Skyrim VR: the dragon is very close

Skyrim VR: Den Drachen ganz nah
Games 11/20/2017

The coffin lid breaks open and a Draugr crawls out of her cold grave. We strike out, letting our mighty dwarven hammer fall upon her. Who hasn't dreamed of just once swinging that hammer in real life during hour-long vacations to the world of Skyrim?! Now this dream can (almost) become reality. In Skyrim VR we can immerse ourselves in one of our favourite RPGs, more deeply and intensely than ever before .

All of Skyrim or just Whiterun?

Most games for VR have one thing in common: being very short. It's not uncommon for all the fun to be over within half an hour. For a long time, gamers have been demanding more full-fledged titles or complete implementations of popular games in virtual reality. Following Resident Evil, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is another high-profile title now fully playable using a VR headset. Doom and Fallout are also coming out this year. From Falkreath to Winterhold, Skyrim VR allows you to explore everything as per the original game, even DLC areas.

Locomotion or teleportation: navigation

This is where it all begins: How do we get from the south to the north? Skyrim VR offers various options for moving around a Dragonborn.

The DUALSHOCK 4 controller

Classic navigation is possible using the DUALSHOCK 4 controller, and works as you would expect. Movements are thus fluid and seamless, and we can use the analogue sticks to move forward and look around at will. This looks glorious – but sometimes has unwanted effects on sensitive stomachs. Nausea is not an uncommon side-effect of going for a virtual stroll when using VR goggles.

The PlayStation Move motion controller

To prevent this, gamers in Skyrim VR – as in many other VR games – can instead elect to travel by teleportation. This is possible when playing with the Move controller. At the push of a button, a beam of light appears from the left hand, aiming at a certain point. When the button is released, we teleport ourselves to that exact location. This jerky change of location is not as good to look at, but is stomach-friendly. That's because our brains are not led to believe that our bodies are moving normally when they are, in fact, sitting still. If desired, we can also move fluidly to the location using the Move motion controller. In this way, our virtual selves can travel in the direction to which we point.

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We can almost feel our skeletons breaking

If you decide to completely dispense with the Move controller in favour of classic movement, you will unfortunately miss out on an absolute highlight. Using the Move Motion controllers during battles is intuitive, immersive, and fun. We have completely independent control of our weapons. For example, it is therefore now possible to bring a gun close to our face, or finally to admire the many fine ornaments on our artfully forged volcano glass sword. Or, with our flaming hands, we can deliver a sweeping blow to an even larger group of opponents with a mere swing of our arms. Shooting with bow and arrow is also highly intuitive: In one hand is the bow, in the other the arrow. We simply put both hands together, hook the arrow with the push of a button, and move our hands apart as if we were tensing the bow. Although there is still no noticeable resistance from the bowstring, we are still completely thrilled by this option.

"Fus Ro Dah": We scream it too...

...though unfortunately it has no effect. That would of course be the icing on the cake: a microphone, into which we would have to shout the dragon's call. So instead we just scream pointlessly at our TV. A consequence of the great feeling of being amidst it all, with which Skyrim VR supplies us. When the big frostbite spiders come up to us, when a giant takes out his club or even when a dragon starts to descend, we are able to duck and turn away from them. Skyrim feels very different to before, especially due to the Move controller. To some extent, Skyrim VR is a new game – a game worth playing. By the way: non-PlayStation owners can also enjoy Skyrim in virtual reality. Skyrim VR will also be released for PC and HTC Vive in 2018.