Review: The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim

Posted: January 16, 2012 by:

What drives a man or woman to a life of adventure?

In the case of Shan’iq’ua, my Redguard battlemage, she was born into it. As Dovahkiin, or Dragonborn, she is essentially the chosen one, capable of learning the Way of the Voice and channelling thu’um, or Shouts in the ancient Dragon language. Her quest, she gradually learns after being saved from the executioner’s block at the game’s very beginning, sees her thrust into the midst of the factional political strife consuming Skyrim and will ultimately find her wielding the power of thu’um against a reawakened Dragon invasion led by the lord Alduin.

For Shan’iq’ua, or for your own player-character, the motivation behind embarking on such adventure is clear. As far as Faendal was concerned, however, I wasn’t quite sure.

I met Faendal in Riverwood, a tiny village nestled in the shadow of the Throat of the World, Skyrim’s highest peak. An amiable wood elf, Faendal was one of two men in the village in love with the one woman, Camilla. His boorish rival had asked me to deliver a fake letter to her that would paint Faendal in a bad light. I played it so Faendal and his sweetheart both discovered the other guy’s duplicity and so the love triangle collapsed in their favour.

The next time I spoke to Faendal he was so appreciative of my kindness that he offered to leave Riverwood, his job at the lumber mill and his budding relationship behind, to join me on my journey. Figuring I could do with a decent bowman, I gladly accepted.

Ours was a friendship forged in the furnace of adventure.

Over the following days, weeks, and perhaps months, Faendal and I travelled together, from the spectacular cliffside harbour city of Solitude in the northwest, where Skyrim’s wealthiest reside, to the grimy canals and sewer warrens of Riften, home to the Thieves Guild, in the land’s southeastern corner. We fought necromancers and frost trolls; we raided bandit camps and ran the gauntlet of trap-laden temples; we researched centuries-old relics at the mages guild in Winter Hold and we fought off Dark Brotherhood assassins as we camped on the plains on the outskirts of Whiterun. And we killed dragons. We killed as many dragons as we could find.

During our travels, Faendal wasn’t one for much in the way of conversation. I could advise him to wait here while I scouted ahead, or instruct him to move there and attack that enemy, or simply ask him to carry some of the loot we’d hauled out of the last cave. Occasionally though, he’d find his voice, piping up to express his awe at the immense waterfall tumbling into the ravine below us or warning that the dungeon chamber ahead looked dangerous. Mostly we didn’t need to talk. It didn’t matter, though, I was beginning to understand. Ours was a friendship forged in the furnace of adventure.

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Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Price: $89.95
OFLC Rating: MA15+
VERDICT Bethesda’s finest hour and one of the greatest RPGs of all time

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2 Responses to “Review: The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim”

  1. “In the case of Shan’iq’ua, my Redguard battlemage”

    This elicited quite the hearty lol from me.

    January 17, 2012 at 7:58 am Reply
  2. Yota #

    Shaniqua be all like… To this review.

    April 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm Reply

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