The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
A vast, varied, unique and complex role-playing game
- Intensely detailed and nuanced environments
- Excellent character development system
- Some gameplay elements (like the economy) are just a facade
- Mediocre combat system
Skyrim represents the culmination of a long balancing act, of all Bethesda's learned and mastered about epic nonlinear play. It's a triumph of freeform design, less a roleplaying game like so many popular D&D-haunted others than a glimpse of what it might be like to inhabit another world, its rules and interface folding seamlessly into the gameplay instead of snapping you out of the moment with Byzantine menus and soul-numbing math. If someone asks you where games are headed, you can point to this.
Price$ 89.95 (AUD)
But these are minor quibbles. Wouldn't it also be nice, after all these years playing cat burglar types, to be able to scale buildings like Ubisoft's Ezio and sneak in through upper-storey windows? But now I'm asking for a game this isn't, and if "better than decent combat" is Skyrim's chief flaw, with everything else on tap here, I'm flirting with unreasonable to expect more from it.
"They extolled his heroic nature and exploits..."
Skyrim may, given the recent surge of interest in George R.R. Martin's books, seem like Bethesda's Song of Ice and Fire — it's riddled with enough political intrigue, and its individuals follow narrative arcs that turn on complex choices. But since so much of Skyrim's allure involves its setting, it's worth mentioning the page it borrows from the Old English epic Beowulf (epic, heroic, Scandinavian, and the source for all those boldface quotes), which it then folds into the second Lord of the Rings movie. The province of Skyrim could be Weta's Rohan, a flat, rocky, scrub-covered bowl surrounded on all sides by cloud-crowned mountains — mountains not like the Rockies or Himalayas, but rather the Alps, climbing in piles of cinereous rock toward gnarled, windswept peaks. It's like stepping into one of filmmaker Peter Jackson's New Zealand backdrops, only weirder (or if you want a fitting Anglo-Saxon pun, wyrd-er). Bethesda's said it wanted more of an exotic Morrowind feel for Skyrim, after Oblivion's boilerplate medieval setting. Gone are Oblivion's bosky dells, crenulated castle walls, and demonic other-worlds, replaced by wind-scoured ruins, eldritch barrows, and secluded mountain monasteries. The company's even found a way — and in one case, an incredibly creepy one — to bring children into the series.
It's all part of Bethesda's painstaking workmanship, to surprise gamers by crafting a world that marries the familiar and the alien. This is also, by the way, the game other role-playing games have in some sense been striving to become, before even The Elder Scrolls: Arena emerged, unlooked-for, in 1994, with its then-unparalleled macro-level approach. Arena traded depth for scope — you could see all the way from one side of Tamriel (the continent of which Skyrim's one province) to the other, but little of substance between. Daggerfall, Morrowind, and Oblivion have each drawn their world-cameras closer, zooming from continents to regions on down to individual provinces, each more vividly coloured than the last, the company balancing what it dreams of doing — full-on world simulation — with what time, resources, and the technology allow.
Skyrim represents the culmination of that balancing act, of all Bethesda's learned and mastered about epic nonlinear play. It's a triumph of freeform design, less a roleplaying game like so many popular D&D-haunted others than a glimpse of what it might be like to inhabit another world, its rules and interface folding seamlessly into the gameplay instead of snapping you out of the moment with Byzantine menus and soul-numbing math. If someone asks you where games are headed, you can point to this.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- 2 First Look: Nikon D850
- 3 OnePlus 5: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Nokia 8: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
Latest News Articles
- Fullbright Founders To Headline Melbourne International Games Week 2017
- MSI GE73 7RF VR Raider Gaming Laptop: Full, in-depth review
- Sony ghillie up with new Call of Duty bundle
- HyperX Reveals Next Generation Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset
- Acer expands gaming notebook lineup with Predator Helios 300
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- Dishonored - Death Of The Outsider review:
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- MSI GE73 VR Raider Gaming Laptop review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- FTInfrastructure Project ManagerOther
- FTDevOps Engineers/Consultants - CloudOther
- FTTelco Core Network Support EngineerOther
- FTBilling Consultant - TelecommunicationsOther
- TPInfrastructure ArchitectNSW
- FTEnterprise Software/Product Sales ManagerVIC
- FTHelpdesk Support Officer (Lv1/Lv2)SA
- CCMicrosoft Systems EngineerVIC
- FTIBM Tivoli Network Configuration leadVIC
- FTiMIS Engineer / DBAOther
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTLand Access Coordinator / Lead - TelecommunicationsOther
- FTSenior EAM ConsultantQLD
- TPSQL DevloperNSW
- CCSenior Process AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTGun Java Developers wantedVIC
- FTMid - Senior Web DeveloperWA
- FTDeployment Analyst / Customer Service - Minchinbury NSWOther
- TPProgram Coordinator. Product Management BackgroundNSW
- FTJunior Business Intelligence Analyst - Power BIOther
- CCSenior PMO ManagerNSW
- CCService Management AnalystNSW
- FTUX Designer | Mobile App | Initial 6 Month ContractOther