When Skyrim released on November 11th, 2011 it might have been the best day of my life. It definitely was at that point in time, because let me tell you, there was nothing I was more excited for than a fifth Elder Scrolls. I have adored that series since playing Morrowind for the first time with the kind of dedication and obsession that only Golem could possibly match. So when I got the review code to play Skyrim on the Switch, you better believe that I sat there staring at my inbox thinking ‘I would have shanked so many people for this six years ago.” Because I would have absolutely committed mass murder for the ability to play Skyrim at home on a console, with motion controls, and on the go. I would have left a trail of bodies in my wake as I rode of cackling wildly into the night with absolutely no regrets.
And even though its 2017, and I’m currently trying to play other games around a few MMO addictions, well. I still get sucked into Skyrim if given even a slight prodding in that direction.
Booting up the title screen for Skyrim again after not touching it for years was awesome. It also comes with all three major add-ons: Dawnguard, Dragonborn, and Hearthfire. So you get the complete Skyrim experience.
Now, I may find it hilarious that, rather than give us a new Elder Scrolls, we just keep getting re-releases of Skyrim instead. But I can’t even be mad about it with how quickly I found myself playing Skyrim on my off-hours just because I could. I’d already tested the game in handheld, TV, and Console mode. I’d played around with the motion controls. But I just wanted to go back to running around, killing dragons and learning new Shouts. Because it still felt damn good.
Sure, Skyrim looks old now. The visual quality that was amazing six years ago is a little bit stale these days and there were even some small compromises made to get the game running on the Switch, but I didn’t even notice enough to care about that while playing. I’ve booted Morrowind up for kicks in the last six months, I can handle playing a game that doesn’t look its best anymore. What I was shocked to find was just how much I disliked the voice-over quality and quest management system. I’d never given much thought to the quality of the voice acting in Skyrim any of the times I played it when it first hit (which, yes, was several times) nor in the years after. And I’d honestly enjoyed the quest management system the first time around because it was so much sleeker than what I was used to. Oblivion‘s journal system was better than Morrowind‘s because it included quest tracking in the first place, but it was still a pain to page through.
Now, though, the voice acting makes me laugh. The lack of any kind of emotion in most of the voices makes me wonder how exhausted and underpaid the actors were, how little they seemed to care about the lines they were given. NPCs were running around in dragon attacks and instead of shouting “Help Me!” with any degree of feeling, it was like listening to Siri try to emote. Hilarious, and not at all what you want to hear.
The game plays smoothly on TV, handheld, and Console modes with a pretty easy plug-and-play setup. The motion controls might only work for melee weapons, but eh. I can live without those, honestly. Would have been awesome if I could somehow shoot electricity by holding my Joycon somehow, but I guess I can understand why that’d be difficult to map.
But, all things told, Skyrim still holds up even in 2017 as an enjoyable gaming experience. And now you can take it with you on the go. My 20 year-old-self is so pleased.
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