PS3 Reviews: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

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Graphics:

 

9.5

Gameplay:

 

9.8

Sound:

 

9.7

Control:

 

9.5

Replay Value:

 

10.0

Overall Rating:       9.7

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

Bethesda

Developer:

Bethesda Softworks

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

RPG

Release Date:

November 11, 2011

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a big game. …look, the understatement of the decade! The latest entry in the long-running role-playing franchise is a gigantic masterpiece; those who wish to indulge will embrace sweeping vistas, intimidating dungeons, soaring mountain ranges, picturesque plains, farms and homesteads, cozy villages and lively towns, and a literally limitless adventure that is dangerously absorbing. Drop everything else you’re doing because Skyrim is here.

Graphically, the game is a mammoth achievement, despite the lackluster up-close textures. Given the sheer size and scope of the production, the excellence of the visual presentation is absolutely mind-boggling. Water is beautiful, the far-reaching landscape will take your breath away, and when snow begins to fall in the mountains at night, you’ll feel the chill sitting in your recliner at home. Combat effects and animations are top-notch, even if character refinement isn’t as stellar the more cinematic titles like Uncharted. The attention paid to detail is endlessly impressive.

Side note- I know everyone is wondering how the PS3 version stacks up against the Xbox 360 version. As some of you know, I had the 360 version to review, but recently, I’ve also been able to see the game on Sony’s machine. Really, it’s basically the same; both look amazing. I also didn’t notice any frame rate issues in the PS3 version, a common problem in past Bethesda productions. Check other PS3 reviews for further info.

The sound continually adds to the gripping immersion. Tons of competent voice actors were used, the ambient effects when exploring the wilderness remind us of our vulnerability and inherent human fear, and the soundtrack’s classically orchestral vibe solidifies the experience. The music kicks up a notch in particularly harrowing situations and while I actually wanted more ambient audio when exploring, this remains one of the most complete and accomplished sound efforts of the generation. Use headphones for ultimate absorption.

As for the gameplay, I really don’t know where to start. This is one of those times when a review could go on for pages and pages, but one has to refrain from rambling. That gets boring, doesn’t it? Let’s start with the basics- in terms of control, you can select either a first-person or third-person view for your character. Both viewpoints are perfectly functional, although I prefer the first-person camera as it amps up the immersion, which is the primary goal of Skyrim. You’ll start your endless quest by choosing one of eight classes.

As you might expect, these classes range widely and you should pick the one that caters to your play style. Mostly for the sake of this review, I selected the Imperial, as he is capable in both melee combat and magic, so I could easily test both aspects of combat. But in truth, the game isn’t as restrictive as you might think: as an Imperial, I can still wear most anything I want, and equip most anything I want. I can use a bow, too; I may not be as good at it as the elf, but I can use it. This freedom for all classes is absolutely fantastic.

You’re never really forced into a mold. While it’s certainly true that it makes more sense to go with the Khajit class if you wish to play stealthily, there’s nothing saying you can’t sneak about with the Nord. You just won’t have the inherent skill in your blood. But I really love the fact that the game never dictates to you; it never really tells you what you can and can’t do. True, you’ll be better at certain things, but the gameplay is entirely up to you. Dual-wield with magic in your left and a weapon in your right? Fine.

In fact, that’s what I started doing a lot, although I’d switch to the shield in my left hand when up-close-and-personal, and I even used the bow and snuck around at times, too. When your character levels up, he or she can add 10 points to Magicka, Health, or Stamina, and then one point can be used in a skill tree. The trees range widely, from one-handed, blocking, and destruction, to restoration, conjuration, illumination, speech, smithing, alchemy, and more. And within each tree are plenty of abilities, some of which can be upgraded several times.

The individual skills require that you hit a certain level for that particular discipline. For instance, the more you block with a shield, the more your Block number goes up. The more you take damage, the more your light or heavy armor discipline rises. Therefore, the more you do something, the better you’re going to get at it, which makes perfect sense and believe it or not, it encourages experimentation to some extent. As you progress, though, you’ll want to focus on the skills and disciplines you use most often, so you can master a certain style.

The depth is obviously there. You can only carry a certain amount, but if you purchase a house, you can drop off items you wish to keep and walk around with a lighter load. You can also sell your loot to merchants and purchase items and equipment. To enhance the effectiveness of those items and equipment, visit the blacksmith to sharpen a weapon (grinding stone) or create all new weapons in various metals (the forge), find an alchemy lab to make new potions, or magically enchant weapons and armor.

But beyond the insane depth and solid control, the rest of the world grabs you and refuses to let go. For the first few hours, you’ll be on foot and the vast environment will prove daunting. That’s why you should buy a horse at the earliest opportunity; it allows you to travel much faster, and you won’t sacrifice that “oh, wow” factor that is routinely part of your exploration. You’ll still get attacked on the horse, although it can outrun most things; if you wish, just get down and fight the thing. The control here is fine, too.

There’s just so much to see and do. It’s completely ridiculous. Because the world is so tremendously huge, the game allows you to discover a location and fast travel to it later. So in other words, all you have to do is see “Discovered ‘Enter Landmark Name Here’,” and from then on, you can highlight it on your map and just hit Fast Travel. It’s a huge help and a damn good idea. I can’t imagine what the game would be like if you couldn’t do this. But when you go to complete a mission, don’t be surprised if you come back with a half-dozen more.

