In 2011, Bethesda Game Studios released a new title: Skyrim. It was the fifth instalment in a series of fantastic RPG games that began in 1994 as a digital version of a good game of Dungeons & Dragons, but Skyrim had something different.
Many years have passed since we were introduced to the dovahkiin, Dragon's Blood, and despite the large number of games that have come out since then it seems that the gaming community refuses to forget about Skyrim. What does this game have to be able to stand the test of time?
Old School Epicity
Fantasy and role-playing stories seem to have a series of basic elements that make them up and shape them in different ways. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim took all these elements, adapted them to its own narrative tone, and included them in an in-depth story with traces of a classic tale that had rarely been seen
Of course, our protagonist turns out to be the only one capable of facing the many threats that populate the land of Skyrim and so an adventure worthy of being sung for eons begins.
The main story revolves around the mission that, like Dragon's Blood that we are, we must carry out: to put an end to the fearsome Alduin, the devourer of worlds, so that he stops resurrecting dragons while he tries to destroy Skyrim.
If dealing with dragons using our weapons and magic could already appeal to any fantasy enthusiast, keep in mind that it's only a small percentage of how much this game has to offer.
In addition to short (and in some cases repetitive) secondary missions, Bethesda gathered all the elements of any self-respecting adventure and designed a system of stories that included political intrigues, treasure hunts, exploration... Skyrim was presented as a living and changing world in which the player could intervene as he wanted.
While it seems impossible not to think of Tolkien's works (or perhaps those of George RR Martin) when we stand before a world like this, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim went even further and gave a twist to the legends of the ancient and medieval world.
The Elder Scrolls is called Tamriel, Skyrim is the northernmost region of the east and therefore, we believe that with very good sense, Bethesda made a reinterpretation of the legends and creatures of Nordic mythology to design the places we cross and the characters we meet. They also made our character a Sigfrid of the Nibelungs, the hero who is at the centre of all problems.
Skyrim gives off an unmistakable aroma of a classic and epic narrative, using solid, well-built formulas that are probably one of the key elements in understanding the timelessness of this game.
A good story is a good story, no matter how many times you tell it.
In role-playing games, players take on the role of a character. They can choose their race, class, appearance and abilities so that their role in the game is as adapted as possible to their own style. Skyrim, like a good RPG, allows you to design your character from beginning to end and we're not just talking about the physical.
Through a complex skill tree, the player has the opportunity to choose how he wants to play the game. Some will prefer to attack from a distance with a bow or master magic, while others will throw themselves into combat wielding one - or two - handed weapons. In Skyrim, there are no classes, but it is the player who chooses how he wants his character to be and which fields he prefers to dominate.
This freedom surpasses combat skills and makes the title an immersive experience like few others: you can learn blacksmithing, alchemy, mining, thief skills, persuasion, getting married, buying houses... In addition, there are certain moments when we will have to make decisions that will affect the world around us. Life in Skyrim is there to be lived.
And this 360-degree experience is completed with something that cannot be missing in any self-respecting open world game.
The Skyrim region is made up of humble villages and big cities, green forests, mountainous areas, icy snowy terrain, caves and dungeons that give a lot if they really want to squeeze themselves completely, all providing something different and enriching the player's passage through these places.
And while there’s a considerable amount of land to cover (first on foot or on horseback and then with fast journeys), wandering around is another great attraction because of the very careful detail with which Bethesda designed her world. It really is worth taking a break from time to time to appreciate the landscape, talk to people or discover the history of these lands.
Finally, consider how such games work. Most of them are single-player titles with such a vast world to explore and so many things to do that you end up getting right into the story.
Similarly to cinema, these games temporarily isolate the player from the outside world and involve them in what they're living, assuming the role of the character and thus obtaining a much more immersive, complete and satisfying experience.
A world in constant expansion
If there's one thing virtually everyone who has played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim jokes about is the extension of the game.
It takes hundreds, if not thousands, of hours in front of the screen to discover all the places, collect all the objects, and complete the game's many primary and secondary missions. It's likely that many people have been playing Skyrim since its launch and still have things to do.
If the content offered by the game in its original version wasn't enough, over the years new ways to enjoy the title have appeared. Let's talk first about the "official" ones, those developed and promoted by Bethesda or with her permission.
Within this subgroup we found the DLCs (expansions that broadened the experience with new missions, skills, zones and objects), the new editions adapted to generations of more recent consoles or remastered with graphic improvements and the mods, which mainly served to get more realistic details in the textures.
The other great aspect of content that has helped Skyrim stay alive has come from fans. Since its launch, anonymous people (heroes for some) have put their knowledge at the service of the gamer community to be able to modify the game with elements of all kinds. From historically correct weapons and armor, through a version in which the protagonist fights the vampires of the game Castlevania, whip in hand, or a fun exchange of dragons for the locomotive of the Thomas & Friends children's series.
These years have given for much and as the creativity of people has no limits, we recommend researching the web so that everyone can decide which one to keep.
Long live Dragon Blood
In 2011, Bethesda Game Studios released a new title: Skyrim. It was a fantasy RPG like any other that could be played at the time or would be played over the next few years, but something made it fit the audience like no other.
The Elder Scrolls V became a global phenomenon that the gamer community would be grateful for the experience it offered and recognise the studio's work.
We keep talking about Skyrim because it still has a lot to say today; because the epic of its history and the richness of its world were at a very high level and became referents of the genre.
Like that book we never tire of reading or the film we've seen dozens of times, Skyrim is a timeless adventure. Long live the dovahkiin, Dragon Blood.