Ah, the Elder Scrolls. Truly a classic in the video game world. I first got into the series shortly after acquiring my Xbox 360 when my great friend Brad suggested I played Oblivion. That game was straight up amazing, and it is no wonder that some consider it easily the best in the series. Skyrim’s release brought an almost entirely new experience to the Elder Scroll series, but it was still an immersive adventure that captivated all who played it. I put a lot of time into Skyrim on the 360, doing almost every questline, starting multiple different characters and play styles, and trying to explore as much of the land as possible. With the recent release of the Special Edition of Skyrim for the One, I found myself unable to resist picking it back up. This experience was especially different for me because I had never purchased any DLC and I never had any access to mods. In this article, I merely want to share some of the fun and thoughts I’ve had playing this Special Edition recently.
One thing I never attempted during my 360 playthroughs of Skyrim was to be a 100% pure mage. I always found it incredibly difficult to stay alive and do damage without using any armor or weapons outside of magic, which really meant I was too impatient to try it seriously. This time I made a commitment to do nothing but magic: no weapons, no armor, just the spells from my hands. The difficulty was still present in the early going, but having endured these early difficulties, I’ve found myself incredibly more powerful at an earlier point. There is not a single enemy I find intimidating any longer. I still have some close fights, but my main worry isn’t the damage I deal or take but my magika levels. As long as I have magika, I will live and I will kill. It’s a particularly great feeling, especially when you level up to the point where running out of magika is going to be an extremely rare occurrence. My two main magika focuses are destruction and alteration with some dabbling in illusion and restoration. Armor spells in alteration are especially important for protection purposes, you use destruction to kill everything (duh), illusion’s main benefit is making your spells silent to others (to catch everyone off guard), and restoration is there just to keep you alive when things don’t go well or for casting wards against other magicians. Early on, a companion (like Lydia) is a must, because they tank for you while you wreak havoc from afar. Later on, you don’t really need a companion, but if you choose to have one, any companion does just fine (because you disperse so much death on your own). You should move away from Lydia as soon as possible though, because I definitely accidentally shot her with a Fireball and killed her (forcing to load an earlier save) more often than I’d like to admit.
Speaking of companions, I made it a goal to this playthrough to acquire Serana as a companion. If you don’t know her, Serana is achieved by playing through the Dawnguard DLC questline (included in the Special Edition). Since I never played through this before, I made it the first full quest line I completed, and while the story itself is pretty interesting, the best reward for playing through it is Serana, a pure blooded vampire sorceress. There’s something about her character that is so much more appealing than other companions. Perhaps it’s simply the fact that she has a fairly developed backstory that you get to discover as you battle through the Dawnguard story. Whatever it is, I made Serana the only companion I used once she became available. There’s all kinds of perks to having her as a companion, which I’ll let you discover on your own. On the note of DLC, I must admit that I haven’t fully delved into this aspect of the Special Edition fully. I played through Dawnguard (and I am replaying it to get an alternate ending), but the other features are currently unexplored. Having invested countless hours into Skyrim my first playthroughs, it’s refreshing to have so many other things to explore and get into.
I’m sure there are several other aspects of the game I could talk about, but I mainly wanted to give an update on my gaming adventures over the past couple of weeks. In short, Skyrim is amazing, the Special Edition is even better, and you should give it a try whether you’ve played it for 100s of hours or have never played it before (looking at you Tmack). And be sure to try something different! Only been a mage before? Try a hardened warrior build! Fought for the Stormcloaks earlier? Become Imperial slime! Done everything in the game? Then use mods to your heart’s content! And if you still are looking for something interesting to do, try this roulette style approach that guarantees diverse playthroughs.
Have you tried the Special Edition yet? Is there a cool experience you experienced that you didn’t know was there the first times you played? Is there something amazing in the Special Edition that everyone should know about? Let us know in the comments below! As always, thanks for reading. Stay average my lads and lasses!