The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Once you sit down to play Skyrim you can embark on a short 10-minute mission, or spend an entire day fighting dragons. Part of the game’s beauty is that it provides an open world where you can pretty much do whatever you want, from being an assassin in the Dark Brotherhood to stealing emeralds for the Thieves Guild. You can be a champion of the people or a murderous villain—it’s whatever you want it to be. Likewise, the game can be as hard or easy as you want. The main storyline involves ridding the countryside of dragons, but the meat of the game is in the side quests, which can include anything from fetching a king’s sword to catching and slaying giants for bounty. Skyrim has a game engine similar to that of Fallout 3, except instead of guns and futuristic weapons, you’re in a fantasy world filled with wizards and giants, fighting with swords, bows and arrows and magic spells. The game unfortunately is full of bugs, glitches and freezes, and from what I understand they plague the PS3 version more than those for the PC or Xbox. Glitches aside, it’s a refreshing break from first-person-shooter mania—especially the Call of Duty/Battlefield war that’s raging—and I’m not the least bit surprised Skyrim just took game of the year.