Where Insanity Thrives… Still

Well I’m up to 6 hours played on Skyrim (according to steam) so I’m going to give it a full review (with out story line spoilers).

Upon loading the game up I was quite impressed, visually its quite easy on the eyes even on medium settings with a distinctly elder scrolls feel to it, and this is achievable on most common PC hardware. Now my PC is no gaming beast but its still above the average hardware that post people are using (again according to the steam statistics) so I’m going to take my experience as being fairly average of what most people would see. The shadows in Skyrim are one of the least impressive aspects of its graphics with them tending to get very jagged at times and detracting from otherwise wonderful settings, however all in all most of the time you would overlook this as your busy doing something (like killing the guy who just jumped out of his grave to kill you!) making it less of an issue that you would first expect. Overall I would place them graphics at ab 8/10.

The UI’s in the PC version seem to have been taken directly from the console version and for the first few hours I was fighting them to get what I wanted done and learning where everything was hidden in the 2 separate menus you have available (one for your stuff your character uses, items spells etc, and the other got more game like things like saving the game and viewing active quests). this was rather disorientating particularly as navigating them was clearly designed to be done with a controller. in addition to this some of the default key binding made functions hard to find (or use when you needed them like the dragon shouts that are bound to ‘Z’ by default. In the end i gave up on the keyboard and mouse and plugged in a Xbox controller and things became much easier to use, this are of the game could have defiantly used some more work in the PC version, however my experience with the controller says they got it right for the console versions. combat also became easier with the controller as all your combat related buttons where not under each other (like the shouts I already mentioned.) making the game much easier to play.

The leveling mechanics in the game make it very fast to level up with the perks giving you options to make a specialist that is viable regardless of your play style (yes even the sneaky archer can kill a dragon, if your careful) however adding perks using the KB and mouse was again hard, and much faster and more intuitive using the controller. but as your not doing this to regularly its not that bad. all up i give the UI and control system a 5/10 using the Keyboard or 9/10 using the controller.

The storyline of the main quest is exceptional (so far) and much better if you don’t go and read any spoilers before you play (and that’s why I won’t put any here) with some nice twists and the odd side quest that actually helps you out, to the point of having done one of the side quests allowed me to practically skip an entire main quest as I had already achieved the objective. while this was a nice bonus it would have been nice for the objectives to be separate, with so much of the story i have not begun to look at I won’t comment to much on this section, but quests seem to be relatively compact so far, making it more inviting to do the odd side quest, even if it is just to take some herbs across town.

With so much to do in the game I feel that the price tag on this game is more then justified, with a good mix of content, good graphics and game mechanics this title has earned its place as a AAA title this year, however the shocking menu system for the PC version leaves something to be desired. the game also requires you to link it to a Steam account making it difficult for some people who may wish to play the game with out access to broadband internet, as there was a day 1 patch that I am defiantly not a fan of (Surely buying the game on launch day I should be playing 1.0 not as this screams that the game could have been better released in a month or 2.

Overall I would rate this a 7/10 game on PC, having an Xbox controller for your PC makes the experience much better, however the keyboard and mouse experience needs some more work to make this a good introduction for players new to the elder scrolls series. if you happen to own a controller this is easily a 9/10 game.

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