The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
A vast, varied, unique and complex role-playing game
- Improved visuals, dragons, it's the sequel to Oblivion, did we mention dragons
- November 11 is a long time to wait for fans, we're worried about the PC version being too 'console-ised'
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the most anticipated games of 2011. We can't wait to get our hands on it.
Even the game's extensive nether regions feel like the hand-sculpted, cheerless, cobwebbed, alien axe-murdering death-traps they're meant to, filled with icon-matching puzzles, body-skewering spikes, swinging half-moon blades, flammable pools of glistening liquid, and so forth. Speaking of, and to borrow a Gollum-ism, the area designers have been all kinds of tricksy: At one point while dungeon-delving, a steel grate collapsed under my feet, dropping me into a pool of water. Fumbling for a way out, I located a handle and pulled...which slammed shut the grate above me. I almost drowned before finding...well, I won't spoil it for you, but it's the thing that's been missing from prior Elder Scrolls games — the sense that every twist is unique, every turn handcrafted.
"He was formidable in battle yet behaved with honour..."
Some of the game's boldest choices involve omissions. It's indicative of how much the Elder Scrolls games have matured that they've finally abandoned classic Dungeons & Dragons attributes like "Strength" and "Intelligence" in favour of more pragmatic skills, say your flair with a given weapon, magical idiom, or criminal tool. As in Morrowind and Oblivion, progression depends on use, so if you want to be a better pickpocket, then pickpocket, or a better enchanter, enchant. Raise enough of those skills and you'll level up, whereby Bethesda folds in Fallout 3's brilliant perk system and lets you select from unique skill-specific abilities. Many offer over a dozen to choose from, several with their own rank-based subsets. And we're talking more than rote integer boosting: Pick "Silent Roll" under "Sneak," for instance, and sprinting while sneaking will execute a silent forward roll, or pick "Bullseye" under "Archery" and you'll gain a chance to paralyse your target for several seconds. It altogether amounts to one of the most intricate, cleverly-integrated, and satisfying character development systems yet implemented in a game.
Bringing those skills to bear on the world's inhabitants — and I'm thinking of the ones involving weapons and spells here — feels more physically present than it did in Oblivion, though in close combat, it still amounts to hammering your gamepad (or mouse's) left and right triggers. Combat's never been Bethesda's strong point, and while Skyrim one-ups Oblivion's battle mechanics with better connective physics and cool Fallout-3-like flourishes or "finishing moves," there's still room for improvement. This is shoot-the-moon wishing, but I'd love to see an Elder Scrolls game with Dark Souls' tactical versatility, or the Thief series' attention to light and shadow instead of Skyrim's simple distance and line-of-sight metrics. There's also an occasional sense of physical disconnection from the world that can mar your experience of it, such as characters that "glide" over the ground when walking, or your ability to stand, literally, inside the skeletal remains of slain foes (especially weird when they're big as houses). The "Creation" engine's collision detection could do with some touching up, though the only outright bug I encountered involved a horse floating hundreds of feet in the air (unless it was a magic horse, of course).
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
- 2 Synology DS216+ Review
- 3 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 4 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 5 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Epic CEO: How Microsoft is plotting to cripple Steam and seize control of PC gaming
- SurveyMonkey: Pokémon Go popularity may have already peaked
- Pokémon Go and the demon-haunted world
- 8 insider tips to help you become a Pokémon master
- Awesome: Hitman's next elusive assassination target is Gary "Wildcard" Busey
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTSocial Media AssistantQLD
- CCUser Access Review (UAR) DeveloperVIC
- FTJava DeveloperVIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (Java/SQL) 160721/AP/624Asia
- FTChange and Release ManagerVIC
- FTFull-Stack .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTFull Stack DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Project OfficerACT
- FTContinuous delivery application deployment automation specialist (DevOps)NSW
- FTService Desk ManagerNSW
- CCMicrosoft Business Intelligence (BI) ConsultantNSW
- CCSOA -Solution Architect -baselineACT
- CC.Net DeveloperNSW
- CCService Lead - Cloud hosting and storageNSW
- FTProject Manager- Change ManagementSA
- CCTechnical Specialist - EUCNSW
- CCBPM Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCTechnical Architect - CloudNSW
- FTData AnalystACT
- CCBusiness Analyst (ERP)NSW
- CCFrontend DevelopersQLD
- CCBusiness Analyst/ Scrum MasterNSW
- FTPortfolio Project Governance AnalystNSW
- CCUX / UI Visual DesignerNSW
- CCOracle Apex DeveloperWA