Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the Xbox One
By: Jeff R. Young

Being rather new at doing these game reviews, or any review for that matter, I'm starting to find it isn't as easy as I thought it might be. Being an enthusiastic gamer, I had never sat down and studied the game I was playing and instead just enjoyed the game for what it was. But now, as I ponder and choose which game to give a review on, I am starting to see every game I play through a new, more critical perspective. In doing so, I think I am now picking up on details I otherwise would miss with the play–through. This, my friends, is a good thing in my ever so humble opinion.

For this month, I am taking a slight step back in time to one of the games that had me running to the store to purchase my first Xbox 1, and remains one of my most favorited games of all time; The Elder Scrolls V, Skyrim. When Bethesda Game Studios released the well–anticipated game in November of 2010, scuttlebutt around the gaming world led me to believe that I would not be disappointed. So I hurried to get my copy and within hours of starting to play, I was hooked.

It helped that Skyrim was the fifth installment based in a fantasy world known as Tamriel, which I was more than familiar with having dutifully played through the games that preceded it. One could easily imagine that with five extremely large and detailed games, the base world they created is enormous in scope and rich with lore and provides hundreds of hours of game–play.

One of the many features Skyrim offers is the ability to create your own personalized character based on ten different race choices. There are four human race choices, three elven, an orc, and even a feline and reptile race. You may then customize the character with different body types, facial features, skin colors, and even eye and hair colors. What race you choose is an important choice as the game's stories differ from one race to another.

After one has finished the character creation, the game begins, kick–starting the main campaign, which, when played through from start to finish without doing side missions, takes about six hours or so to run through. As I said, that's if one doesn't get distracted by the seemingly unending amount of sidequests Skyrim has.

In October of 2016, Bethesda upped the ante by releasing a remastered version of the game. It included upgraded graphics and my favorite feature of all, the ability to add mods to the game. I have, through the years I have played the game, that there are so many different mods to choose from that it can be somewhat overwhelming. Mods are mostly player–created material which includes, but nowhere near limited to, different armors and weapons, quests, world spaces like towns and cities, character homes, and even loyal companions to follow you and aid you on your travels. And the best part of the mods are, they're free (except for the Creation Club mods, which unfortunately require payment to download). There are potential issues that can arise using mods, and Bethesda came up with a passive–aggressive way of "punishing" those who use them by disabling the achievements you could earn by playing.

Beyond what the core game offered, Bethesda released three DLCs (downloadable content) to add even more quests and other goodies; Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn. However, when they released the special edition, all three were included, bringing the whole game into one complete package.

Now, to get into the technical aspects of the game, I sadly have to point out several of its unfortunate issues. First, there is the game freeze and crash problems. For those who are like me and forget to save often, these problems can be more than frustrating. Imagine hunting in a mine, or crypt, fighting creatures and finding excellent loot, only to have the game crash, losing everything you have accomplished and gained. I've come close to crying after having that happen (ok, not crying real tears, but I was on the verge of launching my controller through the wall a few times).

I also found that the graphics can be a bit twitchy, which I expected in such a large game. There are clipping issues, rendering issues and often characters or npc's would act, well, weird. Many of these problems can be corrected with the right mod, if you know which ones to use.

A also found, and this is personal opinion only, that some of the minor quests can be repetitive and ultimately boring. Yet it does help that through these different quests, you have the opportunity to become an assassin, or even a werewolf or vampire. So you see, even if some of the gameplay is boring at times, it pays to grind through them for the reward at the end.

I realize that for such an immense game, I have covered only a fraction of what I could potentially write about. This is not all that unintentional as I feel that anyone interested should try the game out and as they do, form their own educated critique (not to mention that to really dig into the game would spoil so much, and frankly, there isn't the time nor the word space to get into a more depth evaluation).

So, whether you are playing on an Xbox, Playstation or PC and you have yet to try it out, I highly recommend Skyrim, giving it a solid four–star rating. It is and perhaps always will be one of the ultimate in role–play games.

A quick side note; to enhance my ability to do these reviews and not be glued to only the Xbox versions of any one game, Santa came early to my house, and since I have been nothing short of a saint this year (please stop laughing) I was gifted with a PS4 and I now also can test out more games via the PC. If you want to look me up on either Xbox or Playstation, just search for wickedwisdom66. I can never have too many friends to game with.