The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

The latest chapter in The Elder Scrolls saga, re-imagines and revolutionises the open-world fantasy epic.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
Back to game info
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim screenshot
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim screenshot

Because we at care about our audience, we'd like to offer anyone planning to play Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim a couple of pieces of advice. First off, if you have any long term commitments like say, a job or friends or a significant other, we suggest you ring them to make your excuses now - you don't want to get sacked or dumped over a video game, and letting your friends think you've died or been kidnapped due to lack of communication is just plain rude. Furthermore, it might be worth making sure that your gas and electricity bills have been paid, and that you have enough provisions to last you until spring. You're going to need time for Skyrim and lots of it.

To say Skyrim is vast is to make a chronic understatement. The sheer scale and size of the game's environment alone is absolutely mind-boggling and it's all augmented by a staggering amount of variety. Every town, every dungeon, every temple and every location has been created with a loving care and a fastidious attention to detail, and all of them boast a personality and an atmosphere of their own.

This level of range allows Skyrim to weave its first intoxicating spell of immersion. Players will soon stop seeing Skyrim as a game and become lost in its gargantuan landscape. They'll visit the cracked black-stone fortress of Windhelm, the blizzard-swept desolation of Winterholm, the sun-kissed settlement of Whiterun, and traverse rolling hills, snow-packed peaks and lush forests in between. Then they'll stare up at the clock and realise they could've finished off a couple of novels in the same time it took to do all that.

It isn't just the immense size of Tamriel as a place that gives it its ability to swallow lives whole. Bethesda has packed every inch of its game with content for the player to consume. Before the player is even allowed to begin exploring they're tasked with creating their character, and the levels of customisation on offer are so huge that the player could while away a couple of hours deciding on the exact look and feel of their avatar in the game. Skyrim also boasts over a hundred locations, a huge legion of characters and a lengthy list of quests to complete. The list of activities available is also pretty sumptuous; players can spend hours crafting weapons, mixing potions, enchanting items or simply reading the ton of books they'll find scattered throughout the game. Underneath it all there's a rather decent plot trundling along, involving a civil war in Skyrim, the return of some dragons believed to be extinct and the end of the world. You know, the usual epic fantasy stuff.

The player's role in this is as the last remaining Doväkiin, or Dragonborn to you. Not only does this set them up as the last hope of mankind, it also allows them to absorb the souls of any slain dragons. These in turn are used to unlock 'shouts', a list of abilities that range from lightning-quick movement, to a concussive blast that sends opponents flying, to the power to encase foes in a block of ice. Shouts have to be acquired and the player does this by seeking out runes etched into the walls of the many dungeons and subterranean caverns dotted around Skyrim. Each shout has three parts, becoming more powerful as more parts are found. It's worth spending the time to bolster up the Dragonborn abilities as they provide a much-needed edge in combat.

The rest of the combat system allows players to dual-wield weapons and magical attacks - provided of course, their weapon of choice doesn't require two hands to swing. Every successful attack earns XP which can be used to level up, and your character will also become more proficient in the types of weapons and magic they use the most in battle. When levelling up, the player is awarded a choice of topping up their health, magic or stamina, and is given a talent point they can use to unlock a perk in the talent tree of their choice.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

draytone's Avatar


You might not get a job after getting it... strange how the size of the game is putting me off a little.
Posted 09:54 on 15 November 2011
87Sarah's Avatar


Sounds like if I'm going to get this, I should before I get a job.
Posted 09:53 on 15 November 2011
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ draytone

Hours? I have hours. What I need for this game is a whole other life to play it while I work, sleep, eat, drink and enjoy my family with the other ;)

It's certainly worth making sure you have the time to play it before getting too into it. I'm actually playing it and I already feel somewhat overwhelmed by the number of quests I have and the scale and quantity of options I have at my disposal lol
Posted 09:47 on 15 November 2011
draytone's Avatar


Decided to hold off for a few weeks, thinking about maybe picking it up around Christmas. From what I've read, it looks amazing. It's going to be hard to find the hours.
Posted 09:39 on 15 November 2011
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ tvr77

It's as hands on as any RPG you'll ever play. If you've never played Fallout 3 either then this will certainly be a breath of fresh air to you. The only real way you compare this to a Final Fantasy or similar Japanese RPG is that you level your characters up, have some part in the way the story plays out and there are random battle encounters.

Oh yes there are.

