Several months ago, I touched on the video game Skyrim, which has a major story line involving dragons. Now that I’ve been able to play it thoroughly, I give the game very high marks. Not that this surprised me; I’ve been a fan of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series since Morrowind was released in 2000.
These games feature great graphics, great music, and great voicing. They are what’s called open-world games, where your character can roam anywhere, explore everything, join guilds and decide the fate of worlds (or just track down a stolen necklace). In most video games, you can only play the one story line over and over, with various character classes. With an open-world game, every character is different and the story never unfolds the same way twice.
Another thing I really like about Elder Scrolls games is that you have to play solo. No crowded online worlds where strangers hit on you, or kill your character and steal its equipment. And no tawdry auction houses where people try to turn a fun amusement into a full time career. Thank you, Bethesda!!
Well, what about those dragons? Visually, they are impressive creatures: big and spiky and full of mean. According to the Skyrim lore, dragons were the originators of all magic and brutal masters of the lesser races. When a dragon unleashes its breath weapon, it is essentially shouting its power in dragonese. Beyond that, however, most of the dragons don’t have much to say. They all attack you for no reason, and Alduin himself was a bit of a weenie.
Although the graphics in these games just gets better, the story is not quite as good as in the previous game. There’s no central figure like Martin Septim of Oblivion. However, the storytelling in Skyrim is still vastly superior to most other fantasy games (don’t get me started on Diablo III…) and the replay value is outstanding. I spent a good six months playing different characters in Oblivion, and I expect to do the same with Skyrim.
Since the game has now been out for a few months, you can get used copies for a reasonable price. But even if you opt to buy new, you still get your money’s worth. I can’t recommend this game highly enough.