Xbox One, PS4, PC
October 28, 2016
Bethesda Game Studios
Journeying back to the world of The Elder Scrolls for the Skyrim special edition was something magical. So what makes the Skyrim Special Edition so special? Well for one, it comes with every DLC that has been released, so you can fight against or alongside vampires in Dawnguard, build your homestead in Hearthfire or take to the skies with Dragonborn.
Skyrim was a special game for me, so much so that I have bought different versions of it 6 times. When I heard the news that there would be a Special Edition coming to this generation of consoles, I was pretty stoked. Upon starting the game up, I was ready. I knew what was coming and the epic song of the Dragonborn brought me right back to a place I loved.
Then as the actual game started, I was pleasantly surprised. The game was beautiful when it was first released back in 2011; now, in 2016, Bethesda have found a way to make it fit right in and feel just as beautiful, almost like the game has not aged at all. Sporting stunning remastered art and effects, it really makes the sweetrolls look good enough to eat.
“…don’t forget what’s right in front of you. The beautifully executed volumetric god rays beaming down from Sovngarde itself…”
The addition of texture packs to make the plants look like the ones outside my window is very impressive. Not to mention the screen space reflections bringing that extra needed shine to that very pretty favourite of mine, glass armour or the super slick gilded Elven armour. These reflections are continued throughout the game with new shaders added to the water and snow effects. After you’re done staring at the plants and the water for a while, don’t forget what’s right in front of you. The beautifully executed volumetric god rays beaming down from Sovngarde itself, lighting the paths in front of you and showing every little pollen particle passing through it truly immerses you into the magical world of The Elder Scrolls again.
Now, apart from all of the visual upgrades stored under the hood of Skyrim Special Edition, there is also the ability to now play with Mods on consoles, something that was previously only available to the “PC Master Race”. This allows you to play the base game with user created content to enhance or even cheat your way around the game. It’s the mods that enhance the game that really do it for me. Some of my favourites include the waves on the shorelines, even more water effects and snow effects so your armour gets frosty or drips water and extra lamp posts along the roads in Skyrim to make the continent look more traveled.
Then there’s the cheat mods that add items that give you 100,000 carry points and all crafting materials. One mod even adds hundreds of extra magic skills, which have clearly had a lot of hard work put into them. A new favourite of mine is a mod which evens out the loot drops, so that when you’ve battled through a massive dungeon, you’re not rewarded with some low level armour or just some mead. Instead, you’re rewarded with enchanted weapons, new spell tomes, and heaps of crafting materials.
The mods do unfortunately cause the occasional game-break every now and then and playing with them does switch off your trophies, understandably enough.
- Beautiful remarsterd effects
- Mods on console
- Fantastic new art designs
- Mods cause game-breaks
- Not a lot of new stuff to see
Skyrim Special Edition wasn’t really required, but I’m not complaining… because now I don’t have to dust off my PS3 to play one of my favourite games. And with no new Elder Scrolls game even announced as officially being in development, this will tide us over for now.