The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released on two new platforms this year. The Switch version has been a nice surprise, performing better than expected and proving Skyrim is a great game to play on the go. The other new platform, PlayStation VR, does not fare as well. The entire, unabridged Skyrim experience (along with all the post-release DLC) is included here and that’s impressive, but Skyrim was not designed for virtual reality and it doesn’t take long to come to that conclusion. Simply put, I don’t like it. I don’t know how my ranking would pan out if I ordered the different versions of Skyrim, but whatever the list would ultimately look like, the PlayStation VR version would sit at the bottom.

From a distance, Skyrim VR is a gorgeous game with impressive vistas. The best moments in Skyrim VR were the ones where I sat there doing nothing and just looked around. Being in the middle of a vast, virtual outdoor environment is undeniably charming. Making an impressive climb to the peak of a snowy mountain and taking a moment to just look around is where the game shines strongest. In one instance, I ended up getting carried down a river by its current. I jokingly put my hands behind my head like I was floating down a lazy river, which was a surprisingly relaxing experience.

Virtual reality is all about letting you get as close to the action as possible, but up close, Skyrim shows its age thanks to rough animations and clunky, unattractive character models. It doesn’t help that the visuals have been scaled back to run on PlayStation VR and the visor’s mediocre in-headset screen gives the whole game a blurry look throughout.

Skyrim also continues to be an unstable game, and the shortcomings are more pronounced in virtual reality. The opening sequence featuring the dragon stuttered with its fire-breathing audio cues, and it only took a visit to a single cave to accidentally break out of the game’s boundaries and float above the world. In virtual reality, this sort of phenomenon feels exceptionally strange. You feel like you’ve suddenly become a ghost seeing into the matrix as you float above all of creation. And then it all falls apart as reality corrects itself and you fall back down into the real (i.e. virtual) world.

Bethesda offers two control options for playing Skyrim VR – a standard DualShock 4 controller, or two PlayStation Move controllers. I preferred using the DualShock, even though having full control of movement on analog sticks made me extra motion sick. It feels closest to the original Skyrim experience this way, and as an added bonus my bow and magic attacks were far more accurate thanks being able to use my head as an aiming reticle.

Using two PlayStation Move controllers leads to a more immersive experience, but it breaks the balance of the game in some meaningful ways. With no control stick, you can either warp around Skyrim with a teleportation mechanic to travel, or you can change the settings so that holding down a button will make you move forward. Using the first option, navigation is easier because you can instantly warp to any nearby location, and things like traps in the dungeons become meaningless barriers because you can just warp right past them. The only downside of being over-encumbered is your warp distance is shorter, but you can warp so fast that you really aren’t held back in a significant way. Stealth is also easier when you can warp around, but you are more likely to accidentally alert those you are trying to sneak past because your arm movements become unpredictable.

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The one-to-one motion-controlled combat turns every encounter into a bizarre arm-flailing experience. When using a bow and arrow you actually go through the process of placing an arrow in the bow, pulling back and releasing, and it works properly about half the time. Magic is a matter of pointing and shooting. Using a sword and shield, you grip the Move controllers as if you were holding the items, raising your left hand to block and swinging your right hand as if you were holding a sword. I suppose you could pantomime a real sword fight, but I had way more success (and comedy!) by violently waggling my hand, to resurrect an old gaming term we haven’t had the opportunity to use since the Wii. It also just generally makes combat easier, even against multiple enemies, because you can just flail your way to victory.

I also tried swimming using the Move controllers, but couldn’t get it to work well. The swimming tutorial directed me to place my head below the water and move my arms as though I was swimming, but whenever I tried to dip my head below the water, the game would either auto-correct itself to keep my head above water, or I would move so low that I was out of the range of the PlayStation VR camera.

Ultimately, I don’t really mind that using the Move control options breaks the game balance. I like the novelty of playing Skyrim as a sort of gesticulating goofball wizard, but those who want a truer Skyrim experience will either have to play with a controller, or approach the experience like a method actor with the role of a lifetime.

