The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition has been on the market for a few months. However, it is one of the only console titles that utilizes mods: a form of user created content that one can download to update a game’s narrative, weapons, graphics, and more. Now that players have had a chance to partake in these mods, we can take a look at the game.
The Lore of the land
Skyrim is the ultimate fantasy game in every sense of the word, a blend of fantasy classics like Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and Norse mythology. The story follows a character of your making, male or female, elf, orc—it’s up to you. This gives you a special bond with your protagonist, not found in many other adventures. The game opens with an execution—yours. Just as your head is laid on the chopping block and the executioner’s ax is readied over your head a dragon— unseen for ages—swoops down and breaths a flurry of fire down on the unsuspecting people. Panic ensues, allowing you to make your escape. From here it is up to you how you want to make your way in this vast world. There is a main quest line in which your hero discovers that they can absorb dragon souls, giving them additional powers, but this epic venture will soon fade into the hundreds upon hundreds of other escapades you will undoubtedly undertake. I found myself on one quest only to get accosted by some townsfolk for help and then while doing their bidding another individual would require assistance, and so forth. This is expanded upon even further still by this edition of the game including all downloadable content ever released, not to mention the user created content, making for unparalleled value.
Practice Makes Perfect
Whether you are slaying dragons or helping the local merchant gather ingredients to sell, you are bound to run into trouble. Luckily, you have a variety of ways to defend yourself, including heavy two-handed weapons like swords and axes, one handed weapons such as smaller swords and daggers, bows with a cluster of different arrows to fire, and even magic. Not only does it feel satisfying to dismantle a possessed skeleton into a shower of bones with a single hefty swing, but the more you use a single type of weapon, the more proficient you become with it, leading to new skills and moves. This feels incredibly realistic, for as the old mantra goes: practice makes perfect. Weapons are not the only improvable talents either, players can become versed in metalsmithing, alchemy, lock-picking, pick-pocketing, sneaking, and speech, all of which can aid one well throughout the land. There is not one single objective here, except to live life, even going as far as making it possible to build your own house, get married, and adopt children.
Skyrim was originally released on Xbox 360 and PS3 back in 2011. Video games have come a long way since then. While the character models are visibly dated, developer Bethesda has done a fantastic job updating the environments. Forests and flowerbeds burst with color. The lights from torches flicker off dank and grimy cave walls. Snowy peaks appear jagged and treacherous. Quite simply, Skyrim is beautiful, as long as you can bare its aged inhabitants.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is not only one of the greatest role-playing experiences ever created, it is also one of the best remasters currently available on consoles. You are in for a treat if you have never played it before, and, if you have, you will relish rediscovering it on a new platform.