I know it’s a little late in coming, I was hoping to wait until I finished the game but…yeah…that’s going to take a while….

First off, this is the first Elder Scrolls game I’ve really played in depth and I quite enjoyed it.  The game mechanics are fun and easy to grasp, you get to loot everything that’s not nailed down, you can buy and steal horses to ride around, and all in all it’s a wonderfully immerse game.

My family didn’t see me for a good month once I started this one.

So like all Elder Scroll games, you get to choose between one of ten races: Altmer (High Elves), Argonian (Lizard Men), Bosmer (Wood Elves), Breton (Asian human), Dunmer (Dark Elves), Imperial (North American human), Khajit (Feline humanoids), Nord (think Norsemen), Orc (duh), and Redguard (Middle Eastern human), but not before you’re introduced to the name of the game.

You start off bound in a wagon, destined for execution along with some rebels that the Imperial Legion has caught. See, the Imerium is much like ancient Rome, running around and taking control of everything they see because they think they can.  And when they ventured north into Skyrim, the Nords didn’t take too kindly to the intrusion and decided to fight back.  Hence the rebel alliance.

Once you exit the wagon, you are asked your name and then the character creation begins.  Once you pick your race, you have a multitude of facial aspects to choose from to customize your character, everything from skin tone to facial bone structure.

So you create your character, and sent off to the chopping block.  Just as your head is about to be separated from your body, a huge ass dragon swoops down and reigns destruction down upon friend and foe alike. And now you have two people offering you help to escape the firey inferno of dragon breathe: a nord who is leading the rebellion against the legion, a legionnaire who doesn’t seem like he’s such a bad guy.  Choose wisely my young padawan.

Game play in regards to story beyond this point I can’t really say much about, as it changes for everyone.  There are a few basics such as you learn you are one of the legendary Dragonborn, one with the strength to put down these terrifying creatures and learn their magics now that they have chosen to return to Skyrim after centuries of sleeping.

I chose to ally with the rebels (Stormcloaks).  You may choose the alliance, you may choose to stay true to the side you chose or betray them.  So plot ends there, aside from a wee note that the dragon that accidentally saved you from certain death is your final boss.  Beat him, beat the game.

So basically once you escape you just run around, looting and killing things, taking quests, and so on and so forth.  The interesting thing about Skyrim is everything you do affects your experience and your talents.  Talk nicely to people, up your persuasion.  Eating different foods will gain you different xp bonuses.  And when you level up you can choose between one of the three basic branches of skill: warrior, rogue, or mage.  Each branch will give you different perks for the class you choose, and some of the levels you gain in one class can help you in others.

And you don’t have to limit yourself to one class.  For example my character was a female Khajit dual wielding warrior thief who was strong in black smithing and dabbled in conjuration.

The thing I like most about Skyrim is that you can do so much.  Build houses, craft armor, enchant weapons, travel anywhere your heart desires whenever you want without affecting timelines or plot quests. You even get to kill dragons!  And every dragon you kill in their nest gives you something called a Word of Power, and each Word grants you a special ability you cannot use your xp to level up in.

Each Word ability has three ranks to them, and the only way to max them out is to find all three Words that belong to that ability.  You find these Words of Power on walls in dungeons and in dragon nests, they are relics of an ancient religion that deified dragons, and come from the dragon’s language.  The most famous Word of Powers are Fus Ro Dah, which summons a powerful shout that can blow back your enemies.  Fus is the first Word you learn in the game.  After that, you have to seek them out.

The only downside is that if you are a completionist like me, in that you MUST do EVERY quest and side quest available, there are two things you need to keep in mind:  The guide is your friend, and you probably won’t be able to do all the quests.  There are just that many.

Otherwise, enjoy folks.