What It Is
Over the holidays, every one of my gaming friends were talking about Skyrim and what an amazing game it was, so I had to pick it up and see for myself. My friends were right and Skyrim has, without a doubt, become my latest favorite game.
Skyrim is an epic adventure game with an almost endless, open-world playing field. You begin by creating a highly customizable game avatar and are then thrown into the midst of a civil war conflict set in a fantasy world with heavy Nordic themes. What you do and where you go is entirely up to you. There is an overarching, story-based mission that will set you on your journey. However, countless side quests, adventures and errands will quickly arise and before you know it, three days have passed and you haven’t even scratched the surface of the game.
Why It’s Fun
Skyrim has reinvented the open-world concept for console-based games. You can spend days (real-world, not in game) exploring any of the regions of the world that are available from the start of the game. The more you explore, the more you will uncover and your travels will take you from snowy mountain peaks to dank underground caves.
All the regions in Skyrim, which is the name of the land you are in, are filled with towns, fortresses, wilderness, monsters, dragons and folks that want to kill you. A typical mission in the game will have you setting out from a town and journeying through the wilderness to a destination. Along the way, you will encounter creatures and foes that will either kick your butt in battle or hone your skills.
Almost everything in the game is interactive and can be picked up, however, all items-whether it’s a strawberry or the bones of a dragon, weighs something and your avatar can only carry a certain amount of weight. If you are overloaded, it will be difficult to get around so you might want to buy a house in the town of Winterhold. Once you own a house, you have a safe spot to store your stuff and can immediately head back out on a journey or stick around and spend some time decorating your new pad.
Who It’s For
Gamers from high school to the old-age home are going to love Skyrim. The game tells an imaginative and well-written story that is backed up by beautiful settings and highly detailed environments.
The game is rated M for Mature by the ESRB. That rating is given to games that contain blood, gore, intense violence, sexual themes and use of alcohol. As far as M-rated games go, Skyrim is fairly tame. I have yet to hear any language or see any “sexual themes” that wouldn’t be shown during the 8pm to 9pm hour of prime-time network TV.
What To Be Aware Of
This is not a family-friendly video game. We occasionally review non-family games when they are popular enough that the kids in your life might be asking if they can get it. This review is to help you decide if Skyrim is appropriate for the kids in your life.
This review is of the console (Xbox, PlayStation) version of the game. There is also a PC version, which might be slightly different, however, the basic game play and features should be the same.
In addition to the main quest, most characters in the game have a story to share, and if you engage them in conversation, their stories often result in an additional quest or mission of some sort. I can’t imagine how long it would take to complete every mission, task and available side quest in this game. I’ve been playing for over 60 hours (over the course of two weeks) and I still don’t think I’m half way through everything.