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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Nintendo Switch) Review

November 24, 2017 | Posted by Stewart Lange
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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Nintendo Switch) Review  

If you’re one of the seven people who don’t, or haven’t, owned a copy of Skyrim in the past, then this is the perfect time to jump in. Now 6 years old, Skyrim is one of the most seminal RPG experiences of all time, with a rich, vast and interesting world to explore, one that you can now take with you wherever you go. It’s the novelty in being able to do this that breathes new life into the game and so far may be the most impressive game to hit the Switch to date, when you consider just how heavily detailed the world is when compared to the likes of Breath of The Wild.

Running at roughly 900p when the console is docked and a still impressive 720p on tablet mode, Skyrim keeps a consistent 30fps across both, something which is all the more noticeable when you’re playing handheld. At no point does it feel like the performance is hampered by any system limitation and the game is as smooth as it ever was across the last generation of consoles. Despite missing mod support, all DLC is included in this game, which must be filling the tiny cartridge to bursting point. It feels like no stone has been left out and while it’s reported that there are some differences in the terrain, there’s certainly nothing that feels left out. The world feels as vibrant and alive as it ever did, with moss growing on old roads and snow falling at mountain tops. While the trademark Bethesda glitches are still present, this is to be expected and well, it just wouldn’t be the same without them.

Bethesda have also added motion controls to this port and while they weren’t for me, they do work well for the most part. The bow and arrow can be controlled with motion, being able to tilt your controls in the same way as you did in Zelda. Likewise, you can also use the Joycon to swing a sword, which is the part that I felt didn’t work quite so well. Drawing your weapon feels sluggish and every swing feels a little bit laboured, making the close quarters combat too much of a chore to be enjoyable. Turning off the motion controls does rectify this, which is helpful if, like me, your hands move while you play games and find yourself aiming all over the place when trying to line up an arrow shot.

Amiibo support is present although not required. Using a specific Amiibo daily gives you a loot crate and eventually, you will be able to pick up a full set of Link’s gear. This adds nothing to the game, but it does make it slightly different if you really want to cosplay when exploring. This is the only big aesthetic difference in favour of the Switch port. You’ll likely find yourself switching them out for Dawnbreaker at some point anyway. It’s a clever way to include things behind a paywall, since by buying the Amiibo you still get a nice little statue so it doesn’t feel like you’re being ripped off in any way.

Despite being an older game, Skyrim does seem very impressive on this hardware and is absolutely worth another purchase, or a first time buy if you somehow haven’t experienced it yet. Unless you’ve played the game to death, there’s enough novelty with the motion controls and handheld capabilities to make this feel fresh, even if you have, there should still be a character tree you haven’t focused on just yet. The Switch has yet another fantastic game in it’s library though, maybe if it sells well they’ll do a Fallout game next. We can all hope.

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
An extremely high quality port of a fantastic game suggest that for the first time, or the last time, Skyrim is worth pulling on your adventuring boots for.