I had always wondered how to start this review, a game as big as this, how could I start it? When you have so many main quest lines and options within the game, going from the beginning gets a bit of a blurry line, especially after 50+ hours playing on Xbox One and going through my second play through on my PS4 Pro.
What I’m going to start off with is the performance of the game on both consoles. I played the game on an Xbox One S and a PS4 Pro. In terms of the way the game looks it does look fantastic on both consoles and the screenshot below will show how good the game actually looks. With the PS4 Pro upgrades, I can’t really comment as I don’t have a 4K TV (That is going to be next years purchase) but the game does look very impressive on both consoles.
I love the distance rendering on the game and how far you can see and just think to yourself that you can actually get over there and see what there is to do. The best example of this is when you’re stood on the Throat of the World (The highest point in the game) and you look across and see the world below. Simply amazing.
In terms of performance the PS4 Pro is the winner. With the Xbox One S version I had numerous crashes which ended up me being kicked back to the dashboard and losing sometimes a rather lot of progress through a dungeon. I will say that my wife has a copy as well and plays on her OG Xbox One and she also experienced these crashes, and sometimes it was a lot more than me. There were times it would happen at least 3-4 times in an evening and I would end up just turning the Xbox off and walking away till the next day. It got so frustrating at times, but with the PS4 Pro I haven’t had any of that happening. Another that I have noticed on the Xbox One version of the game, that I am yet to notice on PS4 is that when in third person mode there can be quite a frame rate drop and the game becomes quite stuttery and off putting. The only reason I haven’t noticed it on PS4 is that I only play in first person mode, whereas the wife prefers third person, this was the main reason that I managed to notice the difference.
The strange thing about this was that when she went into first person, the stuttering stopped and there was no noticeable drops. Unfortunately, I can’t compare between the original release and the special edition as I never played the original release back in 2011.
The game starts off in epic fashion with a dragon attack just as you’re about to have your head chopped off, and the only reason you’re about to get your head chopped off is because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
There is so much in this game to see and do, I love just following the paths and discovering each area of the game and what it has to offer, and it is also a good way to get new missions and side quest as there are times that people will just run up to you and start talking to you which ends up in another mission.
However, the one annoying thing that I did find with the game was that there were times you were speaking to one person and listening to the details for a mission, but another NPC would walk past and start talking to you, so you would have both people talking, and I found that really off putting, it was like, ‘excuse me, bit busy here’.
One of the things that I do love about this game is how varied the missions are, yes you get a lot of missions that are in similar looking dungeons, but there is so many different type of missions around from the Dragonborn story to the Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood and more that each storyline will keep you engrossed in this game, and across both consoles I must have played around 80+ hours and I still can’t get enough of the game. All the missions give you something that keeps the game fresh and alive.
The ranking system within Skyrim is good and allows you to concentrate on the items which you would like to increase first, while maybe upgrading other areas as and when they are used. Again, there are plenty of things to do in this area as well, as there is Alchemy, Enchanting, Smithing, Magic and loads more to do, so there is a route for every type of player to take, and that is one of the things I love about this game, it is versitile so even if you’re not into magic, or being a warrior, there is always something for you.
Skyrim isn’t all about missions and quests though, it’s also about family and life as in the game you can get married and adopt children. Not only that, but you’re allowed to buy houses and plots of land, on which you can build your own house and add your own different rooms and design it how you want. In which your family can then move in, however you can have them live in any of the homes you own across Skyrim whether it be in Falkreath, Whiterun etc.
One thing that let’s the game down is how glitch filled it is. I’ve noticed missions that have failed to start, I’ve been locked out of my house in Whiterun with my family inside and non of them show outside when I wait at the house, there are issues with the sound effects at times, especially when doing an execution move, the sounds go quite tin like and don’t sound like they should.
I have to be honest, for a first play through, I didn’t expect to clock the 80+ hours in the game, I haven’t been this invested in a game for a long time, and it has been such a nice change of pace to be engrossed in just one game and play through it.
However saying that, there is no excuse for the glitches and problems that are in the game. Skyrim gets an 8/10.