The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, or simply Skyrim, is an open world ARPG played on Backseat Gaming and Boss Fight of the Week and featured on Top 5, Why We're Single, S.A.G.N.U.T., Honest Game Trailers, Smosh Games Animated and The Damien & Shayne Show.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a 2011 open-world action role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fifth main installment in The Elder Scrolls series, following The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Its main story revolves around the Last Dragonborn and their quest to defeat Alduin the World Eater, a dragon prophesied to destroy the world.
Skyrim was developed using the Creation Engine, rebuilt specifically for the game. It was released to critical acclaim, with reviewers particularly praising the character development and setting, and is considered to be one of the greatest games of all time. Three DLC add-ons were released: Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn, which were repackaged into The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Legendary Edition in June 2013. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition, a remastered version of the game, was released in October 2016, which includes all three DLC expansions and a graphical upgrade, along with additional features such as modding capabilities on consoles.
Skyrim is set around 200 years after the events of Oblivion, although it is not a direct sequel. The game takes place in Skyrim, a province of the Empire on the continent of Tamriel. Skyrim is amidst a civil war between two factions: a Nordic separatist faction called the Stormcloaks and the Empire's Imperial Legion. The player character is the Last Dragonborn, a mortal born with the soul and power of a dragon. Alduin the World Eater, a large black dragon who returns to the land after being lost in time, serves as the primary antagonist. Alduin is the first dragon created by Akatosh and is prophesied to destroy man and consume the world.
Although there are only five cities within the province, they are complemented with smaller townships dotted through the land with huge swathes of wilderness separating them all. There are over 150 dungeons scattered across Skyrim. Fast-traveling is a returning feature, allowing the player to instantly travel to any marked location that has been previously visited. New creatures to the series include Giants, Frost Trolls, mammoths, Frostbite Spiders, Ice Wraiths, Hagravens, and Dragons.
Skyrim is an action role-playing game, playable from either a first or third-person perspective. The player may freely roam over the land of Skyrim, an open world environment consisting of wilderness expanses, dungeons, cities, towns, fortresses, and villages. Players may navigate Skyrim more quickly by riding horses or by using a fast-travel system that allows them to warp to previously discovered locations. The game's main quest can be completed or ignored at the player's preference after the first stage is finished (some quests rely on the main storyline being at least partially completed). NPCs populate the world and can be interacted with in a number of ways. The player may choose to join factions, each of which has an associated quest path to progress through. Each city and town has jobs that the player can engage in.
Players have the option to develop their character. At the start of the game, players create their character by selecting their sex and race and further customizing the appearance. Over the course of the game, players improve their character's skills. There are 18 skills divided evenly among the three schools of combat, magic, and stealth. When players have trained skills enough to meet the required experience, their character levels up. Each time their character levels up, the player may choose to select a skill-specific ability called a perk, or store perk points for later use. An HUD appears when any of the player's three main attributes (health, magicka, and stamina) are being depleted. Attributes regenerate over time, although this process can be accelerated by using potions or spells. Health is depleted when the player takes damage. Magicka is depleted by the use of spells, certain poisons, and being struck by lightning-based attacks. Stamina is depleted by sprinting, performing heavy power attacks, and being struck by frost-based attacks. The player's inventory can be accessed from the menu and items can be viewed, which may prove essential in solving puzzles found in dungeons.
Effectiveness in combat relies on the use of weapons and armor (which may be bought, found, or forged) and spells (which may be bought or unlocked by finding spell tomes). Weapons and magic are assigned to each hand, allowing for dual-wielding, and can be swapped out through a quick-access menu of favorite items. Some weapons and master spells require both hands. Types of weapons, shields, and spells have various features and functions.
When exploring Skyrim, the player may encounter wildlife. Skyrim is the first entry in The Elder Scrolls to include dragons in the wilderness, which are generated randomly in the world and will engage in combat with NPCs, creatures, and the player. Some dragons may attack cities and towns when in their proximity. The player character can absorb the souls of dragons to use powerful spells called dragon shouts, or Thu'um.
Skyrim received critical acclaim upon release. The removal of the character class system, present in previous entries, was well received. The art style of the game world also drew acclaim from many reviewers, who welcomed the departure from Oblivion's Cyrodiil. Many reviewers praised the large number of things to do in the world outside of the main story. Reviewers also welcomed the ability to dual-wield weapons and magic. However, many reviewers were critical of the melee combat, feeling that it had not been improved upon as much as other areas in the game. Many reviewers noted glitches while playing Skyrim, some game-breaking. In addition, the quality of the main quest divided some reviewers. While the dragon battles were well-received, some reviewers observed flaws in the AI for dragons.
In November 2016, it was confirmed that Skyrim had sold 30 million copies since its release in 2011. Skyrim also received awards from numerous gaming sites and publications.