This player diary is the experience of the first few days alone. This is so that it supplies experiences, without going too deep into the world itself. Afterall, exploration is what The Elder Scrolls is about, and it will be up to you to discover all it holds. For the most part, spoilers have been avoided however some may be included, so minor spoilers may be included.
On the 10th November 2011, a package came through the front door. Its contents were one of the most anticipated titles of the year. It is the follow up to the game which won numerous titles and received a Game of the Year addition, as well as a 5 year anniversary addition. The game that came was none other than the successor of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Over the next few days, Xbox Resource will be providing player diaries of the time spent in the world of Skyrim.
The tutorial stages of any game can feel slow to begin with. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim sees me initially enjoying a ride in the back of a horse driven cart. I ended up spending 20 minutes in the character customisation. This new and improved customisation area is very extensive, allowing you to select and change all features including cheekbone depth and lip height. After I was finally done with the customisation and got my character looking exactly how I wanted them the story begins to progress. For my play-through I stuck to my usual style on The Elder Scrolls; I chose the Dunmer (Dark Elf).
The story then introduced me to what is one of the main attractions to the Skyrim title; one of the dragons. The next part of the tutorial was a mad rush of adrenaline as the tutorial reached its climax, and ultimately freed me of my handcuffs. But letís not focus on what transpired, after all, that is part of the story and for you to find out.
The tutorial ended and opened up, finally granting me freedom to explore the world of Skyrim. The very first thought that came to my head upon exiting was how breathtakingly beautiful the scenery was. From this specific spot, I could see the details taken in the rocks and trees up close, as well as the imposing mountain which towered over the landscape, cutting into the sky above.
I made my way to Riverwood, a small village alongside the river, to pick up the main quest, and also some side quests. While I was here I was taught how to smith items and improve them, which is a great feature. Following one of the side quests took me to Bleak Falls Barrow. The path there took me up some of the mountains. Along the way I got to see how much detail was put into the landscaping and especially the river itself with its currents and waterfalls.
After being attacked by a wolf I wanted to test out the water, one of many diversions that I continuously find myself going through due to the amount of content here. The river does carry bodies with its flow and pushes them over waterfalls too. I continued my way to Bleak Falls Barrow. When I finally reached my location, I was facing Bandits. This is where I saw the amount of detail that had been placed into the fighting mechanics, especially the finishing moves, which are good animations to watch.
My side quest continued deeper into the Barrow, which proved to be a very good taste of what the caves and dungeons will look like, and how dark they can become. When I reached the end of the one side quest, I noticed another marker, and followed it deeper down. Following this path brought forward more traps and enemies, but I felt confident in my own abilities and my weapon. What I was unaware of, was that the marker I followed was leading to an item needed in a quest that I hadnít even started yet, making the leg work later in the game shorter. I finally left the Barrow, having quite a short exploration session inside to focus upon what else the world could offer to me.
I made my way to the nearest main town called Whiterun for the main quest-line to continue the story. As itís the main story I shall not detail that, but safe to say it is a gaming moment which you will always remember. So what does Whiterun have to offer? The first thing I came across was a stable, which charges 1000 Gold for a horse.
I continued upwards towards the gate which protects Whiterun. Despite this wall however, like most places featured in the game, it looks rural and almost run down. I continued to explore the town, finding the shop, the inn and the location of the Companions. The Companions are similar to the Fighters Guild. I made my first task to join this guild which sent me on a quest to clear out a camp far to the west. After talking to a friend over Xbox Live, I also learned that their quest was different from mine but named the same. If there are a handful of different missions then this is a great feature, keeping it more unique to each player.
During this excursion however, I fell back on my tracks to pay Riverwood another visit. However, this excursion from following side quests was one that the folk of Riverwood will never forgetÖ
So that is the first diary completed, but what happens in the second one? To find out what happened, and to see where else the diary takes us, check back on Monday 14th for our second player diary, in further details than before and remember, our full in-depth review will be coming out after a few more diaries.