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

clangod's Avatar


I gave in to curiosity and intended to buy this today. I will read a few reviews and pick it up Sunday instead.

I'm quite apprehensive about the purchase and subsequent dedication. I'm not sure I'll stick with it but at least I know the potential (sheer scope) is more than worth the price.

Who knows, maybe I'll be sucked into the void? Either way it is just irresistable. I'm buying it over Arkham City. 7 day trade option at the local EB so if not by then. Never.

Thanks for the great review.
Posted 07:27 on 11 November 2011
p0rtalthinker's Avatar


Already pre-loaded on Steam. MY BODY IS READY
Posted 22:58 on 10 November 2011
reynoldio's Avatar


So excited. Looking forward to Emily's blog posts!
Posted 21:33 on 10 November 2011
Get2DaChoppa's Avatar


Great read. I have never actually played an Elder Scrolls game, but this one has definitely caught my eye. Gonna have to find time to play this.
Posted 20:01 on 10 November 2011
squidman's Avatar


I will also be obtaining the videogame Skyrim but I must ask what is the multiplayer like? as I couldn't find much about this in Nick's review!
Posted 19:19 on 10 November 2011
Endless's Avatar


I'm yet to find a bug in a Bethesda game. I feel special. I shall be out the door first thing in the morning to trade my dust-covered games for a spangly new Skyrim, then probably spend most of the day creating my character ;)
Posted 19:14 on 10 November 2011
Woffls's Avatar


Yeah that's a heart.

I was looking forward to a Gera review as well :( </3
Posted 16:08 on 10 November 2011
draytone's Avatar


I think it's a heart? Miss Gera was declaring her love for ClockPunk. Which is fair enough, he is a cool guy.
Posted 16:00 on 10 November 2011
MrGloomy's Avatar

MrGloomy@ Geraface

Ok, I'm old and not clued-up enough to figure it out. What does <3 mean?
Posted 15:47 on 10 November 2011
draytone's Avatar


I'll play it 3rd person, but I'm thinking you'll have to switch to first person for the harder battles.
Posted 15:44 on 10 November 2011
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ squidman

If I was even remotely able to mod, it would!
Posted 14:08 on 10 November 2011
dudester's Avatar


Is it just me that doesn't seem to get on with the first person perspective of oblivion and well since looking at the vid probably skyrim?
Posted 14:06 on 10 November 2011
Geraface's Avatar

Geraface@ Clockpunk

Posted 13:55 on 10 November 2011
draytone's Avatar


:D Hah, yeah! It does look pretty good fun.
Posted 13:55 on 10 November 2011
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ draytone

I'd trade in Brink but I think it'd only cover the cost of the shrink-wrapping.
Posted 13:36 on 10 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: 600 75
View Full Site