Having played over 300 hours of Skyrim on PC when it was originally released in 2011, I thought I had found every location, experienced every dialogue option and learned all the best tips and tricks to get the best experience out of the game. So, rather than play of the newest FPS games or get into some multiplayers, the only logical conclusion was to buy the remastered edition for the PS4 and do it all again.
I’d always considered myself a competent player when it came to open world RPG’s, especially Bethesda games. The controls and basic premise are easy to grasp, the landmarks and overall design look fantastic and the series wouldn’t be the same without the ridiculous, game-breaking bugs we’ve all come to love. It would be apparent, however, that I’m still a complete novice. I realised my rookie mistake at around level 10, when I was exploring around the Windhelm area and found a Master chest I was nowhere near able to unlock. I hadn’t used the “use companion” function much in the PC version and wasn’t sure what prompted me to do it – probably the heavy reliance on my companions in Fallout 4. So, I turned to my main man Faendal and commanded him to unlock the Master chest for a laugh considering I thought he was only good for archery training and dreary, repetitive chat. He immediately unlocked it and ran away to fight a deer because the NPC actions are a bit unpredictable in this edition. So, that took me down a peg or ten and I enjoyed a few hours of utilising him as a lock master extraordinaire.
The remastered edition is beautiful, with the water, distant mountains and starry skies as realistic looking as ever. I honestly felt the same rush of excitement as I saw Alduin for the first time, running wildly through Helgen and making the snap decision of following Ralof because sack following Hadvar and his crap patter. The music, the ambient sounds, the dodgy accents – each individual aspect of the game gave me a chill down my spine and the warm, rewarding feeling that usually only a cup of tea will bring.
There’s not much point in discussing the actual gameplay or story because the game is five years old, after all. The combat cutscenes have been improved and I’m glad to see more blood as I slice up my enemies. The DLC is available right from the off, meaning that you can get stuck right into killing vampires or raising a horde of orphaned children. The dragons, landscapes, and people have been well refined and the dialogue is still as hilarious as ever. As I previously mentioned, the game is still as buggy as hell but that just adds to its overall charm for me.
It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase, but I’m glad I have dived back into Skyrim again; it is a welcome distraction in what has been a somewhat tumultuous time. I mean, I could do more uni work or go out and socialise, but between Skyrim, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and another The Witcher 3 playthrough, I’m rather busy between now and March when Mass Effect: Andromeda and Horizon Zero Dawn drop. *SCREAMS*