hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Burning butterflies and kicking wolves: SKYRIM, BITCH!

10:46 PM on 08.26.2011 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

Today I played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Despite it being several hours ago, I'm still finding it hard to wipe the smile from my face. After smashing skeletons, slaying vampires, stealing horses and passing forged letters around in order to break up a budding courtship, one thought is running through my head.

SKYRIM, BITCH!

It is no easy task to condense the Skyrim experience into demo form, and it's almost as difficult to write about it. Despite only having an hour's taste of what the game offers, I already find myself with amazing stories to tell. For instance, I spent a giddy few minutes burning butterflies with Destruction magic and chasing frightened deer into a river. I stumbled across a hunter, desperately shooting arrows at encroaching skeletons. At one point I was ambushed by a pack of wolves and ended my fight by valiantly kicking the last one in the face and administering the coup-de-grace with a sword in the head. This is Skyrim -- where crazy shit just happens.

Those familiar with former Bethesda RPGs ought to be delighted by just how intuitive and fluid Skyrim is. With a simple button press, a directional menu appears, highlighting skill trees, available magic, items and equipment. Pushing in the desired direction opens a sub-menu where you can add skills, equip weapons and magic, and drink potions. Compared to the cumbersome, busy menus of Oblivion, it's a breath of fresh air.

Speaking of fresh, particular attention must be drawn to the new graphics engine. The stunning vistas are nothing short of inspiring, with open fields and sprawling mountains providing truly breathtaking scenery that makes one stand back in awe. It is particularly beautiful to see the land of Skyrim at night, with eerie blues and contrasting greys -- making for a world that looks both peaceful and intimidating. Character models are fantastic when compared to the horrific Gamebryo humunculi that once haunted our dreams in Oblivion, and the conversation system, which subtly alters the camera rather than jarringly focuses on an NPC's face, makes for a more natural experience. Other NPCs may also interject a discussion, which gives a greater sense of dynamism and drama to the dialog.

I got to play through the game multiple times and had a different experience with each. Once, I stumbled upon a town and partook in some interesting little quests, such as passing a fake letter to a woman in order to break up a relationship. Another, I amused myself by trolling NPCs -- freeing prisoners from guards, stealing horses, and using my left hand like a flamethrower to cook anything that moved. Another run had me exploring dungeons to face off against conjurers who sent shimmering monsters after me, and vampires who weren't shy about throwing magic around. 

The combat system is intensely satisfying and helped make the vampire smiting feel quite pleasing indeed. While it retains much of the hack n' slash action of previous Elder Scrolls titles, the ability to keep a magic spell bound to one hand like a BioShock Plasmid makes for incredibly flexible fighting. Fans of spellsword-type classes will absolutely adore what Skyrim can do. Magic, for its part, is far more effective than it ever was in Oblivion and when leveled up, spells can be truly devastating or immensely healing, depending on your flavor.

Those wanting to customize their hero will have a lot of work to do, with a character creator that's more flexible than ever. Each of the game's races can have every facet of their facial features tinkered with, and those with OCD problems will be able to spend hours toying with eye width, adjusting nose length, and choosing their favorite type of yellow face paint. Just be warned that using pre-sets makes it far too easy to make a frightening Captain Jack Sparrow lookalike.

To describe an hour of Skyrim is to descend into a gibbering cacophony of half-finished thoughts. So much can happen and there are so many stories to tell that it's impossible to not attempt to describe everything at once. Rest assured, this is a game that will drop jaws and craft memories, a game that I feel will be talked about for a long time. Undoubtedly this is the roleplaying experience of the year.

SKY! RIM! BITCH!



Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
Idris Elba needs to be James Bond & heck to anyone who thinks otherwise
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
We need a Dtoid RPG that stars Mr Destructoid, Gardevoir, Macho Man Randy Savage, and MATT DAMON. The hub zone will be Nekro's dungeon.
Cynic without a Cause avatarCynic without a Cause
In the middle of discovering a bunch of Hirasawa Susumu's non-film related work. Currently listening to Planet Roll Call. Fantastic album!
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
*Looks at Battle.net* League of Storm Heroes. Magic: The Hearthstone. Diablo. Starcraft. World of Warcraft. Oh, pay $10 to unlock Tychus. ...Guys, is Blizzard evil? I mean really, despicably, EA-level evil?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Do you enjoy MOBA games such as LoL, Dota 2, or HOTS? Why or why not? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
The Witcher 3 is 30% off on GOG.com, if you thought it was a bit expensive at launch. You get store credit too.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Realized I've turned on my PS3 in the past month or two only to watch Mario cartoon DVDs. I really need to get around to playing something - anything - on it.
Perro avatarPerro
Listening to Studio Ghibli Collection at work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_WbO_LPXDo Reminds me that my dad really liked Howl's Moving Castle. He's retired military and serious most of the time but rather enjoyed its fanciful world.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Sorry for my inactivity... I've been lacking motivation and have nothing on my mind right now so i haven't blogged in a while. Still playing Grandia 2 anniversarry, getting annoyed by mount and blade warband's phantasy calradia mod and other shit...
CaseyCor avatarCaseyCor
Donkey Kong Land 3 Any% Speedruns, right now! [url]http://www.twitch.tv/caseycor[/url]
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Remember Black? That PS2 era shooter from Criterion? It has a REALLY good orchestral soundtrack. I'm gonna throw that in my MGSV iDroid. Why not.
CaseyCor avatarCaseyCor
Can't sleep cast: Donkey Kong Land Any% [url]http://www.twitch.tv/caseycor[/url]
ooktar avatarooktar
Defeated a sniper in MGS V by dropping supplies on his head. 10/10.
Nat Monney avatarNat Monney
I'm with 3 other guys and we're about to release a mobile game we started almost 3 years ago. What should we do ? [youtube]https://youtu.be/5EGPUBZCGwo[/youtube]
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Guys I'm on a train what should I do?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Traded in a bunch of old Star Trek novels and other books at a used bookstore. Made $10 and got Tori Amos' "Strange Little Girls" album along with it. They made me take the William Shatner novels back. Smart clerks.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Can this be Toy Story 4? [youtube]https://youtu.be/XJkZX0rKElY[/youtube]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Also I will be reviewing freedom wars. I didnt make it to the end. I will not be kind to it. There will be blood.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Yeah....been there before.
techsupport avatartechsupport
MGS V review: When using a character other than Big Boss for missions, the intro credits still say, "starring Punished 'Venom' Snake." Sloppy work, Kojima - no wonder Konami dumped you. 0/10.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


  Aug 23

The Dragonborn fights vampires and Necromancers

Another great live-action take on Skyrim


  Jul 16

New mod brings the powers of Dishonored to Skyrim

You can now wield Corvo's arsenal, including the handy Blink power


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -