The Elder Scrolls V : Skyrim is the best game that I have ever played. Full stop. It helps that I was a fan of the previous installment, Oblivion, as I remember that it took me a while to get into Oblivion whereas with Skyrim, I was engrossed from the first minute.
For those that don’t know, Skyrim, is a first-person RPG which is unique due to the freedom and choices it offers along with a massive world to play in. The game begins with the player about to be beheaded for no apparent reason and the executioners themselves weren’t expecting you (the player). However, just as you put your head down on the (literally) the chopping block, a dragon appears, and you are saved from being decapitated by an axe. In the main story, you will eventually slay this dragon Alduin by venturing into Sovengarde (what the native Nords of Skyrim consider heaven). But of course, you don’t even have to play the main plot-line to enjoy this game.
There are tonnes of other quests to complete. The Dark Brotherhood (a group for sadists) and Thieves Guild have been carried over from Oblivion while the College of Winterhold is the Oblivion equivalent of the Mage’s Guild while the Companions is the equivalent of the Fighter’s Guild. There is also a Civil War questline as the Imperials are at war with the Nord rebels of Skyrim who are trying to preserve their way of life. Daedric quests also present you the opportunity to earn unique equipment.
Combat wise, your character can be a resilient soldier fighting with sword and shield, a hard-hitting fighter using a two-handed weapon, a duel-wielding damage dealer (although it’s quite risky), an archer, a thief who hides in the shadows and of course, many types of mages.
The attention to detail is impeccable, the effectiveness of your sneaking behind people is affected by the weight of your boots and you can even pickpocket individuals in town. Some guards can be persuaded with bribes and NPC’s (non-playable characters) follow schedules – exploit this fact to break into homes at midnight and murder them and steal their belongings. These may be quests for the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves’ Guild respectively or you might just do it for fun. You can also smith and enchant your own weapons, mix potions, cook food and even trap insects and pluck wings off butterflies. It is also possible to get married and own a house.
The best way to obtain nice equipment is to explore Dwarven ruins, crypts, mines and other dungeons even though quests do not require you to explore them. You will encounter dragons on your expeditions in the massive and picturesque world (the snow-capped peaks and underground caverns are a sight to behold), but they soon become quite easy to defeat. However, by slaying dragons, you absorb dragon souls which are used to unlock shouts. Shouts are magic which any character can perform since he is a Dragonborn (possesses dragon’s blood), and associated with time delays instead of the Magika used by normal spells.
Skyrim is simply the most immersive game that I have ever played. The game pulls you into the world of Skyrim – a land where you slay dragons, explore scenic landscapes, command the attention of kings and decide whether you want to do noble deeds or simply be a sadist who kills people and inspire anarchy. After many hours, you will realise that it’s time to face the real world again and that it’s only in Skyrim that you can do anything.
Although the game officially states that a Nvidia 8800GT is the minimum requirement, I was able to play this game smoothly on low detail at 1280 X 1024 on a 512MB Nvidia 8500GT and also on low at 1366 X 768 on an Intel X4500HD, the onboard graphics card found on laptop i3 and i5 processors.