Official PlayStation Magazine UK’s GOTY No 3: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - orc

[Yes, I can appreciate the irony of publishing this the same day as the Skyrim Disaster Timeline chronicles the history of the laggy frame rate issues, but this is a reader voted thing, remember and it's the next one up. ]

Oh, Skyrim. It’s had a troubled life on PS3. After building up a head of steam and looking like it might stroll to GOTY honours, that bug hit. A weird coding glitch carried over from Fallout: New Vegas meant that rapidly increasing save-file sizes choked PS3’s ability to render its RPG world full of fantasy and dragons. Even post-patch, it’s so unpredictable that while some people can barely pick up an axe a few hours in without the game locking up, others have enjoyed days of Draugr-shivving.

It’s surely the only reason this isn’t placed higher.  The world is incredible – a huge, mythical country filled with countless stories and events to stumble on. Unlike traditional narratives, you can discover it in any order. There are quests to follow if you want, but the plot really forms around your choices as you explore. You might complete a few mage guild quests, stumble on an assassination plot one minute and get distracted by a cave full of vampires the next.

There’s also an incredibly deep character-creation system that lets you play warrior, thief, assassin, mage and any mix in-between. Combine that flexibility with the wealth and variety of missions, and the free-roaming gameplay, and you’ve got an open-world game like nothing else. Or you should have. It all depends on the glitch lottery. Partially hamstrung or not, it’s an experience like no other on PS3 – but while a future patch may improve things further, for now a bronze medal is the very most it deserves.