Leveling up your character, rooting through your inventory, and talking to villagers is no different than it is in the other versions. You walk up to villagers to engage them and then pick from a series of dialogue options that appear on-screen. It’s harder to navigate menus using Move controllers, but you organize your inventory and access the skill trees the same way you did in past versions.

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Skyrim VR also made me sick, but I attribute this more to PlayStation VR than to the game itself. Every PlayStation VR game makes me a little ill, but Skyrim sits on the higher end of the nausea spectrum. The head bob that accompanies walking down stairs was particularly dreadful, as was jumping from high cliffs to my death. But to be fair, the latter was the result of admittedly masochistic curiosity. Whatever the reason, I won’t return to Skyrim VR because I generally prefer not having a headache.

Despite all my pessimism about this port, I am glad Skyrim VR exists. I have had good and bad experiences in virtual reality, but just about all of them have revolved around gimmicky toys designed to show off the potential of VR, without ever actually going the distance to being a fully fleshed out game. I like that Bethesda swung for the fences to try and deliver a full game in virtual reality. That is admirable, even if playing the game did give me a headache.

I would love to see more experiments like Skyrim VR and Resident Evil 7 in virtual reality, where fully featured games get ported to this still-young medium. This port is rough, but I’m still hopeful that there is a game out there that works both ways. For now, if you want to revisit Skyrim, your best bet is to boot up one of the editions you already own or grab it on Switch.

After more than a decade after its launch, Titan Quest recently received a new expansion. This new content came as a surprise, without any prior announcement, and is currently available on Steam.

This new expansion pack, titled Ragnarök, brings Norse mythology to the action RPG. It features an entirely new playable act and dozens of quests. It also introduces new bosses, enemies, and an additional Rumemaster mastery. The level cap has also been increased to 85. More changes and refinements come to character customization as well, with new shaders, effects, and ragdoll physics. 

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THQ Nordic acquired the game from developer Iron Lore Entertainment four years ago. “Since the day we acquired the franchise in 2013, we’ve been toying around with ideas on what’s best for Titan Quest,” executive producer Reinhard Pollice told PC Gamer. “We were quickly motivated to do another expansion as we realized Titan Quest is still actively played.”

To play the Ragnarök expansion, you have to first own the Titan Quest Anniversary Edition, which is available on Steam. The original boxed version is not compatible. You can read about the Titan Quest Anniversary Edition here.

[Source: PC Gamer]

Hitman’s Elusive Targets, which are contracts that are periodically added to the game for a limited time, are coming back. 

However, there’s a catch. If you have already tried to kill these targets the first time they came to Hitman, you can’t try again. The return of these Elusive Targets is explicitly for players that missed out on the experience the first time around.

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The first target to come back is The Forger, who was added to the game as of yesterday. Because he’s only around until November 27, you should try to take him down sooner rather than later. Successful assassinations can help you unlock new suits for Agent 47, which can be worn in all game modes. You can view an infographic detailing these rewards by heading here.

For more on Hitman, you can read our review of Hitman’s season 1 by heading here, as well as read about how players fared the first time they tried to assassinate The Forger.

Most of 2017’s biggest titles are out in the wild now, and gamers are naturally starting to discuss GOTY contenders. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Is there a glaring omission in your list of played games that you intend to address before the year is over? If you were limited to only getting one more game in 2017, what would it be?

Maybe you’ve been waiting for one of this week’s big releases, like Pokemon Ultra Sun & Moon or Battlefront II (or maybe not). Perhaps you’re eyeing one of the recent Switch ports of Doom or Skyrim. Or maybe you’re looking to pick up a hit from months prior, because let’s face it, this was a hard year to keep up with. Whatever game you plan on closing out the year with, share your pick in the comments below!