The game just doesn’t seem to end, and that’s due to the radiant quest system. The game will continually deliver new quests depending on your progression; someone may send you some place you haven’t discovered yet, for example. In general, the quests force you to fully discover the very large world of Skyrim, so you rarely end up going the same place twice. While you’re outside, you could up fighting a giant spider, a witch, or any number of fearsome, fantastical creatures that inhabit the dangerous wilds. It’s just plain intoxicating.

Now, many readers know that heading into this review, I was not a fan of The Elder Scrolls. I desperately tried to get into Morrowind and Oblivion but I couldn’t do it. So what’s different about Skyrim? I think I’ve pinpointed the reasons: firstly, I didn’t feel like a pathetically weak individual at the start. I was taking down wolves and bandits immediately and while my progression had only just begun (and there was a loooong way to go), I was still swinging swords and maces and casting cool spells, and emerging victorious. And yet, the challenge was still there.

Secondly, the world just seems to have much more character than past Elder Scrolls entries. Maybe it’s the mountains or how the landscape is constructed, but I adore this environment because it matches the image in my head of a dream fantasy universe. Thirdly, I mentioned before the fact that you’re not restricted at all and while that may have been the case in past titles, I feel like any class could be great fun to use. Being a mage in Morrowind, for instance, felt needlessly tedious. Fourthly and lastly, the missions seem much more entertaining and diverse.

Problems? Oh, there are a few minor ones, I suppose. The “follow” mechanics don’t work right, for instance. You can hire mercenaries and other characters to accompany you on your travels – which can be a big help – and that tends to work out okay. But when I tried leading a civilian to a sanctuary (he asked me to), it was frustrating. Once, he went off to attack a deer that I didn’t engage, and he ended up dying ‘cuz he only had his fists. Another time, he just walked off into the river and disappeared. And when I finally got him there, I got nothing for my trouble.

And there are a few small glitches and hitches seemingly common to open-world Bethesda games. Pop-in is a definite issue throughout, and NPC animations can be jerky and totally bizarre. Collision detection is a tad off, too. But these are very minor, primarily because after about 12 hours of play, I had only seen each a few times. And the bottom line is that none of it significantly hampered my enjoyment. I had to laugh when a giant I wasn’t supposed to fight clubbed me to death and sent my body spiraling off into the stratosphere. But really, no biggie.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a beast of an RPG. It’s the ultimate in freedom, exploration and immersion. It features a fantastic and diverse visual spectrum, excellent audio, solid control, limitless choice and almost no restriction, and above all else, a world that opens our imaginations and begs us to return. There are a few small drawbacks that can’t be ignored and in truth, all those missions detract from the central narrative and almost make it disappear. But for the first time, I’ll say I don’t need it. This is about personal envelopment and progresson.

Damnit…said I wouldn’t ramble but I think I did. Well, the game deserves the attention. ;)

The Good: Unbelievable graphics for such a huge environment. Fantastic audio. Great control. Diverse, engaging missions. Radiant quest structure elongates the adventure indefinitely. Ultimate freedom in gameplay and exploration. Meticulously designed and constructed fantasy world.

The Bad: A few of those familiar glitches. Follow mechanics aren’t exactly perfect.

The Ugly: “Goddamn you, Skyrim, I have all these other games I want to play and you won’t let me escape!”

11/10/2011 Ben Dutka

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Comments (111 posts)

Nas Is Like
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 5:20:57 PM
Reply

9.7? Amazing score.

I might have to check this game out, but I'm afraid I'll stop leaving my home for a good couple of months...

Agree with this comment 13 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Shams
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 6:27:38 PM

The first Elder Scrolls and Fallout 3 got 9.6's (from Arnold) way back. Vegas got a 7 something. So, Skyrim must've done plenty right, especially with Ben not being a fan of former titles.

I just got a fancy-schmancy Asus laptop on the cheap, and I also gotta pc copy of Fallout 3:Goty a while back that I haven't played. I'll have to try that out first.

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Nerull
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 5:55:45 PM

I'm not reading the meat of the review til I get a few hours in. I've got some mailing to wait for but preorders are a rarity for me.
As the score suggests though it doesn't disappoint and Raiden knows how many hours it provides.
Here's a touch of what I'm listening to fill the wait.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVAIj_2rjxA
Koivu Ja Tähtiob=av3n

cheers

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riptide8
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 5:23:05 PM
Reply

all I can say is wow... a tri platform game and a mark I have seen only a few times. I cant wait till tomorrow....Sounds like it was a solid purchase

Last edited by riptide8 on 11/10/2011 5:32:41 PM

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TheAgingHipster
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 6:33:57 PM

Tomorrow? Hell son, go hit a midnight release! You'll get it tonight, AND you'll likely score some swag!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 5:26:04 PM
Reply

Thanks for that Ben, righteous review as always. Sounds like just like I hoped, Oblivion on crank. The only thing I have issue with is the inability to block while dual wielding weapons but I'll survive.

So 'cited for tomorrow.

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ImTheMan
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 5:29:33 PM

On Crank? Jason Statham! lol

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 5:43:07 PM

Jason Statham is a pimp

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Alienange
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:02:17 PM

You sure about that? I think you can block with dual-wielding weapons, it's just not as effective.

