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‘Skyrim’ Takes Players on Epic Dragon Slayer’s Quest

By Riakeem Kelley Posted: 11/18/2011
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5 Stars out of 5

The Elder Scrolls games have always been known to reinvent the wheel when it comes to gameplay. With the release of “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” the fifth installment of the series, Bethesda Studios has succeeded in creating a breathtaking adventure for game players with an amazing main storyline that may impress more than just gamers.

The game starts in a manner similar to other games in the The Elder Scrolls series. The lead character is a prisoner set to be executed for a crime he allegedly did not commit.

However, a dramatic turn of events occurs when a black dragon interrupts the execution. Thus, the game’s adventure is set into motion.

There are many improvements from Skyrim’s predecessor, “The Elder Scrolls IV; Oblivion.” Many of the issues that fans had with Oblivion, such as the simplistic voice acting, stilted dialogue and repetitive appearances of the non-playable characters (NPCs) are corrected as Skyrim hosts beautifully rendered characters and seamless dialogue.

Visually, Skyrim outshines all of the game’s predecessors, many of which have won awards for their amazing gameplay and visual splendor.

Between the striking mountains off in the distance and the small creeks that run beneath the player’s feet, Bethesda has successfully created a game that truly immerses you in a fully developed world.

Adding to the game’s cinematic feel, the musical score helps enhance the already impressive gameplay. With each different scene or setting, the soundtrack offers the appropriate musical flourishes, whether it be soft and comfortable exploration music or the grand harmonies that give the game its high fantasy rush. At times, the score gives the game a feel reminiscent of the “The Lord of the Rings” film series.

The fighting system has been improved from previous games, and the cinematically-slowed ending blows give the game’s combat an epic feel.

The game is not without its flaws, but these barely get in the way of the powerful experience derived from playing the game. In total, they are mostly minor technical glitches. For one, the loading screens can be painfully long and often disrupt the momentum of the game.

Also, the game freezes in spots. If you are lucky, it resumes in a matter of seconds, but for the unfortunate, you may have to restart your gaming system and pick up from the last save point. Still, the scope of the game more than makes up for and explains these flaws away.

Still, a word of advice for new players to the series: save often. You never know what will happen in a game this massive.

The “Elder Scrolls V; Skryim” manages to take a traditional sword-and-sorcery game and make a custom experience that players of the game will never forget. The game is extraordinary right down to the clothing on each character’s back.

In a genre filled with archetypes and lacking major originality, Skyrim delivers a breathtaking rendition of a high-fantasy adventure that puts the player in the shoes of a hero.

— Contact Riakeem Kelley.

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