When Nintendo revealed the Switch there was a lot of skepticism, mixed with hope. The idea of playing your favorite games on the go sounded amazing, but would it work? Among the first games announced for the Switch was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Even though the title released years ago and was recently remastered, the idea of playing something like that on the go is exciting. With concerns of how well it will perform, is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim a must for RPG fans on the go or are fans hoping for too much from the Switch?
Skyrim for the Switch is a direct port of the remastered edition that was released on PS4 and Xbox One about a year ago. All of the DLC content like Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn are all included, meaning the Switch version is the same as the remastered iterations that Bethesda previously released. That said, you are looking at around over 100 hours of gameplay where you can play the game anywhere, just as long as you have a powerbank or a power outlet near you to charge the battery.
For newcomers who have never played Skyrim before but have played Oblivion, Skyrim is the fifth installment in the long-running series of Bethesda. The game takes place in the land to the north, which is Skyrim. Following the events that took place in Cyrodiil (an era after Oblivion’s time), a new threat is upon Tamriel as the prophesied god of destruction, known as a Alduin, in a form of a dragon is said to awaken and destroy Skyrim and the rest of Tamriel.
The game takes place in the small town of Helgen where you, as the player, is a prisoner who is about to be executed for getting involved with the rebel group known as the Stormcloak, whom are responsible for the assassination of the High King. Just as you are about to be beheaded, the prophesied dragon in the legends appears, thus destroying the town then giving you an opportunity to escape. This begins your epic adventure as you set out on a journey to find out the reason behind the reappearance of the dragons from the legends in Skyrim and discover what your purpose is in the game as a Dragonborn, a warrior that was told in the legends that will aid the land of Skyrim from the dragons.
As with all of the Elder Scrolls games that Bethesda released, they are known for their epic storylinea. Also, the side stories that it offers are very interesting and has a lot of lore for fans who have been closely following the release. Since this is the first time for an Elder Scrolls game to arrive on the Nintendo Switch, many RPG fans will surely be pleased as up until now, Skyrim is a well-regarded RPG that offers tons of quests, in-depth story, and lots of customization for your character.
Visually, the game looks surprisingly good on the Switch. After being disappointed with the visual degradation of DOOM for the hybrid console, Skyrim somewhat looks better and in my opinion, and can be best played in handheld mode without straining your eye due to the blurriness that many have experienced with DOOM. Textures look decent, though if there is one problem that I found, that would be the pop-ins. For a game as big as Skyrim, pop-ins are to be expected where you are roaming the world. As for its loading times, it loads quite faster compared to the console version.
Playing on docked mode makes the game even look prettier compared to the handheld mode. The textures are more clearer and defined in docked mode but the compromise is you are stuck in front of the TV. However, those who have PS4 or Xbox One, take note that those who prefer much more detailed visuals with higher resolution textures than the Switch, go for the console version, otherwise, stick with the Switch version.
One of the unique features of the Switch version of Skyrim is the Amiibo use. Those who have specific Amiibos like the ones from the Legend of Zelda line, you tap them for a chance to receive an exclusive The Legend of Zelda outfits like Link’s garb from Breath of the Wild or the Hylian Shield. Non-Zelda Amiibos can also be used but the items you get vary from crafting materials to foods.
Playing Skyrim for Switch offers different options to choose from when controlling your character. For Joy-Con users, you can detach them and use the motion controls to raise a shield or use an arrow with them. Honestly, It doesn’t work for me well and as usual, I tend to stay in the conventional control system. Just like in DOOM, playing Skyrim is best played on a normal controller. If you are playing on the go, the Joy-Cons themselves are fine and it works okay but nothing would be better than using the Switch Pro Controller, especially when it’s docked.
In the other platforms where Skyrim was released like the PS4 and Xbox One, Bethesda has allowed mods for players to install to make the experience more fun. In the Switch version, Bethesda omitted it, which most likely was due to the hardware restrictions. It’s obvious the Switch version is the inferior among all three and there are certain sacrifices that need to be done in order for the game to work.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for Nintendo Switch is easily one of the platforms most anticipated titles. The idea of playing Skyrim on the go was once a dream that is finally possible. Newcomers should, without question, add it to their collection. Veterans have less of a reason to play, especially if you put in 100 or more hours, though it isn’t a terrible choice if you choose to revisit. In the end, Skyrim and DOOM prove the Switch is more than capable of running hardcore titles and appealing to different markets. Sure, the visuals could be better, but that doesn’t stop it from being fun, regardless of whether you’re at home or on the go.