Firstly, hello. Yes, hi. After a long bout of wandering, I’ve returned to bring you a series of reviews on the different computer games I’ve been playing. Do strap in, because it probably won’t be a smooth ride.

(You can scroll down to the bottom for a quick summery of this long article.)

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a game that was developed and published by Bethesda, a gaming company. When it first came out, on November 11, 2011, half my friends disappeared for three days. I didn’t get it for another six months, and was only mildly interested when it did eventually make its way into my hands.

The game is a single-player action role-playing game. It’s set in Skyrim, a province of Tamriel. Skyrim is an “open world”, which translates basically to: once you find your way out of the starting zone you can do whatever you want. Do you want to be the secret power behind the province? Become Thane of every hold and work your way up through every guild! Would you rather kill people from the shadows? Strike out on your own or join the Dark Brotherhood and eventually assassinate the Emperor (and then steal his clothes, like I did).


He had very nice clothes.

You play as the Dragonborn, but that’s pretty open too. You decide your race, appearance, gender, and fighting style. My first two characters – Iterum and Noir respectively – were both Bosmer (wood elf) archers. In the game, that meant I could be far away from my enemies and shoot them down with arrows made with anything from steel to dragon bone.

Now that we’ve properly established the freedom this game gives you, we can move on.

The main quest line of Skyrim revolves around the fact that you’re the Dragonborn – meaning you can “shout” in the tongue of dragons (basically, really noisy spells that involve giant flashes of light and make any none-player-characters around you comment on your amazing ability). You also absorb the souls of dragons, which are later used to unlock new shouts as you learn them. Early on in the game you discover that dragons are coming back (spoiler: by early I mean five minutes into the game before they try to chop off your head, the small town you’re in is attacked by a dragon). According to what you learn later, they’d been thought to have been killed off centuries before. It’s your job to figure out what’s happening and to put them back in their place – i.e., deep in the ground where they’ll hopefully stop shouting their heads off at you.

Sometimes I like to keep the heads.

Sometimes I like to keep the heads.

I’ve never made it all the way through the main quest line. There’s so much else to do in Skyrim that, aside from playing mostly through on Iterum, I’ve never bothered. The wonderful thing about Skyrim, though, is that it’s okay to do that.

Now, to make a long review (over 460 words!) longer, we’ll move onto some of the DLCs.

DLC (or: downloadable content. Also: expansions)

The first DLC that was released for Skyrim was called Dawnguard. It introduced new more bitey vampires to the game and a new story line. Without giving much away, I can say I’ve greatly enjoyed Dawnguard, even the somewhat exhausting bit with all the ghosts. Out of our ten cups of tea, I’d give it nine. I’m deducting one because certain aspects of Dawnguard really were overly exhausting and there were moments that made me think “really? Another gigantic run-about trying to find something or someone?”. Aside from that, it’s a really fun DLC.

Dawnguard rating: 9 cups.

One of the aforementioned vampires.

One of the aforementioned vampires.


Dawnguard also did a great job mastering the art of spooky fog.

Next for DLCs, we have Hearthfire. This one was released recently, just a few months ago in fact. It gives you the ability to adopt up to two children and build up to three houses on various plots of land you can buy around Skyrim. My other friend that plays Skyrim teased me for getting it, and when I looked it up online most everyone commented that it was only mildly better than the horse armor from Oblivion, another Elder Scrolls game. To some degree, after having played it, I can see what everyone meant. Yes, you get to build your own house, but there isn’t as much customization there as Bethesda might have you believe. Once you’ve built your house, you can’t remodel – you’re stuck with your original decisions. So when I build the house somewhat south of Solitude and my two adopted daughters tell me they don’t like it because of swamp monsters (which I can’t find), I can’t remodel the house to something more useful after they move somewhere else. Also, you get three wings on your house, but you can’t mix and match choices. You pick ONE choice from three for each wing, but you can’t build the library (an option for the west wing, I believe) on the south side. Nope, you only get to pick between the south side’s options.

Also, Hearthfire is riddled with “glitches”, the most notable for me being that my carriage driver (who I paid 1,000 gold for!) won’t take me anywhere. He just sits there, looking rugged and weather-beaten.

I’m pretty sure he killed some walking skeletons though, so he’s not all bad.

Hearthfire rating: 7.5 cups.


He says he can’t wait forever, but he refuses to move!

There’s another expansion for Skyrim called Dragonborn, but it isn’t released for PC yet. When it is, I’ll get it and let you know what I think.

I could continue on about Skyrim for another thousand words, there’s a lot more to cover – from mods to lore to the wonder that is Shadowmere (a horse that you receive as a reward from the Dark Brotherhood) – but I think I’ll end this here. If you’d like to know more about Skyrim, go pick up a copy for yourself. I think Steam (a PC game website) is having a sale, where it’s 50% off or some such.

Now, in review of the review:

Skyrim gets 10 of 10 cups, for being generally fantastic and also because anything I’ve clocked 145 hours on (Steam keeps track for me) would hopefully get a good rating.

Dawnguard, the DLC for Skyrim, gets 9 of 10 cups. One cup is deducted, if you remember, for it having a few too many quests that involve (our time) several-hour-long treks through this-or-that.

Hearthfire, the other DLC for Skyrim, gets 7.5 of 10 cups. Cups are deducted for lack of ability to truly customize, and the carriage driver that won’t drive.

In closing, fantastic game if you enjoy being able to do your own thing. I’d recommend Dawnguard if, after playing Skyrim, you’d enjoy some more cool stuff to do, and Hearthfire only if you’re a really, really good planner.

See you next time!


The absurdly awesome dragon-fighting horse Shadowmere.