Apart from being a better game in general, the main thing that sets The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim apart from its predecessor Oblivion is the fact that you don’t feel as if you’ve been put into a gaming environment; you feel as though you’re a part of a whole other functional world – a world with pedestrians that actually live their lives instead of just standing there waiting for you to talk to them; where dragons (yes, the battles with them are as entertaining as you’d expect) can swoop down on you at literally any given moment; where an action or decision made can still affect you 100 hours later; and where you now have better control over what kind of a character you choose to play as.
Aside from the main storyline, and the other equally exciting sub-stories included in the game (which, like in Oblivion, can be completely ignored), Skyrim offers an innumerable amount of quests to keep the player busy, and with the inclusion of a random quest generator this is no exaggeration! The combat is much more fluid and enjoyable, especially with the much-improved physics on the player’s movement, which coincidentally means that the third-person point of view is much better than before. Dungeons are also much more varied this time, avoiding the bleak endless labyrinths that slowed Oblivion down. And on top of it all, the rewritten graphics are spectacular – the sunsets on the mountainous horizons are amazing, even more so when an angry dragon is swooping over them trying to burn you alive.
Like the last game, Skyrim has its fair share of glitches – the action has a tendency to lag when there is too much going on (this is especially annoying in first-person view, when some enemies come in close), and the game’s vast mountainous terrain can sometimes cause confusion as to which path might take you to your next destination, or might merely lead you to an impassable bed of rocks.
However, most players will ignore these small annoyances in the knowledge that this is still the most advanced single-player RPG on the market, and will most likely remain that way until the next instalment. Bethesda have done themselves proud, again!