I’m one of countless gamers who played the original version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to death. A massive open world unlike any I’d ever seen, I reached over a hundred hours of gameplay before long. Then, a friend accidentally deleted my save. Suffice to say, we’re no longer friends anymore. He’s lucky I didn’t perform the Black Sacrement on him. Regardless, I bravely decided to start it all over again, and ended up having just as much of a great time as before.
Then, around this time last year, I unashamedly picked up the Definitive Edition for PS4 without hesitation. Allured by the inclusion of all the DLC packs (something I hadn’t engaged with before) I was eager to restart my adventure. And, sure enough, I managed even more mileage with that version.
Most recently of all, though, came an announcement that rocked Nintendo fans’ worlds. Skyrim, a game nobody ever expected to see on any of their platforms, was headed to (wait for it) one of their platforms. Back then, none of us realised quite how much of a success the Switch would be – not even Nintendo themselves. There was doubt among the industry as to whether the game would even run on the system. But now, it’s here, and it’s been given a new lease of life.
I told myself right from the first glimpse of the game running on Switch that I wouldn’t succumb. I promised myself that I wouldn’t be tricked into paying full price for the same game a third time. After all, it hadn’t even been a year since I’d last played it. Well, here I am, several hours in.
The appeal of playing Skyrim on a portable was something that I simply couldn’t resist. Now that I’ve had some time with it, the concept of ever having played it non-portable is completely alien to me. I haven’t docked my Switch once while playing it, and I don’t think I ever will. It just seems wrong.
The game feels so at home on the hybrid. Gone are the prohibitive load times, for instance, replaced by the cartridges innate ability to get going at an impressive rate. It also runs beautifully, with no noticeable hitches aside from the odd mishap we’ve come to know and love/tolerate from Bethesda. Plus, I’m not normally one for graphics, but Skyrim‘s world looks absolutely gorgeous on the Switch’s screen.
Most of all though, being able to take the game anywhere soon proves itself as much more than a novelty. In fact, it actually changes how the game feels to play. Now I can do a few quests when I feel like it, quicksave, and power off in the blink of an eye. Or I can leave the console on sleep mode, coming back to it instantaneously whenever I want. It’s almost telepathic, and all of this freedom means I can play for a little while just as well as I could for hours at a time, without feeling like I’ve wasted effort booting it up.
Owning a Switch has made playing on console feel almost like a chore. Don’t get me wrong, I still love playing the latest releases on a big screen, with a Dualshock 4 in-hand. Still, it doesn’t really compare with the awesomeness of being able to lay down comfortably in bed, and have one of my favourite games of the last decade running on my little bundle of joy. It still continues to astonish me.
Perhaps the main thing that concerned me to begin with was that I may get bored playing Skyrim yet again. I had of course forgotten, however, the sheer versatility of the game. With so many different approaches to combat and so many branches in the numerous skill trees, playing as a mage instead of my usual one-handed weapon approach is proving to be a different experience entirely.
Living in Skyrim Doesn’t Come Cheap
Another off-putter early on was the price tag. I have to say, though, the game absolutely feels worth the asking price equal to that of a new title. Aside from the removal of mods (something which I’m not personally bothered about) it’s the full package. Including all of the DLC packs, which in themselves add many hours of gameplay, the costliness is, in my opinion, justified.
The thing that I’m most pleased about, though, is that this is a Switch port done right. I’m sure it’s tempting for companies to churn out careless recreations of things that have been done better elsewhere, but this version of Skyrim really, truly feels like a contender for the best out there, depending on what you look for in a game. It bodes extremely well for third-party success if the rest of the upcoming releases are of a similar quality.