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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

15 November 2011
PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Bethesda Softworks

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)
The latest entry in the Elder Scrolls saga brings players back to the world of Tamriel, visiting the frozen wastes of its dangerous northern regions. Unfortunately, the winter wonderland is having a bit of a problem with dragons lately. Luckily, you're just the hero to act as pest control, as you're descended from the scaly beasts, giving you the power and potential to save the people of Skyrim - if you choose to. Skyrim's greatest strength is in the unrivalled freedom it offers players. It's role playing in the truest sense, with no set character paths to take and only broad directions to follow as the story progresses.

Instead, you'll spend your time enraptured by the world you find yourself exploring. A lot of developers talk of creating realistic worlds but here, Bethesda has exceeded expectations. Skyrim feels busy and alive, the people you encounter going about their business with or without your presence. Despite the frost-bitten locale, the environments themselves are rich and breathtaking on a scale previously unseen, with mysterious dungeons and keeps peeking out amongst the stunning wildlife.

Combat has evolved slightly from that of its predecessors, now catering to a slightly bloodthirsty crowd with execution animations but overall, the fighting mechanics remain simple and intuitive. Weapon-based melee requires some more thought as enemies are smarter, circling around to exploit weaknesses. But as your skills - weaponry, alchemy, magic and over a dozen more - increase with use, you'll find yourself able to craft more elaborate items and fight more powerful opponents.

Whatever you choose to do in Skyrim, whatever quests you choose to follow or alliances you choose to make, you can be sure you'll be swept up into the world while doing it and not want to leave - the surest sign of a brilliant experience. We're not sure if it's possible to create the perfect fantasy game, but if it is then Bethesda has come damn close to it.

Reviewed by Matt Kamen

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Empire Star Rating

It's no Oblivion

Everything that made Oblivion so transporting is missing in Skyrim. Gone are the many caves, fortress's, quests and sense of wonder, instead replaced by a lot less of everything that the previous game had, witch really hurts it. Although the main story quest is the best in the series, it's not enough to make this game truly shine. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jericho117 at 00:32, 29 September 2013 | Report This Post

Divorce inducing addictiveness

I haven't played much since my teenage years, but a new Xbox and this game for Christmas sucked me back in and I can't get out! I'm approaching level 60, a Mage of superior skill and warrior with a mean arm for a mace. The graphics are simply stunning, and the characterization is marvelous. The sheer volume of quests has me addicted completely, such that I fear a divorce coming on. I suspect I'd have been alright had I not mentioned that I had got married in the game...... Tsk Tsk. Simply e... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Agegarton at 00:02, 11 March 2012 | Report This Post

200 Hours in....

...Been playing this since xmas,,just about to reach level 60...not even touched the main quest,really.Started as a Mage-type but now loving sneaking and sniping evil things with my soul-sucking,daedra-banishing bow.Only one tiny gripe,i like to play as a total Paragon,(as in the FABULOUS Mass Effect games),but in this you sometimes have to do questionable things in order to advance and get great stuff.That said,i think it is utterly wonderfu. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by docksidedave at 05:50, 10 March 2012 | Report This Post

RE: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Review

I'll try to make this short:   HUGE fan of Oblivion (I blame it for not doing better in my leaving certifiicate) so to say I had high hopes for this was something of an understatement. Nearly 4 months after release I summon up the strength to leave the land of Skyrim just to write this review. Yes...I quite like it.   It's hard to sum up just why this game is so good. The freedom to create your own character and explore a vast world full of treaure and danger?, or to take on ... More

Posted by st3veebee at 09:59, 05 March 2012 | Report This Post

RE: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Review

L: sisparo i really like skyrim - especially the soundtrack is great!!! _____________________________ sometimes don't even play it and just listen to the menu. ... More

Posted by Whistler at 11:33, 22 February 2012 | Report This Post

RE: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Review

Was going to buy this game but then I got a Arrow in the .................,I get my coat. ... More

Posted by DARKO_DONNIE_DONUT at 18:39, 16 January 2012 | Report This Post


Really, didn't any of you think the graphics were terrible, like something off the Amiga in the 1980's? I'm playing it in full HD on a 36" screen in my office. Also the combat is woeful. Shame. ... More

Posted by 2Dogs at 09:34, 28 December 2011 | Report This Post

I've never been a fan of RPG's (not through lack of trying) but from the moment I installed Skyrim it has absorbed my life and immersed me in one of the most brilliant fantasy worlds I've ever seen. 40 hours in and I've only just scratched the surface. Love it. Great review. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Gazz at 00:20, 04 December 2011 | Report This Post

I wasn't completely satisfied

No lie, I killed a fox and it froze, as if dead but fell down some steps all glitchy and frozen. If it had moved a bit to signify its falling down some steps I might not have cared! Also, the glitching, ESPECIALLY in serious fights, sooooo ANNOYING! Overall, I had high hopes for this game and enjoyed playing it, but not to the point where I'd take the day off to play it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DarbyDaresYou at 15:01, 23 November 2011 | Report This Post


I've taken a day off work on Friday to immerse myself in the glory of this game, played it for a few hours and it is fantastic. Higky recommended! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ledbowie at 13:46, 15 November 2011 | Report This Post


I've taken a day off work on Friday to immerse myself in the glory of this game, played it for a few hours and it is fantastic. Higky recommended! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ledbowie at 13:46, 15 November 2011 | Report This Post

Right on Empire!

Such a spot on review. This game is stunning! Bigger and better in every way. If you thought that Bethesda couldn't improve on Oblivion then you thought wrong. This game does the impossible and exceeds all expectations. If you haven't bought this game yet....WHY THE HELL NOT?!?!? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tallaght24 at 11:09, 15 November 2011 | Report This Post

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