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Yukian
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:19:02 PM

@World He's the PIMP of the pimps... he pimpslaps!!! lol

Last edited by Yukian on 11/10/2011 9:19:46 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 10:42:25 PM

Maybe they changed it, but I read an interview where Bethesda said you can't.

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Alienange
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 11:10:17 PM

That WOULD be slightly disappointing.

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 5:33:48 PM
Reply

I'm still sceptical over my experience with Oblivion, sure this game has a lot of content, but I ask this simple question. Is it interesting? I have been watching my flatmates play Borderlands recently and all it is is just a bunch of side quests/fetch quests with no real relevance. The game is just bland.

I played Oblivion, for 15 hours at least. But once I got to a certain ability and had a certain amount of items, I felt content. I felt no need to complete the story, as It just was not interesting.

I like my stories to have in-depth characters, in Oblivion, I could not care less for anyone. Same for FFXII for that matter, hence the massive disappointment. Maybe this just simply isn’t for me.


Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 11/10/2011 5:39:29 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 5:44:44 PM

probably not, as the main story is never the point of these games. Though I hear this one is supposed to be better than Oblivions.

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Palpatations911
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 5:50:19 PM
Reply

It definitely sounds more polished than some of the previous games, but as I was reading the review I felt that I could have been reading a review for Oblivion or Morrowind, because all of the gameplay elements you mentioned are familiar to me except for the ability to dual wield.

I still have it pre-ordered and can't wait to play it though.

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Oxvial
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 7:55:18 PM

I agree think gonna pass those games didn't click with me and I really tried putting 10 hours on each one.

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Snaaaake
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 5:50:32 PM
Reply

This is the first time since Dragon Age I'm actually excited for an WRPG.

But then again, I'll wait for the GOTY edition next year.

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Nickjcal
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 6:03:40 PM
Reply

Can't wait to get my review copy tomorrow! Woot!

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frylock25
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 6:03:58 PM
Reply

i dont have any money for a while but if i do get the money i will pick this up for sure. i really want to see this game and would love to play it. i fear that i may lose myself in it like i have in fallout games. glad to see this game scoring well. another must have for the year.

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SolidFantasy
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 6:20:08 PM
Reply

Wow. This looks dangerous. I want this, but I don't have the time. It's not easy being an RPG fan / completionist. These kinds of game scare me and yet I want to say I've done everything on it there is to do.

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Highlander
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 9:58:11 AM

With a game like this that is specifically designed to be open ended, there is not really scope to 'complete' it since there is always something new around the corner.

This game - despite the apparent high quality - is not my kind of game. That doesn't mean it's poor, it's just not for me.

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The Doom
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 6:23:56 PM
Reply

But the winner was supposed to be Dark Souls....

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Oxvial
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 7:59:51 PM

Winner at what? Skyrim is a bigger franchise of course gonna pwn Dark Souls at being a RPG, but for me Dark Souls is my winner..better gameplay,cool mp online(still not at Demon's Souls level but time can change that), challenging and awesome boss battles.

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Highlander
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 9:58:39 AM

The winner is whatever game you prefer to play.

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thatguy6598
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 5:31:15 PM

i'm the only one who gets the reference you just made to the ign comments, at least i think i am.

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Riku994
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 6:59:15 PM
Reply

Ben would you mind discussing character creation a little bit in comparison to Oblivion?

Last edited by Riku994 on 11/10/2011 6:59:28 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 8:16:54 PM

I can't as I don't really remember Oblivion that well. I'm thinking it's similar.

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Geobaldi
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:11:10 PM

There's a brief video at the Gametrailers website that shows the character creation in action. Or go to Youtube, I'm sure there are some there that you can compare with. Looks about the same in my opinion but Skyrim has a few more options to choose from by the looks of it, and characters look a lot better and have more variety then Oblivion.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 7:18:40 PM
Reply

Nice! Great review! I was going to wait til thanksgiving to get this game because I have a ling weekend that week, but I just bought UC3, BF3, and MW3, although beaten still very repayable. But now I want Skyrim even more!

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cLoudou
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 7:43:44 PM
Reply

Wow, 9.7 is certainly intriguing me. I may pick it up at some point, even if I don't like WRPGs. I gave FO3 and Deus Ex a chance I might as well give this a chance even if I didn't like the two I mentioned.

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friction
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 7:45:35 PM
Reply

Glad the series finally came around to you ben :) Great review along with all the others out there, 3 hours and 15 minutes to go here...

Last edited by friction on 11/10/2011 7:45:49 PM

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friction
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 7:56:55 PM

Also can you equip your mercenaries and citizen's who follow you? lol @ the deer that took out your citizen :P

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 8:17:18 PM

No, there's no party mechanic. It's just you.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 10:43:29 PM

You can recruit followers a la Fallout 3.

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Highlander
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 9:59:49 AM

Followers are little more than henchmen worlds, not a party in the conventional sense of having party members that can swap in and out of the lead role.

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Beamboom
Sunday, November 13, 2011 @ 12:00:08 PM

Actually you can equip your companions.