I dont know if this is difficulty level specific (i'm playing on Expert from the beginning, which is fricken hard with the build i've chosen! lol) but i've come across enemies wandering around and been killed, then gone back to the same place and there be nothing there or a different enemy in it's place!

You swing every blow of your weapon, if you want to block you have to raise your shield yourself. But if your shield isnt strong enough or your blocking skill isnt high enough you'll still take a bit of damage and be staggered back.

Arrows and magic aren't based on background dice rolls, if you fire an arrow you have to make sure you draw your bow enough to reach the target and that you offset your targeting to take into account the distance and arc of the arrow. projectiles move in real time and you can physically dodge them if you see it coming.

Enemies will hear you move around if you're wearing heavy armour, spells make a helluva noise. If you miss with an arrow or anything then enemies will investigate the sound. This even means you can intentionally fire away from them to distract a target. Sneaking/stealth is heavily influenced by this, you're more concealed in the dark, the faster you move the more likely you are to make noise and the more likely you are to be seen.

Hands on? There's very little you DON'T do yourself in this game.

This is easily the best WRPG i've played, and I didn't like Oblivion at all really, couldn't get in to it. But luckily I've already found a book in Skyrim that tells me the whole Oblivion story anyway ;) No loss! lol.

I'm playing an Arcane Archer build btw, which is not easy, someone gets the jump on you and you really struggle to get al your defensive and utility spells up in time. Couple of bruisers with greatswords can easily take me down in 3 or 4 swings >.> Conversely my dual-wielded Bound Swords can kill one of them in a single hit....if they dont have shields. Shields are what i'm struggling with atm :|

EDIT: I'm actually playing on Expert..
Posted 21:59 on 12 November 2011
tvr77's Avatar

tvr77@ Wido

i get that, only there not completely different there both rpg's, :) i ment is skyrim as hands on as mass effect is, im not really into games like final fantasy, where you pick a certain attack etc and it does it all for you, i really enjoyed deus ex also because its an rpg but still has lots of action and fps style gameplay, i just really like the look of skyrim, so i think i am just grab a copy, pronto style, thanks for your help peeps
Posted 20:29 on 12 November 2011
dudester's Avatar


I'm tempted by skyrim and I didn't get on with oblivion at all.
Posted 14:36 on 12 November 2011
Wido's Avatar

Wido@ tvr77

Completely different to Mass Effect. In no such way does it even have something similiar to Mass Effect. You should really try Oblivion, but with what I have played so far of Skyrim. You might as well skip Oblivion and dive straight into Skyrim, as it is, 10x better than Oblivion already... Bold claim indeed and I will stand by it!
Posted 10:31 on 12 November 2011
reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio@ tvr77

Definitely more Mass Effect than FF I'd say. I think that if you're interested you should give it a go - everyone I know who has it already is in love with it!
Posted 09:55 on 12 November 2011
tvr77's Avatar


im looking for a bit of advice, im not a big rpg fan but i loved mass effect 2 and didnt like final fantasy much, i think its because mass effect is more hands on with the action etc, so iv been looking at skyrim and i think it looks great but with all the games out right now i dont want to make a mistake, with regards to rpg is skyrim more mass effect or final fantasy, if you get what i mean, cheers
Posted 15:58 on 11 November 2011
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ draytone

Ha Ha! - 5 Hours a day and it should only take 60 days - hope there aren't too many people waiting for it after me :0/

It's more to try it out for a week or so to see if I want to buy it! I found Oblivion a bit hit and miss and never finished it so as much as I'm looking forward to this one I'm a bit cautious about actually buying it.
Posted 11:51 on 11 November 2011
TomPearson's Avatar


Watch the extended play for the invisible horse!
Posted 11:07 on 11 November 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar


Come ON, Postie!!

The anticipation is tangible up here!
Posted 10:27 on 11 November 2011
draytone's Avatar


300 hour game as a rental? Good luck!
Posted 09:21 on 11 November 2011
guyderman's Avatar


\0/ Should arrive today from Lovefilm as it was dispatched yesterday - can't wait to get started on it - just got the last little bit of MW3's SP campaign to finish first otherwise I know I won't return to it once I start this!
Posted 08:02 on 11 November 2011

Game Stats

Technical Specs
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Out of 10
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Huge amount of quests and activities
  • Well-written and compelling narrative
  • Vast deep and detailed world
  • Occasionally buggy
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 11/11/2011
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: RPG
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 512 34
View Full Site