Skyrim PC Review: Just A Console Port?
Best of all, the game doesn’t railroad you into following the main plot. This is where Skyrim shows its depth. You could roam the countryside, seeking adventure, and never run out of things to do. Rather than forcing you to engage in activities that don’t interest you, Skyrim presents a panoply of options that you can choose to enjoy or ignore. Love to create your own items? Skyrim has a robust crafting system. Think it’s a burden? You never have to bother with it.
Skyrim has such depth that you cannot experience everything it has to offer in a single playthrough, and based on previous Elder Scrolls titles, there are surely hundreds of hours of gameplay. You can spend a week just buying and decorating houses, if home ownership is a fantasy of yours.
Exploration alone can be a thrilling goal. The land of Skyrim is vast, and as a Canadian, I appreciated a setting that accurately depicted my homeland. But there’s more to Skyrim’s geography than just snowy mountains, and the environments all feel natural and realistic. Aside from some relatively low-resolution textures, the attention to detail is impressive. When one Skyrim night brought fiery auroras that danced across the sky, I was awed.
More than just a landscape, Skyrim feels alive. During my travels, I ran into a duel between a fire mage and an ice mage, a ghost horse ran through me, and a diseased traveler vomited on me — after which villagers kept telling me I looked ill. Townsfolk walk around, change location and go about their business. I followed one lady as she chopped some lumber, sharpened her axe, then went home.
In fact, it seems the most boring person in Skyrim is your own character. One again, Bethesda uses the silent protagonist shtick, which makes it difficult for me to engage with the character. However, that’s a stylistic choice the developers choose to make with their games, and I won’t fault Skyrim for that.
But between the game’s fantastic musical score and the songs bards sing while strumming their lutes, you may not even notice your character’s silence. So impressed was I with the bard songs that I’ve found myself singing along, mouthing lyrics that praise the Empire — and I’m a staunch anti-Imperial.
Beyond Skyrim’s wealth of content, we can expect a host of community-made mods to further prolong the game’s life, as we’ve seen with Oblivion and Fallout. Unfortunately, as of this writing, the mod tools haven’t been released, so they won’t factor into the score.
Now that I’ve expounded on Skyrim’s strengths, it’s time to turn our attention to its weaknesses. Despite what you may have heard, Skyrim isn’t perfect. It has some glitches, animations can bug out, NPC dialogue will get cut off mid-sentence, yes — but these are all minor issues, and after playing for a few hours, I was too engrossed with the game to notice them.