It's the same mechanics for equipping your companions as is the case in the Fallout games: If they like what you hand them they will start using that weapon or armor instead of their own. Basically just give them the same kind of equipment they already use (like heavy/light armor, 2h weapons etc) and of good quality, and they usually will swap. This is very individual though, some use almost anything you hand them, while others insist on using their own stuff.

Personally I think this is a very cool detail in the Bethesda rpgs.

Last edited by Beamboom on 11/13/2011 12:04:07 PM

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friction
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 @ 10:27:26 AM

Yea I know the elder scrolls series well, and fallout, so I knew how they would act, I was just wondering if you could equip them, and lol took bens word for it.

So I had some mercenary fighting dragons with me with iron weapons, until I traded him a dwarven mace because I was over encumbered and would you look at that he equipped it :P So just trade emm what you want them to wear :)

I love that they allowed for this.

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hellish_devil
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 8:04:25 PM
Reply

Ben, I have a question. The only problem I had with Oblivion was that the combat was not fun. I played it on PC and it was all "mash the button, step back, cast a spell with shooter accurancy. Crap I missed. Staart button mashing again. Rinse. Repeat" I loved the atmosphere and all but combat was the worst part of it. Are Skyrim's battle mechanics similar to Oblivion's? Or has it changed and it is better?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 8:17:55 PM

I think they're similar but that's a way oversimplified description of the combat in my opinion.

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hellish_devil
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 8:28:42 PM

Oh, ok. What I did in Oblivion was get my Intelligence up to 100, learn the best summons and always summon my giant beast so that he fought and I just watched. I hated combat that much.

Last edited by hellish_devil on 11/10/2011 8:29:00 PM

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Oxvial
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 8:19:58 PM
Reply

Well is a great game that gonna make all of you stop getting into other titles, don't worry dudes I'm gonna be playing those ones in your name.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 8:33:57 PM
Reply

Hm, but what exactly keeps it from being a 10 instead of an 9.7? I mean if you only complaints are a couple of glitches and the minor problem of the follow command being terrible. Just don't see much reason to not give it a 10 in your review. Just wondering of course :) It seems like you really loved it, which seems quite intriguing since I know you love the traditional JRPG genre quite a bit. I personally am just waiting for it to finish downloading so I can play whenever it's unlocked in a few hours.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:17:32 PM

You answered your own question. How can I give a game with glitches a 10, even if they're small? ;)

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 11/10/2011 9:17:46 PM

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LegendaryWolfeh
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:42:37 PM

Well, I'm pretty sure there isn't one single game to never have a glitch, no matter how small or widespread it is :( Just thinking, how much can you really go, yeah this is a 9.7 instead of an 9.9 or 10. I think this is probably why I agree with a non decimal based system, though .5's are ok. haha.

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Beamboom
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 3:18:19 AM

There is no such thing as the *perfect* game, ergo a ten blank is impossible. I believe that is essensially bens opinion on this subject, one that I wholeheartedly agree with.

Personally I want to add that to me a 9.7 is virtually a tenner. It place the game up amongst not only the best games this gen, but one of the best games in the history of gaming.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/11/2011 3:19:17 AM

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LegendaryWolfeh
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 2:20:39 PM

But uncharted 3 got a 10? And I've heard some people having glitches and the like in it as well, hell we have one in the forum as we speak. (though that seems more like a coding failure or something)

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Fane1024
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 7:49:46 PM

10 does not mean perfect (or, more accurately, flawless); it merely means top-notch and so is an entirely valid score which should be used when appropriate.

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Beamboom
Sunday, November 13, 2011 @ 11:53:21 AM

@Wolfeh: U3 was reviewed by Arnold, not Ben. One might even speculate if it was reviewed by Arnold *because* Ben refuse to hand out a perfect ten. But that is of course pure speculation on my part. The thought did cross my mind though.

@Fane: Many are with you on that reasoning. I just think of a "perfect ten" differently. In my opinion a perfect ten (or a 100% score) is like the unreachable, ultimate game. The Nirvana of gaming.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/13/2011 11:54:47 AM

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ZenChichiri
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 8:36:49 PM
Reply

Wow awesome. I've never gotten into Elder's Scrolls games for the same reasons as you had, but if you say that even you could get into this one, I think I'll give it a try.

I was on the fence, but I guess it looks like I'll be reaching for the rim of the sky soon! (I'm such a cheeseball)

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OverBerg
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 8:38:20 PM
Reply

Great review, Ben.
Damn it. I still have barely scratched the surface of Dark Souls and I haven't even started UC3 yet! I really want this, but I think I would be fired and divorced. I'll just have to wait, I suppose.
Ah, first world problems.

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AcHiLLiA
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 8:45:50 PM
Reply

Wow, my cousin platinumed Dark Souls and this game might be a little easy or a little harder for him to plat.

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Dell Taco
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:07:14 PM
Reply

loved the review and this site Ben.

I have been a long time reader and i necessarily never commented before but you all are a great community.

@Ben you mentioned to use headphones but would you recommend Sony new headphone? and if its not up to the task ill get the xbox version and im worried of the fear that they have the frame rate issue and render at a over saturated color as they have in the past on ps3.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:16:37 PM

The Sony headset is great.

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Beamboom
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 3:13:00 AM

Are we here talking about a surround headset?

