in the game.

The perk system is quite simple. All races are more or less are smarter or dumber than the rest in certain areas. The perks are grouped in three categories: Thief, Warrior, and Mage. The elves are better in the mage area, but certain ones are better than others in specific ones. For example, orcs are better in some warrior stuff, and so on. The skills can be improved; just your starting race picks how high or low your starting numbers are per skill. You can level up skills to get xp, which will grant a skill point after so much xp, which will let you pick one perk. Perks boost stuff overall performance of your character in different ways, and perks further increase it. Originally, the max level was 81 since all skills would be maxed out by that time, but Bethesda updated it to allow you to legendary skills, which will allow you to indefinitely level up and get all the perks.

As for the stones, they are basically astrological signs that give the player certain perks. The steed stone, for example, allows 100 more pounds of carry weight and no armor penalty, the thief stone improves the thief skills faster, and 11 others do the same thing but to other parts of the game. It majorly helps you go with one specific type of build. It’s not much, but does help a lot for small goals.

If you are a nerd, or a gamer, this is a must have –so much so that Bethesda released it many times for it to be convenient as possible to get your hands on it.  The scenery in the game is quite good, and the lore of the game is great.  Upon release, it was filled with a lot of glitches,  but over the years Bethesda has fixed most of them through updates. It does has have a loyal fanbase that shows no signs of dying out anytime soon. It’s an offline game sadly, but there is a mod coming allowing multiplayer and already some but this one coming out is the superior one.

It was originally supposed to be just released for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, but it was such a masterpiece, that Bethesda released a version a year later with DLC content, then released a remaster of it with mod support on PS4, Xbox One, and  PC. They even made a VR version for PC and PS4 a year after they released the remastered version and a Nintendo Switch version. They may just put it on a toaster at this point. The game is pretty popular in the gaming community, and pretty much every gamer at least knows about it enough to understand it. It has left its mark on the gaming community.

From fighting dragons, to clearing bandit camps, to getting married and adopting kids to fill a house you just built in the middle of nowhere, this game is amazing. It did have a ton of glitches in the old gen 1.00 version, but now with mods and a lot of updates, glitches are mainly gone.  Overall, the game has seen some crazy feats. It hasn’t pulled a major stunt like GTA v, and sold millions of copies in days, but it still sell thousands a month even after 6 years of being out. People who played it did impressive feats in the game. They put thousands of hours into one save, just to start over. They memorize the map and dungeons to a t. Some people in game have hundreds of thousands of gold, yet still have tens of thousands of gold pieces in various gems just lying around like its nothing.