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Game Info:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Developed By: Bethesda Entertainment
Published By: Bethesda Entertainment
Release Date: 11-11-2011
Available On: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Genre: RPG
Modes: Single Player
ESRB Rating: M
Price: $20 on Amazon

Teso Price

(Click here to jump to the moral content)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim takes place two hundred years after Oblivion.  Instead of portals to the underworld opening up, dragons are suddenly appearing and are laying waste to helpless towns not equipped to handle their attacks.  That’s where you, the Dragonborn, come into this epic story.  As a Dragonborn, you can absorb a dragon’s soul after defeating it.  These souls can be used to unlock words of power from their language granting you the ability to use their shouts as attacks.  These shouts will be essential in defeating the dragon lord Alduin whose sole purpose is to destroy the world.  It’s your destiny to stop him.

As if dragon attacks are not a big enough of a problem, there’s a civil war dividing Skyrim.  The Empire is fighting against a Nord rebel named Ulfric.  Ulfric killed the high king of Skyrim for agreeing to the peace treaty between the Empire and the High Elves that bans the worship of Talos.  With violence, war, false religions, and racism, Skyrim is just as messed up as our world.  

While you can choose a side and help unite Skyim, it’s not required to complete the main story.  You will, however, earn a couple of Steam achievements for doing so.  Besides the main quest, there are side quests and miscellaneous quests.  Every town and guild has work or quests for you to do.  Many times I willingly accepted them, but other times they were completely random and were added to my quest log, regardless.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Vast and beautiful world to explore with many caves, dungeons, and crypts to delve into.  Great story, voice acting, and artificial intelligence makes this game fun and believable. 

Weak Points: It’s not as graphically ground breaking as I would have hoped, but the world is still well designed and breathtaking regardless.  The menu system is crippled and is an obvious port from the console versions of the game.  

Moral Warnings: The violence is both bloody and intense; to draw it out even further the critical strikes are done in slow motion.  Marriage is possible in this game, and you can marry whatever species and gender appeals to you.  Fortunately, there are no sexual encounters.  Magic, Assassins and Thieving guilds are around and looking to acquire those who wish to partake in these dark arts.  

Most of the quests are rather involved and unique.  I enjoyed solving a couple of murder mysteries and locating powerful relics in dungeon crypts.  Some of the dungeons/caves are rather small with a couple of rooms, while other areas, such as the Dwemmer ruins, took me a whole night to clear.  Some other quests are the typical deliver-a-letter/ bottle of rum/ axe (or some other item) to someone half way across the map.

Each town, ruin, and cave are unique and intricately designed.  My hat goes off to the creators of these wonderful and massive maps.  Since this game feels like a tweaked Oblivion engine, I was not blown away by the graphics.  I was, however, impressed by the gorgeous landscapes and ancient ruins with waterfalls and unique puzzles to solve within.  I felt like I was in an Indiana Jones movie at times.  

The music adds to the experience and wonder of this game.  Veterans of the Elder Scrolls series will recognize some of the tunes from Morrowind and Oblivion.  The main theme is pretty much the Oblivion theme song with chanting (in the dragon language) slipped in.  While I’m not a big fan of the chanting, I do like it in the boss battle music.

Speaking of boss battles, Skyrim has some serious balancing issues.  I like how the cave and dungeon difficulties are calculated by your current level upon entering them.  The dragons, on the other hand - I hate to say it - are pushovers.  My housecarl and I can take down dragons with ease, but throw an ice troll or a drauger lord at us and we have to constantly backpedal our way out to replenish our health and magaicka.

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Game Play: 19/20
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 9/10
Stability: 3/5
Controls/Interface: 3/5

Morality Score - 40%
Violence: 1/10
Language: 7/10
Sexual Content: 2.5/10
Occult/Supernatural: 2/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 7.5/10

The housecarl is a great addition and it’s nice to have a helping hand in battle and a mule to carry extra armor and weapons for me.  As you do side quests, people will befriend you and are willing to follow you if you request for them to do so.  If you decide to marry, your spouse can fight with you as well.  

