Alas, all is not perfect in the northern mountains. This is an Elder Scrolls game, after all, which means it's got its share of bugs and other problems.

The bugs you encounter will depend on your luck and what system you play the game on. But they include such things as invisible armor pieces, dragons flying backwards, quests that wont leave your quest log even when completed, and quest items you can never remove from your inventory.

The worst bug I encountered was a glitch that kept me from progressing in the Thieves Guild quest line. This was a shame, as it was an interesting story; and the fact that I was playing a stealthy character meant that I missed a major portion of content that would have been appropriate and appealing to me. (My queries to Bethesda about a fix went unanswered.)

In addition to bugs, the game has a few other problems. The quest log has two major issues: 1) You cannot abandon quests you decide you do not want to complete, and 2) Other than getting a geographical hint about where to resolve your quest, there is no way you can remind yourself about quest details and background. In a game this size with a quest log that gets this full, this is a disappointing oversight.

Also, even though there is a Quick Menu, its not as useful as it could be because the fact is, you need to be able to switch out several items at a time, depending on what your current task is. It drove me crazy that I couldn't set up equipment sets. Time to do some trading? Time to switch out my cloak, shoes and necklace. Time for two-handed stealth backstabbing? Time to change both of my weapons. The fact that I had to endlessly switch out multiple pieces of equipment to perform optimally got pretty obnoxious.

And speaking of obnoxious, the load times on the PS3 are just horrible. I'm talking up to 40 seconds. When you're popping in and out of buildings and across the landscape, there are times when this cascade of delays becomes almost intolerable. (My friends playing the game on the PC report that the load times on that platform are admirably brief.)

Finally, enemy AI problems. Again, I played a stealthy character. I can't tell you how many times I quietly killed a guard or an evil sorcerer who was five feet from a colleague . . . which would not seem to bother the colleague one bit! Not even when he literally tripped over his buddy's corpse! To be fair, sometimes you'd hear a survivor say, "I'm going to find whoever did this..." but then he'd seem to lose interest almost immediately. This silliness sometimes caused inappropriate humor . . . and sometimes it just pulled me out of the intensity of the situation.