The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Switch) Review

Dovah King to go please!

Anyone that’s been gaming for the last seven years has most likely at one point or another played or at least heard of Skyrim. Bethesda’s massive open world RPG is a treasure to many, and one of my personal favorite RPGS. I know the franchise itself has various reasons to be critiqued, and at this point Skyrim is six years old. Everything that can be said about the franchise has been, but now with Skyrim on the Switch, what does that bring to the table? Well for me, a perfect reason to revisit the series and at almost any time I can pick up and go, or put it down. Skyrim on the go is a reality, and it’s awesome.

What’s old is new again

For those few that don’t know, Skyrim aims to take players who create their own character and class and set them out on the adventure of a life time to fight Dragons that have suddenly reappeared in the land of Skyrim. Skyrim was never a game that truly enthralled me with its story, though it is definitely interesting and serviceable enough. The adventure and stories experience along with finding ancient riches, books, and scrolls has also been something I love to do. Which is sort of the point here, the game has a story and a path line to follow with tons of quests and side quests to keep players busy, but it’s the ability to enjoy and do what players want within the confines of the game world that truly elevates these games for me.

MSRP: $59.99
Price I’d Pay: $59.99
Multiplayer: n/a
How long to beat: 40+ hours

Thankfully, this packages brings with it all the prior DLC, adding even more hours of adventure to experience, and with it comes new Amiibo support and new control schemes. While playing with the joycons separately in each hand, motions and gestures can be used to various results. Turning the left one can bring up the shield, pushing forward bashes with it. The right joycon can be swing lighter or harder depending on the attack style. Bow and arrows can be motion aimed and lock picks turned and cracked with the turn of wrists. It’s a novel control scheme and interesting to add a bit of interaction with the game more so then ever before, but it feels a little erratic in control at times, especially when dealing with fast moving enemies or an abundance on screen.

Playing with the joycons attached in portable mode feels fine, and gyroscope aiming can be used with bows and magic, which feels better. I suppose with more practice the separate joycon motion controls could get easier, but it didn’t really bring me into the game as much as I thought it would, instead taking me out. That said, docked and playing with a pro controller felt sublime, and probably my favorite way of playing. Amiibo support seems to unlock Zelda inspired bonus items in the world, but I’ve heard those can be unlocked just through regular play. Aside from these additions, Skyrim is the same as it ever will be.

Visually Skyrim looks as beautiful as it did before, or should I say even after the recently remaster release. Colors pop on the screen and taking that first step into the snowy wonderland still feels magical even today after having played the game many times. The fact that the game looks and run this well on a handheld console just thrills me, and with the ability to play Skyrim at the house, at work, in the car, or in bed, I’m in open world RPG heaven.

Skyrim don’t ya know

There aren’t many negatives to the entire Skyrim experience on Switch. While it doesn’t offer the recent mod support the other versions got, it still offers tons of content to experience and enjoy. The motion controls are a bit of a mixed bag, but not required at all. The game looks and runs great, and while animations are starting to show their age, there is still plenty of beauty to be found in Skyrim. As a fan of the Elder Scrolls franchise, if someone told me 6 years ago this game would go portable and with no loss to the original vision, I’d have a hard time believing it, yet here we are. If Skyrim has grown stale or doesn’t hold interest to certain players anymore, the Switch version most likely won’t do anything to win players back. Though for newcomers and fans that want to return, Skyrim is here, as a great as remembered, and grand scale adventure now in the palm of your hands.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Skyrim on the go
  • Looks great docked or portable
  • Nothing lost in transition
  • Motion controls finicky
  • Still the same game
Written by
Justin is a long time passionate fan of games, not gaming drama. He loves anything horror related, archaeology inspired adventures, RPG goodness, Dr Pepper, and of course his family. When it comes to crunch time, he is a beast, yet rabies free we promise.