Freeola Internet Get Dotted Domains Blog Guides Forums
Menu

Viewing Thread:
'[GAME] Skyrim - Special Edition'

Fri 03/02/17 at 09:11:
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,040
Skyrim has to go down as my all-time greatest bargain. I picked up a new copy of the PS3 version for 99p and sank over 100 hours into it. And all this for a game that really isnít my cup of tea. I canít quite explain why I like it but heading back into Skyrim with the Special Edition has shown that it was no fluke.

I was hesitant about playing Skyrim again, an RPG style game in a fantasy Ďdungeons and dragonsí type setting really isnít for me. The game won me over before but my experience with The Witcher 3 made me less certain Skyim would win me over again. Over 80 hours later and Iím left wondering why I was ever concerned.

The Special Edition comes complete with all of the DLC that was released - Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn. Naturally it comes with nicer graphics and various other improvements to make it ďspecialĒ such as dynamic depth of field and ďvolumetric god raysĒ. Improvements always sound better if you give them a fancy sounding name.

For those who have never played Skyrim before the game starts off with your chosen character (being an RPG you could spend hours choosing the race and customising appearance) close to meeting an executionerís axe. Thankfully a dragon pops down to see what is happening, torches the place and you make an escape. It isnít long before you find out you are actually Dragonborn. This basically means you can learn the dragonís powerful language and absorb their power but it also means you have essentially become the local pest controller. To top it all off, there is a bit of a war going on too but this seems a little inconsequential compared to the huge fire breathing beasts.

The Skyrim map is absolutely huge with what seems like an endless set of locations to discover and a quest list that really never seems to diminish. Locations vary between dungeons full of the undead to caves with some interesting wildlife or individual houses to bustling towns. The majority of your quests come from exploring and talking to people. On the way to a location for a quest you can stumble across locations 2, 3 and 4 and in doing so meet people and end up with another handful of quests. 80 hours in and my quest list is still absolutely packed. And that is the great appeal of a game like Skyrim, there is so much to explore and so much to see and do that it is hard to stay focussed on the quest in hand.

A lot of the quests in Skyrim really see you being an errand boy or girl but that doesnít seem to matter as there is always something to be found or somewhere new to be explored. The side quests far outweigh the story quests and whilst you will see some repetition and some padding, the majority of the time there is something different to do. You could be carrying out an assassination for the Dark Brotherhood, sneaking into a house to swipe some precious items for the Thieves Guild or simply tracking down a lost book as a good deed. Or you could be feeding as a vampire or howling at the moon as a werewolf. There is a lot of variety in Skyrim and it does throw up some surprises at times, such as following a talking dog which somehow isn't as silly as it sounds.

It isnít just the list of quests in Skyrim which can be overwhelming, the general amount of options and personalisation available is staggering. For combat you can choose to use weapons or magic. You might prefer a sword and shield or a two handed axe or even just prefer to go dual wielding with the magic. Skyrim isnít a friendly place so youíll want some armour but will that be light armour or heavy armour. You can upgrade weapons and armour at the blacksmith store or craft your own weapons or jewellery to sell. You can try your hand at alchemy and if all of that isnít enough, then there is the substantial skills tree when you level up. And none of that touches upon the different types of weapons, enchanting your weapons or the many different types of magic. Or the shouts that you are able to perform as Dragonborn.

For those that like to get absorbed into the story then there are all manner of books to be read which add additional information. Some of these go towards skills or open new quests and many are just general background information. Skyrim is the kind of game where you can get as stuck in as you want or simply skip past a lot of it. There is a lot of lore and aspects to Skyrim which I donít bother with but at no point do I feel I am missing out or getting a bit lost; it has a perfect template to fine the experience to your own tastes.

The extra content in the special edition is integrated seamlessly into the main game so unless you have played it before, you wonít really be able to distinguish it from the main game. Well apart from jumping to a completely new island for Dragonborn. Heathfire is a house building addition which sees you purchasing a plot of land and building a house. It isnít quite Minecraft since the actualy construction is done for you but you will still need to gather the raw materials before you can build. It is an interesting addition but I prefer the lazy approach and just buying a house in one of the towns. Since I was feeling nice, I added a couple of bedrooms to my house and invited a homeless girl to move in. Then I adopted a young lad from the orphanage. And now they pester me every time I go home either wanting to play or asking if I have a gift for them or asking for money. Donít they realise I have quests to do? Letís just say my other houses remain as bachelor pads.

Graphical improvements are easier to spot via comparison videos but needless to say it does all look prettier. The most noticeable improvement for me is the in the loading times. The experience on the PS3 became a bit of a grind Ė fast track to a location and wait as the game did its lengthy load. You are dropped right outside the entrance to the location so an instant lengthy load again as you enter the location. After 100 hours that wait, or more so the frequency of the waits, became a chore. Thankfully this isnít an issue at all in the special edition. I do recall a conversation with a friend where we agree weíd be happy with PS3 style graphics but quicker load times for the next generation of consoles. I guess we got more than we wished for.

