The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

What do you spend more time doing: installing mods or playing Skyrim?

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

3449
Shriven (after 8 days 18 hours play time)

941 days ago

Playing. Any mods you do put on are simple using the Steam Workshop.

JunkBlader (after 13 days 1 hour play time)

521 days ago

playing Skyrim mod come after finishing the two main plot! worth evry single second

Maggs1958 (after 78 days 6 hours play time)

513 days ago

I love this game though, I cheat alot in it

26
Malentor (after 50 days 20 hours play time)

479 days ago

Extreme value for your money, if you enjoy the Elder Scrolls recipe, and aren't the type to religiously overrate the first title in the series you jumped onboard with.

CrookFire (after 11 days 8 hours play time)

369 days ago

installing mods

Ragdriel (after 40 days 1 hour play time)

296 days ago

It is okay

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

969 days ago

Playing. Skyrim has an outstanding modding community, and they've made sure that modding is quick and easy. The Steam Workshop makes installation a breeze, so there's little time spend actually getting them to work. But overall it's the game and its systems that hold the most appeal, and regardless if it's been modded or not, Skyrim deserves to have time spent on it.

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Playing, though a few hours went into finding and installing mods and getting them to work.

sambrickwood (after 16 hours play time)

588 days ago

Playing

Remi (after 17 days 23 hours play time)

557 days ago

Playing

avatar
1

505 days ago

I never installed mods but I want to try for the first time.

5

327 days ago

Nexus mod manager. Piece of cake usually, and I have no idea how to mod games usually. Altho it isn't unheard of, for a lot of mods to just not work, or make your game crash.

AkenoSan (after 5 days 11 hours play time)

215 days ago

excellent !

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

Playing skyrim, mods are easy because of Steam Workshop

avatar

You

Now

How open is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to explore?

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

The openness is easily the best aspect of the game. The map is large and you can go almost anywhere at any time.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

As soon as you complete the tutorial, the world is completely open

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

969 days ago

Completely. Skyrim's map is entirely open from the very start of the game, with no restrictions.

3449
Shriven (after 8 days 18 hours play time)

941 days ago

See it? Climb it. Huge doesnt quite cover it.

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

2
Falconloft (after 14 days 20 hours play time)

146 days ago

Combat is repetitive very quickly, and the story isn't very long. It's a good looking game though, and there are a lot of side-quests. It's just too bad they don't mean anything.

avatar

You

Now

Does The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim allow for a good range of character builds?

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

Yes, no classes, lots of customization (Cheek bone width, anyone?) You can be a fork wielding knight if you want

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

969 days ago

Skyrim is classless, so you can build your character in whichever direction you choose. If you suddenly decide you want to play an archer, simply just start using bows. Skyrim uses a practice-based XP system, so doing the same thing over and over improves your skill in it. This allows you do improve in any area you choose just by playing in that style.

3449
Shriven (after 8 days 18 hours play time)

941 days ago

Wanna be a sword wielding Battle-Mage thief? You can be.

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Somewhat? One character can do basically everything, so build is mostly irrelevant. You equip and do what you want. Sadly the game was balanced absurdly poorly, so if you are looking for the 'correct' choices then there are a few choice ways to play.

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

avatar

You

Now

Is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim grindy?

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

969 days ago

Not at all. There's not really any area that demands you're a specific level, thus you don't ever feel like you have to go away and simply kill things to reach a required level. Everything you can do is for a specific purpose, and the fact that even a basic fetch quest is wrapped up in a solid story makes Skyrim feel entirely grind free.

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Not for the most part. Its pretty easy, and leveling up is just a nice byproduct of doing stuff. There are exceptions though. Smithing, alchemy, alteration, both armors and speech all require that you do boring and repetitious things if you want to level them at a decent enough pace where they will be useful.
.
As examples, Smithing requires that you make dozens (Hundreds?) of items, almost certainly after you have already found them in game. But is the only way to get the best armor. Alchemy is easier, but also will have you making a dozen useless 'damage mana regen' poisons or somesuch to get levels. (Healing potions annoyingly are worth very little gold and thus contribute very little to leveling) Armors require that you get hit a lot, I have never gotten one over 50ish without letting some goon wail on me.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

Not really. Level up isnt super core in the game. Skill grinding (especially the old Iron Dagger trick - google it) is a small problem

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

3449
Shriven (after 8 days 18 hours play time)

941 days ago

I wouldnt say so. The levelling up process is just an invisible byproduct of doing things. I was barely aware of the level up system.

avatar

You

Now

How well does The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim let you develop your character?