With several months still out from its 1st anniversary of announcement and even more from its release, the Nintendo Switch has had a strong freshman year. New juggernauts like The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey have graced the system along with a number of ports and remasters. Within the past week three third-party ports were released on the system: Skyrim, L.A. Noire, and DOOM. While these three ports have varying degrees of quality, all three of them have proven that the device is a promising console for turning old favorites into portable games.

With that in mind we’ve taken a look back at our favorites of last and current generation, and picked out ten series we’d love to see on the Switch.

XCOM 2: War of The Chosen
XCOM 2 is a fantastic strategy game that was recently upgraded into an all-time classic with the release of its War of the Chosen expansion. As the Switch is pretty barren right now when it comes to strategy titles outside of (the excellent) Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, we’d love to see one of the best ported to the system. Considering that the first game was ported to mobile platforms like iOS and is considered one of the best games you can play on there, a Switch port for the sequel doesn’t seem like too much of an implausibility. Since War of the Chosen packs hours of content and is also highly repayable, a collection for both would be the perfect travel-sized game for strategy lovers.

You can read our review for XCOM 2: War of the Chosen here.

Persona Collection
Sony has a strong hold over the mainline Persona series, so this one is a bit a stretch. Still, we can’t help but dream of being able to play Persona 3, 4, and 5 since being able to play those games on the go helps with dealing with each’s ridiculously long playtime. It’s more likely that we’ll get another spinoff like Persona Q but hey, it doesn’t hurt to dream, right JRPG fans?

You can read our review of Persona 5 here.

Dark Souls
A real dark horse, From Software was announced as one of the partners for the Nintendo Switch way back in January when the system was announced. It’s not too much of a stretch to assume that they’re working on a port of Dark Souls 3 (read our review here) or maybe even a collection of the first three games. Whatever the case, a Dark Souls port would be a welcome entry on Nintendo’s small powerhouse of a system, assuming the port would be sturdier than the series’ famously buggy releases.

Metal Gear Solid Collection
Metal Gear Solid is a behemoth of the series, as beloved as it is divisive. There’s also currently no way to play any of the games outside of V on modern consoles. The collection certainly deserves some kind of release and it’d be great to have the whole shebang on Switch, especially since we’ve seen games like Snake Eater on both the 3DS and the Vita.

South Park Collection
Both The Stick of Truth and The Fractured But Whole have proven to be appropriately hilarious jaunts through one of TV’s classic shows but also fun send-ups of video game tropes and the RPG genre as a whole. Having a gut buster of a comedy game in your pocket when you’re in need of a laugh is handy and considering how fun it is to actually play both titles, a South Park collection seems as good of a candidate as any.

For our review of The Fractured But Whole, go here.

The Arkham Quadrilogy
Rocksteady made shockwaves with its influential take on Batman, with games like Shadow of Mordor borrowing heavily from the series’ rhythmic combat system, setting a new high bar for how to adapt other media into video games. Having all four Batman games (even the often maligned but still enjoyable Origins) in a single play-whenever-and-wherever-you-want package would be a fantastic bat time.

 For more on Arkham, check out our review of the latest (and probably last) game in the series, Arkham Knight.

Grand Theft Auto V
An admittedly obvious inclusion because…well, who doesn’t want to cause a ruckus in Los Santos? It’d be interesting to see if the ambitious multiplayer sprawl and brawl of Grand Theft Auto Online would function on the Switch’s online infrastructure but even if the port was single-player only, that’s still an obscene amount of thrilling content and one of the best open-world games in years that you could carry around with you. And Rockstar has turned out to be, surprisingly, one of the early developers to stick its feet in the Switch pool with L.A. Noire, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that we could see GTA V on Switch, especially since the game was technically released on last generation hardware. Hard to beat that with Trevor’s bloodstained bludgeon bat. 

Check out our review of the remastered version here.

