When a gaming icon is rebooted, or an older version of an iconic franchise is ported to a new format, the fans will be putting that reboot under a microscope. When that older game is one of the Elder Scrolls series, and one of the most easily recognisable games of the last decade. Then the pressure is on to deliver a truly brilliant port. This was my mindset going into my Skyrim Special Edition review.
Is it truly brilliant? Does it compete with latest Xbox One or PlayStation 4 games?
So do Bethesda achieve this? And what does the future of the Elder scrolls hold in a world after Skyrim and Elder scrolls Online? I’ll have a look at this all below since, once again, I have found myself lost in this amazing world of dragons. With another chunk of my life taken by Skyrim i’m ready to give my verdict.
Read my thoughts, and Skyrim related puns below and don’t forget to leave me a Disqus or Facebook Comment to read at the end. Also, check out my Awesome Antagonists feature on the game’s villain, Alduin and The Dragons Of Skyrim.
Dovakhin It All Again
The graphics, when compared to the standard console version are prettier. It’s not a staggering difference because Skyrim on PS3/360 is a pretty game anyway. You start your adventure in the same way you always have. But for people who maybe ran one character for hundreds of hours, there are some significant differences with the DLC included in the package.
When you start a game of the year edition, or a bundled version with all the DLC, you get it all from start. With Elder scrolls games the DLC doesn’t sit in a new part of the map, it just crops up with time prerequisites.
So my level 10 Breton had fought one dragon, and when I returned to Whiterun, I was met with cult members from the Dragonborn DLC questline!
This change is something I am familiar with, being that I have played through Oblivion on several formats, several times over. And to see this in action was both thrilling, and testament that my file on Skyrim was a one shot deal.
Fus-ro-dah For Fun
The DLC additions give you a lot of extra content, and having the freedom to have started those stories right from the off is a brilliant thing. But this isn’t the only new trick brought to the console version of the release.
Mods are here, and as time goes on, I want to see more and more of this in console gaming. When I have had time to play fallout 4 the mods I have used mostly are a little game breaking. And I had a little look at some of the choices for Skyrim, and that is something that continues here.
But expect a piece on Mods sooner or later.
The game is more malleable than many of its counterparts, and this leads to a sense of fun and freedom, and the addition of Mods allow for even more silly, crazy, and violent gaming in the world of dragons and monsters.
Winterhold Your Breath
As good as the port is, and it is good, it would be nice to see something in there that indicates the future of the franchise. Now, I know that it can be patched, extra content can be slipped in, and that there are hundreds of hours of potential gameplay. But I still think there should be something here to tease us.
The divisive Elder Scrolls Online burnt a few players, and this is a good move in light of that feeling, I personally tried to get into ESO, but found the caveats on player numbers for parts of the game, and the restrictions/bump in XP gains on premium and standard account users.
So for Skyrim to release another edition of the game with all the DLC, it had to be earth shatteringly brilliant. Whilst it is awesome, because it is Skyrim one of the best RPGs made in the past decade; it certainly isn’t the best port it could be.
There are still hangover issues from the previous generation in performance which you would have hoped to see removed. Particularly where you have been on your adventures for a long time. While it looks better, this is not in line with the quality of a game like The Witcher 3 in it’s presentation or overall quality.
We should not forget though, that it is Skyrim and it is fun to play, absorbing to the point hours of your life vanishes before you. The core game is as good as ever, and the makeover is very nice.
If you Follow Me On Twitter you will no doubt see a few more screenshots that I am sharing.
Solitude vs Attitude
The popularity of a game like Skyrim and its longevity stem from the fact it does so much right, and in five, ten more years people will be talking about it still. I very highly doubt that anyone will be talking about ESO in five to ten years time.
And this should tell you an awful lot about where Bethesda need to focus their efforts, Skyrim and Oblivion are classics. Morrowind is held in the same esteem by those who have played it, Bethesda is very good at western RPG’s
And the core of any great western RPG is the capacity to play it solo, and play 95% of it solo, if not 100% – some great western RPG’s can include co-op or multiplayer. But I think Bethesda learned the hard way that requiring multiplayer in and elder scrolls game is a bad idea overall.
A good port of a great game, and maybe a stark reminder that Bethesda does what it is doing best, but even they aren’t exempt from criticism.