Skyrim Anniversary Edition is uninspired, but still the most fun I’ve had in Skyrim

Skyrim Anniversary Edition is uninspired, but still the most fun Ive had in Skyrim

Tod Howard, the creator of Skyrim, has done it again. He has released even more content for his dying horse of a game.

Skyrim is an open-world RPG in which you mainly walk around empty fields and fight the occasional bandit in some ruins. The main gameplay loop is repetitive and monotonous, and you can only play the game in about three ways.

You can play as a sneak who kills people from the shadows with a bow, dagger, or magic. You can play as a warrior who just stabs things with no thought. Or you can play as a mage who uses the least satisfying forms of magic possible.

I used to really like Skyrim. It was fun to explore and play, but⁠ it lacks a replay value that so many games nowadays have, but that‘s an overall issue with the genre. The whole point is to explore and find new things, but if you’ve done it once, you won’t get anything new the second time around.

So with that in mind, the developers of Skyrim have released a new DLC for its ten-year anniversary.

Going in, I was pessimistic to say the least. As I booted up a new save file and made a new character, I encountered an odd bug that broke my hud. I couldn’t see my health, stamina, magika, or the minimap, so I spent about half an hour troubleshooting until I just had to uninstall the game and delete all its files.

The main gameplay loop is repetitive and monotonous, and you can only play the game in about three ways.

I should note that I had been playing with mods before that. It completely broke them, and it did the same for my friend. After the whole process of fixing the game, I booted it up and played for the first time in about a year.

A lot of the new content was really interesting. There were many cosmetic changes and also many changes that gave new characters, dungeons, weapons, or armor. All of those changes felt like I had gotten them from a DLC; that I had paid money for them.

The reason for that is that none of the content added is new. All of the content in the DLC is just mods from the Creator Club. Before this DLC, you could just buy those mods by spending money on an in-app currency and then spending that on the mods. To give credit where credit is due, those mods are the most fun I’ve had with the game in years

The reason⁠—at least in my opinion—is that they gave me a clear and defined goal. Something I could work toward and enjoy working toward. Something that was a goal and not walking around an open field for seven minutes waiting to find something.

It was fun not because I enjoyed playing Skyrim, but rather because I was exploring. It helped that I knew what to look for and where to go.

Not everything about the mods was great. Now, I want to say that I loved all the mods from an idea standpoint, but the execution on them felt off. Several times throughout playing with the DLCs it became brutally unfun. For example, when I was in a cave that had a manor and a party inside.

Inside said manor was a fight that killed me in three hits, despite wearing heavy armor with an ability that made me take half damage. It was not fun to pause the game every five seconds to use a few healing potions and then unpause and get nearly killed just to do it again.

Several more encounters went like this. It made the whole experience feel unpolished and unrefined. It felt as if some of the mods hadn’t been playtested. Why make an enemy that is blatantly overpowered, and throw them at a level ten character?

Anniversary Edition also improved its graphics, but to be honest, I didn’t really notice the changes. The issue with the graphical improvements is just the mediocre models. Skyrim went for a realistic and gritty look that was perfect for the market of 2011, but that style just hasn’t aged well.

Overall, Skyrim Anniversary Edition is the new and definitive version of Skyrim. The new quests are great most of the time. The new items are interesting as well, but I can’t justify playing through it again. I can’t justify Bethesda releasing the same game on the same system for the fourth time.

If you haven’t played Skyrim before, but enjoyed games like Breath of the Wild, go ahead, get the new Skyrim, but otherwise stay away