We’re all pretty familiar with Skyrim at this stage so you’ll be pleased to read I’m not going to take up much of your time here. Originally releasing on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2011, then PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016 and now PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S in 2021, it has been quite the journey for this game. Clocking in around 300 hours on PS3 and 30 on Xbox One X, I was sceptical I’d spend much time at all on the 10 year anniversary edition of Skyrim. Turns out I was wrong, because of one very significant reason.
Even through the rose tinted lenses of nostalgia, we all remember that the loading times in both the PS3 and PS4 version were pretty poor. Not without cause, granted, as the open world of Skyrim was, and is, still pretty huge and rammed full of things to do, explore and kill. For example, say you left a cave near Solitude and wanted to fast travel to inside Dragonsreach in Whiterun. Typically you could expect the transition from your location to the exterior of Dragonsreach, followed by the loading time to get in there to take just shy of a minute waiting around with nothing to do. Not on PS5 however, with a new waiting time of (give or take) 10 seconds.
This is a game-changer.
Now, not only do I feel like I can achieve so much more within a single player session, but the ‘just one more thing before I switch off’ mentality is more potent than ever. I spent hours during a recent weekend trying to prise myself away from a Skyrim session, and that feeling of absolute immersion from the initial launch a decade ago has returned in full force.
Graphically I haven’t noticed much of a difference from my experience on Xbox One X, aside from draw distances seem slightly improved and colours tend to pop more. The draw distances perk is not without its negatives unfortunately, as I constantly notice things like boulders and trees suddenly materialising into plain sight, sometimes even within fireball-hurling range.
Mod support has also made an appearance this time for a Sony console but is hampered by the requirement of a Bethesda account. I gave up trying to access my existing account because of how unintuitive and irritating Bethesda has made the login interface, though I might swing back and try to sample mods down the line.
It is safe to say for the meantime that my new playthrough has swiftly returned to my comfort zone of a stealth archer, though I am attempting to mix in some two-handed sword use as well for a little variety. I am also joined on my adventure by one of the creatures added in the Anniversary edition called a Manic Elytra Nymph, though I just call him George as it’s less of a mouthful.
Marginally improved graphics and the almost total lack of load times has me back fully invested in Skyrim, so even if you’re only slightly tempted to jump back in yet again I can highly recommend doing so.
It’s nice to be able to play a version of Skyrim without being hamstrung by using Alexa as an intermediary..
Game code provided by publisher.