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BikerSaint
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 2:34:53 PM

Beamboom,
Yes, it's a 7.1 surround sound Stereo headset that uses a USB dongle, and you can use your regular same Dualshock or Move controller recharge cable to recharge it

Believe me, the sound is amazing

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Fane1024
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 7:53:19 PM

I'm pretty sure that the headphones are stereo, with *simulated* surround sound.

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___________
Saturday, November 12, 2011 @ 9:24:22 AM

not exactly.
the tritton A5s now THEY sound amazing!
or the Sennheiser RS 170 the ones i bought are freaking amazing!
bit pricey though, 280 AUD.
though, totally worth it!

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kevinater321
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:07:31 PM
Reply

Ben, What do you prefer Skyrim or Uncharted 3?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:16:52 PM

Haven't played Uncharted 3 yet. Saving it so I don't have to rush it.

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Alienange
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:17:18 PM
Reply

A nice review for sure. Sounds like you went in without prejudice and gave it a solid go. I too have always enjoyed the exploration and immersion that is present in a Bethesda game. I may not be a Khajit, but I will sneak in the dark with dagger on my hip and bow in my hand. The looting that I must do in order to afford those houses...

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Dell Taco
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:23:08 PM
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thanks Ben... cant wait to play this game

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JohnnyKey
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 9:38:28 PM
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Great review! Heading to EB games in a few to pick this up for the midnight release :)

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Qubex
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 10:21:42 PM
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Great review Ben, thank you... This is a game I cannot ignore now. I will have to pick it up soon, probably for Christmas...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 10:45:18 PM
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Might have to be a Nord again, I like using my real life Viking ancestry.

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Zeppo
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 10:51:44 PM
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Is there a way to respec your perks at all? I am the type of guy who likes to change things up from time to time and I don't want to find myself in a situation where I've committed too many perks to my bladed skill to bother giving axes a try

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godsdream
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 11:33:40 PM
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Wow, really didn't expected a very 9 high in this game. Now that I read the review I want it now!!

I'm amazed with the fact that you can do almost everything no matter the character. This was a big problem to me because in other games sometimes you busted yo ass to kill an enemy or something just to get a reward that you couldn't use, or sometimes you need a special ability or character feature to grab something or to get to a place, etc. I loved that you can use and do almost everything with everyone.

Last edited by godsdream on 11/10/2011 11:38:53 PM

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Akuma07
Thursday, November 10, 2011 @ 11:57:37 PM
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So... Bethesda have finally managed to steal your attention Ben.

Welcome.

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fatelementality
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 12:34:21 AM

Indeed. I'm glad that you finally have delved into TES Ben. I'm.....so.......proud of you *sob* Seriously though, it was the 1st midnight launch I'd been to since GOW3. The line was looooong, but I don't regret it. I just fought my 1st battle and......well......I had 5 days off in advance for this.....um.....how long can a human stay awake before sleep is needed to prevent death and all that bad stuff?

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Russell Burrows
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 12:45:33 AM
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Headsets are ok?? but no comparison to a full Home Theater set up with ULF effects.

Ultra Low Frequency.

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godsdream
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 12:58:28 AM

I have a 7.1 onkyo system. Does this game has 7.1 sound??

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Widow Maker
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 1:02:02 AM
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Headphones are a MUST!!! Completely immerse yourself in some really fine sound! Mechanics...meh...they could have fixed the minor bugs, but they're not THAT annoying. Not bad, and the swag for the midnight sales? LAME!! Betheseda could have done far better than a stupid paper map! REALLY?? Come on! Oh, a poster or two from the retailer sure, and the tshirt was cool, but.....really? The swag other than bragging rights was lame! Second and last pre-order midnight sales I go to. I will wait, what is eight hours anyways?
BUT! All in all I will agree heartily with Ben here, really fantastic environments, and the world is unbelievably HUGE...so large it's almost insane!

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godsdream
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 1:10:42 AM

Do you think that if I have a decent surround sound I'll be immerse also like with headphones??

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Beamboom
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 3:11:46 AM

I'm thinking like Godsdream, surely a good surround system must be better than stereo headphones?

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Shams
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 4:40:50 PM

@Beamboom

Of course, a headset isn't a match for properly setup and calibrated sound system, but unless you live alone with no possibility of disturbing neighbors, or you play in a soundproof basement, or you are on baby duty w/o an intercom, there is no substitute for a headset as you can crank the sound w/o disturbing other's, and can than hear everything going on in the game.

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Widow Maker
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 1:21:02 AM
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@godsdream........maybe. If you REALLY hate your neighbors, or live in the boonies and can CRANK that system up, sure! A fine set of headphones does the trick easily! A system, (I have a great one too..what hardcore gamer doesn't) yes it gets the message across, but not quite the same. Headphones will be forgotten on your head and the sounds in gameplay almost becomes your own sense of hearing while in the world of Skyrim. Trust me, the headphones are just bang up fantastic on this game!! Hope it helps, mate!

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godsdream
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 1:29:26 AM

Ok that will do, thanks. Looks like the neighbors are going to think they are in a fantasy world ;) I have this system because I like to be immerse in games and looks like this is a another good game for it. I just love to hear the whole effects all around me.

