Skyrim – Switch Review

There’s a reason Bethesda has released and re-released Skyrim so many times. It’s a phenomenal video game.

Regardless of the platform you’re playing it on, Skyrim is guaranteed to be a good time.

It’s no wonder then that when Nintendo unveiled the Switch early last year and included footage of Skyrim fans went berserk.

Being able to play Skyrim, wherever and whenever you like is a huge deal. It’s a milestone in the quantum leap gaming continues to go through on a yearly basis.

Just the fact that a game of the scope and magnitude of Skyrim can be played on a portable device boggles the mind.

It doesn’t matter that it’s nearly seven-years-old or that its visuals haven’t aged too well. All that matters is that as of right now, you can hold The Elder Scrolls in the palm of your hands.

What a time to be alive.

Fus Ro Dah

I’d hope by now that I don’t need to explain just what Skyrim is. But for the uninformed, let’s do the cliff-notes version. Skyrim is the fifth title in the long-running Elder Scrolls series. Each of the games in the series is an open-world RPG. Skyrim is set within the nation of Skyrim on the continent of Tamriel.

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The world of The Elder Scrolls is a fantasy world heavily influenced by Dungeons and Dragons. Skyrim is the northernmost country in Tamriel and is home to the Nords. Think Vikings and you’ll have the idea. Skyrim is under attack by Dragons.

Long thought to be dead by the population, it’s a frightening time. Luckily, hope lies with the Dragonborn. A prophesied saviour, set to return and protect Skyrim from certain doom.

Can you guess who you’ll be playing as? Go on, I bet you can’t…

Of course you can! In Skyrim, you’ll step into the fur boots of the Dragonborn and set off to save the world.

 I’ll Save You After I Steal All the Cheese

Like all open-world titles, Skyrim doesn’t lock you into the main quest. There are so many diversions, side-quests, explorations and general things to see and do that you’ll probably ever get to the end.

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I kid, I kid. But seriously, there’s a ridiculous amount of content in Skyrim. And all of it has been included in the Switch version. Even all three DLCs are present and accounted for. One thing you won’t be able to play are any mods. Sorry Switch players, no mods for you.

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It’s a bit of a shame considering the Xbox One and PS4 versions both received mod support last year. Then again, it’s unlikely that the Switch would be able to handle any mods thanks to the limited storage space and reduced processing power.

Speaking of processing power, like DOOM before it, Skyrim on Switch is a bit of a miracle. Sure, it’s an older game and less graphically intense, but rendering a persistent open-world is no mean feat. It’s one that the Switch handles with aplomb I might add.

I Used To Be An Adventurer Like You

The Switch version is probably the least visually impressive Skyrim we’ve seen for a few years. It might not be too far behind the PS4 and Xbox One versions, but it’s noticeably uglier. It’s still perfectly playable though. I say uglier because it simply doesn’t look as good as the other versions, but it’s by no means an ugly game.

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In fact, when running in handheld mode, Skyrim looks absolutely wonderful. Far more importantly, playing in handheld mode is flawless. The experience translates 1:1 and not a single element is lost in the translation. It’s kind of mind-blowing that it’s as good in handheld mode as it is when it’s docked.

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The same can’t be said of the newly added motion controls. When using the Joy-Cons, you’re able to swing them to attack, move them to pick locks and fine aim your bow. My advice, turn the motion controls off. They’re a nuisance at best and terrible at worst.

Even in handheld mode, the fine aim is more hindrance than help. Skryim is best played with a controller (or mouse and keyboard for the PC crowd) so I’d recommend using the Joy-Con grip or Pro Controller while docked.

Dovahkiin on the Switch Version

Despite the technical restrictions, minute storage space and bunged on motion controls, Skyrim on Switch is just another excellent version of an excellent game.

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If you haven’t played Skyrim before you’ve obviously been living under a rock. Or you’ve never owned a console it’s been released on. If you have a Switch, now’s your chance to experience one of the greatest games ever made.

As I said in the beginning, there’s a reason Bethesda continues to re-release Skyrim. It’s pure gaming delight. And now it’s available on the go, in the palm of your hands whenever you like.

I honestly can’t recommend Skyrim on Switch enough. Even if you’ve played it before, you know you want to play it again.

Go on, take the Dovahkiin with you to make those dreary trips to work bearable. It’s going to be worth it.

Skyrim was reviewed using a digital download provided to PowerUp! by Bethesda.

PowerUp! Reviews

Game Title: Skyrim

Game Description: Skyrim on Switch

  • 10/10
    Portable Skyrim - 10/10
  • 9/10
    Still holds up - 9/10
  • 5/10
    Motion controls are garbage - 5/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)
Leo Stevenson
Leo Stevenson
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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