Skyrim set the bar for RPGs

These graphics of majestic horses of the Stormcloak Army give mystical Skyrim a sense of realism. Tomi Tapio/Flickr.

By Mike Shames
[senior entertainment writer] 

Skyrim. Everything that can be said about it has already been said. It’s wonderful, it’s a masterpiece and it has both raised the bar and set the standard for RPGs. It can be seen as the beginning of a new era within the video game medium.

For those who don’t swoon over RPGs, the only ones that caught the attention of gamers were Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts 2. Originally, Skyrim looked like any other RPG, but with some fire breathing lizards and high quality graphics.

The game starts you out as an unspecified prisoner being brought for execution.

After creating an avatar, you escape during a dragon attack.

After that, you enter a world that is expansive and completely open to you.

Generally, if you see it or hear about it, you can go to it and there are few limitations.

As for you character, you can make them anything you desire: a warrior, a mage, an assassin or a thief.

Sown into the world are regular animals like bears, bunnies and birds, along with werewolves, vampires, zombies, giants and, of course, dragons.

The story can unravel at the leisure of the player. With numerous side-quests, there are many hours to be spent exploring and questing through every corner of the Skyrim world.

Visually, Skyrim is stunning; the broad spectrum of environments and the amount of detail in the smallest of things all make the world seem full of life. Everything is there, mountain passes overlooking a lake or river, plains full of deer and rolling hills, bogs, foggy coastlines and frozen shores.

The gameplay is great.

Everything helps you to level up, encouraging conversations with the people or crafting items, using everything at your disposal or specializing in select sectors. The combat is exhilarating, though at times stiff and slow.

Leveling up is easy. The main complaint would have to be the lack of voice variety amongst the denizens of Skyrim.

Other than that, the experience gives you so much; the minor faults are forgiven and forgotten. The main problem a player will encounter is where to start and what to do next.

Skyrim is a must-have for gamers. Even at the full price this game is a bargain. If there is something to watch out for, it’s glitches on the PlayStation 3. For whatever reason, the PS3 version has some problems, but there are numerous AutoSaves so if it does quit on you, at least you won’t have to retrace too far. But again, Skyrim will keep giving you opportunities to fight, talk, earn gold and more.

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