Take one part George R.R. Martin, two parts Beowulf, mix with Grand Theft Auto's open-world, go-anywhere angle, and out pops Skyrim, a fantasy role-playing game that's definitely not a kite-surfing sim. Beneath the fantasy tropes of Skyrim, in which you play a classic zero-to-hero type with progressively dragon-powered abilities, lies a remarkably mature commentary on the nature of empires, with racial- and gender-related undertones. But Skyrim's greatest triumph is its ability to coax you from its beaten paths at every turn. What's the farmer over there do? Why? What's that strange light in the forest? Want to help someone kick a nasty drug habit? Who's supplying the drugs? Skyrim invites you to find out and to craft your own story on your own terms in a world more breathtakingly realized than any before it. If you want a glimpse into gaming's crystal ball, you'll want to check this out.
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