The video gaming industry has upgraded several notches ever since it became popular in the late 90’s, and it has undergone rapid advancements the past two years. Perhaps the most popular gameplay for video games is the role playing game or RPG. Early RPG games were locked up with the concept of linear gameplay wherein the player can only choose one path for his character, and most of those games were devoid of features that let characters interact with each other.

Fortunately, in the early 2000’s the GTA series (Grand Theft Auto) gave an entirely new concept of RPG-gaming. The character in the main story could interact with the environment, thereby mimicking how a real person lives – albeit in a virtual world. But GTA is not without its flaws since it still followed a linear gameplay.

However, in 2004 a breakthrough was made by Blizzard when it introduced the most popular game in the entire planet – The World of Warcraft. In almost every aspect WOW was revolutionary and the stories of individual characters are nonlinear except for NPCs. Although the general story progresses linearly, but players can now customize the individual story of their characters. In other words you may choose your own faction without minding which faction has the moral right to be joined with. Character development was given so much concern by the developers of the game to the point that you can even engage your character in marriage with other player-controlled characters in the game. You can do stuffs like sleeping, cooking, and eating. You can even get professions ranging from being a blacksmith to being an archaeologist to support your financial needs inside the game. The experience is really like having a version of you inside a virtual world.

Although WOW is perfect in almost every sense and is still being developed continually thanks to Blizzard, it still lacks several features that would really make it perfect. However, this write up is not up to the task of suggesting the “perfect game” because there’s no such thing as that. And if ever there is a game that’s close to being perfect, then I’d say it’s no other than WOW.

But let’s forget WOW for a moment and let’s take a good look at this very interesting game that’s been receiving a lot of accolades from critics and from gaming institutions worldwide (Luckily I got my hands on a copy of this game).The game I’m talking about is entitled The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, or simply Skyrim. It was developed by Bethseda and it runs on a powerful engine called Creation, which was also developed by Bethseda. Why did I say powerful? Well, just for everyone’s information, Skyrim’s graphics is not solely visual. I mean there is another element present in the game’s graphics that make it so realistic, and that is the element of mass. A good example for that would be the objects that can be found inside the game, the objects you can find in Skyrim follow physical laws to an extent that even the branches of trees consider their individual mass to calculate for the exact swaying pattern that they must perform when wind strike at them. Shocking? Apparently that’s not all that the Creation engine can do as it also incorporated several revolutionary elements of space such as position, visibility, and sound (These features will be discussed in detail a bit later).

Todd Howard, who led the development team of Skyrim, even felt that the game was too much for current technology during its development stage. Fortunately the development team managed to get over that obstacle, making skyrim available for today’s generation of gamers and gaming enthusiasts.

The efforts of the development team was not in vain as Skyrim was very well-received by gamers and critics. Many have called it as the game that has it all, and I too feel that it does live up to that praise to some extent. My experience with Skyrim was very personal in the sense that the game really captivated me (I slept very late for 3 weeks because I couldn’t stop myself from playing non-stop). But that’s not to say that the game is without flaws, because it really has a lot. Number one problem with the game is the very high tendency for bugs to occur (I encountered this twice in the game with a character named Esbern), fortunately skyrim guides are in the internet and they offer bug solutions. Another major problem with the game is its interface with both high ground and uneven ground, when you go to such surfaces you’ll sometimes see your character floating in the air. The game is also full of glitches and exploits of all kinds.

But even with those issues, Skyrim still presents a very thorough game that is more than worthy of every gamer’s attention. Why? Simple, it has unsurpassed gameplay. In the Skyrim world you can be whoever you want to be, you can be a criminal, a good citizen, thief, a Werewolf, or even a vampire regardless of which class, race, or build that you choose. I recommend that you download the Skyrim guide and check out Werewolf and Vampirism in Skyrim as they are extremely interesting. Your character’s interaction with its environment is also superb as light, sound, and position play real roles on whether or not an enemy detects you when you sneak. In the real world, you’d naturally spoil your sneaking when you step on something that creates sound or when there’s enough light in that certain spot, the same happens in the Skyrim world.

For me the real edge of Skyrim is its very rich story wherein you can choose outcomes. You can either comply with the demands of the quest giver, cross the quest giver, double cross both the target and the quest giver, or you can even kill the quest giver out of pleasure or quest for more power. In some cases it’s also possible to bribe certain characters just to have your way over a certain matter. A fair warning though, you are penalized with bounty on your head every time you commit illegal acts. When the bounties accumulate to more than a certain amount, the guards of that sector will try to arrest you and send you to jail. If you stay in jail for quite some time, you end up losing mastery of certain skills (Quite realistic, right?). Some characters in Skyrim would even send thugs to even the score if you happen to have betrayed or crossed them (I personally experienced this and had to kill that thug).

Another edge of Skyrim is its features with environmental interaction which are really superb. It’s really like doing things and actions that follow the cause-effect relationship straight out of a University Physics Book.

I personally like the wagered brawls that you can have in inns, truly nord-like; cheers to the mead. I guess my experience with Skyrim cannot really be internalized just by reading this because the game is simply too awesome and I can’t find the right words to fully describe it. Although I’m not really into RPG games (I usually prefer RTS games) save for WOW, MW, and Battlefield, I highly recommend that you also try this game dubbed as “the game that has it all” if you happen to be a gamer, especially if you’re an avid one. If you’re in for high level adventure on mountain tops or in dark caves, then Skyrim is the game for you.