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Is Elder Scrolls Skyrim a Good Video Game or Simply an Addictive One?

Updated on January 12, 2012

As I was watching a Youtube video review on Skyrim, I thought to myself, "is Elder Scrolls Skyrim actually a great game or simply an "addicting fun" game that is unorganized?" When I was playing Skyrim, I never really thought about this at first until I had about 30+ hours into the videogame. While the game does have a huge free roaming land to explore, you do not really have any main goal in the game other than endless free roaming, right? Well, while the main quest follows a story line, the majority of quests in Skyrim are "fetch quests." Meaning you have to find an important item for someone in a cave, dungeon, etc and deliver it back to them (and often be rewarded). This is often recycled in many of the quests. Then there is of course quests where you need to eliminate an enemy leader. But for the most part, a lot of the miscellaneous quests are similar.

Are Skyrim's graphics overrated?

Without a doubt, Elder Scrolls Skyrim's graphics are much better than it's previous installation, "Elder Scrolls: Oblivion." However, the graphics up close are not very good in comparison to the distant graphics. Graphics up close tend to become blurry and muddy. Of course this depends on what system you are playing on. The PC has the best graphics if your PC can handle Skyrim. The level of detail of Syrim's distant landscape is quite remarkable, though. Whether it be the peak of a snow covered mountain top or the lushly detailed trees in the distance, Skyrim looks amazing in this regard.

Upon close insection of the NPCs (non-playable characters) in Skyrim, you will notice that while their faces are detailed relatively well, they do not show much emotion in their faces when they speak. The dialogue is quite good in Elder Scrolls Skyrim, though. And there are more voice actors in Skyrim than there was in Oblivion. However, the characters you converse with in Skyrim do not show much emotion in their face such as anger, frustration, excitement, happiness, etc. Their faces are quite blank, at least most of the time. Compared to the video game "RAGE," Skyrim does not have the best facial expressions, even though the dialogue itself is quite good.

Elder Scrolls Skyrim is a free roaming game, however. And in this reguard, graphics are often not as good like they are in more "linear" games such as Dead Space. Dead Space has better graphics up close than Skyrim does, but Dead Space is NOT a "large scale free roaming game where you can see for miles and do missions when you want and however you want."

No Main Goal in Elder Scrolls Skyrim?

While Skyrim has tons of quests, it can become quite unorganized. Many times I find myself on an active quest only to find that if I talk to anyone, I will recieve another quest where I must recover an item or kill someone in a cave or something. While I welcome more quests, this often becomes annoying to some degree because I am trying to complete another quest. From what I have read throughout the internet and in general, many players have also had the same problem where their quests just kept adding up.

The nice thing about Skyrim quests, however, is that you can choose to do them whenever you want or simply not complete them at all. Many players may not even choose to do the main quest and just go explore, join a faction, or complete misc. tasks for strangers. But I can imagine, for certain types of players, they might find the game confusing and perplexing. "What quest should I do." "Where do I need to go?" This is of course can be a double edged sword. It is great to have freedom in Skyrim, but sometimes you may not be playing quests that you particular like as much as other quests. Some quests are very elaborate, while others are simple fetch quests that are repetitive to a degree. For example, you may travel miles and miles to recover an item for a character you spoke to in Skyrim, only to find that the quest was too simple and the reward for the quest was not as great as you thought. But then again, when exploring Skyrim to complete that quest, you may have come across better quests you are interested in, new types of enemies, and new weapons whilst on your travels that made that quest worth it.

Leveling Up Skills and Overall Level in Elder Scrolls: Skyrim

One of Skyrim's best attributes is the fact that you can choose to be whatever type of player you want. If you want to become good with shields and one-handed swords, use them more often or all the time. Skyrim allows you to dual wield weapons, dual wield magic, or use a combination of both (such as holding flames in one hand and a sword in other). Then there is of course skills like enchanting, smithing, and cooking. This is all optional, however. A player does not need to become an enchanter to get swords that cause fire damage or do other elemental damage etc. He or she can find weapons throughout Skyrim that already contain certain enchantments. It's up to the player to decide what to do.

What makes Skyrim so addictive and fun to many players is the fact that the player has a lot of freedom and decisions in the game. While Skyrim does not give you whole lot of direction, you have the freedom to travel where you please, use skills you prefer, and take on the quests that you want to complete. You can even steal items in Shops throughout Skyrim and become a criminal. You can become a vampire. You can become a werewolf. You can become a blacksmith. You can become an enchanter. You become an archer. You can become a mage. You can buy a house. You can get married. You can go to jail. You can kill dragons. Need I say more? I think you get the picture.

Looting Aspect of Skyrim

Perhaps the looting aspect of Skyrim is one of the most appealing things to many players (it is to me). You never know what you are going to find in caves, cities, towns, dungeons, mountains, and other locales. Perhaps you kill a powerful necromancer and find that he has a very powerful spell tome or weapon. Or you slay a dragon and absorb it's soul and use it to unlock the powerful dragon shouts in the game.

Then there is of course the shops in Elder Scrolls Skyrim that allow you to sell unwanted items to make gold. Making gold in Skyrim can become a difficult task, however. Shop keepers only have so much gold and eventually run out. The player must wait 48 hours or go to another store to sell their unwanted items.

There are other ways to make gold, though. The player can create armor through smithing and sell it, mine for ore, or get gold by chopping wood.

Skyrim Innovative or Just Pure Fun?

Skyrim has not necessarily done anything extremely innovative, but the game has a ton to do, even if it is repetitive. You can join the Companions, Dark Brotherhood, the College of Winterhold, and much more. All these organizations have some cut-and-paste repetitiveness to them, but all of them are a different experience. For example, the College of Winterhold quests focus on magic -- so these would be more for a player who likes to use magic. The companions quests are more for a fighter type of player. Regardless, the player can do all the quests in the game. It just may be more difficult at times if the player neglects certain skills because he or she was formerly working on other skills.

Elder Scrolls Skyrim is addictive to many players, but is this because the game is really good, or is it just because of the free roaming exploration aspect and unpredictability of Skyrim?

Is Skyrim a good game or simply an addicting game (or both)? Is it the graphics, sound, story, dialogue, and gameplay? Or perhaps it's something we do not see right away until we have put a certain amount of hours into the game; the unpredictable moments in skyrim, the decisions, and large scale exploration & freedom... All these elements come into play one way or another..

What makes Skyrim addicting or a fun game?

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    • j-u-i-c-e profile image


      6 years ago from Waterloo, On

      Skyrim's mechanics aren't terribly innovative, but the Elder Scrolls as a whole is very innovative in the amount of freedom they give the player to customize their character, and then explore environments and pick up and abandon quests.

      Most games (including RPGs) have much more limited character customization options and few provide any significant degree of exploration. In most games, you have to complete specific quests to unlock more quests and a new area to explore. Skyrim doesn't force you to finish anything: it will continue to keep providing you with content, no matter what you do (and for a very long time). 'Messy quest log' syndrome is a consequence of the game's chief strength.

      Also, the environments are fantastic, largely because the map is huge and you can go anywhere. If I had to define Skyrim's chief strength in one phrase, it would be: freedom to explore.

      Thanks for sharing.


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