Mass Effect Trilogy 
Like Metal Gear Solid, it’s a crime that you can’t play this important and fantastic series on current generation hardware. In the aftermath of Mass Effect Andromeda’s lukewarm reception, Electronic Arts and Bioware might soon find themselves inclined to give fans what they’ve been asking for for years: a rerelease of the entire trilogy. Having those games be playable on the go would also be a fantastic way to (re)experience one of gaming’s greatest series.

Diablo III
The current king of hack and slash dungeon crawling, Diablo III has continued to grow in impressive ways since its release way back in 2012 with a plethora of content updates. The Switch’s control scheme and portability make it a perfect vehicle for Diablo’s seemingly simple but ingeniously designed loop of Kill Things And Get Loot. Creating a local multiplayer functionality where Switch players can join in on each other’s game would also be quite fun. We hope to see one of Blizzard’s modern classics come to the Switch sooner rather than later.

Red Dead Redemption
Fans have long waited (in vain) for a rerelease of what many consider to be Rockstar’s magnum opus. With Red Dead Redemption 2 supposedly just a few months away and people pining for Switch remasters, now is as good a time as ever for the developer to dip back into the Old West and give the people what they want: a prettier, better performing version of John Marston’s epic adventure.

Nobody in the office is joining the dark side weekend, but we all still have plenty of games to get through. Overwatch is dragging some of us back into the fray with the recent release of Moira, while others are focussing on single player games like South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Wolfenstein II, and Super Mario Odyssey. One of us may even throw it back to the good old days with some Age of Mythology action.

Kyle Hilliard (@kylemhilliard) – I’ve got parents coming up for Thanksgiving so you know what that means. Time to clean the house! Yeah! Have to convince them that this is how the house always looks, I promise! As far as video games go, I have been playing and enjoying Doom on Switch and I hope I can find some time to play Assassin’s Creed: Origins. It’s next on my gamin queue, right ahead of Wolfenstein.

Javy Gwaltney (@Hurdyiv) – I’m going to be sitting in a coffee shop and going back and forth between Skyrim, Mario, LA Noire, and working on [REDACTED]. Fun times.

Jeff Marchiafava (@GIJeffM) – I’m still plugging away at Breath of the Wild in preparation for our big game-of-the-year debate, and will continue to do so this weekend. It’s fair to say I have some major qualms with the game, but I’m still enjoying it enough to keep playing. I also want to get back to Assassin’s Creed Origins at some point, and check out the new Call of Duty, should I feel the need to shoot some Nazis. 

Ben Hanson (@yozetty) – I have no clue what I’m going to play this weekend. I’ve been playing a lot of PUBG again lately, so maybe I’ll just keep that ball rolling? Other than that, I just played a match of Age of Empires II and that might have triggered an urge to play more Age of Mythology … you know, the better game. Alright, well have a good weekend!

Brian Shea (@BrianPShea) – Having wrapped up Wolfenstein II earlier this week, I’m focusing on South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Uncharted: Lost Legacy. Of course, Overwatch hasn’t gone anywhere in my rotation, particularly with Moira having just released.

Leo Vader (@LeoVader) – I’m gonna have some friends over and introduce them to Dropmix! I have been having so much fun with that game, you should all go buy it before Harmonix dies from taking a such a crazy big risk. The competitive mode is extremely deep and fun, and the tech alone is just staggeringly impressive. Biggest surprise of the year for me!

Suriel Vazquez (@SurielVazquez) – With most of the major standalone releases of the year out of the way, I’m hoping to play some catch-up. I’ve already returned to Nier: Automata and while I’m not seeing too much of the greatness others are gushing over, I’m guessing all the juicy bits come later on, so I’m giving it a chance to grow on me. I’m also playing Cuphead, which hooked me immediately but the bosses are hard so sometimes I have to take a break. And Dota 2! Always Dota 2.

Matthew Kato (@MattKato) – I plan to continue playing Horizon Zero Dawn – I’d like to get better at tackling the enemies. One of the cool things about the game is that it makes you think strategically in battles without being so punishing that it’s frustrating. I also expect to dive into some PES 2018 co-op action and hopefully get back to Wolfenstein II.

