Skyrim, one of the biggest, most well-known games of all time returns on yet another platform. The jump to the Nintendo Switch brings with it quite a few improvements.
Skyrim has, somehow, managed to withstand the test of time and has now been released on yet another console. One would think that Bethesda had run out of tricks for the game at this point. This is the first time the game can be played on a portable system, however, giving the Switch release a leg up on all the other releases. Furthermore, while many of the graphics (such as the lighting) are not quite up to the remastered levels of the other Skyrim rereleases, certain other graphics features are noticeably improved. The flora, for example, is noticeably more detailed on the Switch than on the original game.
The story is, of course, the same as it has always been, and the game does come with all four of the main DLC add-ons as well. For those that have never played Skyrim, it is very similar to the recently-released Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in terms of gameplay. The player is allowed to customize their character, pick out which skills and modes of attack (melee weapons, ranged weapons, magic, etc.) they would like to use, and then are sent off into a giant world to stop dragons from destroying everything and put an end to an ongoing civil war. The game allows for more customization than Breath of the Wild does but, in terms of sheer size, environment and things to do, they are near equals. Skyrim is, basically, a grittier version of the popular Zelda game.
The new Skyrim for the Switch makes full use of the Switch’s motion controls, allowing the player to swing their sword, pull back and fire arrows from their bow, shoot bolts of lightning from their fingertips and even pick locks slowly and carefully. Although the sword-swinging seems a little sluggish at times, the others are all well integrated and mesh with the old Skyrim system surprisingly effectively.
Amiibos, which are another staple of the Switch, can be used for the game as well, although they mostly just drop low-level items and food. Any Zelda-themed amiibos, however, can drop items such as the Master Sword or Champion’s Tunic, allowing a player to wander through Skyrim while cosplaying as Link.
The new game comes with all the old Skyrim bugs, which are at times frustrating and at other times hilarious. There is one huge downside to its release, though, that is unrelated to these; no user-generated content. Mods are not currently available on the Switch, even though they have been released on the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game. This is a huge loss, as some of the best content Skyrim has to offer is available only through these mods.
Overall, regardless of the lack of mods, occasionally buggy system and sluggish motion controls, the new Skyrim for the Switch has plenty of good going for it. Anyone that enjoyed Breath of the Wild or loves open-world games either has already played Skyrim or should hurry and buy this. It has survived six years, proving its worth. It is rated M.