The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim starts off as any other elder scrolls. Where you as a prisoner have an unknown background which allows you to create your own back story. It starts off with you being transported to your execution after you are caught entering Skyrim. The opening to Skyrim is nothing spectacular but it gets the job done, Alduin's (A dragon you will find out more about as you progress through the game) attack is nicely implemented into your execution and it is ironic that he saves your life. You get to choose sides leave the castle with the Imperials or the Stormcloaks, Although this has no major impact on who you eventually side with.
This is a drawback in this game as there is no real consequences for you actions, so it does simplify the game in a way that you have less choices to make. When you do have a choice it is often very un-important and has no impact on your experience. I do feel Bethesda could learn a lot from Obsidian (who developed fallout New Vegas) in the choice and consequence department When creating your character you have a lot of options and unlike previous elder scrolls you don't choose you class or birth sign, you get standing stones throughout the game which I think is a bad idea because its moving away from an Rpg where you have trial and consequence, which I think is great for some people but bad for other this is where I think Bethesda need to find a middle ground.
The same can be said about the quest marker, although Bethesda did give the option to turn it off the drawback from this is quest givers don't give the required information to tell you where you need to go. The fast travel is better than oblivions because you have carriages which can make the game more immersive. Now back to Skyrim when you finish the tutorial, you leave the cave and you just have to admire what Bethesda does with their worlds. It's spectacular, you can do anything you want from this point, you can explore, role play in such a way that you actually live in the world, you can join a series of factions like the college of Winterhold(mages guild), the dark brotherhood(assassins guild), the thieves guild, the companions(warriors guild) or just do the main quest, you have limitless options in what you want your character to do. That said The quests are very linear and the writing is not very good overall but fun to play none the less.
The bounty system is done better in this game, where it is separated into 9 different holds, so if you have a bounty in one hold you won't have it in the other, and the witness system is good when you kill everyone who seen the crime your bounty is wiped. My only gripes with the crime system is animals are credible witnesses and the guards are still psychic not so much oblivion guard psychic but they still know stuff they shouldn't know. The magic system got an overhaul, but Bethesda again dumbed a lot down by making less spells with no spell making which was removed due to mages being overpowered. The magic gameplay is very fun but it does get tiresome after awhile without the spell creation and the lack of variety in spells and destruction is very weak as a sole investment, you need to use other trees to make it viable which I think is wrong because every tree should be viable on its own or no tree should be viable on its own.
The combat gameplay got an overhaul, but with the engines limitations is still pretty bad due to Bethesda animations, but again fun to play. The assassin/thief gameplay is solid bar the fact that if you have 100 sneak enemies can barely ever see you, other than that it is a massive improvement on oblivion. Both sneak styles and warrior styles are very powerful, so it makes it easy to go down this root. Kill cams are a hit and miss. They are nice for a sneak character or a mage when fighting one enemy but when you're in the middle of a battle with multiple enemies it can affect your gameplay. Archery got an overhaul also, Bethesda used a Modder from oblivions idea in which you take longer to draw your bow but it does a lot more damage which makes archery much more satisfying. Very useful for hunting critters to get your food cooked.
Another setback is the lack or variety in armors with the chest and greaves being one it does leave you with less choices. That being said the armor sets for the most part do look great. Most of them blend in so you could have your average Joe character or you could have you extreme crazy looking character. The graphics aren't the best for a 2012 game but I can live with that, the only things that bug me are the animations and the draw distance which probably are due to this gens limitations. The world is still beautiful and some of the views are magnificent, your family would be proud of the photos you could capture. Overall Skyrim is a solid game with a lot of drawbacks. It adds a great new chapter to the elder scrolls series but if you are a fan of immersing yourself in to a game, Skyrim will take your breath away. As a game solid, as an experience flawless.
+ Vast open world
+ Freedom to play how you like
+ Fantastic score
+ Great side quests
- Buggy on release
- Bad animations