When The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released in November of 2011, it took the gaming world by storm. Nearly everyone (including myself) sank countless hours into the game (nearly 200+ hours on my end), and tons of memes sprang up from its existence, so it’s not too surprising that the game would eventually come to get remade for the high-res present. What is surprising is that the game would be able to steal the hearts of gamers once again.
The big question on everyone’s mind regarding the remastered RPG is if it’s worth purchasing a second time, especially if you’re someone like myself who’s already invested so much time into the original game. After playing through the campaign once again, I’d have to say that it certainly is worth it, especially if you’re a fan of the series. Jumping back into the world of Skyrim after nearly 5 years of absence was surprisingly easy and made me experience a heavy dose of nostalgia as I survived my first Dragon encounter.
While the game is almost immediately familiar to you gameplay wise, there are some obvious changes; namely, the way everything looks. Thanks to five years of technology (which is almost a lifetime for games), everything in Skyrim looks much better. Foliage is more detailed, sun rays peek through the clouds in the sky, and magic spells seem much more powerful thanks to increased detail on them. Sadly, not everything looks better, as the facial animations and general look of the characters don’t seem to have been improved much. Still, the game has managed to age gracefully and with a makeover for the current generation, players won’t have much to complain about in the looks department.
Sadly, what players will have to complain about when they turn on Skyrim again are the various glitches in the game. This is nothing new when it comes to games made by Bethesda (it’s become a staple of sorts for the company’s products to have some glitches). Somehow, the bugs of old have found their way into the new game, as players can still expect to see characters merging into the scenery, dialogue freezing at random intervals, and other bugs that show an overall lack of polish. Despite this, the game doesn’t suffer from any game breaking bugs or glitches, so if players can look past occasional mishaps, they’ll be okay.
The biggest addition to the newly remade Skyrim, especially for console gamers, are the introduction of mods into the game. PC gamers have had this luxury for some time, but console gamers can finally tweak their game in various ways. For those looking to seriously get into mods, I would suggest sticking with the Xbox One and PC versions of the game, as those not only have more mods available but more space available to install them. Players on the Microsoft side of things can look forward to tweaking some of the cosmetic items in the game, adding entirely new areas, or even getting better weapons and spells. The only downside to the use of mods is that using them disables the earning of achievements/trophies, although that won’t matter to some.
When all is said and done, Skyrim Special Edition is a no brain buy for someone who might have never played the original game. Not only do you get the complete Skyrim experience (the game is bundled with all the DLC, which adds at least another 10-20 hours to the game), you also get the opportunity to tweak the game to your heart’s content with the addition of mods. Skyrim has managed to stand the test of time, and many players – both new and old – should easily log hundreds of hours into the world once again.
This review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is based on a digital copy for the Xbox One which was provided by Bethesda.