Top 11 of 2011 Part 5

Published on December 30th, 2011

- 1. Elder Scrolls:

2011 was supposed to be the year of the tiger but this past November for us, it turned into the year of the dragon! Skyrim had arrived, and like previous Elder Scrolls games it invaded our lives with nary a concern for distractions like jobs, food or watering plants – sorry, bonzai tree. To give you a bit of context, usually reviews take around to ten to 15 hours and at that point most games, even RPGs, have run their course. Deus Ex: HR clocked in at around 20 hours, The Witcher 2 a tad more at 25, but we’ve spent over 40 hours with Skyrim and we still haven’t seen the majority of the content Bethesda has lovingly crafted.

Frankly, this amount of content is irresponsible and what makes it worse is that the vast majority of it is thoroughly entertaining. There’s more than enough content in here to launch an MMO, yet for price of a regular game you get literally hundreds of different quests to play through, locales to explore, dungeons to clear out and dragons to slay.

However, Skyrim’s appeal isn’t just in breadth of content alone. After multiple tries Bethesda has finally sorted out the problems of grind and repetitive quest design which has always been the bugbear of this series – even the main quest is worth finishing! Levelling too has also been streamlined yet the complexity of building a world-owning character remains thanks to perks, and magic finally feels like the matter bending powerhouse that it should.

What really ties it all together though, is the continent of Skyrim itself. The environment constantly rewards exploration. Everything from the smallest Nirnroot to the placement of giant camps feels as though there’s a purpose behind it, and you feel like a hero just wandering the wilderness, let alone taking down Trolls or attempting the substantial climb up to Bleak Falls.

Perhaps best of all Bethesda has chosen to embrace the modding community rather than limit their work – unlike so many other publishers/developers this year – and for that reason they must be applauded. In terms of quality and quantity, Elder Scrolls V is a worthy winner of PCGZine’s best game of 2011 award, and this effort will only go from strength to strength thanks to you, the fans.

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    Top 11 of 2011 Part 5

    GRID Autosport, The Evil Within, Valiant Hearts, Space Hulk, Supraball and Homefront: The Revolution star in this intriguingly varied issue of our free-to-read .

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