Where the developers could have made the special edition more special is in dealing with the bugs. There are still a few glitches in there, which for the scale of the game becomes more understandable but not when these bugs existed in the original version. At one point I was stuck outside a castle gate simply because I visited the castle before the quests took me there. A quick internet search showed that this issue was found by many people in the original version but clearly hasnít been dealt with. This would be a progress breaking bug had it not been for an exploit of another glitch Ė 2 wrongs can make a right afterall.

Iíve not actually had a look at them but there are mods on the console version. The PS4 version seems to be more limited and it sounds like the mods are mostly cosmetic but since at one point they werenít going to be there at all I guess it is better than nothing.

I canít actually put my finger on what it is I like about Skyrim so much but against all the odds I still think it is a great game. It is a huge time sink and I guess my only criticism would be that some parts can suffer slightly from repetition after many hours but that only happens days after other games have long since finished.

9
Mon 06/02/17 at 10:05:
pb
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,909
I really need to go back to Skyrim on PC. I never installed mods on the original and I want to see what difference the free remaster makes on PC.

Good review.
Fri 03/02/17 at 13:56:
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,469

dav2612 wrote:
Thanks.

The map does feel huge at the start when your quest marker is way across the other side. And that distance just opens up a whole world of distraction. I think I still have places on my map that I've not discovered yet.

My main issue with the map is the mountain ranges. I do find I spend too much time trying to scale the face of a mountain when there is probably an easier route but it is round the other side.

I should really take a look at the mods at some point and see what is on offer.


What I find interesting is that the most vocal objections to the size of the map generally come from the same people that complained about Fallout 4 having such a condensed area. So, Skyrim is too spread out, Fallout 4 is too closed in.

Personally, I found Fallout 4 to be the perfect balance; not too spaced out that going from A to B involved a ridiculous amount of fighting wildlife, not too closed in that you felt restricted.
Fri 03/02/17 at 13:51:
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,040

chasfh wrote:
Nice review. I have sunk well over 300 hours into Skyrim myself, the Special Edition I got for free (as I owned all of the DLC for the original) and I probably should go back to it.

My only real criticism is that the map is maybe a little too big, the space between locations a little too expansive, but that's minor when you really only need to do the hard slog there once. As living breathing game worlds go, this does rate as one of the best to date.

As for mods, being a PC gamer I have access to nearly 50,000 of them. Some are well worth it, others not so. Many of them do add to the appeal though.


Thanks.

The map does feel huge at the start when your quest marker is way across the other side. And that distance just opens up a whole world of distraction. I think I still have places on my map that I've not discovered yet.

My main issue with the map is the mountain ranges. I do find I spend too much time trying to scale the face of a mountain when there is probably an easier route but it is round the other side.

I should really take a look at the mods at some point and see what is on offer.
Fri 03/02/17 at 13:34:
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,469
Nice review. I have sunk well over 300 hours into Skyrim myself, the Special Edition I got for free (as I owned all of the DLC for the original) and I probably should go back to it.

My only real criticism is that the map is maybe a little too big, the space between locations a little too expansive, but that's minor when you really only need to do the hard slog there once. As living breathing game worlds go, this does rate as one of the best to date.

As for mods, being a PC gamer I have access to nearly 50,000 of them. Some are well worth it, others not so. Many of them do add to the appeal though.
Fri 03/02/17 at 09:11:
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,040
Skyrim has to go down as my all-time greatest bargain. I picked up a new copy of the PS3 version for 99p and sank over 100 hours into it. And all this for a game that really isnít my cup of tea. I canít quite explain why I like it but heading back into Skyrim with the Special Edition has shown that it was no fluke.

I was hesitant about playing Skyrim again, an RPG style game in a fantasy Ďdungeons and dragonsí type setting really isnít for me. The game won me over before but my experience with The Witcher 3 made me less certain Skyim would win me over again. Over 80 hours later and Iím left wondering why I was ever concerned.

The Special Edition comes complete with all of the DLC that was released - Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn. Naturally it comes with nicer graphics and various other improvements to make it ďspecialĒ such as dynamic depth of field and ďvolumetric god raysĒ. Improvements always sound better if you give them a fancy sounding name.

For those who have never played Skyrim before the game starts off with your chosen character (being an RPG you could spend hours choosing the race and customising appearance) close to meeting an executionerís axe. Thankfully a dragon pops down to see what is happening, torches the place and you make an escape. It isnít long before you find out you are actually Dragonborn. This basically means you can learn the dragonís powerful language and absorb their power but it also means you have essentially become the local pest controller. To top it all off, there is a bit of a war going on too but this seems a little inconsequential compared to the huge fire breathing beasts.

