Skyrim Review: Part 2 - The Gameplay

The second part of our Nerd and Proud Review on Skyrim takes a look at The Gameplay. This includes the combat, how you get around and quest's in the game. Next week we take a look at The Features of the game. 

Skyrim isn't really known for its combat. Sure, it's fun - but there isn't a whole load of strategy to it then you have to master before you get really good. It is mainly hack and slash combat. This may not be a bad thing though. It means that you can pretty much use any melee weapon you choose and get the same results. Except perhaps the weight of the weapon affects how quickly you swing, and how much Mana is taken. Saying that, it is fun to just tank through a whole load of enemies in the big battle quests (which sadly don't show up as much as I would like - more on that later), but that really does depend on your character build. If you choose to be a warrior - you are basically used as a tank, in the traditional build. If you choose to be a Mage then you will want to play any other Elder Scrolls game than Skyrim - as in the others you can make your own spells - something that was really really fun to do and a shame that it was taken out. Saying that you can get incredibly powerful if you choose to become a Mage, it just may not really fit into the land of the Nords as much. Another really interesting character build is more of a Thief/Assassin. Obviously, this means joining the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild is a priority, but also means you will be using much more of the bow and arrow than the melee weapon (I suggest getting the Dawnguard DLC if this is your preferred build as it introduces Crossbows to fight the Vampires.) Obviously there are other builds, and you can cross-build to suit what you want to play as, but these are the ones I've tried.

Something really good in Skyrim is the fast-travel system, which lets you go to any place you've visited (almost) instantly, or any big city. This is great, and I can't really fault it. What I do wish however, is that when travelling in a horse and carriage, or on the back of a Dragon to a city, that you could see the landscape around you. That would be brilliant, and a really good way for Bethesda to properly show of the World they have created. But, alas, you can't - maybe in the next one? Lets hope so. I suppose another way to do this would be to eliminate the fast travel system until level 5 maybe, so you can really get a feel for the world.

I loved going through the main quest line in Skyrim. And the side quests. And the faction quests. They were all really good fun, even if a few of the main quests did get a little same-y. But what really shone in Skyrim were the side and faction quests. They were all unique (with the possible exception of some of the Thieves Guild quests) and all really fun to play, in any play through of the game. The Companions quest line was probably the most fun to play, because of the brilliance of the story for it. You really felt involved with them. I won't, however, give too much away about the quests. All I will say is that the ending did disappoint me slightly, as it was a bit too easy, and I really wish there had been more really big battles, and the two or three that were in there were some of the most fun quests of the game. I will never forget when the Stormcloaks (I sided with the Empire) attacked Whiterun and it was just me and the guards against them. That's was awesome, and I wish more games like Skyrim did that.

That brings me onto a big side-quest really. Something which is crucial to the plot, but not in the spot-light for most of the game, which is the Nords fighting against each other. Ulfric Stormcloak against the Empire. It ties in to the plot because of the prophecy for when Alduin (the main bad-guy in the game - also a dragon) would return with the Dragons "When the sons of Skyrim would spill their own blood..." is the line in the trailer that describes this struggle the two sides faced, and is a very interesting part of the game, as you can choose which side to fight with, which will ultimately end up pitting your side against the other to see who takes control over Skyrim. All this starts in the very first "scene" of the game, where you can decide to escape Helgen with either an Imperial Soldier, or a Stormcloak prisoner. Although this choice doesn't really effect your game at all, it significantly shows you about some of the quests in the game from the beginning, which I really like.

The Gameplay of Skyrim was good fun, but some areas could have been improved upon more and just refined slightly. Very close to perfect though. 


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