“The Elder Scrolls V: SKYRIM” by Bethesda Softworks was released on 11/11/11. The anticipated follow-up video game to “The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion” was received very well and was awarded with over 200 gaming awards. 11/17/17, SKYRIM is still making heads turn. This time… literally.
I poured many hours into SKYRIM. My first introduction to the game was on XBox360. I went to the midnight launch of the game even though I hadn’t ever played any of the previous Elder Scrolls games. At 12:18am, I was back home from the store and got the game inserted and started to check it out even though I had to be up early the next morning for work.
Since then, I’ve purchased SKYRIM for PC and played many hours on that version. Then purchased the Special Edition versions for the newer consoles (yes, I purchased both for PS4 and XBoxOne).
11/17/17 is the release date of two new ways to play SKYRIM. One release was for the Nintendo Switch. The other… for Playstation VR!
It’s been a very long time since I felt the chills-down-my-back excitement as I did when SKYRIM was first released on 11/11/11. I’ve lost count the number of times I played through the introduction. Creating a new character and escaping the dragon introduced just before you appear to be getting your head chopped off. If the dragon only knew at that point that you were indeed Dragonborn, he would have let the axe fall and the game would have ended all too quickly.
A couple months leading up to 11/17/17, I watched videos of early game play of SKYRIM VR. I admit, I was pretty excited to get into SKYRIM and see the world around me, but I was also concerned about the actual gameplay itself. It looked clunky with the Move Controllers and I figured I’d probably just play with the DualShock like I was used to. But the idea of melee weapons in your hands and physically swinging them around was something I also didn’t want to miss out on.
Release day arrived and I inserted the SKYRIM VR disc into my PS4 with the same anxiety I did back in 11/11/11. With the VR headset on and the game launched, you find yourself sitting next to Ulfric Stormcloak. Overall, the feel of the game is better than I expected. The controls are far more customizable than I thought they would be and I found a set up I was happy enough with. Entering the trade store in Riverwood is pretty cool. I mean, you feel like you’re in the store. I stood between the brother and sister pair while they argued about the thieves that came in and stole the Golden Claw and I looked back and forth between then while they continued their conversation.
After getting the quest to go retrieve the Golden Claw. I headed out to Bleak Barrow Falls. As I climbed the mountain hillside, I was met with a snow flurry and the snow seemed to be blowing right toward my face. Taking out the bandits outside the dungeon was pretty easy and then I approached the dungeon door. The door seemed pretty big and heavy in the regular SKYRIM version. In VR however, the dungeon door IS MASSIVE AND HEAVY. Looking up at the height of the door made me feel puny. VR just made that part that much more amazing.
I have gotten into Bleak Barrow Falls so many times in the passed to get the Golden Claw and even get the Dragon Stone from the Drauger just before leaving the dungeon. I knew all too well the flow and getting through that sequence. I suppose that may have caused me to not feel the cool factor of VR. But then it’s time to get to Whiterun and, specifically, Dragon’s Reach where the Jarl is. Again, I’ve entered those doors hundreds of times. But in VR, those doors are massive.
Entering Dragon’s Reach, the first thing I also sensed was how big that building is. From the outside, it seems big, to be sure. But inside, it is just amazing. The echos of the sounds and voices make way more sense in VR compared to the regular version.
If I can summarize how good SKYRIM VR is… it would be “Bethesda, you did it again. Here, take my money… again!”