The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition

Key events

It feels like an age since the last Elder Scrolls game was released (seven years, to be precise), and it's probably going to be several years more before we see the next one. It's an agonising wait, and for some older fans, it really is a race against time. But thanks to an online campaign, fans are hoping at least one Skyrim-playing grandma will be involved in the next game. In at least some sense of the word.

Looking at places to live in games, it would be easy for the most magnificent, pompous and elegant palaces and castles to dominate any appreciation. But there is plenty of room to appreciate those residences that are tucked away, perhaps underrated, that are not major hubs or destinations and that are only subtle intrusions. Some draw a curious sense of attachment from players, eliciting a sense of pseudo-topophilia - a close relationship with a virtual land or place. The resulting effect is sometimes enough to cause the sentiment: if this place were real, I would live there.

As a big fan of VR (I've still not given up hope, dammit!) I relish the opportunity to get my hands on a game that's not just a short experience or a dull whack-a-mole style shooter. That's why I've been looking forward to the release of Skyrim VR ever since it was announced - it's a game that I could potentially spend a hundred plus hours in!

How well does Skyrim on Switch compare to PS4?

How well does Skyrim on Switch compare to PS4?

Plus: docked vs mobile testing, performance analysis - and more.

Recently, we dissected Bethesda's intriguing conversion of Doom for Switch, dubbing it the 'impossible port' - a full-on triple-A engine somehow cut-back, massaged and finagled onto Nintendo's hybrid console. The Skyrim conversion may not be quite so impressive in terms of its sheer ambition, but it's clearly far more successful from an execution standpoint. Yes, there are compromises when the title is stacked up against its PlayStation 4 counterpart, but it delivers where it matters - and where Switch offers a unique experience - in handheld play - it is simply excellent.

First unveiled in Nintendo's very own reveal video for the Switch hardware, Skyrim was clearly included as a statement of intent from the platform holder - to show that third party support would be strong, and that top-tier titles were in the offing. That initial footage certainly looked compelling, and the final product delivers on the promise. This is a feature-complete version of the game, making extensive use of the Creation Engine's many quality sliders to squeeze the title onto Nvidia's mobile chipset.

Let's kick off by talking about resolution. While docked, Skyrim operates at a native 1600x900, while playing in mobile mode shows us the first sign of compromise. When we looked at the Switch port at Gamescom, everything indicated a native 720p resolution, but the final code reveals more: a fairly basic form of resolution scaling designed to sustain smooth performance. Under load, resolution drops back suddenly to 896x720 - 70 per cent of the native pixel-count.

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FeatureOn the secret smallness of Skyrim

Turning molehills into mountains.

Skyrim's dirty little secret is that it isn't that large. Oh, it remains fairly gigantic by the standards of other virtual landscapes, even next to its youthful imitator and usurper, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But set against what it pretends to be - a kingdom stretching from arctic wastes to the temperate south, racked by dynastic squabbles and laced with the treasures and detritus of millennia - it's actually pretty dang tiddly, a little over 14 square miles in scope.

Skyrim's Switch release date slated for November

Skyrim's Switch release date slated for November

For the adventurer who has not yet taken an arrow to the knee.

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is coming to Switch on 17th November.

Nintendo just revealed this release date during a Nintendo Direct livestream tonight.

This handheld version of Skyrim should basically be the Skyrim you know and love, only with optional motions controls and a Zelda costume, complete with the Master Sword, tucked away for diligent explorers or folks who own the Link amiibo.

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Skyrim, Doom and Fallout 4 get VR release dates

Skyrim, Doom and Fallout 4 get VR release dates

HTC calls Fallout 4 VR an exclusive, but for how long?

Bethesda has revealed the release dates of its three impending VR titles.

First up there's Skyrim VR, slated for a 17th November release on PSVR.

Next, there's Doom VFR, arriving 1st December on PSVR and HTC Vive.

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Archaeology doesn't get a very good treatment in popular media, and games are no different. The public image of archaeologists is dominated by pulp fantasy heroes, swinging and scrambling their way through trap-infested ancient ruins, one hand clutching a priceless treasure, the other punching a Nazi in the face. Of course, pulp heroics make for much more entertaining movies and games than Indiana Jones and the Afternoon of Context Sheets or Newly-Qualified Archaeology Student Lara Croft Spends Four Years Trying to Get a Stable Job. Even archaeologists grasp this, for all our protestations. Like lapsed Catholics who can't quite give up their patron saint, many of the archaeologists I've known would admit to Indiana Jones being a bit of a guilty role model. While writing this piece I tried to find a photo of my hard hat from my days as a field archaeologist, a promotional sticker from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull emblazoned across the back, but sadly, all record of this sartorial triumph seems lost.

Bethesda unveils Creation Club, a kind of paid-for mods initiative for Skyrim and Fallout 4

Bethesda has announced a kind of paid-for mod initiative called Creation Club for Fallout 4 and Skyrim Special Edition.

It's coming this summer for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and allows you to spend credits on mods made by Bethesda Game Studios and collaborating partners. The mods include new weapons, armour, outfits, accessories, crafting options, housing features and gameplay enhancements.

All mods will be fully compatible with saved games and your existing add-ons.

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Pretty much as soon as I started recreating video game foodstuffs in my kitchen last year, commenters have been asking me to make sweetrolls from Skyrim. Initially, I was reluctant - countless others have already given them a go at home and on YouTube, and it meant I'd have to buy a mini bundt tin. Over time, however, the volume and vehemence of the comments grew to an extent that I knew a sweetroll episode was inevitable.

Don't expect a Skyblivion beta or release until 2018

Don't expect a Skyblivion beta or release until 2018

It's like a Daggerfall through my heart.

A new 2017 video shows the ambitious Skyblivion project - The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion recreated as a Skyrim mod - going from strength to strength. Apparently the increased attention has attracted more voluntary help so progress has sped as a result.

But, whew, Skyblivion is taking on a lot. Hardly a small game, Oblivion, is it? When on earth are we going to be able to play this? I asked the Skyblivion team for an update.

"At this point the base game is done," Kyle Rebel, project PR, told me. "this means Oblivion's game has been completely recreated and can be explored freely.

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