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

Progression is good, you feel like your're getting better, and not in an OP way

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Not sure I know exactly what this means. Your character will become far far more effective in the things they do often. So, yes your character definitely progresses.

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Not sure I know exactly what this means. Your character will become far far more effective in the things they do often. So, yes your character definitely progresses.

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

5

327 days ago

Not as much as I invent on my own. :-P But enough.

avatar

You

Now

How fair are loot drops in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim?

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

969 days ago

Perfectly fair; everything dropped generally feels applicable to the character who was holding them, and as such killing stronger characters leads to better loot.

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Much improved over Oblivion. Skyrim isn't a loot game though, there aren't going to be many exciting drops. Enchanted items are where its at, and they feel rare enough to be significant without being irritating. Ultimately the best items in the game are the ones you craft.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

Loot drops are fairly minimal. Decent drops are hard enough to be fun, but easy enough to not be annoying

avatar

You

Now

Did Bethesda Game Studios do a good job on the dragons in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim?

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

969 days ago

Skyim's dragons are beautiful; great bat-winged brutes that scorch towns with searing beams of fiery breath. Slaying one feels genuinely heroic the first time you do it, especially with some of the great kill animations. But after you've faced three or four, their presence becomes upsettingly mundane. They become exceptionally easy to kill, and eventually become Skyrim's answer to pigeons: annoying buggers you wish would just go away.

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

At first they seem intimidating, but as time goes on they are an annoyance. They show up, kill NPCs and will frequently just roar and fly around outside your range. The battles become rote, they have predictable behaviors and the same tactic of grounding it and then pumping it full of holes/slashes will always work. They aren't even very difficult without mods.

5

327 days ago

Hell yes, they did. I got the mod, that makes them twice the size and more powerful, but I wasn't hurting for that mod to exist. Just happened to see it. :-P

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

The dragons are great, a little cliche, but overall cool. The 'I killed a dragon' hype goes down a little after a few, but it's still pretty cool.

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

avatar

You

Now

How much freedom does The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim give you?

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

969 days ago

Almost unlimited. The entirety of Skyrim is open from the moment you finish the tutorial section, and whilst the main quest-line is there and ready to follow, you need never actually do it. You don't have to reach certain points of the story to unlock areas or skills; you're free to go and do any quest or visit any area you like. It's truly liberating, and since traversal is neither difficult nor punishing, exploration feels actively encouraged.

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

You have more than most open world games, but less than past TES adventures. You can explore almost the entire map at any point, (Some areas are locked out until you get to a certain point in a quest) and its pretty liberating to wander into some random quest or story in a cave somewhere. However, quests themselves sometimes railroad the way you handle a situation. Some (The poorly written thieves guild) put words in your mouth and make you say things your character (or anyone with half a brain) might never say. The biggest issue is that the 'essential' list of unkillable NPCs has become massive.
.
There are miners, mill workers and shop owners, tangentially related to one quest or another that have been made invincible. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal for a game, but its a step backwards for TES. Still, its a very free game, and definitely a success in that regard.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

It's open world and character customizable, what more do you need?

5

327 days ago

Loads. And with mods, you can open up the borders and head into at least one hold each, of the various neighboring countries.

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

avatar

You

Now

Would you read more of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's lore outside the game?

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

969 days ago

No. Bethesda have done an admirable job of creating a lived-in, characterful world, but with the story focused so much on the exploits of you as the hero, I don't see the world of Tamriel as a place with a rich past and culture that's I'd want to explore in other mediums. It is also very video game-y, unlike the Star Wars expanded universe or even Mass Effect's, the story is purely power fantasy and about one character solving everyone's problems, from the bread-maker's lost knife to halting a civil war. Not interesting novel material.

