The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Preview

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Preview

  • By: CM Boots-Faubert
  • Posted 4th Nov 2011

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

---=== Introduction ===---

When The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was first released it was a game that presented a mixture of often jarring contradictions to the players -- and in spite of the fact that it received nearly universal praise and is and was considered to be a game of considerable influence that left its mark on many of the Action-Adventure and RPG games that followed it, it was by no means a perfect game.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim fortunately does not seem to have inherited any of the more obvious imperfections, at least at first blush, but bear in mind that this must certainly be classified as a "snap judgment" when you consider that it is based upon a completely inadequate amount of exposure time to the game -- just what we could manage in the all-too-brief absorption that took place at PAX and at E3 and the subsequent glances through the mind's eye that are possible from the different video trailers that have been offered up to us by the studio.

So if we got that wrong and the game includes oddities like being challenged by a guard for breaking the law and then having them cheerfully wish you a good day, or having the guards see you stealing through a wall, we will certainly be forced to plead mea culpa.

Having said that, the first stand-out point in favor of Skyrim is that unlike Oblivion, whose launch was underscored by a general impression that the graphics in the game were not up to snuff, appearing to be crude when reflected against the then current standard in games -- the graphics in Skyrim are simply amazing. In comparison they are cutting edge modern and easily factor in as a significant part of player immersion in the game, even when the player puts the game into first-person view and notches an arrow in their bow!

Like in Oblivion the player starts out as a prisoner -- only in Skyrim they are a prisoner on their way to the gallows to be executed rather than one who finds themselves in a cell! The immediate sense of peril may well be an intentional effort upon the part of the developers to both help the story quickly progress and -- this is likely -- be in part a reflection of the desire to avoid the unfortunate trend that developed in the previous game whereby the player began as a prisoner in a cell and then escaped through a dank and musty sewer that was replete with dead-ends, giant rats, and the odd treasure of sorts to be found only to stop playing shortly thereafter out of confusion and boredom...

The end result though was a trip through the sewers and, at the end of them, a brief deviation as the story was enlarged with dialogue before the player found themselves in the woods and wilderness with a mission but no clear and obvious path to the completion of it. This situation had the unfortunate effect of causing half of the gamers who experienced it to dismiss the game as too slow, too crude, and not worth playing! Fortunately for them they usually succumbed to their mates praise of the game and returned -- but the small percentage of gamers who gave up and never returned at that point certainly missed out on one hell of an adventure!

That the developer took a different path in Skyrim speaks well for the game, as the player finds themselves on their way to a certain death when the story takes a dramatic turn as a dragon attacks the town, inadvertently interfering with the plans of the guard to do you in. The point to these circumstances is that the story finds a more vital and meaningful starting point as a result, and the slow and rather tedious beginning that the players were confronted with in Oblivion is nicely avoided in Skyrim!

Thus begins our adventure in what is surely a worthy -- nay -- a more than worthy successor and a next chapter in the story that is The Elder Scrolls!