Like with a lot of games I play them when the hype is died down and I can make up my own mind to see what the big fuzz is about. And there is no doubt that Skyrim is a huge title.
Until Skyrim Oblivion was the only Elder Scrolls game I had played. For a long time I was under the impression it would not be a game for me. Can't give you an exact reason why I thought that but the fact that I am more into JRPG's could have to do with it. However once I played it I understood immediately why people are going nuts about the games in this franchise. There is no denying that this is easily one of those games that offers a lot of content. So much that you can get overwhelmed and get lost into the worlds they have created. Skyrim in that aspect is huge. With it's never ending quests you literally could play this game for years and years. Depending how you look at it this could be considered a good thing or bad one.
For me personally I am not sure where I stand. I do need some sense of accomplishment. At least in Oblivion once you completed a quest you did not have to do any tasks any more. And in some quests you got royally rewarded with a regular income like with the Dark Brotherhood quest. This was one of the most interesting quests in Oblivion. The missions were fun and compelling. And at the end of the quest you got one hell of a conclusion. Compare this to the Dark Brotherhood quest in Skyrim and you get none of that. The only real worth wile reward is Shadowmere for which you don't even have to complete the quest to get him. Then there are the assassination missions which got tedious real fast. I have played quite a few of the quests in Skyrim and even completed the main quest and to be honest I felt very underwhelmed. In the first place this main quest did not feel as epic as it could have been. I did think it looked promising in the beginning and the fact that at one point all kinds of dragons came out of nowhere to attack, you could feel something was at stake. However after a while the dragons weren't as menacing as in the beginning. Other than you having to fight in the middle of whatever you were doing they barely had impact on the world. Once you finish the main quest you would expect a little more gratitude from the people for saving Skyrim from it's pending destruction or they could have at least given me a statue or something to honor me. A larger amount of gold would have been appreciated just as much. As you can guess completing the main quest was not as satisfying as I hoped it would have been. It just ends and makes you wonder why you bothered in the first place.
But at least it ended. A majority of the quests go on and on. And all of them had conclusions that story wise felt immensely underwhelming. Oblivion had much better story telling. And yet I can't put the game down and stop playing. Because despite the weak stories, the gameplay elements (at least for me) make it a lot of fun to remain in Skyrim a little longer. The combat is very good and streamlined. I have been able to play around with it very satisfactorily. Especially since on top of those you have shouts to aid you. And some of them are really useful.
I read that if I choose to I can become a werewolf next to being a vampire. Having that as an option is incredibly awesome. I will definitely try out the werewolf part. Being a vampire doesn't sound appealing to me. Next to that you can married in your game. Which I think is very neat. Would have been better if you also could consummate your love and have offspring but that really is nitpicking. All these elements do bring role playing to the next level.
One thing I do have to mention is that Skyrim on the xbox 360 at times was really buggy. Heavy slow downs and sometimes just random freezing and crashing while I was playing was incredibly annoying. I guess that with a game this big it's unavoidable. Maybe they had fixed this with the updates. I did not bother to install those but I think if Skyrim had become unplayable then I would have.
Overall I think Skyrim is a lot of fun to play. But I can't deny that it is heavily flawed and while offers you a lot of options at the same time has limited them in other areas. I can overlook that except the lack of truly compelling stories. In role playing games you often have to do a lot of work. And luckily in most of them you get rewarded for this. In Skyrim the rewards are pretty much negligible. In fact it often feels like that completing a quest only gives the game more excuses to give you missions. How does it make sense once you become Archmage and the leader of the College of Winterhold that you still have to do silly fetch quests requested by your students? Actually now I think about it, the GTA games suffer from that also. Sometimes you become a real big shot but still have to run around like an errand boy. Of course I understand that these games want to put you in the middle of the action. However I think that in this day and age they need to give you the option to delegate. Or that becoming a boss gives you some benefits or perks. In the Saints Row games being a boss gives you these benefits. So it is technically possible. Anyways, despite the flaws I do love spending time in Skyrim.