I contracted vampirism, and in a few days time, I was a vampire; my blood boiled in the sunlight and I became weak.
By Kimari Rennis
I confess. I’d never played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim before. But it’s finally been ported to the Switch console, allowing one of the most well-known open-world RPG games to be played anytime and anywhere. So I was completely ready to go on quests and let my powers grow on the go.
Here in the Province of Skyrim, there are nine holds, each with their own leader, known as a jarl. Each hold has also taken a side in the waging war between the Stormcloaks and the Imperials, fighting for their beliefs and what they think is right for Skyrim. However, in the midst of war, a new Dragonborn has emerged along with the return of fearsome dragons. Skyrim is in ruin, and threats are looming over that have yet to be seen and discovered. It’s up to you to help. But that’s not as clear cut as it seems.
Aside from the main storyline, the number of things you can do in this game is practically endless. An abundance of quests awaits you for reaping rewards, friendship, and hardships. Some even for the simple thrill of adventure. Rather than fighting a power-hungry Dragonborn, you can get married and adopt children.
Apparently, I’ve been living under a rock all my life. My only knowledge of Skyrim, embarrassingly, would be from playing the Elder Scrolls online. In the Elder Scrolls Online, I got to explore Tamriel, understand the map system, meet different races and hear their thoughts. I love how the game unfolded, how the tales were told and how there were a variety of things you could do. Now that my head is finally out of the gutters and I have Skyrim for the Switch, my eyes have been opened.
If you ask anyone about me, they would tell you that I’m obsessed with dragons and reptiles. So the fact that my character could be an Argonian and I could fight dragons was enough to to make me interested. But it was the gameplay is what dragged me into the abyss. In other words, I was addicted. I spent all of my hours exploring and completing quests. I single-handedly slew dragons and used my powers gained from birth to speak words of power to bend the will of others. I could disarm, freeze and drain the life out of my enemies to find my destiny, which is still unknown.
The moments in my playthrough that’ll stay with me would be the time I spent trying to cure my Argonian, Ciliatus, from being a vampire. Somehow in one of the missions within the capital of Morthal, I contracted vampirism, and in a few days time, I was a vampire; my blood boiled in the sunlight and I became weak. Then came the time-consuming and interesting mission to cure me which consisted of fast traveling to different holds, talking to wizards, buying a spell, figuring out how to use the soul trap spell, taking a soul, then performing the ritual to cleanse my body of vampirism. It was quite the journey. Along the way I found myself helping a talking dog called Barbos find his master – who was a statue that desired an axe.
When I played Skyrim, it felt as if my soul was sold to Bethesda as I could not for the life of me put the game down. My eyes were locked on the Nintendo Switch screen. Every time I would look away from the game and towards my clock, hours would fly by and morning would become night in an instant. When I’d wake up, the first thing that was on my mind was Skyrim. Skyrim is such an absorbing game, drawing you in with its secrets and unexplored areas. Each crevice, and person, has a story to tell and each monster has a reason to slay. The desire to become more powerful and level up and get better armor and the thrill of fighting a dragon and becoming more powerful makes you want more. And Skyrim has more. That is why I love this game.E ven during the process of writing this review, I had my Nintendo Switch next to me and my headphones plugged in, glancing back at the screen waiting for my next chance to play.
The controls for Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch are free and comfortable and you won’t be pestered by motion controls intercepting your vision or affecting your combat. When motion controls are used in-game, the purpose is for steadying the crosshairs of your bow or even using the Joy Cons as a sword if you’re feeling adventurous. Whether the Nintendo Switch is docked or on the go, the controls feel great – which is perfect when spending long hours exploring the far reaches of Skyrim.
Then there’s the beauty of Skyrim itself. From warm cottages and cobblestone paths to the ashy dim outreaches of Solstheim, there is more to explore than just enemies and dungeons. Skyrim itself is a beautiful game with environments that leave you in awe. One of my favorites is the seven thousand steps to High Hrothgar at night with its eroded stone steps guiding players through a volley of trees. Afterwards, the path fades to a cold atmosphere with streaks of snow blowing in the wind while trees become scarce. Then, peeking out from the side of the mountain is the stone structure which is High Hrothgar.
There is so much to accomplish and explore within Skyrim, and with the Nintendo Switch port, you can embark on your journey as a hero anywhere. It’s ingenious, actually. Instead of having thinking about the game wherever you are and not being able to play, you can bring it with you without the need for a gaming PC or the maintenance of plugs and a TV. On the Nintendo Switch, my adventures will never end.
Kimari Rennis is a New York Videogame Critics Circle intern, part of our ongoing partnership with Bronx’s DreamYard Prep School.