GT5, GTA4, GoW3, Uncharted series, Fallouts, Burnout, Silent hills, Bioshocks, Heavy Rain are just a few that come to my mind if you want to try the best sounds

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godsdream
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 1:37:41 AM

Oh I forgot WipeoutHD, Metal Gear 4, and Brutal Legend \m/

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Shams
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 4:41:56 PM

And Deadspace 1 and 2...

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godsdream
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 7:24:16 PM

Oh yeah absolutely I forgot Dead Space, they have awesome sound.

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AshT
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 1:43:57 AM
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Great review Ben, i'm not that into RPGs but i think i have to check this one out.

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___________
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 1:55:04 AM
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worst thing about this game is the puzzles.
it throws you into a puzzle with NO clues on how to solve it!
3 pillars with 3 symbols on each, how the ^%$# are you suppose to know the combination?
you would think there would be hints in the room, or maybe a tool your given, but nope NOTHING tells you or even hints to the solution.
so how are you suppose to know the solution?
just trial and error?
hows that fun!?
spending a hour saying is this right?
oh no.
how about this?
oh no.
how about this?
oh no.
yea....... not exactly my idea of fun!

another problem is the order the quests are given out.
allot of the quests are unlocked with others, and allot of them need tools from other quests to unlock.
so you would think you cant unlock a quest until you have the right tools to complete it, right?
WRONG!

for instance i was given 2 quests which happened to be in the same location one was to obtain a golden item and another was to obtain a sacred stone.
so i chose to do quest 2 the sacred stone.
but in the quest notes it forgets to mention that to obtain the stone you need to do the quest before it which is to obtain the golden item.
kinda important info, no?
so went in looking for the stone oblivious to the fact id never find it without the golden item, fought my whole way to the end of it to find out ok i need to open this door.
ok how do i do that?
oh i open the door by using the golden item i obtained in quest 1.........
hey, wait a minute NOW YOU TELL ME!?
it lets you go through the whole level, then tells you oh BTW you know that guy you freed 10 minutes ago then killed?
yea, you need to get this key off him.
THANKS FOR TELLING ME 10 MINUTES LATER!!!!!!!!
whats the point of letting me do a quest if i dont have the tools to finish it?
seriously!?
you would think the objective marker would sit on that guy until you get the hint and search him, but it doesnt it never ever mentions you need to search him and get the item.
actually it does not even tell you where to get the item, i just happened to know he had it because i searched him when i killed him then dropped it because i thought it was of no use.
if i dident search him i would of been wondering around the dungeon for hours trying to figure out WTF it is!

bethesda, heres a hint.
if your going to put out a puzzle, you need to have a tool, or a hint, something that gives the player a idea on how to solve the puzzel!
you dont see uncharted dropping you into puzzles without drakes journal to solve them now do you?
or if a quest requires a key to complete its kinda important to make sure the player can obtain that key in that quest, not let them start the quest, then find out oops its in another quest that 20 minutes i spent finishing this was a waste.
kinda need to hint as to where it is too, not exactly fun wondering around for 2 hours trying to find a frigging key!

no point plucking a baby out of the maternity ward and expecting him to fly your private jet for ya!
just not going to happen!!!!!!!!!!

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godsdream
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 2:06:05 AM

I have just one simple answer for you: You still haven't played enough RPG's. Not to be mean to you, but it seems this game was meant to be that way.

Last edited by godsdream on 11/11/2011 2:07:30 AM

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Beamboom
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 3:10:09 AM

I haven't played the game yet but I tend to agree with Godsdream here. Also I am pretty sure you were given *some* hints. Either from the one you received the quests from, the quest description, or similar.

Also, think about the complications: This is not a linear game. This is not a game where you just follow a laid out path. That makes things *incredibly* more complicated than a game where you are not given the next task until you finished the first. They really can't be compared.

Like real life, sometimes you arrive somewhere without the required tools. Then you have to get those tools and return.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/11/2011 3:10:52 AM

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Oxvial
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 6:23:58 AM

Actually Blankline-san, that's the charm of this franchise xD.

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___________
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 8:01:12 AM

so the charm of the franchise is not finding out info till its useless?
nothing more annoying then having to turn my laptop on every 2 minutes to look up a solution for a puzzle.
and i was lucky i found a solution to 2 of them because i got the game so early no one has a walkthrough or video up yet.
i had to ask a friend of mine who picked up the game with me, if he had not bought it id probably still be there trying to figure it out!

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Geobaldi
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 8:34:13 AM

"3 pillars with 3 symbols on each"

If it 's the puzzle I think it is, the answer is in the room if you actually look. It's in plain sight. All you have to do is figure out what it's telling you.

As for the second point, again, if it's the quest I'm thinking it is, you pick up the golden item in the same dungeon the door you describe is in. But if you didn't find the clue, also in the dungeon along the way, you won't know you had the puzzle answer in your inventory all along.

I'm trying not to give out too many spoilers for the ones that haven't got to this point yet so sorry if it's not a totally clear answer.

Last edited by Geobaldi on 11/11/2011 8:35:13 AM

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Beamboom
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 8:34:45 AM

Don't look it up - what's the rush? Experiment! Ponder! Examine! Or save it for later! Usually there *are* hints, you just have to get your pulse down a few notches.

