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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Review


In a Game of Scrolls, you either win or die!

For those of you who haven’t heard, Skyrim is back and better than ever! The Special Edition is breathing new life into an already lively game, adding in crispy 1080p graphics, running at a lovely solid 30 FPS. Besides snazzy new graphics and optimizations, the game now sports modibility for consoles, allowing for new and innovative content from the community.

Now, some of you might not be aware to what Skyrim is, so let me tell you. Skyrim is a wonderful continuation of the Elder Scrolls series, following the success of Oblivion. In Skyrim, you play as a prisoner about to have their head lopped off by an executioner. Just before the axe comes down, the procession gets attacked by a dragon, and not just any ole’ dragon, this one is the World-Eater. With the town burning around you and your first quest leading you down the road to Riverwood, you must fulfill your prophecy as the Dovahkiin.


It brings a big adventure which will keep you busy for many an hour. Eventually you may get bored with the main story, or finish it and find yourself looking for things to do. Luckily for you, this game is bursting at the seams with content for you to explore, whether it be dungeoneering or settling down, getting married and adopting children. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition has so much content that I haven’t even played the majority of it, and I haven’t even joined all the guilds, completed all of the Daedric artifact sidequests, gotten married, bought all the homes, or even maxed out all of the skills! In fact, there is so much content that you can get lost and forget that there was a main quest that you needed to tackle in order for the game to be ‘over’.

We all know about the standard game and just how great it is, but you may be wondering about the three downloadable content packs that come with the Special Edition, and whether or not they are good content. Well, worry no longer, for this DLC isn’t like that found in Fallout 4. The two larger pieces both have great stories and add a lot of content, whether it be new weapons and armors, or even new effects and quest lines. The content itself is fairly medium in size, but is fantastic for quality.

The smallest DLC, Hearthfire, is one that allows construction of a home on one of three plots of land, and you can gain these by helping the Jarl of the respective area. You get to use in-game materials to build anything ranging from child rooms to trophy rooms. The only downside is it isn’t really custom, for you build just a stock asset without much differentiation for each race. This leads to a Khajit building the same house as an Argonian, and that doesn’t really make sense because each race should build a home respective to their homes. It’s not a big thing, but if the uniqueness was in place, it would be welcome as an addition.


Now, there’s one gigantic fix in this new version of Skyrim: the game runs at a smooth framerate, and bugs have been stomped out. For those of you returning to this game, you’ll be happy to know that the game runs super smoothly, even during intense scenes, such as the Civil War. If you’d seen the original, you’d know that the Skyrim occasionally tanked to slideshow performance, but this has finally been purged from the game. Not only that, but the game no longer lags the longer you play. I sunk nine hours into the game in my first go, and never did I notice freezing or skipping of frames, leaving me with a pleasurable nine hours of Nordic slaughter of everything in the countryside.

Some of you may be wondering of the bugs that plagued the original game, such as Esbern not showing up at Alduin’s Wall, or even certain scripts just not running at all. From what I’ve been able to discern, all of these bugs have been either squashed or are in the works of being removed, allowing console players to play without worry of having to restart because an NPC didn’t decide to show up for work that day.

Of course, it wasn’t like this at launch, but Bethesda are actively trying to update and make this the true definitive version of Skyrim. Esbern had been glitched at the beginning of my review run, but was patched soon after I encountered the problem, allowing me to complete the story and truly enjoy the game. So, if you have apprehensions about dropping back in to Skyrim, whether it be concerns about the bugs, the playability, or even if you’re just afraid that the game won’t have enough to entertain you, I have one word for you: Mods.


That’s right, this game has mods, just like Fallout 4 does. And might I say, these mods are of substantially better quality with anything from complete overhauls of the perk system, hundreds of new spells, graphic overhauls, or even completely new locations. There’s a real active modding community that has helped kick the Special Edition of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim into a new level, and it has massively changed the way you’ll play this game. Don’t like the intro? There’s a mod for that. Don’t like how weak wizards are? Mod for that as well. Do you want to have people who’s faces look attractive? Sure, there’s even stuff for that! There’s so much to be had from the modding community, and the files are quite small, allowing your 5 GB of mod space to be put to proper use.

As it all stands, this Special Edition of Skyrim is absolutely fantastic. It has content that will keep you entertained for days, it has a wide variety of ways to play, and there really is nothing that beats being able to chop somebody’s head off with a sword made out of a dragon’s spine.

With countless hours of DLC and mods, this truly is the definitive way to play Skyrim.

I'm an aspiring author who absolutely loves video games. I've written two books with plenty down the tube and decided to do a bit of video game journalism to ultimately get more intimate with a community that I've used as a resource to avoid bad games.
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