Skyrim (2011)

Skyrim is an open world video game that was released in 2011. The game is available to be played on several platforms including the Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Xbox One, and PS4. It is the fifth part of a medieval and adventure series called The Elder Scrolls, which follows different storylines set in a fictional world Tamerial full of elves, wizards, knights, vampires, werewolves, and even trolls. In Skyrim, the plot revolves around the user’s main character called the “dragon born” who is essentially the chosen one that is the only individual who has the power to kill an evil dragon named Alduin. To begin the game, the player gets to choose and fully customize a character to their liking, choosing their character build, race, hairstyle, and certain abilities. Over the course of the game, the player has hundreds of quests to choose from, and the overall gameplay capacity is up to 300 hours. Each of these quests changes the direction of the world around them and gives the ‘dragon born’ points to develop skills to level up and get stronger. The game is in an open world format which gives the user the ability to travel anywhere on the map and do any quest as they please in any order. This is an amazing feature making it a way better experience as if you have independence and power, making the video game seem more realistic. The game has sold over 30 million copies worldwide and won several awards at the E3 video game conference, including game of the year.

The company who made Skyrim is called Bethesda Studios, who also created the popular Fallout series. To make the game Bethesda used their state of the art creation engine which has essential real time shadows and creates more details to distant objects. For example, a fellow character in the game may not seem as visually impressive as a huge snow-capped mountain range in the background of a scene. This engine also exhibits a more physical based structure, vibrant volumetric lighting, and more developed character generation. Bethesda also put great attention to detail in blending nature and buildings. Skyrim is also known for its great non-character player interactions and intelligence making the world in Skyrim to seem like a real place and makes you feel like you are actually there. The attention to detail is seen in every image of this game.

What makes Skyrim unique is how colossal this fictional world of Tamerial is. The role playing sets it apart, you can create a character of your choosing and create the world of your choosing, and the freedom to live however you want. This liberty that most games do not have. The vast amount of content brings in such a commanding sense of adventure and discovery into play. The fighting scenes and view is from the first person which builds a life like an experience and feels like you are actually attacking your enemies in the real world. The exploration is endless and you can change how you play whenever you want, the ultimate flexibility and choice of direction also sets it apart from any other game I have played.

The soundtrack to the game is also extremely impressive. It is an achingly beautiful score done by Jeremy Soule who is considered the John Williams of video game soundtracks. It is a great orchestra based and classical music infused soundtrack with hints of opera in it. It goes perfectly with the medieval and mythical nature of this video game. The equality in Skyrim is also very great, women are treated as equals in this game and have the same opportunities, and all races are treated alike.

Skyrim is immense and beautiful, with such a layered open world structure that is endless. It is full of creative designed content that you have never seen before in any other video game.  Bethesda created a world in Skyrim that feels like it existed long before you arrived and it will live on long after you stop playing.  It is capped off by a great reward system and amazing story that will keep you playing for hours at a time. All giving many gaming critics the belief that Skyrim is one of the best games ever made.

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