As you probably already know, last weekend some of the TSA Staff, myself included, attended the Eurogamer Expo in London. We played a lot of games, did a lot of interviews and saw enough of many things to do hands on previews. One thing that I personally didn’t get enough time with was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim; the two twenty minute sessions that I enjoyed didn’t manage show enough to get into the real meat of Skyrim, that will have to wait until the full game as it’s absolutely massive.
You see, it’s extremely hard to judge such an expansive RPG from a miniscule amount of playtime, though the fifth title in The Elder Scrolls series did something magic – it managed to impress within the first few minutes of playing and it kept impressing throughout my relatively small quest into the world of Skyrim.
Both Giants and Mammoths patrolling are formidable foes.
Skyrim manages to feel very real; the world feels alive as you’ll encounter random wildlife running around – some of which that can actually be quite hostile – and NPCs which will work with you to take down foes or fight against you if you pose a threat, to defend their land. The game manages to constantly convey this living, breathing world, with many events occurring during my time with the game and not one of them appearing scripted.
Unfortunately, there were no dragons dropping out of the sky and attacking as I traversed the mountains, but there were other large creatures such as giants and mammoths which were very intimidating. I managed to acquire a horse too, which was very nice, both to look at and to play. Bar some off-putting and jarring foliage, Skyrim is a stunning game and Bethesda’s work on the engine shines through.
It’s the interaction above all that’s what makes Skyrim very special, and bearing in mind I only played forty minutes, what I saw was incredible. For example, there was a moment where after chasing an Elk into a village and setting it on fire with a spell, villagers rushed out to aid my character in defeating it, before one woman began to spread rumours that it “flew over the mountain” with other townspeople making various comments as I collected its hide and meat.
Horse riding is another thing Skyrim does well.
Many other little things bring Skyrim together into a fantastic RPG. There’s a deep character creation tool, an extremely sleek menu for selecting your weapons and other gear and you can even read the books you’ve collected in the game. Add this to an excellent combat system with many choices of weapons, power attacks and even finishers and, of course, the revamped game engine, then the immersive, realistic world of Skyrim is one that we’ll all be spending a lot of time in come November.
If I’ve managed to have such a captivating experience in the short amount of time I’ve played, only barely scratching the surface of the fifth Elder Scrolls game, then I truly cannot wait to see what events will occur as I travel around the mountains and plains of Skyrim later this year. The truth is, no matter how long you play this game for, you’ll no doubt have a blast and find something to do on your travels – whether that’s a short forty minute affair or a meaty two hundred hour journey.