As of June 2013, “Skyrim” has sold over 20 million copies since its release in 2011.(Courtesy of Bethesda Softworks)
“Skyrim: The Fifth Elder Scrolls” game released by Bethesda is getting more attention in recent times with the release of a new remastered edition. With its original release in 2011, “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” was met with critical acclaim, praising its open world and improved skill system from the previous “Elder Scrolls” games. Now, five years later, Bethesda Software has re-released “Skyrim” as a remastered special edition for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. This special edition graphically upgrades the game’s quality, creating a clearer and more enthralling experience. However, this does not mean this remastered version is for everyone.
At its core, this remastered version is a reskin of the original, which is far from a negative thing. Even five years later, “Skyrim” is one of the best open world experiences out there, containing hundreds of hours of gameplay, multiple guilds to join, new characters to create and so many places to discover and mark on the map. The game’s map is huge and unlike any other; from sweeping mountains landscapes, to bustling towns filled to the brim with NPCs to various dusty and dangerous dungeons to explore.
For players who are new to the franchise or this specific game, this remastered version is a gift, offering revamped visuals, bug fixes and other relatively minor changes that improves the older version. Even for those who have played and bought the games on Xbox and PlayStation before, this game does have something to offer for you. This release brings long awaited moderation, otherwise known as mod, support to the game as well as faster load times, reducing frame rate issues, and even adding fixes to minor annoyances, like adding a quicksave feature. It also includes all the DLC from the original Skyrim, adding content to the game that veteran players may have missed out on.
However, if one was a part of the group that played Skyrim on PC and had access to mods, none of these changes are anything new. To add to that, loading times and bug fixes are not anything new for PC players either. The real aim of this remaster was to appeal to console players who did not have access to these things before and to attract new fans who have not played this vast game. To note, there is one major difference between the PS4 and Xbox versions of these games. The Xbox version has significant mod support when compared to the PS4, another thing to consider when buying the game.
Overall, the game does not introduce much of anything new or fresh to the game, only bringing life into the console versions and giving them a much-deserved coat of paint. The “Skyrim Special Edition” is for a specific audience, for gamers who either have never played the game, have played the game only on a console before, those who did not play the DLC when it first dropped, or even those who simply wish to relive one of the best open world experiences in video game history. Furthermore, with the Nintendo Switch on the horizon in 2017, and “Skyrim Remastered” as one of the games featured in the reveal trailer, there may be more adventures to have on the go, but for now, settle for playing the beautiful, crisp version on the couch.