Getting married in Skyrim is not what you might expect.  If you wish to get married in this game, you'll have to speak with a priest of Mara to buy an amulet.  This amulet lets the world know that you're single and ready to mingle.  Not everybody is interested, so don't get your hopes set too high.  If you find a person interested in you, speak with the priest to set your wedding date.  There is no courtship and no mushy talk until after you're married.  Sweet talk is as far as it goes in this game.  There are no love scenes but I did hear the "Lusty Argonian Maid" book mentioned so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s floating around Skyrim somewhere.  I'm glad they kept the game clean in that respect, but the developers did leave the option to marry whatever race or gender you wish.  My wedding was rather interesting since my virtual spouse said "I do" and walked away before we were handed our rings.  Once I found him again, we agreed on a place to live (my house) and I was able to get him to cook for me.  It's not very exciting, but that's how marriage works in this game.

While the marriage aspect is new to Skyrim, many things carry over from the previous Elder Scrolls games.  The Mages' College is worth checking out if you want to train and learn about the various magic classes.  Necromancy is one of them.  The Companions are similar to the fighter's guild of previous games, but they harbor a secret.  The Thieves' Guild is heavily persecuted and not as prominent as they once were, while the Dark Brotherhood assassin’s guild is alive and well.  Each of these guilds offers quests/jobs to work your way up their ranks.

The main story line takes about twenty hours to complete.  Fortunately you can still play after you defeat Alduin. I have spent over fifty hours playing Skyrim and have become the leader of the Mages, Companions, became a war hero, and have single handedly wiped out the Dark Brotherhood.  There are so many choices and quests that you can easily spend eighty or more hours in Skyrim.

As fun as this game is, it does have its downfalls.  This review is based on version 1.1 so some of these issues may be addressed in future patches.  The menu system on the PC version of the game is not very responsive for mouse users.  I’m sure it works great for controllers with d-pads but I refuse to use a console controller for a PC game.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the same dialogue over and over again because the dialogue menu did not register my selection correctly.  

The interface and leveling system is completely revamped (some say dumbed down) from Morrowind and Oblivion.  When your character levels up, you have to choose to increase your Health, Magic, or Stamina.  You’ll also earn a skill point to spend on various perks.  This perk system is very similar to the ones used in Fallout 3 or New Vegas.  The slow motion critical hits, and some of the sound effects, are also taken from the Fallout games as well.  To put it bluntly, if you combine Oblivion with Fallout 3 and add dragons, you get Skyrim.  

The dragons have their fair share of bugs too.  I have a habit of saving often, especially in boss battles.  My battle with Alduin has a glitch that appeared in two different game saves.  The glitch I experienced is Alduin being stuck in the sky.  The only solution was for me to reload and try again.  I wonder how such an important battle could have a bug like this overlooked in beta testing.

Spiritually speaking, this game earns its mature rating for several reasons.  The violence is intense, bloody, and drawn out in slow motion.  There’s no disabling or avoiding it.  The same goes for foul language with the occasional d*mn and b**tard. Magic use is optional, but it will be used on you regardless.  I have already discussed how marriage works and that you can marry the same gender.  Some of the tribal NPC's wear skimpy outfits, but there is no nudity. There are some guilds that are dark in nature including the Dark Brotherhood and a coven of cannibals that eat human corpses.  I was not forced to join any of these guilds.  I felt I was in charge of my game play experience, and how good or evil you want to be.  The religious system is clearly based on the Norse beliefs, and I did not find any references to Christ anywhere.  The main quest did have me visit Sovengarde (Skyrim's version of Valhalla).

The references to the afterlife got me thinking a bit.  One of the NPC’s is concerned about his soul, and asks for your help in curing him so that he may have eternal rest.  Sadly, when you return from this quest, he is killed.  The way I felt was similar to knowing someone that isn't saved passing away.   In this game, you can still redeem their soul.  In Skyrim you may get a happy ending, but real life doesn’t work that way.    

While Skyrim has its moral and game flaws, it’s still an epic adventure and a great addition to the Elder Scrolls series.  Dumbed down or not, I liked the new leveling system and the added abilities to craft armor and weapons from scratch, and the changes to the enchantment system. Although the game wasn't as ground breaking as I would have hoped, I did find it refreshing.  Those that love role playing games will enjoy this game, but make sure the moral content doesn't bother you before parting with $60.  

 
 
Load Previous Comments
  • Who cares about Skyrim? It sucks anyway. Dark Souls is better.

