So that was something that I tweeted a few days ago, and it kind of made me think that I should try to explain myself in a little more detail.
So, err… here goes.
The Elder Scrolls series is fantastic, we all know this and it is abundantly clear. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was probably my favourite, and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was arguably the best open-world RPG ever made whilst also setting the standard for future titles looking to make it in the RPG genre. More recently, we had The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and this was pretty damn good too when it was released back in 2011. It was actually the first and only game that I’ve ever pre-ordered and as a huge fan of the series, I couldn’t wait to get my grubby hands on it. Just to reiterate though in case you skimmed over it, Skyrim was released was in 2011… a whole six years ago! As good as the game was, I unfortunately feel that it’s become a cow that’s violently being milked dry.
NOTE: Below, I’ve rambled off on a tangent (as I’m well known to do). Persevere with me, I’ll get back on track at some point…
The game I pre-ordered some six years ago was for on the Xbox 360. It was a great time in my life: I was young, doing a bit of part-time education, zero responsibilities and I’m not sure if I left my house for over a week. I spent so many sleepless nights wondering around the holds, jumping up mountains, placing buckets on people’s heads, and running amok in each province. I easily plowed over 1000 hours into the game, and personally, it felt like time well spent.
I then dabbled in the PC version of the game. I played around with varying mods for so long; some were incredible, others downright awful. Every week or so I’d log into the Nexus community and browse through the thousands of newly uploaded mods that had been made available. It was great. Ordinary people had devised new and interesting storylines, there were new voice actors, new weapons, new finishing moves… even though I’d 100%-ed the game on my Xbox 360, there was still so much fun to be had.
Then in 2013, the Xbox 360 was packed away and thrown in the attic. I’d bought an Xbox One but the PC version of Skyrim managed to retain its appeal. The mods just gave it endless life and it continued to draw me in again and again.
So when the remastered Special Edition was announced last year and it was confirmed to include mods on console versions, I can see why people were excited. I stood up and took notice too, I actually thought about getting the game for a third time. You know, start afresh and relive it all in remastered version of the game. Although I felt slightly let down and underwhelmed. The 2016 version of the game looked worse on Xbox One and PS4 than my 2011 PC version did. I had all manner of light shaders, and photo-realistic graphical mods installed sure, but it kind of emphasised the point to me that I didn’t need the Special Edition in my life. No matter how attractive it seemed.
Since then, a VR version of the game has been announced and is due to be released later this month. Is there any need? Really?
The real kicker though, is the version on the Switch. Which is actually what I supposed to be talking about. The Switch is the first version from this cash-cow to actually offer something a little different. Obviously, the VR version will too, but It’s VR and I’m not all that interested so I’m just going to glaze over it.
Anyway, the Switch offers portability.
That’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in the palms of your hands. One of the biggest games of the decade in your back pocket (depending on how big those pockets of yours are). You could be on the train, on the bus, even in bed slaying dragons and absorbing their souls. If you’re brave enough you could even play on the beach. There’s Amiibo support too, if you know what they are (I’m out of the loop, I’m afraid). There’s a load of content from the Legend Of Zelda series too such as Link’s Tunic, the Master Sword and the Hylian Shield which is also pretty neat. It apparently looks great too and whilst it’s not quite as pumped up as the Special Edition or my mod-riddled PC version, it’s more aesthetically pleasing than the original 2011 release. The lighting and textures look much improved over the Xbox 360 and PS3 originals.
Unfortunately, there are no plans for the game to support mods like its Xbox and Playstation counterparts, but even so, it looks like a must-have game for Switch owners.
So why am I so put off??
Let’s be clear, Skyrim on the go truly is a mouth-watering prospect. It’s sounds so, so good, and looks great but it’s the retail price that really smacks me in the crown jewels. I don’t know what I was expecting if I’m being honest, but £50 feels absurd. Personally, it’s just not justifiable in any way, shape or form. I get that a lot of hard work has gone into this from the developer’s side and it’s a great thing for the Switch that 3rd party developers are actually getting involved with the console; but I’m looking at this purely from a selfish position. To say that I’ve played the game before is an understatement, I’ve lived the game; i’ve been totally consumed by it. Across platforms I’d wager that there’s around 1200-1300 hours that I’ve spent in the province of Skyrim and the island of Solstheim. I literally know every single nook and cranny on that enormous map, I’ve played and finished all of the DLC too so I feel stuck.
I’d say that the game could be releasing at a bad time for me, buying Skyrim on the Switch would mean missing out on other titles like Resident Evil Revelations, Call Of Duty: WW2, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Super Mario Odyssey, Assassins Creed: Origins and even Doom.
Yeah, yeah, before you swan off branding me as a hypocrite for saying that I want Doom on the Switch as it is in an almost identical boat to Skyrim in terms of already being out for a few years and you could argue that better, more refined versions are available on other consoles for a lot less money. I haven’t actually played Doom in it’s entirety. Having said that, I think Doom will be a title I pick up in a few months time once it’s price has dropped.
But that’s it, it’s the opportunity cost of buying one game which ultimately means that you miss out or can’t quite afford another one. If I’m being honest, my money would be far better suited investing in Super Mario Odyssey than The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. But even then, that price is just too high to convince me to dig deep into my pockets. I’d actually say that even if The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the Switch was the only video game release for the next 6 months, I just don’t think I could bring myself to buy it for that price.
So, what are your plans? Will you be picking The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim up with its £50/$65 dollar price tag? As much as I’d like to, I don’t think that I’ll be buying this one until its physical release is sub-£20.