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

I have followed TES lore for years so yes, I am interested in the world they have made. There are tons of secrets and bits of history only hinted at in the games, and many fantastic places not seen in game. (Besides the mediocre MMO) As for the actual story of skyrim? No, the plot is pretty weak (Though a step up from oblivion) and something I hope they do better on next time. Luckily most of the out of game material has to do with exploring the fantastic world and not the stories you already played.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

The in-game story is great, but unlike other games like Mass Effect or Halo, the backstory isn't quite rich enough for reading material.

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

avatar

You

Now

Does magic in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim feel powerful?

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Oh boy, time for a rant. It is abysmal. One of the worst balanced aspects of any RPG I have ever played. Weapons will do more damage than magic for the entire game, but as you get more powerful the difference becomes more pronounced. You see, spells do not scale in power with skills, and few perks increase their magnitude. (There are a couple items) Once you get a spell, basically all you can do is lower its mana cost, while weapon users increase damage with skill, perks, sharpening (Smithing), enchanting and poisons. The dual casting perk literally makes some schools of magic worse. In destruction, you can equip a spell in both hands and use simultaniously for 2x damage at 2x mana, or you can take dual casting and do 2.2x damage for 2.8x mana. It feels like no one even looked at these numbers.
.
Non damaging spells are either useless (Alteration, restoration) or powerful, but only effect enemies below a certain level. Conjuration and Illusion work like this and its terrible. Not only do enemies level with you while spells do not, but you are never told enemy levels in game! As an illusion mage you will be either utterly untouchable or completely useless based on a number you cannot see in game.
.
The spell selection is terrible, you get a smattering of generic spells in each school and most are just improvements over lower tier spells. The best effects in the game are all reserved for dragon shouts. Skyrim tried to keep TES's old magic system, but divided up the effects between magic and shouts, and removed all spellcrafting. The result is a broken system that it genuinely feels like they gave up on half way through. If you want to be a Mage in skyrim, please install a mod to make it bearable.

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

969 days ago

Mostly not. Wizardry is Skyrim's least interesting school of combat; fireballs and ice bolts lack feeling, and electrobolts seem to so next to no damage at all. Unlike Dragon Age's magic, there's little awe to it's effects or damage output, mana is difficult to manage, and the overall feel is it would be quicker and easier just to hit things with big sticks. Illusion magic is much more effective, but summons and buffs are just small complimentary spells rather than an solid offensive choice.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

Not really, weapons are almost always better, and the spells rather lack depth and feeling

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

avatar

You

Now

How imaginative is the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim lore?

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Very, the world is full of mysteries and half-lies if you go looking. There are strange alternate worlds, mechanical cities, sentient trees, cannibal meat eating elves and ancient forgotten races. The lore is at its best when it is mystery, the titular Elder Scrolls have lost their luster a bit for example, damaged by multiple in game uses that remove the air of power and mystery around them.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

Super imaginative, the lore is fun and mysterious, with many clues in various places, and nothing feels too cliche

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

avatar

You

Now

How good is the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim story?

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Not at all. The main plot is straight forward. It may be exciting at times if you know a ton of TES lore already, but for newcomers no. The game's writing ranges form pretty decent to terrible. The point of the game is the freedom, not the story.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

Pretty meh. The civil war sides only dictate who you fight, and the story is straighforward. Maybe it was because my first story complete was when I was watching (new) Dr Who (great storyline, would recommend), but it seemed bland, and the ending rather unrewarding.

avatar

You

Now

Would you recommend any good The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim mods?

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

The unofficial patches are a necessity. As is 'Skyrim Script Extender' and 'SkyUI' for a PC usable interface. I highly recommend 'S.P.E.R.G.' as a lightweight, compatible mode that re-balances the game and makes perks actually interesting. 'Wintermyst' adds a huge selection of enchantments of varying usefulness that will make the system far more interesting than '+15% one handed damage' while 'Immersive Weapons' and 'Immersive Armors' will add a bunch of high quality equipment. Finally 'Moonpath to Elsweyr' and 'Falskaar' add new land and content that is exceptionally high quality.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

If you are on PC, use SkyUI, it's great. Don't make my mistake of using the default and having to get used to SkyUI later.

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

969 days ago

Skyrim can look absolutely photo-realistic gorgeous with the various different ENB mods, which has allowed people like Dead End Thrills to create beautiful screenshots. For a deeper experience, mods like Moonpath to Elswyer offers new environments and quests to play.

