developer: Bethesda Softworks
publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Game mode: single player
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Special Edition for PC, PS4 and etc. is a remastered edition of the 2011 game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It includes all the official DLC packs and a wide range of visual upgrades. The developers have created e.g. higher-quality textures and effects such as volumetric lighting and dynamic depth of field, and made PC fan mods available for console versions of the title. Curiously, the PC Windows edition is free for everyone who bought the original Skyrim and all the DLC packs or own the Legendary Edition.
The plot of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Special Edition takes place 200 years after the events of Oblivion. You play as one of the last Dovahkiin, dragon hunters. Until recently, it was thought that the powerful beasts were long since extinct, but one day they appear in the skies again, and a prophecy foretells the coming of Alduin, the god of destruction, who takes on the form of a dragon. When fighting dragons, you absorb their souls and abilities, the so-called Shouts. Thanks to them, you can slow time, push back your foes with the use of an invisible energy, and even call an allied dragon to help you. Many such abilities are unlocked by finding ancient words located in Nordic underground ruins.
You start the game of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Special Edition for PC, PS4 and etc. by creating your character. You can choose from ten varied races, and there are no specific classes. As the game progresses, your character grows more powerful. Every time you level up, you choose which of the three basic stats – magicka, stamina and health – you want to increase. The skill system has been completely overhauled: the skills are now divided into distinct groups, such as one-handed or two-handed weapons. Every group consists of particular abilities and attacks. The magic system has also been changes—the Mysticism school spells have been moved to other skill groups.
Skyrim features a new, more dynamic combat system, which demands tactical thinking. Both hands of your character can now use weapons, shields, or spells. It enables you to create many combinations, e.g. combining an attack spell in one hand with a sword in the other. Direct combat can no longer by won by mindlessly mashing your keyboard—now you have to manoeuvre your character properly, dodge and parry blows, and stagger your enemies. You can also be easily staggered yourself, which makes you vulnerable to the attacks of your foes, who are now more dangerous and durable. Your character can also perform spectacular finishing moves.
The fifth instalment of The Elder Scrolls series once again wants you to feel as if you are traversing a real world, populated with real people. The consequences of your decisions are now more serious and linked to the more interesting behaviour of other characters. For example, if you drop a dagger in the middle of a city, someone may either return it to you or steal it. The dialogues have also been improved and now they feel much more natural. When you get bored of saving the world, you may take a break to do some more mundane tasks. The game allows you to gather crops, smith weapons in forges, cook, mine ores in mines, and even make armours.
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Special Edition allows you to traverse an enormous virtual world, in which you can visit e.g. five major cities and hundreds of dungeons. To make your journeys easier, the developers included the fast-travel option. The strength of your foes is again scaled up to your own, although it's been ensured that it would not be as invasive as it was in Oblivion. The game's upgraded engine selects the quests according to your achievements and level. For example, when a woman asks you to find her kidnapped daughter, the system checks which dungeons you have already visited, and places the girl in a place you've never been before, while at the same time adding enemies on a level high enough to still prove a challenge for you.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1 GHz/AMD FX-8320 3.5 GHz, 8 GB, graphic card 3 GB GeForce 780 GTX/Radeon R9 290 or better, 12 GB HDD, Windows 7/8.1/10 64-bit
Minimum: Intel Core i5-750 2.66 GHz/Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz, 8 GB, graphic card 1 GB GeForce 470 GTX/Radeon HD 7870 or better, 12 GB HDD, Windows 7/8.1/10 64-bit