Alduin the World-Eater is storming the mountainous strongholds of Skyrim in next-gen, Bethesda announces in a press release on Thursday. The developers are celebrating the game’s 10th anniversary with a remastered version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, complete with ninth gen graphics, new Creation Club options (Fishing, Survival Mode, and more Saints and Seducers quests), and all three DLCs (Dawnguard, Hearthfire, Dragonborn). It comes out on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S on November 11. The open-world expanse of Skyrim has never felt more three-dimensional.
There are other ways to gain access to 10th anniversary content depending on which version of Skyrim players own. The last major remaster was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition, re-released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in October 2016. Eighth gen owners can make the jump to Anniversary Edition for a modest price. For ninth gen owners who have already purchased the Special Edition for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, the upgrade is a hundred percent free. The option is open to players with an Xbox Game Pass subscription for Microsoft devices. The software improvements are just one of two things going on this November to commemorate the game’s original 2011 release. Bethesda is encouraging fans to “tell their story” with a Let’s Play video clip, an original artwork, or — better yet — an unusual cosplay, for memorializing. Winning entries will be featured in The Skyrim Museum.
PlayStation owners almost couldn’t have access to Skyrim’s Anniversary Edition owing to Microsoft’s high-profile buyout in March. The company acquired Bethesda Game Studios for $7.5 billion. The Fallout developer is now under the direct supervision of Xbox Game Studios, alongside other Xbox exclusives like Microsoft Flight Simulator, Halo, Forza, Gears of War, and Killer Instinct. The parent studio was previously known as Microsoft Studios; it primarily serviced both console Xbox users and PC ones. The next Elder Scrolls will most likely be exclusive to Microsoft and not have any Sony or Switch ports. Skyrim’s Special Edition is currently available across multiple platforms, including a 2017 re-release on the Nintendo Switch. No word yet on whether current and future Elder Scrolls titles will be pulled out of the PS Store and Nintendo eShop, as Bethesda integrates further into Xbox’s existing hierarchy.
In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, players take control of the Dragonborn, a warrior of definable race, sex, and name. The character is a non-speaking Everyman, tasked with saving the northernmost region of Tamriel, also known as Skyrim, from the impending rule of Alduin the World-Eater, a black dragon said to consume the world and leave it in ashes.
The main character allies with several major players and factions throughout the story, including the Greybeard order of monks, who are responsible for the safety and training of all Dragonborns throughout history, the peace-loving dragon and Greybeard grandmaster Paarthurnax, and Jarl of Windhelm Ulfric Stormcloak, who is currently waging a losing war against the Aldmeri Dominion, a confederacy of Deep Elves who believe in racial superiority and ethnic genocide, particularly against Nords and Imperials. The Nordic inhabitants of Skyrim worship Talos, the proposed deific reincarnation of the Nordic general Tiber Septim.
The story of Skyrim kicks off 201 years after the last game, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, with the last Dragonborn, prophesied to appear in the province’s final showdown against Alduin the World-Eater. Dragonborns are so named because of their ability to absorb a dragon’s soul and cast powerful spells called “shouts” — special magic spoken in the language of the dragons. The last three Dragonborns were able to trap Alduin in the currents of time using an Elder Scroll. Tiber Septim was once such Dragonborn.
In terms of gameplay, Skyrim is about as standard as one would expect from a fantasy role-playing open world. Players can take on quests and customize, upgrade, and level up their character as they please, and enlist the assistance of special NPCs who can fight monsters alongside them. Unlike past Elder Scrolls games, players can dual-wield weapons and magic in Skyrim, making combat more seamless. Skyrim also does away with the character class system, allowing players to experiment with their preferred skills and be rewarded accordingly, rather than be limited to only one class at a time.