Console players can now enjoy modded content without having to switch to playing on PC; what a time to be alive! With the launch of Skyrim: Special Edition, console gamers can now experience a taste of what the PC community has been enjoying for years, and I have to say that we really didn’t know what we were missing. I’ve only had a couple of days to explore Skyrim with user-made extras so far, but I’m already impressed!I’m not usually one to get all that excited about re-releases and remasters, but for Skyrim: Special Edition I was anything but apathetic. You see, graphical updates and improved frame rates are nice, but I don’t really see those as additions worth another purchase. No, what made Skyrim’s updated release was the inclusion of mod support. I’ve been following the Skyrim modding scene off and on over the years, so the prospect of actually getting to play some incredible things I’d seen created for the PC version was almost too exciting! There are only a comparative handful of mods currently available for the Xbox One version of the game right now, but what is there has already made a dramatic difference.
It’s incredible what I’ve been able to add to my game through the power of mods! The world and the cities have become seamlessly linked; no more loading screens when entering Whiterun from the Skyrim wilds! NPCs have more to say! New schools of magic have been added, and I’ve even got a new area with an intricate quest-line to look forward to! I won’t say that Skyrim feels like a new game, because it doesn’t. Rather, it’s as if the game had a ton of hidden potential and I’m seeing it for the very first time.
I don’t mean to get hyperbolic about this, but it really has felt like the game’s been transformed a bit. The big changes make an old game (because at 5 years old it is an old game) feel fresh, but that’s not all. There are also mods that solve minor annoyances. For example, I used to hate having to trek all over the world in order to sell my stuff. Now though, I’ve got a mod that actually gives merchants enough money to trade with me. I can also deal with the loading sceens (thanks to another mod). Now I get interesting lore to read instead of the same old gameplay tips I’ve seen dozens of times over and still remember even after five years (hold LB to sprint!). It’s the same old Skyrim but different; one that I’m able to customize to my liking rather than just deal with as is.
All of this will of course come as no surprise to PC gamers. Of course the ability to add mods opens up a world of possibilities, it’s nothing new. Only, for a console gamer like me, it is new. It’s all brand new, and it’s been incredible so far. The really incredible thing is that we’re only just scratching the surface in terms of mods available for console. Give it a few weeks and the things I’ve mentioned here will probably be nothing more than baseline additions that only make sense to have. I suppose what I’m saying is this: if you’ve only played Skyrim on console before, then Skyrim: Special Edition is worth your attention. Adding and experimenting with mods is something us console players have never gotten to experience before, and it makes an already great game even better!
(Oh, and make sure to do so on the Xbox One if possible. I don’t normally recommend Xbox One over PS4, but with PS4 mod support as hamstrung as it is, you’re much better off playing the Xbox One version if you have the option.)
Lede image captured by Hatm0nster