Skyrim Special Edition (Remaster) Review

Review: Skyrim Special Edition | One of the most loved RPG’s from the Xbox 360 generation finds his way on Xbox One, five years later. In the gaming industry five years is quite a long time, but Skyrim manages to stand the test of time with this remaster.  Find out more in this review! 

THE GOOD

  • Fantastic looking lighting engine, even with the outdated graphics the lighting makes it much more beautiful, even for 2016 standards. Seeing how fire lights up caves or how the moon shines over the massive lands is really impressive. That lighting engine receives some help with the improved colours too. I’m pretty sure that every previous Xbox 360 owner from Skyrim will immediately see what I’m writing here.
  • Skyrim offers a character-system that lets you create your own totally unique fighting-style. Being a caster might be a little difficult on consoles (The SkyUI Mod can help with that but you get no Achievements when a Mod is active) but I really enjoyed casting spells to defeat enemies.
  • Home of the Nords, Skyrim’s world  is an impressive feat. With many unique area’s. One moment you are fighting a dragon in a big open place with snow, five minutes later you find yourself in a dark, creepy cave with big ugly spiders. You have huge and small settlements, vast forest with lots of foliage, ridiculously great looking mountain vistas and many, and I really mean many special looking art style.
  • One of the greatest positive reasons why previous Skyrim owners should get this remaster are the Mods. The list is long, while not all of them are worthy most change the gameplay in many ways. The only negative thing about Mods is that it disables achievements. One thing is for sure, the replay value is insanely high with the available Mods.
  • …. that theme song. Goosebumps. Every. Single. Time.

Mixed Feelings

  • Back in 2011 I couldn’t really immerse myself in Skyrim because the terrible performance. (and it was even worse on PS3) Freezes,and many frame rate hiccups. I was glad to see that this remaster pretty much solves it, although I thought it did. After a few hours you’ll notice that some locations still don’t run perfectly, a shame but it was nothing immersion-breaking.
  • I remembered Skyrim as an impressive graphical game, five years later the remaster clearly shows some age. Especially the characters look out-dated and the animations seem to be done with wooden planks. Bethesda did do some effort though and I really appreciate that. Like I previously said, the lighting engine looks fantastic but the new textures look good and the higher resolution clearly helps getting more detail. Less pop-up thanks to the increased draw distance gives you the opportunity to make some mind-blowing screenshots. Overall, you see that the game is not made for 2016’s standards but it manages to put up a great fight for some eye pleasing moments.

THE BAD

  • Skyrim’s storylines never really did much to me, with some very mediocre dialogue. Nothing really happens to make the story interesting. The DLC included in this remaster helps a little improving that, but overall  just like 2011, I never understood that Skyrim had so many critical acclaim with such a terrible story.  And that’s the most important thing for me when playing a RPG-game.
  • I think every gamer understands me when I say that Skyrim has the typical Bethesda bugs. And it happened quite often for me in this remaster, falling through the game world, characters that disappear in objects, dead bodies that unrealistically flood on the ground, dragons that freeze mid-air and I could go on for some time. Bethesda’s polish is seriously lacking, not only in Skyrim but also in previous games like Fallout 4.

Score: 80% | Skyrim on Xbox One is a good experience that sometimes looks and feels a little dated.  Newcomers will enjoy this game a lot and Mods and all the DLC-content give previous owners a reason to buy the game too.

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