The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition – Review
Follow Genre: Open World, Action RPG
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: Xbox One

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition – Review

Site Score
7.9
Good: Gameplay is still good, DLC, Fairly decent remaster
Bad: Loading times, Character models and facial features
User Score
7.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)

It seems only like yesterday that the enormous world of Skyrim opened its doors for us, but in reality it has already been five years. With the current trend of remaking everything that was popular during the previous generation it was only a matter of time before this installment of the Elder Scrolls would spread its wings and reach us once again. The fairly long wait is over and while we hoped for a total remake, which would truly blast the game into the next generation, we had to settle for a HD remaster, which did not always hit its mark.

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Banner

Story

As is the case with many hero stories, you are an insignificant speck in the Elder Scrolls universe, who is about to be led to the chopping block, as you’re suspected of being a rebel. While nobody knows who you are, or has no actual proof of you being guilty of the crime you’re charged with, you will soon enter a peaceful, headless slumber. Luckily for you a dragon turns up to break up the party, making sure you can escape. From here on out, you could have made a break for it, live out a peaceful life and die as a happy old (wo)man, but for some reason you keep treading in dangerous waters and before long it becomes clear you are a Dragonborn, a legendary figure who can battle dragons.

The story develops at your own pace, if you wish to press on, things can go rapidly, if you’re not hindered by the difficulty of the game, but truth be told it’s quite hard to focus on the story alone. If you’d rather check from the sidelines first and venture through the entire digital landscape that opens up before your eyes, you can also have it your way.

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Graphics

Graphically Skyrim wowed us during the last generation, and still does when talking about the many modded PC versions, it falls considerably short on the Xbox One. This of course doesn’t mean the game looks like absolute crap, it’s just a lot less than we hoped for when taking a closer look at this remastered version. Some sceneries are still breathtaking, and it’s clear that many textures have been sharpened and brushed up, but this makes the horribly dated characters stand out even more. Movements tend to be rather choppy and facial features are truly appalling, but we get to enjoy the gruesome faces of everyone that crosses your path in HD nonetheless.

If you can get over the somewhat dated features and the haunting faces that will surely give you nightmares until you pass away quietly in your sleep, this game is still fairly impressive, as you’ll roam around in a massive world, which certainly looks great from afar. There is much to uncover and a lot of diversity in all that happens around you, so in many ways the game still remains a ‘pretty’ sight to behold.

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Sound

The sound in Skyrim is rather classic as it’s a typical adventurous soundtrack, which certainly brings the proper mood to your venture to the vast and open world of Skyrim. During peaceful sections, you’ll hear soothing music, while during the more action packed sequences, the game will help you get pumped up more than enough.

Voice acting is quite decent and there’s plenty of it. Pretty much all characters in the game have a few lines of spoken dialogue, which eventually piles up into a giant audio log if you’re a chatty gamer, who loves to uncover whatever every character has to tell, or hide.

Gameplay

This newest interpretation of Skyrim is still an open world action RPG, which allows you to do whatever you desire, be it killingt, plundering, or being a regular goodie-two-shoes and help everyone. You can divert from the main storyline and go your own way, or decide to stick to the story and see what path was tidily laid out for you. Overall the game is very simple to get the hang of and wander around for countless hours, but it does take some practice to get the hang of properly mastering your skills and even surviving in the harsh environments of the world.

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As mentioned a few times before, you can stick to the main quest of the game, where you’ll follow a set of requirements to bring your task to a good ending, rewarding you with skills, loot and of course experience. If this doesn’t float your boat, you can venture elsewhere and go hunt for treasures and experience. Truth be told, Skyrim isn’t an easy game, as it’s driven by pretty much the same principle as Fallout, where you can encounter gigantic monsters from the beginning, against which you of course don’t stand a chance. This will create a certain environment that isn’t for those who like their hands held during a playthrough, or those that need structure. That being said, if you’re open for this kind of game, the possibilities sometimes feel rather endless.

Leveling up in Skyrim is done in many ways, as you’ll have a main level, which will grant you the chance of boosting your stamina, health or magicka (mana), one of your choice, per level. But, you will also gain other levels that have to do with the weapons you use, or other talents, where your proficiency just levels up based on how much you use said skills or weapons. When certain skills reach a certain level, you will also be able to spend perks to unlock special abilities that correspond with your leveled up talent. When shedding a first glance on the talent tree in this game, it’s clear you have a ridiculous amount of paths to choose from, and a lot to unlock, guaranteeing many hours of gameplay, if you wish to create a true Dragonborn hero.

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Overall the controls prove to be rather intuitive, which is rather important if you can lurk around people’s houses, steal everything that isn’t nailed to the walls while combating hordes of mythical beings and monsters. Luckily, even with the unrealistic setting, it’s also great that the game does not force you to succumb to realistic inventory mechanics, where you can only carry a few items when roaming around. You can carry a ridiculous amount of items, where you have a few sets of furniture and cooking utensils in your backpack, when suddenly breaking your back due to the weight of a piece of fabric when overloaded.

The otherwise fairly fluent gameplay gets interrupted by long loading times, which even occur when scrolling through the menu to choose the save file of your liking. For some reason the game freezes for several seconds if you have to scroll through the file menu, in order to pick the save file you need. While overall this isn’t really such an issue, if this loading period would reduce the other loading times in-game, but sadly it doesn’t.

Conclusion

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is a game that still has many things to offer in this day and age, and for those who missed the game the first time around, this presents the ideal chance to enjoy the game while fulfilling many of our gaming standards. However, if you already have the original game in your collection, together with the DLCs, you will not have that much to plow through that will amaze you. Pick up a copy if you missed this gem, otherwise, ask yourself if the HD upgrade will satisfy your needs. All of that being said, Skyrim is, and will always be, a title worth your while.

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim 5

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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition - Review, 7.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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