Bethesda’s fifth iteration of its “Elder Scrolls” series, Skyrim, is considered to be one of the best games in recent memory. Beginning on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, Skyrim has since been re-released on numerous platforms including the current-gen consoles in the PS4 and Xbox One as well as newer platforms such as the Nintendo Switch and Steam VR. Citing the massive open-world map, a plethora of character creation options and paths, seemingly endless quests and more, critics still deem the game to be a must-play seven years later. Brian Gilbert of Polygon recently went back to the game with the goal of reading all 337 published books that exist within the Skyrim realm. While the task itself is definitely daunting and not for the faint of heart, something else about the challenge stuck out to me–how deep and immersive Bethesda made the world of Tamriel and the game in general.
In a day and age when developers are often lambasted for what they didn’t do, Bethesda truly went above and beyond with their multiple Skyrim releases. Were there bugs upon release? Obviously. Do some unfixable bugs (especially on the older platforms) still exist today? For sure. Do these aspects take away from the otherwise flawless game that Bethesda managed to produce? Not at all. Forget about the beautiful open-world landscapes, thrilling battles, and the like for just a moment and ponder this–members of the Skyrim development team actually took the time to write over 300 unique stories just to increase the immersion factor. That number doesn’t even take into account the over 100 journals and diaries that the dev team also handcrafted.
Beloved movie character Ferris Bueller once uttered a 17 word phrase that is still extremely popular to this day: “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around for a while, you could miss it.” The same quote can be applied to Skyrim and other games just like it; if you don’t take some time to explore all of the things the developers placed in for you to find, you’ll sure be missing out on a lot.