Image copyright of Bethesda Games Studios 2011
Platform: Xbox One (also available on the PlayStation 4)
Publisher: Bethesda Studios
Available from Game.co.uk for; £24.99 pre-owned.
So, this is the first blog post entry dedicated to games. And arguably, there’s only one game I could – and probably should – review for our first post, one of the best games ever. It’s a contentious choice due to one thing or another, but you can’t argue the reception the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has received since it’s initial release way back in November 2011. Yes, it’s a game that’s over 5 years old, but the HD Remake which came out in October 2016 breathed some new life into the modern RPG epic.
Released by American gaming giants Bethesda (who are also behind the Fallout series), Skyrim is the fifth entry into the massively successful Elder Scrolls franchise, which, to sum it up in as short a space as possible, is a sprawling open-world set in the fictional Tamriel, a collection of different countries ranging from the marshlands, to the deserts, to the icy forests and everything in between. The world is home to native creatures, such as the feline-like species known as Khajiit, the reptilian race called Argonians, and several types of Elfs, or Mer.
Skyrim, set in the northern-most region of the world, is a vastly sparse and icy domain where the native Nords and the Imperials who try and impose the will of the Empire on the natives of Tamriel. The contention has led to an ongoing war between the Stormcloaks and the Imperials which plays out through the main storyline of Skyrim.
The action isn’t just confined to joining in a civil war, however, as for some reason, dragons have returned to Skyrim and are wreaking havoc on man, Mer, and beast. However, all is not lost, as with the return of the dragons comes the return of the mythical hero born with dragon’s blood coursing through their veins; the Dovahkiin (dragonborn in dragon’s tongue). Possessing the ability to permanently defeat and subsequently absorb the souls of dragons and utilise the power of the Voice, the Dovahkiin is said to be the only one to help return order to the world.
So, thus far, usual sort of RPG spiel really. Dragons, mythical creatures, elves, anthropomorphic animals. swords, shields, bows, magick, and questlines that would affect the outcome of the world around them. However, the core game is a magical (pun unintended) affair that gamers have ploughed hundreds of hours into and not even completed everything there is to within the game.
That’s all well and good, but let’s actually get down to the Definitive Edition shall we? Whilst the core game has not changed with a HD facelift, the “new” game is a good way to relive all the fun the original provided. For anyone who never got around to downloading all of the DLC (downloadable content for anyone not game-speak savvy), the HD edition comes pre-packed with it all, which actually gave me a couple of scares when I started playing through. Having not initiated the game up to the necessary point on my original playthrough, imagine my horror as I walk into a city, only to be ambushed by a group of cultist maniacs who I never even knew existed. Or when walking around the forests I get attacked by a group of vampires, only to get sideswiped by their new pets; death hounds and massive gargoyles! I jumped a little when those last ones came at me, jugular insight. All of this is nice, but not really anything new if you played the DLC in the original game of course. What is new is the brand new, sparkly aesthetics to the world. With enhanced graphics, such as the much lauded over “enhanced God rays”, Skyrim looks spectacularly beautiful.
However, that being said, graphics do not a good game make. Thankfully though, Skyrim is a gift to the gaming world. You may not need the remake if you’ve got the original due to it being the same game only prettier. That being said, if you never played the original on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, then pick up the remake and experience a game that will, quite literally, take over your life. Hey, there are worse things in the world!
Nerd rating: 9/10 – excellent game and story, massive replayability, beautiful graphics, but nothing new if you played the original game.
If you like this, try: Fallout 4.
Date of review; 13/02/17.