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‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition’ short review: Same ol’ Skyrim

Kyle Chua
‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition’ short review: Same ol’ Skyrim

Screenshots by Kyle Chua/Rappler

There are tens of hours' worth of new content that the revisiting fan or the Skyrim-faithful will enjoy

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition was reviewed on PC with a publisher-provided code. The game is also available now on PlayStation and Xbox

For a 10-year old game, Skyrim sure does hold up both graphically and mechanically. I’m still kind of surprised that it’s been a decade since this monumental game was first released. It’s even crazier to think that it’s now been ported to more than a dozen systems, which has become the subject of a lot of internet memes and jokes. Not even Grand Theft Auto V has been re-released that many times. 

But even when playing it today, the game remains an enthralling role-playing experience, where you could easily spend hundreds of hours following questlines, exploring dungeons, and immersing yourself in Elder Scrolls’ rich lore. The world is still as expansive and as content-rich as I remember it being. Sure, some parts no longer hold up to modern standards and there are still plenty of bugs, but it’s still the same ol’ Skyrim that many of us originally fell in love with. 

Okay, that’s enough about the main game as you’re probably here to find out what’s included in this latest re-release. Skyrim Anniversary Edition features a couple of next-gen improvements, the three previously released downloadable expansions, and access to all of the premium Creation Club content available up until this point. 

The big draw here is the Creation Club content, which adds a bunch of new gear, spells, areas, quests, and game mechanics, among others. Creation Club is essentially a store for mods created by Bethesda and the Skyrim community. And these mods have been sanctioned and approved by the developers for use in the game. 

Out of all the new additions, my favorite is Survival Mode. In it, you battle the harsh wilderness of the land of Skyrim, foraging for food to eat, beds to sleep in, and campfires to keep you warm. Your inventory space is also limited and you can’t fast travel. This mode feels right up my alley as someone who likes adding a bit of realism to some games. 

So far, I’ve also been enjoying the Ghosts of the Tribunal questline, which I pursued almost as soon as I could. This is a fairly sizeable expansion with a story that ties to events from past games, namely Oblivion and Morrowind. I’m not exactly an Elder Scrolls lore buff, but I do appreciate quests with intertwined stories. 

Sadly, when it comes to the graphics, not much has changed from Skyrim Special Edition, which was launched in 2016 for the PS4 and Xbox One. The only noteworthy difference here is that the game has been optimized to run at a relatively stable 60fps on the next-gen consoles. Then again, even that’s not entirely new since modders already found a way to disable the game’s frame rate cap prior to the Anniversary Edition’s launch. The loading times here are a lot faster though, so there’s that. 

No matter how many times Bethesda puts this game out, Skyrim is still Skyrim. Whether that’s good or bad depends on what you already think about the game. If you didn’t like it before, nothing about this re-release will change your mind. But, if you’re a revisiting fan, there are tens of hours’ worth of new content that you’ll probably enjoy. 

For those who own Skyrim Special Edition, you can upgrade to the Anniversary Edition for $20. PS5 and Xbox Series X|S players can also get the next-gen features – 60fps and faster loading times – at no extra cost. –