Daniel Tack (@dantack) – I summon Ancient Gear Golem in attack mode!

Keenan McCall (@KEeNanMcCall525) – This weekend I’m looking to play some board games with Cody, George, and Ben Hanson. Aside from that, I’ve been meaning to go back and play Night in the Woods again to get ready for the Weird Autumn edition coming out. Oh, and I can safely say I won’t touch Battlefront II with a ten-foot pole.

Cody Mello-Klein (@Proelectioneer) – I’m hesitantly optimistic about the Punisher series, so I’ll be starting (and probably finishing) it this weekend. I’ll also probably try and fail to play Moira Overwatch. Either that or see people continue to tank my rank by trying to play her in competitive. Why do I still do this to myself?

George Ash (@GeorgeEAsh) – I’ll be playing some more South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Phone Destroyer, but I’ll probably spend most of my gaming time on Overwatch fighting to play as Moira in quick play. Once I’m content with playing as Moira I’ll go back to wrecking people as Roadhog, Junkrat, and Pharah.

Replay – Singularity

Now that Replay: Civil War has come and gone, this week we have a very refreshing return to Replay’s roots. One game, one controller, one joke (or more). In today’s case, the game is Singularity, the controller is Xbox 360, and the joke is about eggs.

Andrew Reiner, Jeff Cork, Kyle Hilliard and I blasted through the first hour of the game and couldn’t turn it off. It’s a fascinating, one-of-a-kind sci-fi story and I think this episode’s worth a look if you missed out on it.

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In other Replay news, the Civil War Super Replay still has yet to be decided! The incredible community over at the I Watched The Entire Overblood Super Replay Facebook group have a bracket set up for voting on the Super Replay that is 1,000 times better than the one I had set up for the Civil War itself. So head on over there and join a great community of Game Informer friends! They can’t really tell if you’ve watched the entire Overblood Super Replay when they let you in the group. I bet not everybody in that group has. Maybe even someone who’s writing this very post right now…

Kinzie, the hacker genius from Saints Row 3, 4, and Gat Out of Hell, is joining the Agents of Mayhem cast via paid DLC.

Known in Agents of Mayhem as Safeword, her introduction video seems to ignore the entirety of her adventures in Saints Row, suggesting that none of it ever happened. Her animated intro still has her displaying the same personality, however, which she can in employ in the main game and her own set of specialized missions.

You can check out the animated trailer below. Kinzie will be available as DLC today for $4.99.

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For more than six years, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has captured the imaginations of countless gamers, with its beautiful and snowy fantastical trappings, seemingly endless side quests, and massive modding community. The Switch port of Skyrim is an exciting prospect because it makes an enticing promise that the other console versions don’t: being able to play on the go. I was impressed with how the Switch handles this massive (and infamously glitchy) RPG, resulting in a competent port that transitions wonderfully to portable play.

For those who haven’t played Skyrim yet, the game takes place on the fantastical continent of Tamriel, where humans walk alongside talking lizards and feline merchants. The world is filled with various factions, guilds, and kingdoms vying for control. On paper, that sounds generic, but Skyrim’s open-ended design is anything but commonplace. Players explore the world at their own pace, uncovering secret treasures in tombs hidden in mountains or plotting with children to kill an evil orphanage owner. Even a walk through a forest might suddenly be interrupted by a giant spider fighting a dragon. You’re given the freedom to do what you want and develop a play style that interests you. If you’d rather focus on guild quests instead of the main storyline, that’s a valid choice. This flexibility results in a world that you can actively inhabit, not just wait to be shuttled to the next big story beat. Bethesda has done a stellar job packing the lion’s share of the experience onto Switch.

