Decades after its release, the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has captivated millions with its overall narrative and expansive world. Even now, there’s still a dedicated group of gamers and modders that play the game and tinker with it, testing its limits and uncovering secrets. Now, in celebration of its 10 years of being released, Bethesda’s released Skyrim: Anniversary Edition, and we’ll talk about that below.
What Is the Skyrim Anniversary Edition?
The Skyrim Anniversary Edition is the newest version of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It’s the game’s Special Edition, with a few curated things from Bethesda’s Creation Club. There are a few new story beats due to additional things in it, as well as some new spells and items. We’ll talk more about those below.
Skyrim Anniversary Edition Review
Skyrim did have a few general improvements when it comes to how good it looks. These changes, however, are mostly on the various armor and weapon sets available to the player.
In terms of environmental graphics, not that much changed, and an argument could be said about the Special Edition being better. We’ll talk more about that in another part of the article, specifically in the Extra Content section.
The game made a few interesting additions for players to chew on, specifically in terms of magic. There are new a few new weapons and spells that players can access in Skyrim Anniversary Edition. These, however, require the player to do a bit of questing to access, but it can be worth it to get this additional content.
Necromancy in particular has the bulk of the list of the new spells. This is due to the addition of the Necromancer’s Grimoire which means a lot of new spells were added to the Necromancy section. These spells include summonable creatures and allies that the player can then use to destroy their enemies. We’ll talk more about those additions in the Extra Content sections as well.
The Anniversary Edition also has a few weapons that are new or at least weren’t seen before unless we’re talking about previous Elder Scrolls entries. For example, Goldbrand, a legendary katana first seen in Morrowind, makes its reappearance in the Skyrim: Anniversary Edition. To obtain the weapon, the Dragonborn needs to do a few quests, go to a crypt or two, and eventually claim Goldbrand.
Of course, Goldbrand isn’t the only new weapon on the Anniversary Edition. Like the Necromancer’s Grimoire, we’ll talk about those in the Extra Content Section.
Story and Level Design
It’s in the story and level design that Skyrim Anniversary Edition takes a shine to. This is because there’s a lot of new story quests and events that players can chew on in the game.
For example, the quest to get Goldbrand is a good one that takes the player from one end of Skyrim to the other in search of a legendary tomb, and that’s just one quest. There are quests to get the Necromancy items from the Necromancer Grimoire, for example. But in addition, there are also new story quests to add to the already full world of Skyrim.
All in all, the new story content alone is what makes Skyrim: Anniversary Edition a good buy.
In terms of sound design, there’s not that much that changed in Skyrim Anniversary Edition. If you already had Skyrim before and you compare that and the Anniversary Edition, you won’t hear any difference other than some voice lines.
Extra Content in Skyrim Anniversary Edition
Here’s the new content that players can expect to see on Skyrim: Anniversary Edition. There are 74 in total, although most of them are just new and alternative armor sets. We’ll talk about some of these extra content, specifically the ones with some new things for players to do and get, below:
Alternative Armor Sets
Exactly as it says on the tin, some armor sets in Skyrim have their looks changed. These are:
- Daedric Mail
- Dragon Plate
- Daedric Plate
- Dragon Scale
- Dwarven Plate
- Dwarven Mail
- Ebony Plate
- Orcish Plate
- Elven Hunter
- Steel Soldier
- Stahlrim Fur
Arcane Archer Pack
This gives Archers some extra oomph by adding spell effects into their arrows. Telekinesis and Soul Stealer are just two of the many flavors.
These accessories add new spells and even robes for Mage players to enjoy.
This adds the fabled Bittercup that players need to do three quests for to gain a boon.
Arms of Chaos
Arms of Chaos give new staves as well as an enchanted amulet that players can gain through a quest. They can also get the fabled Staff of Chaos after getting all of its shards and recreate it.
Adventurers get a set of backpacks, each with its esoteric effects. For times when it’s not enough to have just a 600 to 800 weight limit.
