The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Review

Back to Skyrim again.


*The gameplay is done on Xbox One.

I still remember back in 2011 when Skyrim was first released, how I lost days of my life playing the game.  The gameplay is solid, the story is compelling, and the world is so vivid that I want to visit the place over and over again, almost like Westworld.  Hey!  A reference I can only make in 2016 about a 2011 game!  Anyway, I love the game so much, so when The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is released on current gen consoles, I jump back in right away.  The Special Edition recaptures the beauties of the original game, and it’s a great reminder how Skyrim is one of the best games in the past years.

Like all the remastered games released recently, Skyrim Special Edition improves the game’s graphics as well.  However, it doesn’t go for character model or animation overhauls, but instead it improves the overall world.  The lighting is better, the environment is more detailed and the weather is more obvious.  I’ve always been a fan of traveling in Skyrim by foot, and the new edition makes that experience easily more enjoyable.  The texture are improved significantly, which allows sharper images everywhere.  And of course, just like all the other remakes, it comes with all three DLCs: Dawnguard, Heathfire and Dragonborn.

Unlike most remakes, Skyrim Special Edition is not just a cosmetic overhaul, but an improvements on gameplay as well.  The load times are so much faster now, like holy cow fast.  I’m used to read a book or something during Skyrim’s load times, but in the Special Edition that’s impossible as the load times are *almost instantaneously.  The game also features a new quick save system where it allows the gameplay and action in a faster pace.  Also, the game borrows from Fallout 4 with a new character system in the safe file, so you can easily find the new character you want to play instead of shifting through safe files.  The new game does a lot for better gameplay experience, not to mention a singe tap that allows auto-run.

The game now supports mods on consoles too, something PC players have been granted for years.  I’m personally not a big fan of mods, as they can be buggy from time to time, and ruin the game’s overall balance.  That said, I do appreciate the addition, as it finally allows console players to experience the same type of insane mod gameplays PC players are used to.  I mean, Thomas the Train Engine as the dragons?  That’s just awesome.  I also do mods from time to time when the gameplay is too difficult.  A little infinite item here and there never hurt anyone.

The only problem I have is while the game obviously look prettier, it doesn’t run that much better.  The game runs smoothly at 30 fps, but not the 60 fps most current gen games do.  It’s a minor detail, but it does boggle me.

Like I said before, Skyrim Special Edition is a great reminder why this is one the the best RPG games ever made.  Sure there are some problems here and there with bugs that can probably never be fixed, but the overall gaming experience is improved.  If you never experience Skyrim in the first place, the Special Edition is the perfectly opportunity to do so.  If you have been meaning to re-experience Skyrim again, the game is great for you too.  In fact, as long as you don’t mind the game is simply a coat of paint, you should always go back to Skyrim.