Finally, the wait is over and the fifth iteration in the franchise Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim launches today on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. Alongside the release comes the first batch of reviews, which gives us an early indication as to whether this latest installment lives up to expectations.
Out of 60 reviews for the console version of Bethesda's RPG on Metacritic, Skyrim has scored an average of 96 per cent, which ranks it as one of the best games of all time, alongside the likes of Half Life 2, Mass Effect 2, and the Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear Solid series.
Note: Only a handful of reviews have gone live for the PC version, which currently averages 95 per cent on Metacritic. The following review quotes and scores are taken from the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.
Here's what the critics had to say:
Wired – "The game's greatest accomplishment is that it is a paradise of escapism, a lavish love letter to immersion. Diving into Skyrim's world feels both thrilling and comforting, like riding a rollercoaster or swimming in the ocean. There is very little padding. There are very few scripted quests that aren't worth experiencing." – 100%
Official Xbox Magazine – "Skyrim may frustrate you at times, but it will work its way inside your skin and replace the marrow of your bones. It never gives you an opportunity to neatly stop playing. Even if you manage to tear yourself away, the locations and the people will rattle around in your head. It'll give you stories to tell your friends, (although you should remember that many people simply won't be interested), and it'll give you an entire region to bend, beautifully slowly, to your will." – 100%
Joystiq – "This is the deepest, lovliest world ever created for a single player to explore, and one that no one should deny themselves. This is a game about following Emerson's advice, leaving the trail and finding that the most powerful force on Earth or Tamriel isn't fire or sword, but the ever-insistent desire to know what lies beyond." – 100%
Action Trip – "The defining element of Skyrim is the choices that are given to players in every conceivable way. Weapon upgrades, character development, storyline progress, solving quests, exploration, NPC interaction, are all impressively crafted elements that almost feel like separate games molded into one unforgettable adventure." – 96%
PlayStation Universe– "Quite possibly the best open-world RPG of this generation, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an enormous and addictive game that is breathtaking in presentation and scale" – 95%
Gametrailers – "The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is extremely ambitious, and at its core, extremely successful. While overreaches in certain areas, it has much to offer in terms of freedom and volume of content. When you look back on the experience, it's not the rough spots that'll stand out, but the broad, heroic feeling of being the powerful and change-affecting center of a richly constructed world." – 93%
Videogamer – "Skyrim is easily one of the strongest and best examples of the Western RPG, and it further establishes Bethesda's reputation as one of the most talented and creative forces in the gaming industry. Moreover, it offers players a world so vast they could easily become lost in it, and so beautiful they may never wish to return from it." – 90%
Our copy of Skyrim has landed this morning, so if we do manage to pull ourselves away for a few hours the HEXUS review will go live next week.