Walkthroughs... Pfft. Who are they for? Not winners. ;)


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/11/2011 8:35:44 AM

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Oxvial
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 11:29:27 AM

Yes blankline it must be kinda hard for you but almost all the rest that own the game enjoy this setting to resolve puzzles.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 12:03:31 PM

Of course you can't do a simple puzzle. Your attention span is that of a gnat.

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Lotusflow3r
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 12:48:14 PM

You name a key improvement, puzzles, as a flaw....once again your talking backwards.

That puzzle where you rotate the 3 pillars to reveal symbols on them?....The biggest hint in the world is in that room. Just look up, above the gate and WOW! 3 symbols in a row on the higher wall! Gotta be the answer hasn't it. Oh no but wait.....the middle symbol is missing! Oh noooo! Well i could just rotate the middle pillar until it's recognised as correct....but look at that on the ground!! The missing middle symbol above fell off onto the ground! That's the answer, puzzle solved! Really complex, that.

Sheesh.

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Beamboom
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 3:27:44 AM
Reply

Seems I should be able to handle a few more dragons after all. :)
Great read, and yet another great game this autumn. May it never end!

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BikerSaint
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 7:55:27 AM
Reply

OK, Sorry but I feel that I've just got to go off topic for a sec here...

FYI to all,
I think this is of great importance to all gamers, so I'm re-posting this request from Brett Schenker, Entertainment Consumers Association at action@theeca.com
Saint


(This was taken from the email I just got)

If you’re like me, you’ll be devoting a good chunk of your day to playing Modern Warfare 3. Between work and that, my day is filled (I might fit in food somewhere), but there’s something that’s really serious being discussed in Congress right now.

The Senate had taken up the Protect IP Act and now the House has their version, and it’s worse. More importantly, if passed it could curtail how we share our game playing.

I’m fully expecting my Twitter feed and Facebook page to be filled with videos of game play of what I’m sure will be a record setting game. Players showing off their moves and kills, maybe mixing it up with music and some will be live streaming their gaming.

Well, if H.R. 3261 in the House and S. 968 and S. 978 in the Senate are passed, that will be illegal.

Yes, I’m serious. You read the above right. And if that angers you right now, check out more and write your elected officials .
Not only could we, the fans, be fined or even go to jail, the sites we do this on could get seized by the U.S. government. If you’re like me, you have your own website celebrating the hobbies we love. I really don’t want it to get taken away from me.

This takes 30 seconds to do and Congress is listening to us. Send the message to your elected officials and then interrupt your friends’ games by sharing it with them.

I’ve worked in politics for over a decade and this legislation just confounds me. Legislation already exists to protect copyright holders and current laws don’t go out of their way to insult me in the legislative text and make me a criminal. The House bill spends the first two pages defending itself and claiming it’s not an attack on free speech. Well, it *is* no matter how you try to spin it. Please take the time to send the message and then share it with your friends. Now, back to the battlefield.
Happy gaming,

Brett Schenker, Online Advocacy Manager
Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA)



"DON'T LET CONGRESS CENSOR THE INTERNET"
TAKE ACTION HERE....
http://action.theeca.com/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5006

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godsdream
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 12:59:01 PM

WTF!!!! no way... I can't believe this, I didn't know anything of this.

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CrusaderForever
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 9:43:49 AM
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Outstanding review Ben! I expected a 10 to tell you the truth. Yet at the same time I know Bethesda can be very buggy. So a 9.7 is truly amazing. I cannot believe I have to wait until Tuesday for this game!! ARRGGGHH! This is going to be a tough weekend.

On another note, I have change my mind and will buy Assassin's Creed Revelations along with Skyrim on Tuesday. ACR looks so good and to get it for cheap is a win/win. The final release trailer sold me.

Here is a strange story, I own all Assassin's Creeds yet have only finished 25% of Assassin's Creed 1. I know, I know, why!!!? Well, I have really enjoyed what I have played so far in AC but kept getting pulled away by other games. No more, I am going to finish all of them. Starting after Skyrim I will go through AC, AC2, AC Brotherhood and Revelations. I love the time period, story, combat and evasion so even I don't quite understand why I haven't gone through each of them yet. Really excited to go through them one after another. This will be a new experience for me. Kind of like never seeing Lost season 1 for the first time and then getting all the seasons on Bluray and going through each season without commercials or wait!

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Fane1024
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 8:00:57 PM

When you finish AC1, you're in for a treat. AC2 is better in every way. AC1 is good (8.0); AC2 is great (10), IMO.

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Ultimate_Balla
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 10:15:27 AM
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9.7.... Mammoth! Hell, I'll definitely pick this up in my life-time!

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burnedknight
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 10:44:29 AM
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I liked oblivion so i'll definitely get skrim in a few days especially hearing vast the environment is and how much exploration there is.

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Kealan94
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 11:26:41 AM
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I really want this, why did i buy MW3? :(

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Lotusflow3r
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 12:55:12 PM
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Clocked in about 5hrs so far.

It's alright so far. Nothings wowed me. Despite key improvements, it still feels like a been there, done that experience. Once you get use to the new stuff....it's Oblivion again.

That's my 1st impression. New features are few and far between and when you see them, they aren't a big deal as they aren't emphasised enough. Plus the realistic fantasy that the west always do feels a bit tired. When i craft a weapon, i want to chuck it into a cockney, up right toads mouth to see what weapon i get next (WKC)! The realism of just walking up to a work bench is....well, like it is in life lol.

