Look, I love The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It's one of my favourite games of all time, an epic adventure that I've sunk hundreds of hours into and still find something new about it to love each time I begin a new playthrough. It's the best game Bethesda has made to date, and a stunning achievement in terms of building a cohesive, immersive world steeped in rich and fascinating history.
So, as it turns nine years old and I look back at all the reasons I adore it, I have to ask Bethesda: what is it with porting the game to so many platforms?
In less than a decade, Skyrim has appeared on no less than seven platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation VR. I'd also put good money on their being some kind of enhanced port planned for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, which would then mean it's been on as many platforms as it has had Birthdays. As it stands, we're on nine years old and seven platforms, which is a little terrifying in and of itself.
Todd Howard can make all the nudge-nudge wink-wink jokes about Skyrim coming to Alexa he wants, but the fact is those jokes only work because we're at the stage where we're perfectly prepared to believe Bethesda will port the game to the nearest tablet/fridge/washing machine/pet dog. They're obsessed. And yet, I can't help but enable them.
I owned Skyrim on PS3, and still picked up the remaster as soon as it launched on PS4. Hell, I even went and picked up the Nintendo Switch version because the idea of one of my favourite games on the go was intoxicating, and you can bet all the Skooma in Skyrim that I'll buy it again if it gets re-released on PlayStation 5. Am I the one with the problem?
I suppose it comes down to one simple fact: I actually can't get enough of Skyrim, and for that reason Bethesda kind of has me over a barrel. I'll take the piss out of the fact it keeps getting ported to new platforms, always... but really? I'll be one of the first in line to play it again anytime it's re-released. Does that make me an idiot? Maybe... but nine years ago my relationship with video games was changed forever by an open-world RPG that absorbed me completely.
I will never forget what my first few months with Skyrim were like. It's a game that I will always come back to, even if my attempt at a mage inevitably becomes a stealth archer again, or even if I have to deal with those cheeky-ass kids in Whiterun for the hundredth time. It's a game that keeps on giving, and even as we approach one whole decade since its release, I'm left feeling like I still haven't quite seen everything it has to offer. No wonder I keep coming back, right?
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