As unorthodox as it might be, I played Fallout 3 before any of the games Bethesda became famous for--the Elder Scrolls series. That being said, I didn't think I would enjoy Fallout 3 nearly as much if it was set in pseudo-medieval times with magic and fabled creatures. In reality, Fallout 3 is really just a modern version of The Elder Scrolls, and The Elder Scrolls are the games I should be comparing Fallout 3 to. Within two days of first playing Skyrim, I was hooked. I borrowed the game from a friend, and I refused to give it back. Skyrim completely encompasses you in its environment. After a few days of playing, you start to hallucinate. There have been many times since first playing this game that I have seen a barrel, chest, or other storage object and thought about what type of food or potion ingredients would be inside of it. Any time I see a book laying alone on a table, I assume it will level up one of my stats if I open it. These type of things are the real power of this series. The environment is so in depth that it is impossible for players not to lose themselves to some degree. The main flaws of the game are patchy graphics and poor A.I. Though the landscapes are often beautiful and look great from a distance, it's very common to see hideous pixelation on nearby objects. The A.I.'s lack of variation also gets very old at times. I get really sick of hearing the same lines from parallel characters in different towns. The reality of the characters also would have benefited from simply using more actors. Other than those flaws, this game is absolutely fantastic. I would recommend Skyrim to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy now and then and doesn't mind losing a little piece of their sanity for the sake of adventure.
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