The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 16.11.2017

Review for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Nintendo Switch

Say what you will, but the Nintendo Switch is a marvellous console - and this doesn't come from the typical, basement-dwelling, 40-year-old virgin Nintendo fan (just kidding), but from a beautiful, gold-haired PC Master Race elitist, who is writing this from the peak of the tallest mountain, with drakes flying above, and fair maidens lying at his feet, just like in a Frazetta oil painting (not kidding). It's marvellous because it has dared to sacrifice performance for versatility, and that's why this nice bundle of compromises has actually managed to host anything; from small, casual-friendly indie titles, to triple-A behemoths like DOOM! In other words, if Hell itself can fit into the humble Switch, carrying the province of Skyrim on it will be a piece of Norse cake… or Drømmekage.

Before delving on the whole Skyrim-on-the-Switch aspect, here's a brief intro for those who have been living under a rock and haven't tried this out, or for those who would like to know what amongst the last three Elder Scrolls games is the best. The short answer to the latter is simple: as a whole, not a single one is better than the other one, and, to be honest, all, from Morrowind to Skyrim, have some serious flaws that hold them from being the perfect gems that everyone is making them out to be.

The long answer is that, although some core aspects of the series are still here, Skyrim, like Oblivion before it, is a whole different deal altogether. Whereas Morrowind was a true, Dungeons & Dragons-inspired RPG, Skyrim is basically an action title with lots of RPG elements; the first had an original, weird alien world, the second was basically a fantasy version of medieval Scandinavia; the plot of the third Elder Scrolls was extremely complex, with the fifth one making the same mistake as its predecessor, offering a generic, good-versus-evil storyline.

Screenshot for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Nintendo Switch

This could go on and on, with how characters, equipment, and missions are oversimplified, for example, and lead you to think that Morrowind is the better choice, but, in reality, it's just better from a purely role-playing aspect. It's unique, deeper, and insanely immersive… but it's not perfect. Skyrim, on the other hand, might be more like a hack 'n' slasher, but it also tends to be far less annoying, as it works much, much better. It's a far better polished product, not to mention that, in terms of audio-visuals, it hasn't aged as badly as Morrowind.

In conclusion, then, Skyrim is not the flawless time sink everyone is talking about… but it is a time sink, nonetheless. Be prepared to get lost in this beautiful and gargantuan snowy realm for hours upon hours, strengthening your avatar by doing quests, exploring hostile caverns and forts, and even slaying dragons, whether your modus operandi is going in with axe and shield in your hands, casting ice and fire through them, or simply doing the deed as silently as possible. Could Skyrim be better? In many, many ways, but it still remains a fantastic experience.

Screenshot for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Nintendo Switch

Now, it's time to check on how it fares on the Switch. Thankfully, the answer is actually: mighty fine! While far from a recently released title, be prepared to gawk at the Norse landscapes on offer once more, and get some pretty intense goosebumps from the magnificent OST. Plus, while this is the upgraded Special Edition, unlike DOOM, it hasn't sacrificed much. In fact, unless watching a side by side comparison, it's hard to see any major differences other than the fact than a decreased view distance for some smaller details, like bushes, flowers, and so on.

For all intents and purposes, this offers the exact same experience as before, and a complete one, too, as all add-ons have been included. Furthermore, this even manages to be better in a way, as the hardware of the Switch manages to substantially decrease the loading times. The only flaw of this version is just the lack of mod support, which is not exactly a big one, if you think about it, as the only way to truly enjoy a modded Skyrim is still on the PC - although it would be nice if an assortment of some mods was available for download.

Screenshot for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Nintendo Switch

What is exclusive to the Switch edition, though? First the motion controls, secondly, the Legend of Zelda gear, and, finally, loot drops through the use of amiibo. When it comes to the motion controls, these can be used to swing a melee weapon or shoot with a bow, but, like most of the time, this is just a gimmick, and not a game changer - but at least it works properly. Dressing up as Link can be lots of fun, too, but again, nothing to write home about. As for the loot crates that are possible to "summon" via your amiibo, it's just what you expect those to be.

In the end, all that really matters here isn't whether the motion controls are good, if Link's gear is worth the trouble, or if this game is amiibo compatible, but the fact that it's the amazing Skyrim on the humble Nintendo Switch. Now that it's possible to carry this microcosm in your backpack, you have simply been given a new excuse when it comes to why you're still on the bus although it only takes 10 minutes to reach your workplace/school, why you are still awake in your bed, and why, why, why you are still using the toilet although you… err, aren't really using it anymore.

Screenshot for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

The only reason to avoid The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Nintendo Switch is if you weren't a fan of the original game in the first place, or if you were expecting something new. Other than that, Bethesda has managed to port its enormous and captivating world into what's basically a tablet, and has done so almost flawlessly.


Bethesda Game Studios




Real Time RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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