Okay, I know there are a few Elder Scrolls V reviews on GD, but I figured I'd have my say since that's what this site is all about.
Firstly, is The Elder Scrolls V really what it expected to live up to? Kind of. Allow me to elaborate.
Now, the story takes off in Skyrim, which - whilst Skyrim is a province linked to Oblivion and the rest of Tamriel - is slightly odd, since in Oblivion there is no mention of Skyrim at all. In fact, the closest you can get to Skyrim is the top of Oblivion's map.
Now, the game itself is amazing - I love it. buuutttt ....
It's horrendously optimised on the PC and I found it to be almost unplayable on the Xbox 360 when it first came out. Now, I'm a story-gamer myself rather than a graphics oriented one and the story in Skyrim is compelling, interesting and generally beautiful with a touch of madness.
Mind you it is a lot less crazy than Oblivion's DLC. Shivering Isles, ;__;
Again though, the story of games seems to be Bethesda's fall point although the constant free world exploration and customisation of characters they offer fills in the void of story telling. Many of the missions tend to come out the same.
"Go to this cave"
"Okay, good, you got the Nightingale Dagger. Now, go to this cave"
"Good, you got the Epic Dagger of Epicness (Legendary)"
you see where I'm going with this. A lot of Bethesda's games tend to be cave exploration with no legitimate coverage of the outside world or any form of 'OKAY GO RUN BE FREE CHILD1!!1!!!" encouragment.
Before you thumb me down for a 'hate' review, remember that I did in fact say I love the game and I truly do. It's beautiful, fun and overall entertaining. It just has its fallpoints that people tend to be overlooking on other reviews. Fallout 3 is a good example of mixed story and free roam without the constant need for cave exploration. Oblivion also had the same form of story telling of Fallout. The cave and dungeon exploration in IV was a lot more free and not as forced as Skyrim tends to be. Everything in Skyrim has to be in some massive temple overrun with Dwarven architecture gone wrong or guarded by some Blood Dragon ready to split you in two as soon as you head up the mountain.
Wth that said, the dragons in Skyrim are amazing and, like the game, beautiful creatures - there's less to say about their AI, but I won't deal with that now.
In short, I suppose, Skyrim is a great game and I would highly recommend you pick it up and play it if you have the chance, but it's not one of Bethesdas best. - definitely not their worst though and I hope they continue to make more like it, maybe just a little more optimised and better off in general story.