Time for our midweek poll, and we're asking for thoughts about the main cities of Skyrim.

A lot was made in the build up to the game about how great care was being given to ensure that there was no repeat of the cookie-cutter cities from Oblivion. Did they succeed in your view? Are the cities sufficiently distinctive in architecture, culture and mood?

Which one of the five main cities do you like the most? Take the poll and express your views. And use the comments to discuss why your prefer one city more than the others.

I'm sure very few will need a reminder of the options but here they are anyway.

MARKATH SIDE is an ancient Dwemer run chiselled from the rock of a deep gorge. Following the disappearance of the Dwemer, Markarth Side was abandoned until the rise of the Septims. Tiber Septim established the College of the Voice in Markarth Side, which, subsequently, attracted the Nords to establish it as one of the major cities of Skyrim.

RIFTEN is a city located in the south-east of Skyrim The city is lower-class, with poor quality housing, narrow streets and a large network of sewers, running under its streets. One Point of Interest is a sewer system called the "Ratways" beneath Riften, where the Thieves Guild are known to be based.

SOLITUDE also known as Haafingar is the home of the famous Bard's College and one of Skyrim's chief ports. Founded during Skyrim's long Alessian flirtation, the Bards' College continues to flaunt a heretical streak, and its students are famous carousers! Solitude is the base for the Imperial presence in the region.

WHITERUN is located in Skyrim's central tundra region, and is the home to the Companions. Once considered the primary and most influential city in Skyrim, it has more recently fallen on hard times. Whiterun is listed as being under an Imperial reign. However, the Jarl claims that he has yet to decide who to join, technically making the city of Whiterun neutral.

WINDHELM was the capital of Skyrim in the days of Ysgrmaor. It is now the power base of the rebel Stormcloak group who seek to overthrow Imperial rule in the province. It's strategic importance is that it is the only substantial city in the Hold of Eastmarch and is a base for Imperial troops guarding the pass into Morrowind

OK, vote in the poll and comment below... 

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Comment by Kynareth on November 20, 2011 at 7:31am

After the first 20 hours of playing, it would have to be Whiterun.  The people are fairly welcoming, I like the three tiers, and a keep called Dragonreach?  What is not to like?

But now that I have had an opportunity to spend time in Markath Side, it has become my favorite.  Try walking around the city in the moonlight....the ethereal glow of the spray from the waterfalls, light reflecting off the Dwemer architecture, juniper berries sparkling like little diamonds.  It is breathtaking.  Unfortunately lots of misery there to obscure the natural beauty of the surroundings--a perfect challenge for my Dovahkiin!

Note:  have not been to Solitude yet, so maybe this may change...

Comment by Conan on November 17, 2011 at 3:11pm

I love Riften! Probably because I've spent so much time there becoming the Grand Master Thief!

Comment by shoresinflames on November 17, 2011 at 11:33am

I find all the cities great, but what's with Riften being at the bottom? I thought they did a great, great job with Riften! It truly feels like a rough, brutal and corrupt town. The atmosphere fits perfectly, compared to Oblivion's Bravil, which tried to give the impression of being rough and sketchy but didn't come off as that way, just...poor. Windhelm's atmosphere of extreme nationalism and racism also works well, although I think they could have done more with that concept. Also interesting seeing Dunmer discriminated against for once.

Overall, all of the cities were well made. Each city is very unique and has something different to offer to your character. They really did a great job with the cities in Skyrim. Another thing to add is I like how most of the towns listed in the game actually feel like towns. Most of the "towns" in Oblivion were basically one or two buildings in the middle of wilderness (Cropsford comes to mind). Skyrim improves upon this concept and the towns really feel like villages and settlements instead of a random building or two in the middle of nowhere.

Comment by Fred on November 17, 2011 at 9:50am

I can't vote.  48 hours into the game and I have yet to visit Windhelm or Markath Side.  (Or Falkreath, Morthal, Dawnstar, or Winterhold)

Comment by Nash113 on November 17, 2011 at 8:19am

I haven't visited Solitude yet so my vote is somewhat baised. I just got to Markarth and have to say I'll be spending a lot of time there. But Whiterun is my favorite thus far. Walking around the bend where the winery is, at night, with mist swirling around High Hrothgar and Whiterun lights off in the distance is where I fell in love with this game.

Comment by Hero on November 17, 2011 at 3:31am

Whiterun. Its central, it has a blacksmith right around the cornor from my home and there is everything i need.

Comment by wil lowery on November 16, 2011 at 11:26pm
Riften = fun and everyone is rude and slightly shady....reminds me if New York lol.
Comment by Zirinis on November 16, 2011 at 11:17pm

i just discovered why i loved whiterun so much is because it itself is an easter egg meaning to look like the city rohan

Comment by Mimsy Borogove on November 16, 2011 at 9:10pm

I picked Solitude mostly because I just got done having a raging good time at the Burning of King Olaf's Effigy. Free spiced wine, free meat pies, free sweet rolls, what else does one need in life? I got drunk and ran around casting my hovering light spell like fireworks, people liked the pretty colors:)

Although I have yet to visit Markarth, which I'm really looking forward to. I feel like I'll probably end up living in Whiterun, definitely the most pleasant place where one might actually want to settle down. Although it'd be really cool if there's a place out in the country that you can own. I'd much rather live away from the cities on my own farm/estate.

Comment by Aeglos on November 16, 2011 at 7:37pm

I have been to all the cities and looked them over fairly well.  I still like Whiterun as my overall favorite.  I also like the layout of Dragonsreach, the Jarl's castle.  Whiterun just seems to have that homey feel to it.  It also has an overall safer feel to it than the other cities.  Also the surrounding tundra landscape is quite detailed and interesting.  Did not think it would look as good as it does.  Markarth is hands down the most interesting city with its layout and Dwarven architecture.  Winterhold has to be one of the most depressing towns I've visited.  The weather is awful, the people are depressed, and whats left of the town is run down.  

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