The Skyrim map is absolutely huge with what seems like an endless set of locations to discover and a quest list that really never seems to diminish. Locations vary between dungeons full of the undead to caves with some interesting wildlife or individual houses to bustling towns. The majority of your quests come from exploring and talking to people. On the way to a location for a quest you can stumble across locations 2, 3 and 4 and in doing so meet people and end up with another handful of quests. 80 hours in and my quest list is still absolutely packed. And that is the great appeal of a game like Skyrim, there is so much to explore and so much to see and do that it is hard to stay focussed on the quest in hand.

A lot of the quests in Skyrim really see you being an errand boy or girl but that doesnít seem to matter as there is always something to be found or somewhere new to be explored. The side quests far outweigh the story quests and whilst you will see some repetition and some padding, the majority of the time there is something different to do. You could be carrying out an assassination for the Dark Brotherhood, sneaking into a house to swipe some precious items for the Thieves Guild or simply tracking down a lost book as a good deed. Or you could be feeding as a vampire or howling at the moon as a werewolf. There is a lot of variety in Skyrim and it does throw up some surprises at times, such as following a talking dog which somehow isn't as silly as it sounds.

It isnít just the list of quests in Skyrim which can be overwhelming, the general amount of options and personalisation available is staggering. For combat you can choose to use weapons or magic. You might prefer a sword and shield or a two handed axe or even just prefer to go dual wielding with the magic. Skyrim isnít a friendly place so youíll want some armour but will that be light armour or heavy armour. You can upgrade weapons and armour at the blacksmith store or craft your own weapons or jewellery to sell. You can try your hand at alchemy and if all of that isnít enough, then there is the substantial skills tree when you level up. And none of that touches upon the different types of weapons, enchanting your weapons or the many different types of magic. Or the shouts that you are able to perform as Dragonborn.

For those that like to get absorbed into the story then there are all manner of books to be read which add additional information. Some of these go towards skills or open new quests and many are just general background information. Skyrim is the kind of game where you can get as stuck in as you want or simply skip past a lot of it. There is a lot of lore and aspects to Skyrim which I donít bother with but at no point do I feel I am missing out or getting a bit lost; it has a perfect template to fine the experience to your own tastes.

The extra content in the special edition is integrated seamlessly into the main game so unless you have played it before, you wonít really be able to distinguish it from the main game. Well apart from jumping to a completely new island for Dragonborn. Heathfire is a house building addition which sees you purchasing a plot of land and building a house. It isnít quite Minecraft since the actualy construction is done for you but you will still need to gather the raw materials before you can build. It is an interesting addition but I prefer the lazy approach and just buying a house in one of the towns. Since I was feeling nice, I added a couple of bedrooms to my house and invited a homeless girl to move in. Then I adopted a young lad from the orphanage. And now they pester me every time I go home either wanting to play or asking if I have a gift for them or asking for money. Donít they realise I have quests to do? Letís just say my other houses remain as bachelor pads.

Graphical improvements are easier to spot via comparison videos but needless to say it does all look prettier. The most noticeable improvement for me is the in the loading times. The experience on the PS3 became a bit of a grind Ė fast track to a location and wait as the game did its lengthy load. You are dropped right outside the entrance to the location so an instant lengthy load again as you enter the location. After 100 hours that wait, or more so the frequency of the waits, became a chore. Thankfully this isnít an issue at all in the special edition. I do recall a conversation with a friend where we agree weíd be happy with PS3 style graphics but quicker load times for the next generation of consoles. I guess we got more than we wished for.

Where the developers could have made the special edition more special is in dealing with the bugs. There are still a few glitches in there, which for the scale of the game becomes more understandable but not when these bugs existed in the original version. At one point I was stuck outside a castle gate simply because I visited the castle before the quests took me there. A quick internet search showed that this issue was found by many people in the original version but clearly hasnít been dealt with. This would be a progress breaking bug had it not been for an exploit of another glitch Ė 2 wrongs can make a right afterall.

Iíve not actually had a look at them but there are mods on the console version. The PS4 version seems to be more limited and it sounds like the mods are mostly cosmetic but since at one point they werenít going to be there at all I guess it is better than nothing.

I canít actually put my finger on what it is I like about Skyrim so much but against all the odds I still think it is a great game. It is a huge time sink and I guess my only criticism would be that some parts can suffer slightly from repetition after many hours but that only happens days after other games have long since finished.

9

Freeola is a UK internet service provider offering the best value and extensive free services. Please compare our domain name registration prices or check out our UK high speed internet access. If you are in business please see examples of our free hosting at Freeola.com/customer-sites.

Safe and Secure Payment

Tell us what you think!

Live Chat is offline

Live Chat is available:
9am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

01376 55 60 60

Send us a ticket.