MY FIRST VIRTUAL STEPS INTO ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM VR
Where do you begin when it comes to an epic game such as Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? Skyrim has been around for six years now. I still remember getting excited when they announced the release date of 11/11/11. I thought that was a nice touch. When the game was finally released and I walked in to this world for the first time it was probably the first time in my gaming history that my jaw dropped to the floor simply by staring at the scale of this massive world and seeing how gorgeous it was. Since its release I have played the game on PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, and now, I am playing on PSVR with Skyrim VR.
Today, it’s obvious that the game’s graphics are dated and show its age. Even with the release of the remastered version on the newer consoles it still shows that it is six years old; however, in my opinion, this is still one of the best open world RPG’s the gaming industry has to offer. Between all the consoles I’ve played on I think I’ve sunk a good two hundred and fifty hours into this game. I even went as far as getting a platinum trophy for the PS4 remastered version. I did it simply because I wanted to experience all the challenges the game had to offer.
Stepping Back Into Skyrim
Fast forward to today and I am stepping back into the world of Skyrim, except this time I am doing it through VR. I have to admit I have always been a skeptic of virtual reality. I’ve seen it tried a few times in my life. Every time some new VR machine came out it disappeared just as quickly. When these new VR systems started showing up on the market, like the Oculus, Vive and PSVR, I was again skeptical thinking they wouldn’t last. Then I saw my friend playing Resident Evil 7 in VR and I instantly wanted to go out and buy the system. I heard about Skyrim being released for VR and it was coming in a bundle around Black Friday, so I waited to get the bundle.
On Another Adventure
I plugged the headset in, popped in Skyrim VR and was ready to go on another epic adventure. I was just as eager to try this as I was when the game first released. When the opening began, I felt that same sensation of awe and amazement. Except, this time, I felt like I was actually there. The scale of the world through VR was immense. Looking up at the mountains as I was being carted off to have my head chopped off was surreal. Being able to look behind me and see that the world is all around me is an amazing feeling. I’ve made it as far as Whiterun in the game which isn’t far into the story at all.
I’ve already spent a few hours on the game wandering around, staring up at the night sky and wandering through a couple dungeons close by. At one point my wife couldn’t stop laughing at me as I stared up to the sky when I activated one of the blessing stones. Looking up and seeing that beam of light shoot up into the sky was an amazing view. Another funny moment for my wife was when I was looking up at that gorgeous aurora borealis that pops up in the night sky, and I ended up walking off a cliff.
The gameplay still feels the same. It’s probably because I prefer the use of the dual shock controller to the PlayStation Move controllers. I just couldn’t get the hang of the teleporting as movement. I did like the fact that I could swing a sword in front of me while blasting a creature with fire behind me simultaneously with the Move controllers. It’s a small price to pay for me in order to be able to feel like I’m walking around in Skyrim.
Combat in Skyrim feels the same as well except for the added fun of feeling like something is actually lunging at you or seeing a full-sized giant chasing you through the fields. I’ve only encountered the dragon in the beginning, so I don’t have much to say on that matter. Running through Bleak Falls Barrow and fighting the Draugr’s is a whole new experience in VR as well. Turning a corner and seeing three of them rushing at me creeped me out at one point. It sent a wonderful chill down my spine hahaha.
All in all, I have to say I am loving my sixth visit into the world of Skyrim. I would recommend any Skyrim fan to give it a try in VR. Yes, everyone says the graphics are dated. Yes, it doesn’t look so clean in VR. To be honest, it’s not necessarily the graphics that push you forward in the game: it’s the experience. Being able to see the world in front of you makes it feel like a whole new game, in my opinion. I plan on sinking another hundred or so hours into this game. I’d like to experience everything I can with the world of Skyrim. Keep it here at Culture of Gaming for more updates on my VR experiences with Skyrim and future titles!