I think im getting tired of WRPGs.

But on the bright side, i haven't done some key new things such as Dragon fights or Shouts yet. My view could 180.

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Temjin001
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 2:47:00 PM
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I stopped MW3 early to secure myself a rental copy of this game, this morning. I've played only about 30 min and I'm already feeling it's enthralling grasp. I love this kind of stuff.
I get a feeling my vote for goty is going to come down to choosing between this and batman.

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Yukian
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 6:18:22 PM
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If I didn't like Oblivion (I don't have an accurate reason why not), is there a chance I wouldn't like this one?

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godsdream
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 7:28:14 PM

I think the answer is in the review. Ben said he wasn't a fan of Oblivion but this one really got his attention, so it might happen to you also. Not 100% accurate but it's very probable.

On the other hand, I have a friend that doesn't read in games, doesn't enjoy stories, doesn't looks for stuff, doesn't view the scenario, he just runs forward and shoots everything that moves or makes it explode and run forward again and shoot everything again and etc. If you are that type of guy you're not going to like this game...imo

Last edited by godsdream on 11/11/2011 7:32:20 PM

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Yukian
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 7:57:15 PM

That's exactly the one thing that made me ask this.

Because Ben, which I trust completely in all the reviews (first page to look an OBJECTIVE review is this one for me, always) I've read and I think we share similar tastes in videogames, liked the game but didn't like Oblivion...

And trust me, I hate (HATE!!!) mindlessly wandering around killing stuff for no reason at all.

I like having missions to justify what I'm doing, which this game expertly excel, but I also like a good story which this game lacks, or so I've read...

Mehh, I may rent it when I buy a new PS3... :/

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Beamboom
Saturday, November 12, 2011 @ 10:18:43 AM

I'd put it this way: If you enjoyed the other bigger rpgs this gen, like Dragon Age Origins or Fallout 3 then there is no shadow of doubt in my mind that you will like Skyrim.

I didn't like Oblivion either (I loved da and fo though), but Skyrim is very different simply because it is so incredibly much better in absolutely every thinkable way.
Just to see the world in itself is worth the admission fee.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/12/2011 10:22:28 AM

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Teddie9
Friday, November 11, 2011 @ 6:19:07 PM
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I'm so excited now, getting it tomorrow.

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Aranha
Saturday, November 12, 2011 @ 9:42:29 AM
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Well, you def changed my mind about getting this game Ben, pretty much for the same reasons you have for not enjoying previous Elder Scrolls entries; great games that you just couldn't get into. I own Morrowind and Oblivion, and could not get excited about them the way others have. Each game had great qualities, you could tell a great effort was put into them, but they just didn't do it for me.

So here I was, thinking and hoping that Skyrim would be the one to make that difference for me, and after seeing that you shared the same pov as myself, I think I'll give it another shot at this latest entry in The Elder Scrolls. Besides, what you described in this review sounds like something I'd enjoy, especially since I haven't found any RPG like this to tide me over.

Thanks again for the great review, I should be picking this game up shortly down the line. My backlog is huge, so it wouldn't make sense to buy it now if I won't play it. I'll pick it up when it's $30 and I STILL won't get to it for another year. Although I may make an exception and play this one sooner, seeing as the game is never-ending and open-ended, I can technically start it, and play on and off as I please, years down the line. If you don't think I can, hey I played Super Mario World for about 5 years or more, well after I'd beaten the game, and that's not even an RPG, lol.

Last edited by Aranha on 11/12/2011 9:43:07 AM

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MrAnonymity
Saturday, November 12, 2011 @ 3:04:48 PM
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Amazing game is about all I can say. Looking at the map of Skyrim... just... wow. I only wish I had more time to devote to it. Alas... there's always something going on. Oh well... I still get my playtime at night...

EDIT:

How selfish of me! Great review, Ben. Definitely did Bethesda a solid with this one.

Last edited by MrAnonymity on 11/12/2011 3:11:21 PM

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SS4
Monday, November 14, 2011 @ 9:52:18 AM
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The game is great for console but for the PC version..... Thx to the switch of focus from PC development to console halfway through we get a stupid UI menu that is a downgrade from previous Elder Scroll games. I really whish they will open their eyes and change that for the PC version as it made me not enjoy the experience much.

I never thought id say that for a PC game but...I think i shouldve gotten the console version instead...

It makes sense for a mouse to be useless in a console menu, NOT in a PC game...

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Geobaldi
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 @ 5:09:28 PM

With just under 45 hours logged so far, I can easily say that the mouse works perfectly fine with the new UI, it just takes some getting used to as opposed to the previous ones in the series.

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CardiacAde
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 10:19:38 AM
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I'd advise caution before shelling out for this game. Check out the forums and you'll see that a huge number of people are having major problems with running this on a ps3; I spent a good couple of hours trawling the net about these problems and it aint looking good for Bethesda, shame on them for releasing a broken game.

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Sirius
Sunday, January 22, 2012 @ 4:38:40 AM
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Skyrim is a masterpiece. It's the best game I've played in a long while. It is obviously not perfect, because there are some animation issues that could have been done better as well as the gameplay, but overall is amazing.

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