I fondly remember my first time playing skyrim on the 11th of november 2011.. As i emerged from the caves beneath helgen and started to venture into the wilderness. I was awestruck. What hit me first was the sense of adventure. Here i was in a fantasy world, so vivid i couldn’t have come up with it in my wildest dreams through to roam and explore, as i wished. This sense of wonder was compacted by my ignorance of the game’s parameters. To me. In that moment anything seemed possible. It’S fair to say that skyrim didn’t just pique my interest, it ensnared my imagination and took it on a journey. It would never forget, but, as my sense of nostalgia and the nostalgia of millions of fans, elevate skyrim to a position of repute, it doesn’t deserve. Objectively speaking, is it that good of a game, legends, don’t, burn down villagers? Obviously skyrim did something right: it sold over 30 million copies in its original release and even on steam. Today, the game averages 25 000 concurrent players at any one time across both editions. It’S, probably even higher, on playstation and xbox. So what did skyrim get right in 2011? That still has so many players interested today and yes, there’s more to it than where the elder scrolls 5 excels. The most is in its world building for its time. It outstripped all other rpgs in terms of the scale and ambition of its open world. What was offered to the player wasn’t, just empty terrain, dotted with the odd location, but a map bustling with places of interest, hamlets and cities that made you want to explore.

Even some more modern rpgs, such as dragon age inquisition, fail to offer maps that are as full as skyrims. More than just offering bountiful locations, skyrim bursts with quests that are actually interesting for the most part. Most quests are highly imaginative and often thought provoking from the four sworn conspiracy where you can opt to side with a group of freedom fighters or terrorists, depending on how you interpret them to the often wacky daedric prince missions, the axe, isn’t. The only item dear old clavicus has but a map packed with quests isn’t, all that it takes to have a compelling world. What ties the whole game together is its law and story. Skyrim’S tale might not be the most nuanced, but you can’t deny that it’s suspenseful and epic drawing heavily from norse mythology. What skyrim did well was to create a sense of mystery and intrigue that made you want to learn more from the mystery of the fall of the dwemer civilization to the causes of the skyrim civil war. I think that the elder scrolls 5 is an impeccable example of why the quality of a game’s law does matter. Skyrim’S law isn’t overwhelming either a thousand years of tamrielic history, isn’t shoved down your throat the moment. You start the game rather you’re gradually exposed in the opening sequence, for instance, you’re introduced first to the civil war and then the main antagonist, the ancient dragon aldwin who’s been thought long dead, skyrim’s law is thus accessible.

It would have been easy for bethesda to overwhelm the player by introducing too quickly history or terms from previous games, for instance, when i first played dragon age inquisition last summer. The first hurdle i encountered was the jargon and heaps of information that was thrown at me in the first few hours of the game. It can be intimidating to say the least, but simply because it’s accessible doesn’t mean that skyrim’s law is oversimplified, skyrim isn’t as dark as say the witcher 3, and nor does it need to be, but it still grapples with some important themes and issues. The civil war is but one example, as is the wider cold war between the thalmor and the empire. Elder scrolls law is often contentious. It is precisely because the game asks for your input and opinion that the game had and has such a gravitational pull. However, playing skyrim again in 2021, it becomes clear that not only is the game outdated in so many ways, but even for the time it was deficient in certain areas. Skyrim is a decent game, but a sense of nostalgia pushes it into an echelon. It doesn’t deserve. This is significant, not least because when we look to the future towards starfield and the older scroll six, we can’t have unrealistic expectations. I mean this in two ways. The first is, in terms of attributing to skyrim a status that it’s impossible to emulate because of nostalgia playing starfield for the first time there won’t be any such emotion to heighten the experience.

The second is that, if you believe skyrim is an exceptional game based off nostalgia, you might only desire for starfield and the elder scrolls vi to copy it and its ethos. This would be remiss. Skyrim could have improved in so many areas, even comparing it to other games at the time, whilst the rpg genre as a whole has evolved and innovated over the last decade. The criticism most often leveled at skyrim is that it isn’t a true rpg, accessible as it is to the casual player. Its simplicity lessens the replayability and player choice, for instance, whereas previous elder scrolls games had comprehensive class systems in skyrim, you can freelance between magic stealth and martial combat. The choice is great, however: reducing a system of having over a dozen different, unique classes, to three broad streams, significantly dumbs down what it means to be an rpg. A more important criticism, perhaps, is a one dimensional nature of skyrim’s main quest as part of the drive for accessibility. Bethesda opted for a story that, whilst epic lacked any nuance whatsoever, aldewin is evil plain and simple and you’re just a superhero tasked with defeating him. By comparison in morrowind, you spend several quests researching the tribunal and degorthur the tribunal. The ruling gods of morrowind peddled a narrative that assigned to dagother the role of betrayer stating that he murdered the hortator, that is the leader of morrowind hundreds of years ago, and betrayed the hortators wishes by using an artifact the heart of lorkhan, to ascend to godhood.

In fact, the tale is much more muddled. We learned that it was likely that the tribunal themselves might have been the ones who wanted to use the tools, and it may well have been lego. Thur, who defended nerevar’s legacy that the tribunal are far from a mere force of good, is seen from the fact that in the end, they did indeed use the tools to become gods. More generally, degorthur actually has motivations. He doesn’t just want to dominate the world for the sake of it from resenting the influence of the empire to desiring peace to wanting to potentially revenge. The hortator nerevar bethesda did a good job of concocting, a villain with at least the degree of moral ambiguity. The older scrolls 5 skyrim is a legendary game and a classic, but it needs to be approached properly if we’re, to have realistic expectations for bethesda’s future games. That doesn’t mean critiquing skyrim as a game not of its time, but rather recognizing its deficiencies. What it did well and where it can improve nostalgia is a powerful emotion, but we shouldn’t let it elevate skyrim to a level of which it is undeserving.