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Review: Skyrim VR

Bethesda did it again, they found another platform to release their hit game Skyrim onto. This time it’s the VR headsets. At this time exclusive to PlayStation VR, but knowing Bethesda a bit it probably won’t take long for other headsets to follow. There’s much to be said about how it feels to immerse yourself completely into the world of Skyrim, so let’s get right to it.

When you start the game and you see the dragon in the beginning on your TV screen, it looks like a fierce big dragon, no biggie. But when you play Skyrim VR and you see that monstrosity towering over you… That made my eyes glisten. The same goes for the frost spiders in the early caves, seeing a spider run towards you on a screen is a very different experience compared with when you put on your VR headset and see them crawl to your actual body.

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You get to choose how you control the game. You can use the PlayStation Move controllers or the regular DualShock controller. When you use the move controller you get the typical ‘teleportation movement’ which isn’t too bad when you play as an archer or a mage, but does seem a bit clumsy when going for close combat. Also, when you pick stuff up and throw it around, it isn’t as precise as you would think it is. But games like Job Simulator may have spoiled us a bit on that aspect.

When you choose to use the DualShock controller, you get to experience the game with smooth movement and your thumbstick, enabling you to look around just for 30° at a time to the side you want to. This free movement gives you the most immersion into the game but also comes with one of the biggest flaws of all. The fact that this is very nauseating for a lot of people. I don’t quickly get headaches or feel nausea when playing VR games but with the pixellated Skyrim graphics it made me take a break every 20 – 25 minutes. Which is a bit contradicting the hours of gameplay that Skyrim has to offer.

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This new perspective of Skyrim isn’t very flattering to the clumsy close combat mechanics of the game. But when playing as an archer, it’s just awesome. It feels very real to shoot your bow or cast your spells. It’s very cool to run around the scenery but the graphics get a little in the way. One of the biggest downsides to this release is the fact that you can’t turn off your headset and continue to play the game on your TV screen. I know that this is a specific VR release of the game, but when the VR became a bit much for me and I felt like I had to take a break from it, it felt a bit stupid to stop playing all together.

One of the funniest moments I personally had when playing Skyrim VR, was when you get to create your character. The menus appear in front of you in 2D. but when you get called forward by the captain and you get to change your appearance you see yourself from their perspective, and this guy is standing next to a horse. So, when the menu pops up there suddenly is a huge horse head right next to your face. That was a bit weird but very funny to experience.

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The most fun in this variation of the game is just putting your difficulty low and experiencing the vast world of Skyrim in VR. It’s like a tourist trip through the lands. And for me this was most fun when the combat doesn’t interfere with that. But still, Skyrim is known for its clumsy combat mechanics, this wasn’t going to change all of a sudden in a VR release of the game.

So, should you buy Skyrim VR? If you love Skyrim, the answer is simple: ABSOLUTELY! Are you new to Skyrim? Still, yes! If you’re into RPG games like The Elder Scrolls and other games like this, then Skyrim VR is the best way to experience this game. This does not mean that it’s the best way to play this game though. VR games are all still struggling a bit with their controls, and so does this one.

This game would score higher if it came paired up with a graphical update/remaster. Also, being able to take a break from the VR and continue on the TV screen would be a much-appreciated feature.

7/10

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