The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Review

Posted on Nov 3 2016 - 10:32am by Gaf Hussain

When Skyrim released way back when in 2011, I can honestly say it immediately became one of my favourite games. Despite the bugs and the slightly awkward combat, the amount of content it had, and the freedom it allowed was amazing. Also, it is probably one of the better games with dragons. So when I heard a remastered version was releasing, I was more than ready to play the game again. Skyrim on PS3 had loads of issues, but surely the PS4 version should be a lot better now considering it is significantly more powerful and easier to develop for?

It’s safe to say that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition looks and works a lot better than the original on PS3. Loading has massively improved, and whilst there are still bugs here, there are less than the original. In terms of looks though, it looks pretty good, but don’t expect Fallout 4-type graphics for this remaster. The environments tend to look better than the characters to be honest, but textures have improved quite significantly. With that said, your nostalgia may make you feel like there hasn’t been many improvements, but a side-by-side comparison would prove otherwise. The colour palette has been brightened a little also, which does make a difference when viewing the mountainous vistas of Skyrim.


Bethesda hasn’t tried to improve performance in this remaster, but rather get it working correctly. The original game on PS3 was very buggy, but would work for a couple of hours at a time, and if you played for too long before exiting to the XMB, it would crash and you’d lose all your progress. That is no longer the case, but there Bethesda has chosen to go for 30fps over improving the framerate, and I don’t blame them. This game is already massive, and I personally believe they’ve prioritised the correct thing. One addition that I do like is the new quick save feature, which means you can stay in the game longer rather than trudging through a load of menus.

Another thing that Bethesda has added, for those that are fond of them, is mod support, however it is very limited. The Xbox One version supposedly has quite a lot more, but Sony blocked quite a lot of the mods on the condition that they only use in-game assets, and don’t use too much space. There are still over 100 mods, so it’s a decent selection, but you won’t get the more satirical ones that replace items in the game world. You can use the cheat mods though, which is a nice to see.

Other than these improvements, this is still the same fantastic game we know and love from 2011, but includes the Dawnguard, Heathfire, and Dragonborn DLC, which in and of themselves are quite significant add-ons. There are less game-breaking bugs, but there are still some bugs. The gameplay and awkward combat hasn’t changed, so if you didn’t like it before, you won’t like it now. Skyrim: Special Edition is a must buy for anyone that hasn’t play the original game last generation, but for those who have, it’s still worth it just for the nostalgia. I wouldn’t recommend this version if you really want to play the mods, and the Xbox One or PC version would probably be better.

This game was reviewed on PS4.

  • Graphics
  • Gameplay
  • Story
  • Replay Value