Skyrim is an amazing game experience. Vast landscapes, perilous adventures, fights against mythical creatures. This is one of the games where you can be really free. You can play a sneaky thief or assassin, a powerful mage or a strong warrior. Skyrim allows you to choose your own playstyle by not fitting you into a premade class. Instead you have the option to train the skills you really care about. You can join multiple factions and even join one side of a war. You can also decide to embark on your own adventure and discover dungeons and mystical places all by yourself.
After 5 years Bethesda decided to release the remaster for Skyrim, the last major release in the Elder Scrolls series (disregarding Elder Scrolls Online) and the last title since Fallout4. As with most remasters nowadays the changes are mostly visual. One of the biggest “new” features however is mod support for consoles, which opens the door to a lot more content (note: the PS4 version has a more limited mod support compared to the Xbox One version).
The game itself hasn´t changed. It is the same beloved game with hundreds of quests and things to do and to find. The visual changes are subtle and hard to notice especially if you were playing Skyrim on a PC on Very High or with graphics mods. The most notable new effects included are mainly volumetric god rays, dynamic depth of field, screen-space reflection, which may sound “buzzwordy” but really enhances the atmosphere. These effects are all very lighting focused, which is great but I find it sad that Bethesda didn´t improve the overall 3d models in the game. Another improved aspect is the better stability of the game. Sadly most of the gameplay related bugs/flaws remained (e. g. wonky physics, stupid AI etc.).
A nice addition to the special edition are the DLCs. Dragonborn, Dawnguard and Hearthfire are included in it and make this a better deal, especially if you only own the base game but not all of the DLC. On the other hand you can simply buy the Skyrim Legendary Edition which includes the DLC without the remastered visuals but with a lower price tag.
The thing that bugs me the most with Skyrim´s remaster is that it adds so little to the overall experience. The PC version has a new mod launcher, so a lot of the older mods can´t be used properly. Aside from that it has only some nice effects (most of these effects could have been simply achieved through mods). I think the only ones who should consider buying the Special Edition are those who own a next gen console and those who played Skyrim only on last gen consoles and couldn´t play any mods.
A further note for PC players who own Skyrim on Steam: If you own either the Legendary Edition or the base game with all the DLC, you will get the Special Edition for free (within 36 hours). It will appear as a completely independent game in your Steam library, so you don´t need to worry that anything happens to your old version.
We are also very excited for Bethesda´s next title Dishonored 2, the sequel to the stealth action adventure from 2012, by Arkane Studios. Hopefully we can tell you more about it when it is released on the 11th November.