GB Feature: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

After clocking in over 100 hours with the game, we've finally reached the point where we're ready to publish our full review of Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Make yourself comfortable for a four-page read:
Where Skyrim really shines is in the world design and in some of the ambient animations. There are so many forts and hideouts and lairs in the world that they all start to look alike after a while, and I don't think there's much Bethesda could have done about this (short of spending way more time on them than they probably deserve), but the major towns all have a unique look and feel to them, and some of the ruins are impressive. For example, one dwemer (dwarven) ruin has an "under the sea" theme. It's hued in blues and greens, and it appears to have giant jellyfish floating around. I'm not sure how any of that is possible, but the site is eerily beautiful to explore.

But the most impressive part of the graphics is the world animations, particularly the snow and water effects. To put it bluntly, Skyrim has the best water effects I've ever seen in a game, and it's not even close -- and Bethesda must agree, because they put streams and waterfalls everywhere (I'm pretty sure "Skyrim" means "land of running water" in the Nord language). Meanwhile, with the events of the game taking place in the northern part of the world, you have to trek through many a snowstorm, and the animations for these are effective enough that you might feel like you're actually there -- and need to grab a coat or some snowshoes.