MCV has lost count of the number of review roundups in the last few weeks that have reported astronomical scores for a new release. And here we are again.
Just moments ago the review embargo for Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which is released worldwide tomorrow, lifted to reveal the true extent of the wonderful game that awaits.
“In weaving together the extraordinary craftsmanship evident in the music, storytelling, adventure and world design of Skyrim, Bethesda has created a very special game indeed – one that's likely to remain in the affections of gamers for many years to come,” Eurogamer said in its 10/10 review.
“It evokes a word that's overused in reviewing of all kinds: one that's best kept in the cellar in a plainly marked box and reserved only for the most special of occasions. For Skyrim though, I'd like to blow the dust off it, open up the lid, and enjoy a masterpiece with you.”
CVG awarded a 9.5/10, saying: “If you're an Elder Scrolls veteran, you'll already know what you're in for. This is not the next evolutionary stage of the series: rather a loving refinement of what made Oblivion and the now-aged PC title Morrowind so special.
“It's those games with better voice acting, a slicker interface, a richer world and an improved story. It's also the most polished and user friendly games in the series, with smarter character progression and a gentler learning curve.
“But, more than any of those things, it's an adventure; an escape into a compelling world of myth and magic - and it's the biggest, deepest RPG of the generation.”
Edge gave the game 9/10, concluding: “The illusion frequently falters – and sometimes completely breaks – but when it does you'll want to conspire with the game to pretend you didn't see. You play on, for the moments of clever design, fortunate coincidence or downright inspiration that turn you from suspending disbelief into utterly convinced.”
Spong opted for an eye-watering 99 per cent (once 21 hours in), stating: “Skyrim is definitely a fitting sequel to Oblivion. It has the same sense of scale and depth, while the contrast in atmosphere and improvements in mechanics, systems and graphics are substantial and give the series a new lease of life.
“I worried about the marriage and children making it feel like Fable, but its dark edge keeps it from becoming either a joke or too predictable. Looks like I’ve already learned to enjoy spitting those cherry pips out.”
There were top marks from Joystiq, too, whose 5/5 review concluded: “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.”