An important game has come to the Nintendo Switch. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is now available on the console. It is quite a coup, considering Bethesda has a history of not bothering with versions of its games on Nintendo platforms. But now one of the most popular and successful entries in The Elder Scrolls has come to the platform, making it the first portable one since The Elder Scrolls Travels series. Fortunately for those ready to wade into this open-world again, this port is one that works rather well and offers a few notable additions to the game.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is pretty much exactly what you expect. You get the base game and all three of its add-ons: Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn. There is no mod support. You do get to play it at home and on-the-go, with 1080p support docked and 720p when not. It is not as pretty as the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One counterparts, but looks and runs well enough. Basically, Skyrim is Skyrim.
Of course, the Nintendo Switch version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim does new things. It offers some optional motion controls, should someone want to use the Joy-Cons to waggle their way across the land. I felt like it was more of a novelty than a practical control method. It just didn’t feel as accurate and precise as using the standard. It worked, sure. But not well enough to justify playing the whole game that way. It was like the Xbox 360 game offering the option to perform shouts using the Kinect. I gave it a try to see how it worked, but did not bother with it beyond that.
The other inclusions are more practical. The video capture feature can be quite handy. Granted, this is quite limited on the Nintendo Switch right now. You can’t record a full The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim questline. But, it is substantial enough to commemorate a notable moment. Maybe attempt to capture a funny bug or glitch. You know, 30 seconds can still be enough. It works well enough and is notable for being the first game not developed by Nintendo to offer that option.
And of course the amiibo functionality is neat. Like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you can use The Legend of Zelda amiibo to try and get gear in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. If you look under magic and powers, you will see the familiar amiibo logo. You will find a random piece of gear, which might end up being The Master Sword, Champion’s Tunic, or Hylian Shield. (The equipment you get is scaled to your level, so be prepared for things to not be amazing at the start.) It is a nice bonus and callback to the other adventure. Though, if you are strong enough, you can scale The Throat of the World to find the equipment on the top of the chest.
The portable aspect is huge. Getting to play it anywhere is an amazing boon. Especially since it still runs at 720p and looks rather good when it is played on the go. Just make sure you have a charger on hand if you intend to play The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in Handheld or Tabletop Mode. It is a real battery drainer. Like many of the more demanding Nintendo Switch games, it requires quite a bit of power to deliver. I found I could get around two or three hours of gameplay, depending on my settings. It is comparable to the amount of playtime you can get out of a single battery charge when playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It is just one of those games where time can get away from you, so having that security blanket nearby is helpful.
Also, be prepared to save frequently. I have noticed some bugs in the Nintendo Switch version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Shortly after creating a character, the game crashed and forced a return to the main menu. I also noticed a few times that an auto-save would crash. Basically, it seems like it may have the same growing pains as the other versions of the game. As long as someone has the auto-save function on and takes the time to manually save regularly, things should be fine.
There are definitely reasons to buy The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim again. Anyone who loved this installment in the series can likely think of a reason to go ahead and play through it again. The Nintendo Switch version has a number of features that can make it enticing. Having all of the add-ons, the portable element, and amiibo compatibility is great. Yes, there are still bugs and the motion controls aren’t great, but it is a port that works well and is enjoyable for those who want to head into this realm again.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is available for the Nintendo Switch.