The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition Review

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was one of the widely played and loved games by Bethesda – the creative studio of the game. As soon as you start the game, you will find that the things look a bit different and that is because the whole Special Edition of the game has been remastered. Things look better if not the best and there’s a lot of improvements that were ignored by the studio to be done in the game. Maybe a next special edition of the same game will help? HAHA!

Skyrim

Anyway, The 2011’s version of the game on the PS3 came with some really bad graphics but the game itself was quite fun and immersive to play. There were also long load times and it just felt like the game is stressing out the PS3 overall. So here I was, on my PS4 running the Skyrim Special Edition and it looks like Bethesda really has worked under the hood in the special edition. The changes and improvements are noticeable in the first run of the game itself. The load times are shortened, the fast travel is now actually fast and the game looks a lot better as compared to the PS3 version because obviously, remastered.

All this comes with an inclusion of the Dawnguard, Heath fire and Dragonborn DLCs for the game which is amazing.

Skyrim v/s Skyrim Special Edition Comparison

A side by side comparison will also unveil that the game hasn’t gone for the sharpest of the remastered that we get to see with other games in the gaming industry but yes, the game’s world has the details that were either not visible on the PS3 version or not existed at all. The whole world is filled with some extra detail which makes the game even more immersive.

While I might have been spoiled by the mods and the graphical awesomeness due to the several hundred hours I have spent on the same game on PC, I was still impressed by Bethesda’s work here. While most people are going to look at the graphics and say they are a bit underwhelming and non-impressive, but the real work by the Bethesda Game Studios has been done under the hood and in the sandbox world that we live inside the game.

Graphics

There’s volumetric lighting where it is required which looks gorgeous even today and as you explore the Falkreath forests you will see the moonlight breaching through the branches giving you the chills. There’s dynamic depth of field which will leave you in a state of awe and you will not be disappointed while in a dragon attack. All this with the textures that look great and are also sharper than they ever were.

On the graphics part, the whole game now has better color saturation so when you go out exploring in the sunny midday, you will be in for a surprise. The whole game looks very different to the 2011 Skyrim’s color code which was almost grim. While it didn’t really look bad and looked quite suitable for the setting that the game is in but the improved color saturation just adds up to the experience. This will especially leave the console users in awe since PC mods have always allowed such improvements.

Not Enough FPS

Let’s move on to the sad part of the Special Edition. The game does not touch the 60FPS mark ever. Come on Bethesda, you have the modern consoles and they are powerful enough and you just decide that you’re going to keep the users stuck at 30fps? Not cool.

All in all, the game’s improvements are mostly under the hood as mentioned above. Things like faster loading, a new quick save feature and better fast travels. All this makes me think that Bethesda could have done a lot more with the special edition but what they have done isn’t really bad.

They have borrowed the Fallout 4‘s save system and decided to have a system in Skyrim Special Edition that will help you choose from the different saves by having a cue of the character that’s being used. It’s all very amazing and easy to use. I was also surprised to see that consoles can do mods now and it’s amazing!

The one thing that the PC edition had was the mods and that mods community has still kept the old Skyrim game alive on the Steam’s most-played list. Sony has finally let Bethesda and allowed mods on the PS4 but on conditions that will only use in-game assets and minimal space. The PS4 version of the game has 103 mods as compared to the 254 mods available on the Xbox One.

On the PC you could replace the dragons with crazy things like Thomas the Tank Engines and what not. But on the PS4 and Xbox One, things are a little simpler. You can have different street lamps and signs on the roads that you walk while exploring in the game.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition is definitely one of the ageless RPGs that came from Bethesda. The game comes with everything good from the 2011 version with a side of better graphics and under the hood improvements. The Combat system is easy and simple and the NPCs of the game can be real comedians at times. A few charming bugs remain but we don’t really mind those since they add up to the game’s full experience. The game-breaking bugs are mostly gone. The game does not compare to The Witcher 3 yet it has its own identity that people love.

Verdict

If you have never played Skyrim, this Special Edition will definitely give you a great time so go ahead and get your copy. Many Skyrim players who haven’t really had a taste of the mods can just go ahead and get their copies. Don’t miss it at all of you have your main gaming machine is your PC since the number of mods you have will blow you away.

Even for people with consoles, the game has amazing things to offer and it’s better than its ever been so go ahead.

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