XI
you are not logged in
Preview

Hands On: Skyrim

Bigger and better.

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.
There’s no explaining exactly what it is that makes even the smallest amount of Skyrim shine. Perhaps it’s the immense scale realised as you look across the land, or the thrill from simply wandering around and encountering both friends and foes along the way – but no, it’s not that; it’s another Elder Scrolls game from Bethesda. And it’s that alone that meant Skyrim had one of the biggest queues at the Expo; its popularity being the reason I only managed to play a small section of the game.

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.
There was also another moment that I experienced which really showed off the game’s quality – after noticing a group under attack and aiding them, I spoke to one of them. He tells me I’ve to be on my way, but before I get a chance to he pulls out his axe, runs towards me and then kills a wolf that was about to sneak up on me. I’m aware he might have only been killing the wolf because it was there, but it truly did feel like he was returning a favour, due to the sheer immersion found in Skyrim.

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.

35 Comments
  1. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    The more i hear about skyrim, the more i want it. Also shame on you blair for not spending enough time with Skyrim. ;p

    22 minutes is not even enough to get properly introduced to a RPG due to the sheer size that they tend to be. It sounds like the Radaint AI actually works this time around instead of them speaking about mudcrabs all the time. :)

    I look forward to eventaully getting this. :) *prepares to rob a lorry that will be carrying a load of copies*:p

    Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 16:51.
    • yogdog
      Member
      Since: Feb 2010

      Steven, you been on the caffeine again?

      Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 18:39.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        No. In Oblivion, it seemed that everyone was obessed with mudcrabs. ;)

        Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 18:45.
    • mynameisblair
      hisnameisblair
      Since: May 2009

      They took it off me after 20 minutes, I almost threw the controller down in rage and had a tantrum!

      Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 20:48.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        You should have fought them. You are a monkey, you should have flung your crap at them. ;)

        I knew we should have sent a few GC regs as that you have granted you an unlimited playtime. ;op

        Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 21:09.
      • gully666uk
        Member
        Since: Sep 2010

        I got less then 20 minutes so you was lucky.

        Comment posted on 29/09/2011 at 11:28.
    • E8_BALL_
      Member
      Since: Jul 2010

      mmmmmm, mudcrabs.

      Comment posted on 29/09/2011 at 01:11.
  2. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    Only 43 days left!

    Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 16:56.
    • MadJunkBoy
      Member
      Since: Aug 2010

      AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

      Comment posted on 29/09/2011 at 16:29.
  3. OllyBobs
    Member
    Since: Feb 2010

    Sooo excited for this game, loved every second of oblivion! I even used to read the in-game books haha! Cant wait to preorder it on Friday! :D

    Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 16:56.
  4. moshi
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    Number 1 on the Xmas sales list.

    Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 17:07.
  5. SpikeyMikey23
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    have to buy this for the mrs’ birthday. At least ill get some free time while she plays this haha

    Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 17:25.
  6. Awayze
    Member
    Since: Jul 2010

    …and yet it’s on one disc for the 360 -_-

    Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 17:33.
    • Sympozium
      Member
      Since: Aug 2009

      Couldn’t be bad?

      Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 17:45.
    • The Lone Steven
      Never heard of him.
      Since: May 2010

      And? I fail to see the negative side of that.

      Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 18:43.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        I think what he is trying to say is that games like Rage need 3 discs while a massive game like this fits on one. This could either mean that Skyrim was coded properly or that the 360 version might be lacking compared to the other versions.

        Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 20:02.
      • Awayze
        Member
        Since: Jul 2010

        Hmm I doubt the 360 version is lacking, isn’t the game made on the 360 so PS3 version will suffer if anything.
        *sighs* all that space wasted on the blu ray.

        Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 20:53.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Then Rage must be coded poorly because I can’t see Rage having 3 times the disc content of Skyrim. Either that or they have tons of uncompressed audio / video stuffed in there.

        Comment posted on 29/09/2011 at 12:13.
  7. blackredyellow
    Member
    Since: Mar 2009

    Too…many…games…. *head implodes*

    Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 17:47.
  8. PoorPaddy89
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    This makes my willy do backflips. In a good way.

    Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 18:03.
    • stonyk
      Member
      Since: Dec 2009

      I have an excellent imagination, but I’m struggling with this one!

      Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 20:35.
    • Klart
      Member
      Since: Jun 2010

      Free Willy!

      Comment posted on 29/09/2011 at 16:34.
  9. sabrecheeky
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    I assume it was the x360 version that was being shown? It seems the PS3 version is missing in action. No screenshots, no gameplay vids, no DLC, (for 30 days!), no official pictures of packaging, no mention on the blog (http://www.bethblog.com/index.php/category/skyrim/) – You’d think Microsoft gave them the money to ignore PS3′ers ;-)

    Have had this preordered since March, but am really worried the PS3 version is going to be another Fallout 3 fiasco. Surely somewhere among this hype juggernaut, Bethesda could manage to show us just a bit of the game running on a PS3, to put our minds at rest!

    Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 18:24.
    • Kaminari
      Member
      Since: Jan 2010
      Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 19:13.
      • sabrecheeky
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Hehehe… thanks for that, but I think my point still stands… That article is speculation based on one tweet mentioning the PS3 version. That is how starved of news we are!

        But I will cherish that news, so I thank you again!

        Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 21:53.
  10. rht992
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    i really really can’t make my mind up about this or uncharted. both look amazing

    Comment posted on 28/09/2011 at 18:46.
    • E8_BALL_
      Member
      Since: Jul 2010

      I wouldn’t want to be without either, for me uc3 will have to wait a little while.
      Nice review Blair. I bet it didn’t feel like anywhere near 40min.

      Comment posted on 29/09/2011 at 01:09.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Latest Comments

TSA Meets

  • None today