This is going to be a brief summary of what this great game has going for it along with what it doesn't.
The Good: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has some serious power behind the story design and a somewhat randomized objectives/mission generation scheme. This does keep the game fresh and interesting for replayability. Builds with different skills may warrent different quests as well, and again, they get big points for this. Dragon's are extremely awesome to battle of course, and without giving away any spoilers, the story at first might seem a bit odd until you learn it's actually a new problem in Skyrim. The Dragon infestation that is. Great weapons, great spells, great locations, graphically awesome (except the shadows, what's up with that?) Everything is basically as top notch as you might have hoped.
The Bad: Some 'wish list' style complaints will be all that can push through a "the bad" section for Skyrim, but not having a 'hot-key' selection from the item/spell menus and instead going for a full on 'one button' hotkey menu falls kind of short and makes switching weapons, and spells a bit more cumbersome at times. The breakdown of the menu system is still much better, but this one feature can make things worse if not gotten used to. Along with this on the bad side, the travel by horse (issue of losing your horse), can happen quite easily. It will appear again when in a correct local, but finding one has no solid rule. Better to find places and fast travel like it's a Fallout 3 Game. Other complaints are companions will get in your way when trying to move through tight quarters, but I don't see it as much of an issue. I've had my Lydia gal with me from the beggining and she'll even wear and use the weapons and armor I give her, plus she won't die as well as MULE items. Very handy and not a pain at all, however, for some a companion that will not adhere to "Wait Here" if a boss shows up can really be annoying. This occured once and I had to leave her much farther away, as well as another mission where I had to escape a location after sneaking in without her made it tough to get her back again. Had to basically break in to the place all over again to retrieve her, so having to make your concern about another auto-playing character might have some a bit disturbed with the complexities Skyrim has included in the 'auto-gen mission' based update.
Overall, other than odd squiggly shadows and an occasional lag from lots of people and action on screen (reveiwed on PS3 version), i'd have given this an all out A+ except that 3 weeks later my co-worker has already finished 95% of the entire game... at level 53., so length may not be all I had hopes, and the lack of the hotkey system. Give Skyrim the Oblivion menu with the 3D item view and I feel it would have been better. On this notion, having no way of viewing your own character when switching armor and items I feel is not a good trade off either. That and the absolute and complete lack of any definition anywhere as to what the green +plus number and red -minus number actually means when looking at an item... It looks as if it might have been a comparision to items held system, but apparently requires a lot more math than that to understand, when any good RPG'er just wants to know, is this sword better than anything I have presently. No such love there.
This review may have sounded like quite a bit of complaining, but this reviewer does plan on playing Skyrim the good part of the next year or two until Diablo 3 releases. Since there's no obligation to do a quest or do anything in a particular order, each game in Skyrim is kind of like it's own virtual life, and for that, I applaud Bethesda, as the bells and whistles added do supercede the complaints i've made in comparison.