The Immortality of Skyrim

‘We’ll be playing Skyrim on our toaster next.’ We’ve all heard that one before but it’s not far off from the truth in a less literal way of course. Theres no doubt in anyones mind that Skyrim has stood the test off time, some will say that it should be allowed to die and others embrace the different renditions of the game and enjoy experiencing the game in different ways, ways in which reignite their nostalgic memories of the game. (If you can’t already tell, i LOVE Skyrim) For the rest of this article i am going to assume that you have at some point played or at least know a bit about the game. So for those that have been living under a rock for the past 7 years, here’s a brief overview.

The draw of the game is in the freedom that the game gives players

Skyrim, which is part of a series of games called ‘The Elder Scrolls’ developed by Bethesda, is an open world RPG (role playing game) that lets you create your own character and develop their skills and explore the vast, expansive region called…Skyrim.

The draw of the game is in the freedom that the game gives players in allowing them to be the authors of their own adventures whilst maintaining a core storyline through quests. It’s set in a fantasy medieval world and has dragons, magic, swords, potions, wizards, orcs, elves and…lizard men, i know cool right?

So what makes Skyrim stand out from the rest of the gaming marketplace? what is special about it? well, the game is what you make it, really, it could be as serious or as fun as you want. The studio, Bethesda, overreached to deliver the most ambitious game they could at the time.

This meant that the game came with a lot of bugs, something that the company would be known for later on and which would become somewhat of an inside joke for the community.

However, this did not detract anything from the game (speaking for the majority) in fact it was quite the opposite, people loved the fact that the game was rough around the edges, it wasn’t restrictive. One of my fondest memories of first playing Skyrim, after a couple of playthroughs, was figuring out how to create weapons and armour with absurd stats and damage (we’re talking in the thousands if not millions) 

This was achieved by exploiting a potion glitch in the game. I’ll never forget the first time i approached a giant with my ‘God Level’ armour and my arrow that could do 459,000 damage and completely decimated him with one shot. That feeling of power and the rush of knowing that nothing in the game could stop me was amazing and something that a lot of other players also felt.

Whats even more amazing about Skyrim is that it was very common to never even complete the main storyline or even begin the main quests until very late into the game. Why was this? well, it was because the game had so much to see and do that players simply just began their journey how they wanted, the game didn’t intrude on that or even pressure you into progressing the main story but left you to your own devices. This level of freedom had rarely been seen in games and was very well received and refreshing. Skyrim had the secret ingredient that just made players feel a part of the world, places and locations were well designed and nostalgic to visit, npc’s were memorable (although sometimes annoying…..LYDIA!!), progression and character development was infinite in possibilities. The whole equation amounted to something that will probably never be replicated again (hopefully until Elder Scrolls VI, whenever that comes out).

Skyrim was and still is a never ending rollercoaster of adventures.

Attention to detail was another great aspect, from delving into a crypt full of undead draugr battling through, collecting loot and testing your metal against a stray dragon on your way out, to then walking down a path in a wooded area, admiring the beauty of the landscape and maybe picking a snowberry or harvesting honey from a nearby beehive, being careful there were no bears around of course. Skyrim was and still is a never ending rollercoaster of adventures.

Here Come the Modders

Perhaps the biggest reason attributed to Skyrim’s long and prosperous reign is the modding community. Mods, which were made by fans of the game and encouraged by Bethesda (ignoring the paid mod rebellion of 2015, i’m bias i know) increased the games shelf life drastically,

now nothing was off limits, new quests were created, armour, weapons, characters, even whole areas. What mods did were to elevate the game to heights only limited by ones imagination.

Skyrim’s fanbase and community seemed to have a never ending interest, logging countless hours of gameplay (me included) with no sign of slowing down. Bethesda realised that their game, now a pensioner, still had potential to grow and announced that mods were to be available on consoles in a new remastered version of their game dubbed the ‘Special Edition’. I admit, that i bought it without any hesitation or doubt and have no regrets in my purchase.

Fun Fact: Bethesda was originally meant to make a Game Of Thrones game instead, but decided to ditch that in favour of creating Skyrim, as Game Of Thrones had just come out and was not the global phenomenon it is today.  

Owing to the fact that Skyrim was now years old and still more relevant than it had any right being and new technologies emerging becoming evermore complex, Bethesda were able to explore new avenues to deploy the game in. Now this was not to further the shelf life of the game, it didn’t need that. Skyrim has a huge community and is a hall of famer in the gaming marketplace, it was more to pay homage to all of the old school fans out there who were itching to get that shot of nostalgia and maybe in the process introduce the game to a new generation who hadn’t had the opportunity to experience an epic masterpiece. 

Skyrim is still chugging away to this very day, and yes maybe people are getting a bit tired of Bethesda ‘milking’ the game and the never ending jokes….oh….the jokes are endless.