Team Unwinnable has been anxiously awaiting The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ever since it was announced. So when Bethesda offered Unwinnable a chance to demo the game for three hours, of course we said yes.
The first thing one needs to do is create a character. Skyrim‘s character generator is expansive without being cumbersome. There’s a lot of selection, but it didn’t take me long to build my character. I chose an Argonian. Argonians are lizard people that can breathe underwater. Yes, I made him look like Lizardman from SoulCalibur.
I could talk about story here, but that wouldn’t really be fair as I only had three hours with the game and I spent most of it exploring the map.
In the Skyrim demo videos, director Todd Howard mentions that if you see a mountain, you can climb said mountain. This is a staple of the Elder Scrolls series and I am pleased to say that it holds true in Skyrim. Indeed, the Elder Scrolls world has never looked better!
The map is very expansive! I walked nearly the whole way around a mountain (I think it was a small mountain, more like a really big hill). In my travels, I escaped from prison, battled bandits, made backroom deals with royals and picked a fight with a brewmaster. I barely scratched the surface!
The controls are pretty intuitive. The only thing that bugged me was the placement of the character menu. It was located on the Xbox controller’s B button instead of the shoulder. It takes a little getting used to, but once I skewered some bandits, I got a handle on the controls.
Of course, on any quest, a warrior needs weapons. There are plenty of weapons in Skyrim. Players can upgrade their arsenals by buying them from marketplaces, traders or looting vanquished foes. Be careful not to take too much – an overload of weapons and items will weigh your character down. That said, if you’re close enough to a town, it may be worth lugging all the stuff a short way in order to sell it.
There are plenty of opportunities to level grind in the game. I must have spent a good hour walking long paths around a mountain. I encountered several bandits and got into some fun fights and leveled up pretty quickly.
The leveling system is fun. I’d recommend building up your life meter and your stamina, though. I alternated between magic, life and stamina and I wish I’d started with stamina first. It is insanely helpful in hand-to-hand combat. Some of those weapons are heavy!
Something else I dug about the game was sneaking around. Say you see some opponents that are just too tough for you at a particular junction? Sneak around them! Want to get the drop on someone? Sneak around him! Sure, you don’t gain a lot of experience, but you stay alive.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim houses a vast world, rife with adventure, excitement and a helluva lot of detail! The story, while I only scratched the surface, pulled me in pretty quickly. Indeed, I look forward to spending a lot of time with this game come November.
Follow Ian on Twitter @IanGonzales. He likes videogames and comics, just like you.