    Farewell atheists.

    0 Like Short URL:
  • ODon't take this the wrong way, but you know absolutely nothing about the engine utilized for Skyrim. Their new Radiant Story mechanic utilizes your progress, from where you have been, to what you have done and impliments it in a variety of ways. And honestly, I would rather see lessons and morals implimented in a similar fashion to Narnia, but you must realize that this is a game where you have the choice in most situations. And although you CAN marry almost anyone, I don't think I have seen any mention of a cross species or a same sex marriage while I was playing the game. Skyrim is also an Elder Scrolls game, that is a FANTASY roleplaying game. If you allow yourself to be influinced because your character was a thief or a killer, then you shouldn't be playing video games in the first place.

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  • This may be a Christian gaming site but I didn't come here for Christianity. I found this on google because I wanted to know about marriages in skyrim. I honestly have a problem with the way you talk about it. It's a violent game so there will be violence, this isn't a bad thing, you also talk about the same gender marriages like they're bad. Also on language, at least it isn't grand theft auto. Games are games, an of none of them had violence or the ability to make our own choices what fun would it be? Not everybody is Christia so it would make no sense to make the game Christian, that would offed Muslims, Jews and whatever other religions play this game.

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  • In reply to: nick

    Homosexuality is not condoned in the bible, that's a fact. The purpose of this website is to inform parents and Christians of what is in a game before purchasing it. We go a bit more in depth than the ESRB and mention things that go against the Bible even if they personally don't offend us.

    Comment last edited on about 2 years ago by Cheryl
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  • Guest - Spiderfate

    In reply to: nick

    well, let me tell you something nick, Homosexuality is evil, and foul language is not just offensive to Christians. The violence is not really bad as it is not real and isnt that realistic. Also not everyone IS Christian but nobody said to make the game Christian. The Bible says that it is evil (homosexuality) and this is a bible verse on it :Leviticus 18:22
    "Do not practice homosexuality, having *** with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin." (NLT) As you can see God is against it and it should not be legal or included in things like games. plus language and too much violence is not family friendly

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  • My xbox died a while back and i havent got to play Skyrim yet. What kind of new spells does it have in it that were not in Oblivion? Did the bring back the levitation spell from morrowind?

    0 Like Short URL:
  • No levitation. Not sure on new spells, I play as a warrior

    0 Like Short URL:
  • Guest - Sulli

    Edward you say magic and sorcery are against gods will well your profile pick is a wizard bleh bleh bleh:o:o:o:o:o:o:D:D:D:D:):):):):o:o:o:p:p:p:(:(:(;););):):D:o:p:(;)

    [quote][quote]
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  • Guest - Zero

    I know I am going to catch heat for this but here it goes.
    Look after playing a large portion of the campaign I can say that, this game is by no means of the devil.
    Everyone gets in a tissy over the whole is it good or is it evil thing instead of asking the important question: Do I want my kids to play this? young kids under the age of 14 no. 14-17? debatable. This a game about a society that is immensely influenced by Norse mythology. In a government that has out-lawed the worship of a god figure limiting there free religion. As the main character you can chose to fight for or against government controlled worship.
    Also note that just like in alot of M rated games, Blood is a most,nudity eeh scantily clad at best,lots of drugs,alcohol,demonic reference of some kind, Lots violence.
    But when you compare it to what would happen if there was a real life re-enactment of the whole bible, using the same graphics engine and everything else you get an M rated game as well. Sex, nudity,Horrific torture,violence, alcohol, drug-use, demonic references, other adult material out the wazzoo And actually a pretty fun game.

    0 Like Short URL:
  • Guest - Tyler

    For those fanatics that are saying being a Homo is EVIL, you might need to read your Bible a bit more. In fact, being "Homo" is mentioned very little, and the only major verse is when Paul mentions it in a LITANY of other sins. Being divorced and remarried is talked MUCH more in the Bible as a ABOMINATION, as with eating fish on the friday, celebrating the TRUE sabbath (saturday), women to be silent in Church, but you won't hear that in your protestant and baptist semons, as with coveting. Fanaticism in Christianity will be it's demise. I'm a devout Christian, but I also have logic. I know people don't choose to be gay either, God created them that way. His Word is love.

    0 Like Short URL:

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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