Skyrim is an old game. Why review it?
Skyrim is close to six years old but the number of fans still grows. However, there are no new reviews to talk about the state of the game today, you just have to know about it. So if you haven’t played it, here is what you need to know to decide if you want to or not.
The Base Game
It starts you off as a prisoner on their way to an execution for trying to cross the border illegally, the reason varies by which race you choose. Every Elder Scrolls game has done this, except for the very first one. After a short opening where you try to avoid being burned alive, the game has enticed you to join a side in a civil war, which you can ignore and pick up again at your discretion.
The first thing to know is that the main quest is not the most exciting quest of the game, although that does not mean it’s a bad quest either. Instead, the most notable quests are the faction quests you find in the game or from the downloadable content. We will get to those later.
The focal point of the entire game is being able to customize your character however you like. As examples: You can play through with a bow and sword and nothing else, not even armor, just some average clothes. Another but more difficult playstyle is getting good enough at pickpocketing and making poisons that you can stealthily place inside almost anyone’s’ inventory and kill them that way.
You might not want to kill everyone though, you just might not be a mass murderer. That is why the game has followers, non player characters that will follow you around, can do things you ask, and fight enemies with you. Some of them are mercenaries that you have to pay, some of them you can befriend and just ask to go on adventures with you. Many of them can die from a bear or a cliff and you’ll never see them again. You can also choose not to travel with any follower at all.
This combination of not forcing you in any direction and letting you customize everything about how you play, even in the middle of a playthrough, gives Skyrim some of the best replayability value in any game, even to this day.
The Look and Sound
Not everything about the game can still be given high praise. Just like the previous Elder Scrolls graphics were great for when they were released but as time progressed the visuals didn’t all age well. The textures were updated to more modern standards in the Special Edition but the render distance can be noticeably short in open spaces. Some things are still unique to Skyrim, like the visuals from casting spells and the fact that there are no cut scenes. It is just a single continuous view from the player’s perspective.
How the game sounds is just as important as how it looks. Music in the game is orchestral, and done phenomenally well. You don’t have to walk across Skyrim because there is fast travel, but the calming sounds of an orchestra makes the journey well worth it. Not to mention, you will undoubtedly get jumped by a thief or a dragon, and the music will change to suit the tension of dying.
Skyrim has three pieces of downloadable content. Two of them are based around a quest line with decent stories, and the third lets you build houses out in the wilderness.
Dawnguard is centered around a rising threat of vampires and a new faction called the Dawnguard, they hunt down vampires. You can either join the vampires and become a unique more powerful version of a vampire. On the other hand, you can join the vampire hunters and rent trolls to follow you into battle against the vampires. It also adds dragonbone weapons and armor so you can kill dragons with an axe made from their family.
Dragonborn actually returns to an island called Solstheim which is from a previous Elder Scrolls game called Morrowind. Progressing a short amount into the main quest line will unlock and prompt the start of the Dragonborn main quest line. The dlc also adds several new armor and weapon types, including this magical ice and some bone armor.
Hearthfire begins when you receive a letter from a Jarl, you talk to him and he gives you some land to build a house on. This is one of three locations that you can build a log cabin type of house in Skyrim. A house that is probably bigger and better than any log cabin you’ve ever seen. You can own all three at the same time and if you get married with kids, move them into one of your houses. Then use another house when you need some time away from the kids. After a few months, just tell them you were on another adventure, definitely not avoiding them.
This will be brief because mods are not actually a part of the game itself. If you don’t know what mods are the shortest description you can get is this: They are any modifications to the official game content by a mod author. The community of mod authors have created an extensive library of mods from some small things like adding a couple new swords, to overhauling the entire game into an entirely new experience. Mods only increase the replayability that the game already had. If you play without mods and you’ll enjoy the game for at least a few months, then add some mods and you’ll enjoy it for years to come.