195 hours, 42 minutes and 45 fucking seconds.
That is how long it took me to beat Skyrim. I didn’t even complete every quest or explore every cave, although I certainly tried. This game was so ambitious, but because it was it had many flaws that I just couldn’t overlook.
If you watch the trailer, the game looks awesome, the graphics look gorgeous and the gameplay looks exciting. There are so many things I wish to discuss in this review, I don’t really know where to start, so I guess I’ll start with the story.
You are the Dragonborn, it is your destiny to free Skyrim of Dragons, because they have returned whether most people believe it or not to wreck havoc on the country. You find yourself captured in Helgen about to be beheaded until a Dragon flies overheard and sets the city on fire. You escape with other prisoners and after the basic tutorial level, you are set to do whatever you wish, and I mean whatever.
I never thought I would ever say this but the game is just too damn big. It’s a sandbox style set up but the country massive. Mountains, rivers, lakes, caves, cities, towns, outposts, towers, forests, you name it, they created it. Except for a volcano, which surprised me. Aside from saving Skyrim from Dragons, there is another main quest and that is to unite Skyrim as it is under political distress. The Empire is fighting a rebel clan called the Stormcloaks. There is no clear cut bad side between the two factions, it is merely different political views. The Stormcloaks are racist and want only nords (humans) to have Skyrim and banning a certain religion, I was surprised that I viewed them more as the bad guys than the Empire. Usually in most stories, the Empire is evil, but that wasn’t the case in the game so I joined the Empire which accepted all races and wanted peace among its country.
The missions for the Empire were about the most fun the game got, they included the basic, clear out Stormcloak forts, intercept letters, defend a city and finally invade a city. I did this at the very end of the game after exploring about 90 percent of every nook and cranny of Skyrim. I was leveled up so high that I was a one man wrecking crew, and often ignored any suggestions from my general about teamwork because I was the grim reaper in a sense. Anytime I touched an enemy, they died before my feet, and it took three blows at once from three different enemies to even damage my health bar. I was unstoppable.
I give credit to my OCD of searching every cave and taking on every quest that was given to me. My countless hours of level grinding and cave exploration led me to become a war god in battle. I feared no one, and even the final boss took less than a minute to defeat and barely did any damage to me.
The sheer amount of customization in Skyrim is amazing. You can be just about anything you want, and for almost a year I thought I was living in another world online. You can pick from a few different races, you can be different classes with how you do battle. The weapons and magic spells are almost endless, and in every city there are so many quests to do and skills to learn. You can learn different magics, black smithing, cooking, alchemy, enchanting, lumbering, seriously, just about anything in the real world you can do in Skyrim, and that includes getting married.
Those were the cool and ambitious parts of playing Skyrim. But there were many flaws, too many that brought my level of excitement for it to a screeching halt and made it a chore to play. These flaws overcame the fun for Skyrim and ultimately ruined the game for me.
When someone creates a game so big, there are bound to be problems with it. Well, there were. There was lag from time to time in battle, occasionally, I found my character randomly stuck on a log or between rocks unable to move. I would have to reload my game wiping over an hour of game play that I had to redo. The graphics were far from polished, and sometimes in a cave or castle if you moved the camera toggle, the interior would become see through and glitchy. But wait, there is more! Loading screens, that are required when you enter in almost every door vary on loading time. Sometimes, it would take a few seconds, other times it would take five minutes and in some cases it took so long to load, that I shut my PS3 off because I assumed the game froze. When you fight a dragon, their carcass would disappear after some time which was suppose to happen. Sometimes however, a dragon would be defeated inside of a city, and as the case of the city of Whiterun, I defeated a dragon early on in the game inside the city. Whenever I returned to the city, (It was where I called home) the dragon’s body would reappear right in front of a shop making it near impossible to enter the shop and trade goods. Every single time, the body would reappear. Which reminds me of my bow and arrows. Occasionally, I would try my luck with my bow and arrow to take down a dragon, well midway through the game, my arrows stopped flying. I googled what the hell was the matter with them, and found out this was a common glitch in the game. It would randomly stop after you “shot” hundreds of arrows. Sometimes, if you didn’t do the quest in the correct order, the arrow on the map which would direct you to the next step in the quest would remain there even if you had finished the quest. You are able to take one companion with you on your quests, if they are killed then they are gone forever (most of the time) I went through a ton of companions during the game as many died in battle. (whoops) but one of the more frustrating things was when a companion would be killed and you return to a city to recruit another person only to see the same companion alive and well, ready to quest with you. Sometimes, I would purposely behead my companion to see if they would show up alive at the fort or wherever they were previously before I recruited them, and sure enough they were like a lost puppy, happy to see me, ready to go fight by my side.
I can’t tell you enough how frustrating and annoying these glitches were for me and how much it really took away from a game that had great game play and battle mechanics. Skyrim reminded me of a school project that a student was very ambitious about. They started out project with a bunch of ideas and cool features but in the end, didn’t have enough power to do everything they wanted and ultimately turn in a sloppy product after being on the verge of producing something great.
In the end, after uniting Skyrim and saving it from dragons, I retired my character to his home in Whiterun. I unpacked everything and put the equipment in the chest, and changed into my underwear. I bid farewell to the world of Skyrim, and laid my character to rest forever in his bed.
Skyrim was a fantastic IDEA and mechanics, but too many glitches ruined my experience. I recommend this game only if you wish to live another life in a video game. My final score…..6.4/10.