A unique player home found northwards of Skyrim’s various mountains. Nothing much, but there’s a dungeon below it, which might get some use if the player’s a Dawnguard/Vampire.
Bow of Shadows
A bow created by Nocturnal to be used by her assassins, this bow gives its users additional speed and the gift of invisibility.
A Bone Wolf’s true loyalty is earned through a player’s actions, almost like a normal dog except that dog is made out of bones. This companion can be obtained after completing the “Let Sleeping Wolves Lie” quest.
Chrysamere was known as the blade of Paladins and the Sword of Heroes. Now, it’s time for this legendary blade to be found again, giving players a weapon of devastating power.
Dawnfang and Duskfang
In the depths of Riften Ratways lies a terrible secret circling a mighty blade of two minds. Dawnfang and Duskfang transform in the light of Tamriel’s Sun and Moons, giving players the ability to wield fire and ice and to take the souls of those they slay. Before they get this mighty blade, they’ll need to free the soul inside it.
This is pretty much a new armor set based on Crusader armor, but specifically, this is the armor of Pelinal Whitestrake, a revered member of the Knights of the Nine.
Dead Man’s Dread
Those of sailing bent sing of Cyrus, Stros M’ka’s hero, who was said to have gone north with his ship, the Dead Man’s Dread. Find it, learn its crew’s fate, and take the treasure said to be within.
Civil War Champions
Though the Imperials and Stormcloaks are in the middle of a vicious war, they are still not above proving themselves to be the strongest. The two adversaries agreed on a duel between champions, to finally decide who among these feuding peoples are the strongest. Players can choose a side between Imperial and Stormcloak and don their respective champion armor to fight.
Farming gives players a farmstead to own, as well as a few retainers to manage and care for the said farmstead. It also comes with a mechanic to build parts of the farmstead to grow it and obtain better drops from the various plants and animals they’ll put on the farm.
This gives the player 15 gauntlet variants that they can craft, buy, or find throughout the world of Skyrim. These gauntlets have all sorts of implements like spikes and blades that offer additional oomph to their unarmed attacks.
Ghost of the Tribunal
This new content adds a lot of weapons, armor, and spells from Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and a few quests related to the Tribunal.
From Cyrodill’s caves comes a new menace: goblins, led by a so-called god. Includes new enemies, ingredients, and encounters. Also allows players to recruit a goblin.
This gives players additional Necromancer spells to play with as well as new robes for them to use. Amongst the spells given is the Bone Colossus summon a powerful bone golem that can destroy the player’s enemies.
The Khajit know their stuff and has stocked better items in their stores. These allow budding alchemists to create new and wondrous potions, poisons, and much more.
Plague of the Dead
Zombies now appear when night falls in Skyrim, at least, on certain locations and during a quest.
From the cold, fatigue, lack of food, and even more, Survival Mode makes it so that the land itself is trying to kill you. Do you have the skill and the will to survive in a harsh environment?
Skyrim: Anniversary Edition vs Base Game
All in all, Skyrim: Anniversary Edition has some improvements to the game’s look in terms of armor design and new padding to spells and items. Combine this with the addition of new quests, new stories, and all the other formerly Creation Club exclusive things, and it’s pretty clear that they’ve thought about which of the Creation Club mods they’ll add.
Other than this, nothing much has changed. Graphics-wise, the game still dons its usual look and there’s also no change in its sound design. Meanwhile, the game still has all the bugs that it has from previous iterations. Clipping through the environment to access things that players shouldn’t be able to access is still possible. Wonder if the chest in Dawnstar that allows players to get items from a particular vendor is still there? Yes, it’s still accessible!
It’s a bit astonishing that they haven’t patched those out yet—not that we’re complaining. The exploits make it more fun after all.
Is Skyrim Anniversary Edition Worth Picking Up?
If you’re looking for new things to do in an already old game, then yes. Skyrim Anniversary Edition is a good pick. This is especially true if you already have the Special Edition, which makes it so that you can pay less to upgrade to the Anniversary Edition.