The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Review

With game budgets ever increasing, the current strategy when not having a huge Holiday launch title is to pull a remaster/port. Rockstar did so twice after breaking their annual game streak, and this year, Ubisoft is doing it to Assassin’s Creed after Unity left a bad taste in gamer’s mouths. Bethesda on the other hand, doesn’t have that specific of a reason. Dishonored 2 is coming out in a few short weeks, and the company’s previous titles haven’t been so atrocious that commotion is for the good old days. Nevertheless, the original game is 5 years old, so the more important question is if it still translates to a new audience.

Gameplay:

Years later, I still haven’t seen that many games that match Skyrim’s level of accomplished promise. The fact that you have the freedom to chose any path you want, rich open environments, and epic sequences of combat deliver, without any design hitches. Of course, you can make the experience better with mods, but keep in mind that the Playstation 4’s selection is rather limited.

This reissue also includes the game’s DLC, which ups the ante on the claims you could play Skyrim for a whole year and still not find everything. Some of these are underwhelming and others outstanding, but they still contain influences of what made the original campaign so great, so the magic isn’t lost.

Story & Design:

Fallout 4 was a hit last year, and even though Skyrim retains the same structure, it’s nonetheless astounding. It’s story isn’t one where you’ll be skipping dialogue over and over, as long as you get past the slow start. But it’s also one of those games where the stories you create are just as important.

Skyrim is filled with stuff, but I never found it to be overbearing. I was always happy that I was learning new skills, exploring new areas, and meeting new characters, particularly because it was so interesting. Some of these positives also have to do with the presentation, which is still strong despite the game being five years old.

Presentation/ Visuals & Audio:

While Skyrim is a near-perfect game, it’s remaster stores some of the classic Bethesda jank in a different place. (Sound design) Voice acting and the soundtrack are top notch, but compression issues are rampant. Strangely, the Playstation 4 handles this somewhat better, but you’re still losing internal modding.

On the bright side, one improvement in the presentation department has been the removal of pop-in. What was once a heavy immersion breaker back in the 360 days has now been removed, and I’m all the more grateful for it. There’s also other additions like better draw distance and new reflections, which are also enhancing.

Conclusion:

Besides for one or two gripes that can be fixed in a patch, Skyrim is even more beautiful on current generation consoles. Obviously, it’s only fitting if you have the time for a game of such caliber, but I wouldn’t regret purchasing it and immersing myself in it when the year comes to a close. If you do have more time on your hands, Christmas came early.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition gets a 10/10 (Masterpiece)

We’d like to thank Bethesda for giving us a code!

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