Monday, June 17, 2024

It’s 2022 and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Still Holds Up.

( You read it right, folks. It’s 2022 and a multiple-time Game of the Year winner released in 2011 still holds up! I was late to the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim train. As a matter of fact, I was still playing through Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion—never finished, by the way—before getting an Xbox 360.

My Favorite Franchise to Never Finish

I’ve always enjoyed the Fallout and Elder Scrolls games for allowing players to make their own adventures. Sure, there’s a core storyline there but you can take your time getting around to it. It’s actually more fun that way as it gives your character all of these skill-building adventures before tackling the big bad.

When Skyrim was first announced, I was stoked as I was making my way through all of the Scrolls lore. It was interesting to see that significant of a time skip for the series and what it meant for the game’s world as a whole.

Like Fallout 4, I mainly watched others play through the game until I finally got my hands on it over a year later. Elder Scrolls and Fallout both have a high replayability to them that you could finish the main story and continue playing the other quests or start a new build and have a new experience.

It's 2022 and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Still Holds Up

So, even though I was late to the party, it was still going on. Skyrim is such a massive game that I still haven’t finished it. I’ll play some, always remember to save before character creation, and do some adventuring for a few days.

After that, I end up playing again some weeks later and restarting a character. Maybe I finally want to boost magic and not go stealthy. I might want to mix magic and stealth and put combat on the back burner. There are just too many options!

Skyrim Still Holds Up in 2022

I revisit Skyrim and Oblivion at least twice a year. The main thing that sinks me in with Skyrim is crafting. Bethesda finally got crafting down in a way that it’s streamlined but still challenging. Going back to Oblivion, crafting was much better than it was in Morrowind. However, it still seemed too involved.

Skyrim got the right even if stats had to take a hike. That in turn meant that my favorite skill to train up in Bethesda games—unarmed—pretty much took a hike as well but I’d say that it was for the best. You notice these things when you play a franchise from game to game.

Certain things are dropped while others are improved. Well, that’s usually the case. Sometimes, you can run into a game that just drops the ball and kill the franchise’s momentum. Let’s name-drop and say WWE 2K20, for example.

In Elder Scroll’s case, Bethesda kept that momentum going with Skyrim and Elder Scrolls Online. Each time I start a new game and set out a fresh build, it’s a new adventure. These are stories and battles I’ve done multiple times already but tweaking this or dropping that approach entirely makes all of that fresh.

That’s something you want from a game that holds up a decade or so later. You either want a fresh experience each time you return to the game or you want that first time ever playing vibe. It should be fresh when you get back into the game.

Sure, you’ve played this game seven times on all difficulties but some bosses can still give you hard time despite your experience. In Skyrim, I’m used to ranged fighting with poisons and stealth. Now, with my current game, I’m giving magic a try along with my stealth. I have to say, it’s a bit rough at the moment and I’m fighting against raising my archery.

The DLC and Mods Really Help

Skyrim had the benefit of having some must-have DLC. “Hearthfire” was something I had to buy and all it allowed for was the building of homesteads, adoption, and a few other essential crafting options. Honestly, “Hearthfire” is the most unnecessary DLC since it leans towards being cosmetic but I’m big on crafting and this DLC gave me crafting.

The two lore DLC are “Dawnguard” and “Dragonborn”. I’ve had more fun with “Dawnguard” since the whole vampire clan versus vampire hunters thing is a big “WIN” in my book. “Dragonborn” is also an enjoyable story and you get to ride on dragons.

That’s fun for a while and being able to turn into a vampire lord is just more rewarding to me. Both add more crafting options as well. Again, “Dawnguard” gets the nod for the crossbows. I’m big range combat guy and using the crossbow is fantastic. Bonus points if you’ve gotten it enchanted.

Overall, Skyrim had some strong DLC and I actually found the stories of “Dawnguard” and “Dragonborn” more interesting than the main story of Elder Scrolls V. With that said, even without the DLC, there is still a lot to do in this game.

I was playing vanilla console Skyrim for years before I finally got “Hearthfire”. When I finally added some mods that I enjoy, the game was reinvigorated again! Very few games are timeless on their own and with community support, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of those games that still holds up.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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