The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition is out now on Nintendo Switch. The fact the "most released game of all time" was getting another release slipped by me like an arrow narrowly missing my knee, but now I've seen the news I can't help but think about my many, many adventures with it over the years
When I think about Skyrim it brings up loads of great memories. I was working with a great bunch of people (not that I'm not now, I should add) in an office I'd been desperate to get for years; I'd just moved into a flat with my girlfriend (now my wife); and I'd picked up Skyrim for an obscenely low price on Xbox 360 thanks to a ridiculous deal UK retailer GAME was running. Everything was great.
Then I played Skyrim.
For reasons that I'm yet to really nail down, I have tried and failed to get into Skyrim on five separate occasions.
Xbox 360 Skyrim
All was good with the original release of Skyrim. I was riding high on life and an exceptionally good deal, but then things hit the fan in a dramatic way. Lydia, an NPC who I'm yet to learn much about and who very well may end up being the ruler of Skyrimville, fell off a mountain.
Details beyond that are hazy (there were lots of stairs, and perhaps some kind of grand looking entrance) but all I know for sure is that Lydia, an NPC of unknown importance, was gone. I searched all over for her, assuming she'd probably just be at the bottom of the mountain, but there was no sign.
Maybe she had succumbed to her injuries sustained from the 1000-feet fall and been taken by wolves? The not knowing ate me up and I stopped playing soon after. Mario Kart 7 dropping on 3DS a few weeks later didn't help matters.
Xbox One Skyrim
Skyrim arrived on Xbox One and PS4 with some improved visuals and mod support, and it's the latter that truly killed this attempt to get into Skyrim.
I'd watch YouTube videos of modded Skyrim running on Xbox One (and later Xbox One X and Series X) and become obsessed with trying these setups out. That's all I did in the game. I'd get all the mods setup, jump into the game to wander around a small area, decide it looked OK, then try something else.
I tend to fall into this trap a lot and it's a major reason why I became tired of PC gaming. I'd focus so much on tweaks that I'd rarely play the games. Anyway, the second attempt (and fourth/fifth attempts) ended in failure.
Nintendo Switch Skyrim
This was to be the one. The version of Skyrim I could play anywhere. Finally I'd get further into the game than a fairly feeble few hours and join the masses of people who consider Skyrim to be a genre great.
I attempted to climb a mountain by directly walking up it rather than taking the long, winding path.
This started off fine. I made swift progress and laughed at the path that disappeared around the back of the mountain as I practically slid up the near-vertical cliff face.
Sadly the smug look on my face turned to exasperation as I found myself unable to reach the summit, my Dragonborn suddenly displaying the walking ability of a toddler. I should have given up and headed to the path, but no. This mountain wasn't going to beat me.
Over the next week I'd spend the little free-time I had trying to glitch myself up this mountain. It was futile. Skyrim remains installed on my Switch as a reminder of my failure.
Looking back, I think it's fair to say that I'm mostly to blame for not getting into Skyrim. I definitely made some odd decisions in the game over the years. So maybe Skyrim on Xbox Series X/PS5 will be the moment that it all clicks.
Or maybe I'll just keep wishing Bethesda would treat Oblivion to a lovely remaster.
What about you? Have you also struggled to get into Skyrim, one of the most popular games of all time? Let me know in the comments, and please do say if you also lost Lydia as it'll make me feel better.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition is already out on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S - with free upgrades on new consoles - and today it's joined by the Switch version. For more games coming soon, head over to our video game release dates page.