3449
Shriven (after 8 days 18 hours play time)

941 days ago

Ore glow mod. Book glow mod and improved lockpicking. Thats before any cosmetic improvements.

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

5

327 days ago

Beautiful Whiterun.

And there's this one "Beyond The Reach" may have already been mentioned in the comments, but you basically get a big chunk of High Rock, with unique buildings and village designs. It's quite well done. Needs the big 3 DLC.

avatar

You

Now

How active is the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim mod scene?

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

969 days ago

Even over three years after launch, Skyrim's modding community is alive and vibrant. The two main hubs for finding mods - The Steam Workshop and Skyrim Nexus - are updated pretty much daily with new mods, from standard texture changes to astonishingly ambitious total conversions.

3449
Shriven (after 8 days 18 hours play time)

941 days ago

Thousands of mods exist... Thomas the tank engine instead of a Dragon? Randy Savage voice over? Play the game as a smurf? all catered for. If you can think of it, chances are someone has made it.

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Very. It arguably has one of the largest modding communities ever formed.

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

avatar

You

Now

How does The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim run on your PC?

5

327 days ago

A bit choppy. The new HD upgrade made it crash after the Bethesda screen. Had to uninstall it. I usually run it on HIGH quality and get a 20-30ish frame rate.

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

968 days ago

Really well. Years on the game is no longer as demanding as it once was, and most modern machines will have no problem. But even at launch, a respectable mid-range PC could run Skyrim at solid framerates at high settings.

3449
Shriven (after 8 days 18 hours play time)

941 days ago

Smooth as butter these days. More recent machines will not see any side effects of having 100 mods or more active.

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Very smoothly. The game isn't too demanding for a modern computer even with a bunch of higher res textures/meshes added.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

Any decent machine can run this game, and any pc worth its salt can run it well.

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

avatar

You

Now

How good are the graphics in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim?

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

968 days ago

Up close a lot of Skyrim's graphical features can feel a bit lacking. Round items are full of sharp edges, textures can be muddy, and not everything looks like it's made of the material it should be. But step back from the granular, and Skyrim is stunningly beautiful. It's vistas are second-to-non, and as far as virtual tourism goes, there's nothing better than a stroll through Skyrim's lands.

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Not fantastic? Luckily that if pretty fixable with mods. There are several mods that keep the feel of vanilla Skyrim and upgrade it. There are also lots of more radical mods some people may like to adjust it in other ways.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

The textures are muddy up close (but the game is old, so whatever), and polygons are visible on some models, but overall, the visuals are stunning, and if you're left yearning for better res, try mods.

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

avatar

You

Now

How good are the sounds in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim?

85
Matt Purslow (after 3 days 9 hours play time)

968 days ago

Part of Skyrim's world-building comes from its audio design. Wind rustling through trees, birds chirping from canopy's, the sound of wildlife scurrying through the undergrowth. This ambient sound adds so much to the game's atmosphere. Voice acting has a broader range of quality; many NPCs are just about acceptable, but thankfully major characters are generally solid.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

The ambience is great, however, many characters are played by the same actor (Hey, that bandit sounds like Belethor!)

avatar

170 days ago

Read my honest 3 year late review of Skyrim @ http://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-elder-scrolls-skyrim-review/

avatar

You

Now

Why do gamers keep coming back to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

3449
Shriven (after 8 days 18 hours play time)

941 days ago

Its a huge game, but it has its issues. Everything in the world can be solved by a trip to the bottom of a cave... It also seems to lack what could be considered a "soul"

"As large and expansive as an Ocean, as deep as a puddle" It likes DEPTH. But will still keep you playing for hour after hour after hour.

360
MrAptronym (after 29 days 11 hours play time)

810 days ago

Honestly, mods. Sans mods Skyrim is a fantastic world trapped in a mediocre game. Mods exist to flesh things out, make the gameplay more interesting and keep you seeing new content though.

4
CrafterOfWorlds (after 14 days 3 hours play time)

478 days ago

The game gets a little bland after a few plays, but mods can fix that, or you can try challenges like only using a fork and run around in your underpants.

Dishonored 2 Review
Dishonored 2 Review

avataravataravataravataravatar

5 reviewers answered 7 questions