Friday, 16 March 2018

Skyrim (Nintendo Switch Edition) ★★★☆☆

The latest incarnation of the game that refuses to die; the Switch version of Skyrim is both satisfying and frustrating in equal measure. Since I play the majority of Switch titles in handheld mode, it's one of the main attractions about one more go of Skyrim. (Of course, if you'd prefer to play on a telly, it's better to go for one of the many cheaper versions available, such as the far superior PC edition.)

As for the Switch edition, it's just about on par with the re-released Xbox One and PS4 versions of 2017, although it does make a number of sacrifices along the way to make it to the small screen.  Graphics have definitely taken a hit, with noticeably toned down lighting and visual effects, but it’s the pretty much the same for the most part. For returning gamers it's a chance to sink your teeth into an incredibly expansive RPG while on the move, and it’s a no-brainer if you’re a Skyrim virgin. 

However, If you have played the game for a decent length of time you’ll find nothing new on offer aside from the prospect of portability, which is admittedly tempting. The Switch version of Skyrim still has the same old bugs that have frustrated gamers for over a decade, and it’s typical of the shoddy support and lack of bug fixes that have plagued Bethesda games since the release of Morrowind. 

By now, everybody knows the story of the Dovahkiin, and while the meme-tastic dialogue is tiresome the first time round, it’s gets worse on your fifth playthrough. From Jarl’s that love the sound of their own voice, to enemies repeating the same five lines of battle dialogue, it’s tempting to give up when you’ve seen it all before. On the other hand, it’s still capable of impressive moments that are sure to live long in the memory. 

There’s nothing quite like forcing a dragon to the ground with a shout, before smashing it to death with an axe made out of its brothers and sisters, or having a town turn on you because you accidently killed a chicken. If you prefer a less violent route, you’re free to roleplay as a random NPC that likes to collect mushrooms, or to spend time wandering and fishing like a mythical hobo. The world is still dripping in lore, and while it’s true that the combat mechanics are getting more dated by the day, there’s still fun to be had playing chicken with giants, or combing through a dungeon you vaguely remember in a bid to top up your gold reserves.

All of the DLC is included, so there’s yet another reason to go back if you haven’t tried them all out yet. Above all, it's still highly playable, if a bit stale considering the original release date. There’s also no real reason for the game to retail at full price, especially when compared to other recently re-released titles on the Switch like LA Noire. A lot of hard work and effort went into porting Skyrim to the Switch, and it’s a long away away from being a buggy mess in the style of the recent WWE port. 

Regardless, it’s probably best to wait for a price drop unless you’re sure you haven’t shouted yourself hoarse. Final Verdict: Took an arrow to the score 

James Millin-Ashmore

Skyrim at CeX

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