The biggest question on many fans’ minds is whether or not the Switch can handle Skyrim’s massive size and propensity for loading those spaces with numerous foes. During my 35-plus hours with the game, my framerate was constantly above 30 FPS and I never encountered a single dip or stutter. Load times were also surprisingly brief in comparison to the original PS3/360 versions, with a one-minute initial load time from main menu to game world, and then brief transitions taking from 4 to 10 seconds. Everything ran smoothly no matter what area I was in, how populated it is, or what activity I was doing. Control functionality is also satisfying, with a pleasant rumble in the Joy-Cons helping capture the pleasurable thunk of combat when you drive an axe into a foe’s head or whip them off a mountainside with a brush of your sword.

Bethesda didn’t have to make any huge sacrifices to achieve this performance, either. Outside of textures and rough character models (we’re talking about a game from 2011), the world of Skyrim looks as stunning as ever. I noticed no fuzziness in either portable mode or on three different HD televisions of various sizes during my playtime. The draw distance is equally impressive; I could make out distant mountains, cities, and landmasses without any fog enshrouding them. A slight motion blur occurs when you’re turning, but I hardly noticed it all except in dark spaces like caverns. It might not look quite as pretty as the PC version running at ultra-high settings, but it doesn’t settle for adequacy either, resulting in a world that’s constantly nice to look at as long as you don’t examine textures too closely.

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While the lack of mod support for this version is disappointing (its PS4/Xbox One siblings have barebones mod support), the amount of worthwhile content in the core Skyrim experience more than makes up for it. This version also packages all the expansions for the game, including two separate and lengthy quests involving vampires and a rival Dragonborn, as well as the addition that lets you build houses and adopt children. The variety of potential activities in Skyrim is maddening and delightful; this game easily has at least a hundred hours of content, plus countless more if you want to do and see everything. And the novelty of doing all of this while sitting in a coffee shop or riding to work still hasn’t worn off.

My only substantial criticism about this version is the optional console-specific functions feel like gimmicks. You can use motion controls for combat and lockpicking, but both are too unwieldy to be enjoyable. Amiibo functionality rewards you with treasure chests filled with weapons and ingredients for cooking, but you can also get the best Amiibo gear without using the functionality, so it also feels superficial. Ultimately these are optional niggles you don’t have to bother with, so feel free to turn them off and forget about them. The problems inherent in the original version of Skyrim are still here, too, including wonky enemy AI, stiff animations, and bad voice-acting. Some of these issues are part of the game’s charm at this point, so being able to play it on the go essentially made those non-issues for me. This is especially true since so many of the bigger problems that plagued earlier releases, like uneven framerate and glitches, are not present in this version.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the best games ever made. Years later, that continues to be the case. This adventure offers a rich world, densely packed with exciting things to do, as well as many occasions for creating lasting memories. I jotted down exciting things that happened during this particular playthrough so many times I lost count. I imagine that Skyrim will become a mainstay on my Switch, with multiple playthroughs and characters filling up the save slots before I’m done with it. If you haven’t played Skyrim, or you’re just looking to return and don’t mind exchanging the mods for convenient portability, the Switch version offers up everything that makes this game a stone-cold classic.

Skyrim hit Switch today and with it a host of Amiibo unlockables are available. However, it turns out you don’t actually need amiibo to unlock the majority of the Switch-exclusive gear. It seems The Master Sword will require an Amiibo, but you can find the two other pieces of gear in-game without any of the figurines.

Here’s what you do: you need to make it to the quest “Throat of the World” in the main quest line and proceed to High Hrothgar. There, the Greybeards will teach you the “Clear Skies” shout, which can then be used to clear the way and scale the mountain so you can reach the highest point in Skyrim. You should be here:

Also, there should be a dragon named Parrthurnax if you’re doing the quest. After you talk with Paarthurnax, facing the shrine, take a left on the top of the mountain and go to the side until you find a little cave. Inside you should see a cartoony looking treasure chest. Open it and you’ll find the Champion’s Tunic and Hyrule Shield:

For more on Skyrim, be sure to check out our review of the Switch version as well as a how-to Amiibo guide for the game.