Review: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR

Not many people are aware of Elder Scrolls games such as Morrowind and Oblivion, but Skyrim has become a household name. The scale of this open-world RPG six years ago was ridiculous as it opened up the door for open-world gaming today. Skyrim has managed to received multiple releases since then and it was only a time before Bethesda jumped in with a virtual reality version of the game. Skyrim VR for the PlayStation VR offers possibly the most consistent and entertaining VR experience to date.

All but those living under a rock are familiar with Skyrim. It’s possibly the closest thing to playing a Game of Thrones game; medieval fantasy with dungeons and hours of playability, and most importantly, dragons! While the gameplay consists of tons of bugs, Skyrim is still great. These graphical bugs are still prevalent in the VR version as nothing has changed from the Special Edition release. Skyrim VR contains all the DLC as well. If you’re one of the few people who have held off on playing the game, this will be the one to get.

While I believe Resident Evil 7 brought the best VR experience due to its tight corridors and on-edge gameplay, Skyrim VR brings you into its vast world as exploration is endless. Players will attack enemies based on where they are looking. While not having the motion controls, which will bring an even better element to the combat, the DualShock 4 fits just fine. I am not one to get nauseous while playing VR games, but it happened with Skyrim VR. There are two options for turning. Players can snap, much like in RE7, or freely turn without hesitation. The speed can be adjusted and there are a few other options to tinker with, but going without the snap option resulted in sickness after about an hour of gameplay, which is something to consider.

While the scale of the game for VR purposes is great, it’s hard to get sucked into this world. The graphics, while featuring super-sampling on the PS4 Pro for a better image, still struggle with textures. The game looks better in motion and offers scenic moments, but textures in the distance and pop-in items hurt the immersion. Foliage is two-dimensional and has a low-quality feeling. The water manages to look fantastic and jumping off ledges and swimming definitely offers a different feeling.

You will react differently to player models as they feel intimate up close. One thing that I had an issue with was the compass and looking down. If you’re on a horse (which is in first person and neat), the compass is above and in direct view as opposed to being a hassle to find at times when it’s below the point of view. The pause menu is panned to the left and holding the Option button to center brings up that menu, rather than re-centering the picture. This is better to be done on loading screens, but doesn’t seem to make a difference in the game as the view ends up being fine.

Even with some of the immersion hurt from the graphics, I found myself still wanting to traverse the world. It just feels different, although not necessarily fresh. Bethesda still deserves credit for making something of virtual reality, as Fallout 4 and Doom should look significantly better when they release on VR. There’s just been so many versions of the game that you’ve been here before and the VR doesn’t necessarily blow you away. Resident Evil 7 in VR completely changed how that game felt and ultimately Skyrim VR lacks that same effect.

Closing Comments:

Skyrim offers the most complete VR experience on PlayStation 4, but it comes at a cost. While RE7 might have been done better, it wasn’t for everyone. The nausea issues with Skyrim VR are going to be an issue due to the amount of time needed for grinding and exploration. Every piece of content that’s been released is included, but it’ll be hard for fans to shell out more money for a game they already own. Nobody should have to buy the same game three or four times to get enhancements. After playing through a game of this scale, is it worth doing again especially with the threat of sickness?

Review Date
Reviewed Item
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
Author Rating

  • Llama King

    Well i suffer quite bad with motion sickness in some vr games but seriously motion sickness in skyrim? I didnt get any whatsoever and think that bethesda have done an amazing job with it. I turned off the fov moved the movement speed slider up to full and have smooth movement on my motion controllers for movement and turning and have clocked 4/5 hours solid at a time without a break. This game does not cause motion sickness, unless you hardly ever play vr games!

    • roflquest

      Have you tried RE7 in VR? What was your reaction…were you nauseated? I had a few problems and only made it up to the Jack Baker fight. Made me gun shy about VR.

      • Viktor85

        I have played both and I got a lot of nausia from RE7 but next nothing from skyrim vr and I just played a 3 hour session, but then again I play with tunnelvision when I walk and the instant turn 30 degrees.

  • popo123

    But for those who haven’t played the game at all(and suffer no nausea from playing VR), would this be an excellent choice for VR?

    • Dur

      It’s the best game available for VR, period. I am playing it right now, having never played Skyrim before at all, and it’s completely different from any other video game experience I’ve ever had. Definitely worthwhile if you’re interested in VR.

  • Luis García

    I had motion sickness with normal re7 one hour in, until i turned off some settings; i got vr last weekend and while i haven´t tried re7 i have been playing skyrim and have not felt bad at all. I think is a must if you got vr.

  • Raketemensch

    Pretty bunk review, to be honest. I’ve talked to people with hundreds of hours logged in Skyrim, and they’re in awe at being able to actually BE in the world.

    It’s amazing how players are raving non-stop about this game, whether they’ve played it before or not, but reviewers are all giving it middling reviews. Switch gets forgiven automatically for weak graphics (even in the Skyrim reviews), but the PSVR does not. Strange expectations, I guess.

    “It’s possibly the closest thing to playing a Game of Thrones game” — except, you know, for all of the Game of Thrones games.

    • cunger

      Being in awe of being in a VR world and whether or not the game can be played through realistically in VR are to different things. With the current technology VR is best for short play experiences. This game is really just about checking it out and being thrilled for a few minutes and then never playing it again.

      • DEDE1973

        Have you tried the game before commenting?
        Skyrim VR has just thrown to the garbage these assumptions that VR technology is best for short play experiences. I play Skyrim VR for hours and hours and I don’t feel any nausea or sickness. This game just proves you wrong. It clearly shows that VR is ready for long playing sessions. And gamers are eagerly awaiting for that.

      • Raketemensch

        I believed that too, until I started playing Skyrim. I’ve had the headset on for a 4 hour stretch with no discomfort or nausea at all. I played 9 hours on a Saturday. I’m not alone, I’ve talked to dozens of people doing the same.

        Please don’t take this personally, but that’s the kind of statement that’s now debunked by people who are playing the game, but still believed by everyone who hasn’t, and it’s sort of the job of reviewers to fix. None of them are.

      • Dyinglight

        Play the game before saying such nonsense.
        I played it and had no issues at all.

  • DEDE1973

    Was that small paragraph a serious review of the game? Seriously ?
    No mention of the move controllers and how much they are a game changer.
    Nausea, really?? If you get nausea while playing VR games, you should not be reviewing VR games. Simple as that.

    I’ve been playing for the past 3 days and this is one of the best experiences I had in years. Don’t read one review of the game. Go and check users reviews on Metacritic and you will have an idea how much people are immensely enjoying this game.