Developed by : Bethesda Game Studios Published by : Bethesda Softworks
Release Date : Nov 17, 2017
It’s a tale as old as time. Prisoner is about to be executed, dragon interrupts the ceremony, prisoner escapes and is recruited on a quest to save the world from said dragons. Okay, six years may not be as old as time per se, but still. Bethesda’s most recent Elder Scrolls insallment of Skyrim (not including Elder Scrolls Online) took the world by storm six years ago. Initially released on PS3/Xbox 360/PC, it eventually saw a remaster for PS4/Xbox One, and now it receives two more extensions. Skyrim VR on PS4, and the reason we have gathered here today : a release on the Switch. First, though, if you’ve managed to remain hidden under a rock for the last six years, let’s talk about the game itself before going more specifically into what this game brings on the Switch and what you can expect if and when you pick up your own copy.
Story and Gameplay
The adventure begins with you being carted away on the back of a…cart….with a small sampling of other prisoners. You’re all brought to an opening in the town of Helgen, where you are all to be executed on a stone block. As it is your turn, sounds can be heard in the distance, puzzling those standing around you. Before you can lose your head, a massive dragon lands on a nearby tower and begins spitting fire down on everyone. You quickly run and escape, making your way eventually to the Jarl at Whiterun, requesting assistance in the dragon attack. After killing the dragon, you end up absorbing it’s essence, gaining the ability to perform a Shout which leads to everyone around you speculating that you are Dragonborn. Ultimately, you learn of a prophesy in which a dragon intends to destroy the world of Skyrim, and it is up to you to try and stop him.
The world before you is massive and completely open to explore to your hearts desire. Follow the games storyline, explore caves on your own, or run around being a murderous thief in every village you discover. Just about anything you can think of, you can do, and the same can be said for your character as well. The customization options are just about infinite between the races you can play as, the clothes you can wear, the weapons you carry (or don’t carry. You can master two-handed swords to get up close and personal for your kills, or become a powerful mage casting destructive spells from a corner of safety.
As you level up, the skill trees you have access to will increase these stats as well. Focus on growing your one-handed attack ability with some blocking and sneaking, build up your knowledge of magic spells. It is literally endless what you can do to and for yourself.
Everywhere you go, the world seems to stretch itself on even further away from you. You’ll discover castles, towns, caves, farms, and a whole slew of people (friendly and not) along your way. With a constantly moving day/night cycle, an epic soundtrack, and beautiful visuals in each and every location, every single step you take in Skyrim is going to be incredible.
The game itself is amazing, it has been for the last six years and will continue to be for a lot more. However, we still have one last thing to talk about…
Switch Specific Features
With the release of Skyrim coming to the Switch, there were bound to be some features that came along for the ride to Nintendo’s console.
Amiibo Support – Once a day, players can tap a compatible amiibo figure to the Switch and unlock an exclusive chest of loot that can only be found in the Switch version of the game. What makes this feature even fancier though, is that if you tap a Legend of Zelda amiibo, you can unlock Zelda-inspired gear to be used in Skyrim such as the Master Sword, a Hylian Shield, and even Link’s Champion’s Tunic!
Joy-Con Motion Controls – This feature only ends up being present in two places for the majority of the game : combat, and lockpicking. In combat you can use the joy-cons to control whatever weapon/spell/shield is in that respective hand, mimicking the moves your character would do for an attack or a block. With lockpicking, the left joy-con can be rotated to control the lockpick and the right controls the tension-wrench. All you have to do is hold either ZL or ZR, and rotate that control clockwise or counter-clockwise, finding the correct positions to gain your way into the door or chest that is locked.
Gyroscoptic Sensitivity – I honestly noticed this feature completely by accident, and mostly because it was causing me to miss some shots with my bow. If you are aiming a weapon that fires over distance, such as a Long Bow, the system itself (obviously only when being played in handheld mode) can be rocked and turned to finely tune your aiming. Whether you’re trying to line up a really far shot, or track an enemy as he takes a small patrol route, this feature is incredibly useful and honestly, it’s probably my favorite out of the Switch features.
Full Game Handheld – Okay this one I just alluded to above, and it kind of comes with the territory of being a Switch game, but come on…Skyrim on the go? Who would have thought that six years ago when this first came out, you’d eventually be able to play it on something that could fit in your pocket?! No matter how you play Skyrim it’s an amazing game so whether it’s docked and on your TV with a pro-controller, in tabletop mode with separated joy-cons, or in handheld mode while you wait in line at the DMV, this game can be played any way and still live up to it’s full potential.