We all have our feelings about certain games. I have a huge affection for RPGs and action adventures, particularly Mass Effect, Dragon Age alongside The Last of Us and Uncharted. But one game I’ve been so excited to see come along in 2016 is the remaster of the last Elder Scrolls game in Skyrim Special Edition. A game that is so good in all departments, I’m left wondering if it can compete with the upcoming games for the best RPG of 2016.
While remasters are not for everyone, and there is a strong opinion on the amount of money charged for them. Skyrim, for the most part seems widely accepted as the exception to the rule. With gamers all around the world very excited for this Friday (28 October) release.
I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the game here, from what I played back in 2011 and what’s coming up in the Special Edition. I’d encourage you gamers to use the Disqus area to comment your thoughts too.
Right, let’s go back to 2011.
A Dragon Born Is Forged
It’s the 11th of November, almost 5 years ago now and I’m just doing one more quest. I’ve been doing one more quest for about 2 hours now… Racking up about 6 or 7 quests but hey, this is standard Elder Scrolls gaming.
Work the next day, and well… it is the next day and then some!
This was the story in many gaming households around the world of course. But mine was a bit extra special playing Skyrim in November.
Without sharing any gory details, and for my sake it’s best not to. But my beautiful daughter, now 4, was born 9 months after Skyrim month! And I know for a fact she was, ahem, “forged” with Skyrim on pause.
What an old romantic, eh?
I also tried to get the name “Dovahkiin” in the mix but, quite simply, there was no way it was happening. Even with her being born in 2012, the year of the dragon! A massively missed opportunity in my view.
Anyway, the game itself took over my life. It was amazing and had something that was lacking in the previous Elder Scrolls games for me. Excitement!
Sure, the games before were great RPGs, the worlds were vast and there was a lot to do. But they weren’t exactly thrilling, they were more thoughtful and pure RPG gamer orientated. Even Oblivion’s realm shifting, which was cool don’t get me wrong, didn’t have the wow factor.
Skyrim was different and remarkable, it had everything you could want from an RPG and it was exciting to play. It’s still massively popular now with the Mod community on PC. So even though it’s nearly 5 years on, this is a massive release this week for us console gamers in particular.
The RPG For The Action Gamer
One thing that stands out about Skyrim to this day is its audience. The games isn’t just for your traditional RPG crowd, it’s very much got something for everyone.
But it manages to do this and still keep RPG gamers happy. It’s pretty much the full package.
Take the simplest features for example, your point of view. Skyrim was the first Elder Scrolls title that really let you enjoy playing as a third person experience. While it maintains a fantastic first person mode, the over the shoulder 3rd person made it so much more accessible to people like me who prefer that view.
Yes, this was present in other versions but it was nowhere near as polished.
Then you have a simple levelling system and perks. You do something, you get better at it. You don’t get much more logical and simple than that.
No more grinding for hours to up the ability you ignored at the start of the game, while making your character. Here you pick early preferences but should you want to change speciality, just do it as you go and you improve quickly.
Last I’m going to highlight combat, particularly the “shouts” because it was excellent. The combat to be found in Skyrim is the most responsive in the series for me. Add to that the shout ability that means you converted your speech into a weapon; it all became highly fun and unique. Once again, it was more than just a great RPG, the combat was action packed and learning the different shout abilities got very addictive too.
One thing the series has always created in each release is an amazing world with so much to do within it. Take all those really polished points; combat with shouts, simple levelling and a great view whether you pick 1st or 3rd person. Add that to the addictive quests allowing for player choice the series always had, set in a massive land you can freely explore.
I mean, that alone is enough to make a top game.
Then you have the killer ingredient; the thing that just makes this game so special. And what they’re going to struggle NOT to include in the next Elder Scrolls game…
This is the special ingredient that finishes Skyrim off to make it a full package. Plus it’s what gives the game that real sense of excitement spoken about earlier. The dragons swooping around the land, some in key areas some at random as you explore.
But they were always there around you, and it made just exploring that bit dangerous. And we gamers loved it.
I remember clashing with my first Blood Dragon, as the dragon classes level with you somewhat but areas have stronger ones than others. That think battered me and my companion 5 or 6 times before I managed to beat it with a slither of life left.
It was fantastic.
But it’s not just the Dragons themselves that make it interesting. You are interesting. Your character is “Dragonborn” and absorbs the souls of the dragons you kill.
How cool is that, even years later? You kill Dragons, absorb their soul and learn their language to gain different shouts. It’s a fantastic concept and one that if you’ve never played it, simply must with this special edition.
Just talking about this has me ready to go again!
The Remastered Conundrum
This has been a very positive article about the game so far. Mainly because I can’t see this bring anything but amazing. But one thing that could see the game not be received as well is the quality of the remaster.
We’ve already seen COD Modern Warfare Remastered play practically like a PS4 game. Plus the Batman Arkham games (review coming soon!) have also been really well done.
This has to be to that standard to be worth the hype and price, doesn’t it?
I like the trailer being minimal, it’s only shown a fraction of what to expect from the game but I really want this feel like a true remaster. Some elements can be forgiven such as some facial animations and details in story sequences. But the package overall must be reflective of a modern title to charge full price for it.
Another concern is the issues the game had running in PS3 and Xbox 360. Technically the game lost framerate like mad if you didn’t sleep for a long time. The database caching your actions took its toll on the last gen consoles and it caused some game breaking bugs for some people.
That can’t carry over, nor can the other bugs found on console previously.
Arrows & Knees
Back to the “it’s going to be awesome” tone to wrap up!
One thing that brings a smile to my face in all this is how we’re going to bring back more Skyrim talk. Hell I’m even planning on saying my knee is injured for a day off work to play more.
An arrow might be a stretch but I’m considering trying it!
I can’t wait. Other games including the big one in Final Fantasy XV, no matter how good it is, should be worried about matching Skyrim’s standards. I can’t wait to get adventuring again and I hope you guys and gals out there are with me.
Leave me a comment using Disqus below and hit me on Twitter with your thoughts. Until next time gamers,