The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, ten years later

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, ten years later

The Elder Scrolls V

There is a very long and complex path that has led the western electronic role-playing game to develop in a certain direction, taking different branches depending on the willingness or not of the developers to satisfy a certain audience. Born as a particularly difficult genre, especially for those who ignored pen-and-paper role-playing games, it has gradually transformed into something lighter and more accessible, giving up most of its stylistic features. All this until producing a single game became so expensive that it was impossible to make an economic return by relying only on historical fans.

Much of this path, at least the final one, is clearly visible in the evolution of the Bethesda Elder Scrolls series which, with the first chapter, The Elder Scrolls: Arena tried to chase Ultima Underworld, with The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall tried to expand the formula of the genre by creating a vast open world full of things to do (as well as bugs ed), with interactions hitherto unthinkable for a 3D game. So it was the turn of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind that, graphics aside, began the simplification of some systems, to make the experience more accessible, but without trivializing it. With The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, however, many began to turn up their noses in the face of too many concessions made to an occasional audience, with the role still reduced in favor of spectacularity and accessibility. However, it was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, whose tenth anniversary we are celebrating with the Anniversary Edition, that gave the driving force to this trend, ending up overshadowing most of the founding elements of the genre to open up to a mass audience. Stellar sales tell us that, at least economically, Bethesda was right. But let's try to understand what became of the adventures of the Dragonborn ten years later.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim: The protagonist is a Dragonborn The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim begins in a dazzling way, with the player character, still undefined, who he is transported on a wagon where Ulfric Mantle of the Storm and another prisoner introduce him substantially to the political situation of the region. He then immediately learns one of the major conflicts he will have to deal with: part of the local population can not stand the dominion of the Empire, especially after the Concordat White Gold which, to put an end to the war with the Aldmeri, sanctioned the ban on the cult of Talos, deeply felt by the peoples of the North. Led by Ulfric, who killed the king, the rebel faction waged a civil war in an attempt to overthrow imperial power.

We are two hundred years after the events narrated in Oblivion and the situation is not good at all. And it's even going to get worse. In fact, the chariot that hosts us stops in a fortress where, after registering our personal details (therefore defined some basic characteristics of our character), we will be executed. Here, however, the unthinkable happens: just as they are about to cut off our heads, a dragon attacks the fortress, completely destroying the place, but allowing us to escape.

Beyond the skirmishes between imperials and Stormriders there is therefore a bigger problem to solve: why are dragons reborn? To find out, the protagonist just has to go to Whiterun, the nearest city, where he will learn in spite of himself that he is a Dragonborn, acquiring the soul of a dragon that will give him the power of the Voice, with which he will be able to make his first Scream. (of the arcane powers that use words of power to unleash their effects).

From here begins an adventure that leads the player to travel far and wide through the lands of Skyrim, in search of the origin of dragons. Like the other Elder Scrolls, Skyrim also guarantees complete freedom, with the game map becoming the real protagonist of the whole experience, dotted with dangers, events and places to visit. The protagonist can go practically anywhere, apart from places related to the main plot, acquiring skills (through the repeated use of the same), collecting equipment and objects for crafting, learning spells, defeating monsters and carrying out the numerous missions that are entrusted to him. by non-player characters.

The Nordic setting of Skyrim really liked the players The vastness and beauty of the game world have allowed Bethesda's title to cover some of its systemic deficiencies, in particular those relating to the progression of the character and difficulty, but also the bland combat system, establishing itself as a masterpiece of the genre, as well as one of the best-selling electronic RPGs ever. After all, where the developers do not arrive, the modders arrive ...

The reception of Skyrim in 2011 was generally excellent, both on PC and on consoles, so much so that some of its elements, such as the scream Fus Ro Dah, they even became iconic. As mentioned, the game's sales were stellar. In November 2016, so before the launch of the Special Edition, Todd Howard revealed that Skyrim had sold more than 30 million copies. Considering the various re-editions, the figure must have grown further in these five years. But what has ensured constant public interest, so much so that it has kept the game alive for so long?

All editions of Skyrim

Dragons are the real stars of Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) - November 11, 2011

The original edition. Includes the base game. The Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn expansions had to be purchased separately. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Legendary Edition (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) - June 4th 2013 in USA, June 7th 2013 in Europe

Edition that includes the base game plus all DLCs. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - October 28, 2016 - (Nintendo Switch) - November 17, 2017

Remastered edition including the base game, all DLCs, numerous improvements graphics and support for mods even on consoles. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR (PC, PS4) - November 17, 2017

Edition that includes the base game and all DLCs, with the addition of support for VR headsets. Skyrim: Very Special Edition (Amazon Echo) - June 2018

Edition playable by voice. More a kind of long spot than a real autonomous adventure. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Anniversary Edition (PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X and S, Nintendo Switch) - November 11, 2021

Edition that includes all the contents of the Special Edition, plus 500 mod taken from Bethesda's Creation Club.

Offer Amazon Skyrim - Special Edition € 24.98

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Long live mods

There is a huge amount of mods for Skyrim, a world to discover There is a reason why the Nexus Mods site, the most famous mod archive on the net, has the image of Blood of Dragon as a banner. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is in fact the game that has seen the development of the most dedicated mods ever. The original edition has 66,600 and the Special Edition 41,400. In the Steam Workshop there are fewer, but there are still almost 30,000 mods, an amount hardly touched by other games. In general, all of Bethesda's titles are very modded, but Skyrim has reached heights that others dream of. Searching through the mods you will find everything from interface revisions, to unofficial patches that fix residual bugs, to huge changes to the game's features to make it more suitable for a traditional view of the genre by eliminating certain simplifications. There are obviously also graphic mods, mods that modify the characters, new adventures, total conversion and so on. To say, only SkyUI, a mod that heavily modifies the interface, has been downloaded 23.9 million times. Or think of Enderal: Forgotten Stories, a tens of hours full RPG born from Skyrim.

Enderal: Forgotten Stories is a free full RPG born from Skyrim Mods aren't just a way to keep I live a game on a playful level. A lot of interest from the community also had significant commercial implications, such that at a certain point Bethesda could no longer ignore it and launched the Creation Club, a proprietary platform from which to mod its games, which moreover allowed to also open consoles to the world of mods, from which they were essentially excluded. If Skyrim has survived until today we owe it not to clever communication campaigns by Todd Howard and associates, but to the passion of a community that has continued to shape the game and transform it, enriching it as it wanted and could.

If we want The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Anniversary Edition was born from the desire to celebrate this community, giving further legitimacy to the mods, including economic ones, making them an integral part of the gaming experience. The latest edition of the fifth chapter of the series boasts the inclusion of 500 mods of the Creation Club as a unique, new feature. Perhaps this is squaring the circle, as well as admitting that without his community, especially on PC, Skyrim would have long been forgotten.

If Skyrim is still alive it owes it to the modder community. It would have been talked about as a game of the past, where it is present more than ever today, evidently also in sales. If we wanted to indicate a legacy left by Skyrim, then, we should not look for it in its game mechanics or in its narrative side, but in the importance of its more creative community for its success, which other software houses have also been forced to. look, such as CD Projekt Red with The Witcher 3 (so much so that the remastered edition arriving in 2022 will widely exploit the work of modders) and Cyberpunk 2077, or Bioware with its Dragon Age, just to name a couple of examples.

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