Not too dissimilar to lottery flittering and the occasional vape, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim seems to be the habit the gaming industry as a whole can’t quite kick. Developers Bethesda appear intent on bringing the game to as many platforms as possible, with Nintendo’s nifty little hybrid acting as the latest candidate. Until now, I’ve been of the mind that “old games is old” and that my time would be better spent attempting to stay ahead of the glut of new releases enjoyed this year. Now that it’s portable for the very first time however, I might eventually get around to finishing Skyrim.
Luckily, Skyrim is seemingly the perfect candidate for an on-the-go gaming experience. Much like Zelda: Breath of the Wild before it, Skyrim is rife with quests to complete and secrets to discover, with lots of reasons to continually chip away at its world to see what it next has in store. Previously this has felt daunting to me while playing on console, but venturing out into the snowy winds of Helgen Keep suddenly more manageable.
At the time I’m writing this, reviews have already started to pour in for the portable port, and all signs seem to indicate that it’s an experience that runs well at 720p handheld or at 1080p docked. Time is becoming more and more precious as I get older, but now my journey to become the dragon born awaits, thanks to the boundaries that stood in my beforehand now being removed. Previous obstructions came in form of shoddy optimisation of the PS3 version (a problem which made it impossible for Bethesda to release future DLCs on the platform), along with the factor that it all possibilities Skyrim presented too much to do.
While the thing that least tantalises me about besting the Skyrim beast once again are the motion controls, I’m keen to discover why this game – above all others – overtly reuses to be forgotten. When the game was released in 2011 its jankiness could be forgiven, its poor voice-acting overlooked, yet now Bethesda are still able to see profit in revamping the game, first for Xbox One and PS4 with some slight graphical tweaks and of course now with the Nintendo Switch port. Can you polish a turd? Skyrim’s endurance would suggest otherwise.
If anything, I take solace in the fact that, like me, Bethesda’s persistence to re-release games previously thought unable to run on a handheld on the Switch will let them undergo a second wind. While DOOM’s release last week was serviceable, Skyrim looks to be better optimised. With Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus set to receive the same treatment, I’m hopeful that such endeavours will be a tactic worth doubling down on for Bethesda. It certainly is for me now.