Experiencing Skyrim VR with PlayStation VR

Skyrim VR

It was November 11, 2011, when Skyrim was released to gaming platforms. The Elder Scrolls fans had been waiting patiently for this game since they’ve but played anything and everything that was related to Oblivion and Morrowind. It was quite a delight to see a lot of the marketing campaigns and the gigantic building-sized posters being displayed in Downtown Los Angeles at that time. It’s already 2017 and the game is still drawing fans, especially in the VR department.

Controls

If you want to get the full experience of this game, it is highly suggested that you use the PS4 Move controllers. One in each hand is going to change the experience for you completely, as opposed to you holding a controller. The control scheme is a little similar to other VR FPS games where you control the teleport function with the left hand and balances the on-screen action with your right. (Make sure to utilize the teleport option as opposed to walking around because it can get disorienting. I got nauseous because of this.)

Navigating through the menus was a little strange at first. Access to the menus is on the left Move controller, and it made it easier to switch and toggle to while adventuring at the same time. I will say that it was a little disorienting when you switch to the world map, and it feels like you’re actually flying over the entire world of Skyrim via the overworld view.

Interacting with the world took a little time to get used to as well with the controllers. There were moments where I was moving my right hand to adjust, or I was just fidgeting, and it would accidentally think I was swinging my weapon. One moment had me accidentally smacking a guard in the leg or chest, making them think I was attacking them. So it’s important to holster your weapons in town, even though you didn’t need to do that originally in the console controllers or PC.

All in all, the controls can get a little wonky from time to time. But once you get acclimated, combat and exploration get very immersive.

Exploring Skyrim

The gameplay hasn’t really changed much with Skyrim VR since it’s the same storyline and quests that you have encountered. The world is just as vibrant and lively as it was before. You start on the same cart with the captured criminals and Stormcloaks, although this time you’re seeing everything first hand. Looking around in a 360-degree view is awe-inspiring since the world of Skyrim is massive and vast.

I spent about 3-4 hours in the game traversing through the grasslands, forests, and snow-topped mountains. I then began watching the sky go through the night and day cycles, checking to see how the world was affected by the lighting changes. Since this was happening all around me, you can get lost in a virtual world. It’s still a gorgeous game even though it came out six years ago. The anti-aliasing isn’t that great on VR, but it’s still nice to look at. (I will say that I’m a little spoiled on my PC since I have all the high-res mods and insane mods attached to my game.)

One thing to note is that the “arrow to the knee” remarks from the guards seems almost non-existent. During the original game, a guard would say that line almost all the time. I’m not sure if the developers over at Bethesda decided to tone it down due to all the memes, but it was a little strange not hearing that line when I traveled to Whiterun all the way to Winterhold.

Combat

Earlier I explained the controls, and this is where it shines during combat. Since your appendages are now free-flowing as opposed to being locked in a static position from the original game, you can actually fight enemies in more of an open form.

In Skyrim, you can equip your character to whatever style of combat you’d like to play. You can dual wield weapons, dual wield spells, go shield and weapon, go shield and spell, or just stay long range with a bow and arrow. You actually have to notch the arrow into the bow and draw the string back to shoot the arrow, which was pretty cool. (It reminds me of the bow and arrow character named “Elder” from another VR game, Raw Data.)

Magic is fairly direct and you just aim and shoot while teleporting around your enemies. However, the hand-to-hand battles are where it’s at. Since you equip the shield in your left hand, you can actually direct the shield to where projectiles are coming from. At one point, I had about twenty plus arrows lodged into my shield since I was moving the shield in all directions as bandits rained arrows all over me from their positions above. It was pretty bloody awesome.

I then channeled my Spartan mindset from the movie 300 and smacked foes with my shield while stabbing them from the top with my sword. I didn’t have to lower my shield since I was both attacking and defending at the same time. This is something that you can’t do on the normal controllers or keyboard for the PC. And I really enjoyed the combat a lot because of this.

Final Reaction

Skyrim VR is a great game and a great novelty added to the franchise. Re-exploring the world in an immersive VR view that we’re all familiar is pretty stunning. However, despite the little annoyances with the controls, and the greatness of the combat, playing this game for long periods of time made me nauseous. I’ve played other FPS VR games, and I’ve never gotten nauseated by the movements like in this one. Maybe the world is too vast and too open, and my mind is trying to process it all causing this issue. I don’t really know. Other than that, if you’re a fan of Skyrim and really want to experience Tamriel with your own eyes, then Fus Roh Don’t miss out on this game!

About author

Alger Alama
Alger Alama 318 posts

Highly sociable and having been entrenched in Nerd\Geekdom since he was a kid, Alger has seen it all. During his spare time he loves to go out clubbing, sing karaoke, and attend parties. This Nerd is no wallflower. He'll always greet you with a warm smile and a drink in hand.