How it feels to play The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on PlayStation VR

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How it feels to play The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on PlayStation VR

Check out our first impressions of the VR version of Bethesda's action RPG classic

Announced during the PlayStation Media Showcase at E3 2017, Bethesda‘s sprawling milestone RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is coming to PlayStation VR. This isn’t an add-on experience or a demo intended to showcase the potential of the hardware — this is the full Skyrim experience in its entirety, including all of its well-received post-release content.

I played Skyrim VR with a pair of PS Move controllers, but Bethesda is building in DualShock 4 support as well. Each controller is mapped to one of your hands, and each hand can be equipped with a sword, shield or spell (or a bow and arrow, which occupies both hands). Attacks feel natural, with a sword swing dealing substantial damage to enemies within melee range. Stabbing motions yielded no results in my demo — Bethesda is sticking to slashing motions for hand-to-hand combat to keep things balanced.

Ryan and Justin talk to Andrew Scharf from Bethesda about bringing the landmark RPG to virtual reality

Wielding a bow and arrow is especially fascinating. It’s a fairly one-to-one affair, requiring the player to manoeuvre the PS Move controllers into position to nock an arrow, hold the right trigger, pull the controller/arrow back, and release the trigger to send the projectile on its merry, violent way. I noticed no auto-aim assistance here, so it took me a few tries to actually peg an enemy soldier firing volleys back at me — all the more satisfying when I finally landed that precision shot and took him down.

Finding the right balance between player immersion and comfort is important to the team bringing Skyrim to PS VR — good news, since this is the full, dozens (hundreds?) of hours’ worth of gameplay we lost ourselves to a few years ago. During my demo, movement was controlled by holding the PS Move button on the left controller to bring up a blue orb, which you could then move to any spot within a few-foot radius, then let go to teleport there. Pressing the two bottom face buttons on the right PS Move controller shift your field of vision a few degrees to the left or right.

Once I became more comfortable with this setup, I was blinking around mountain paths and through trap-filled dungeon hallways with blinding speed — unexpectedly making me feel more nimble and mobile than with standard controls. That said, Bethesda is planning to include options for more traditional movement, which players will be able to adjust depending on their comfort level.

Skyrim VRSkyrim VR


Perhaps the most exciting moments I experienced during my short time with Skyrim VR were those when I was able to dual-wield a spell in each hand. Full, independent control of each hand meant that I could equip dual fire spells and rain superheated justice upon any foes unlucky enough to exist within my line of sight. “You learn a lot about a person when you watch them play this,” the Bethesda rep manning the demo remarked as he watched me mercilessly torch entire encampments.

Perhaps a bit of self-reflection is in order.

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  • II always said the Move controllers should have had analogue sticks on and this barmy “teleport” workaround is precisely why they needed it. I pictured a “Dualshock VR” that splits in two for separate handed VR controls but alas, we’ve just got to put up with the aging Move controllers for now. They work great in VR until you need to actually move about. The Aim controller is halfway there but no good for dual wielding. I’ll just have to use my Dualshock 4 for now… I’ve no interest in teleporting. It breaks the immersion too much.

    I love Skyrim very much; so much so that I’ve already bought it twice. Please don’t make me buy it again and release VR support as an add-on.

    • It’s awesome milking cow-even after so many years, don’t even dream about freebie…

    • From what i hear . Its a completely rebuilt game . So i dont expect it to be free or cheap. Unlike a ‘remaster’ should be.

    • II don’t mind paying a bit for VR as an add-on but if it’s full price again I won’t be bothering. I don’t expect it to be free as it must take quite a bit of work to implememt it.

    • Like with Fallout 4 VR you’ll be paying full price, If you visit GAME they have it up for £49.99.

    • Amazon has it for £49.99 too so I guess you guys are buying it again.

    • This

    • Even if they had a good VR controller and not the crappy move wands, blinking is currently by far the best way to travel in VR games. Actually made me interested to play this that they did t just stick VR into normal movement.

  • How about the option for one Move Controller and bringing back the Navigation Controller?

    • II would love to see that. But they seem to have forgotten it exists

    • With you on that. If it’s not difficult to implement, why not.

      They would have to make you one handed in game as the Navi is not motion sensitive but I’m sure it could work with little fuss.

      Barely used the poor controller. ?

    • Dual wield can still work with one. Just assign aiming for both to just one Move, but individual fire can be triggered using the Navs L2 and the Moves R2.

  • Like DIRT Rally, I would buy the VR as an add-on.

    I’m not paying out over £40 yet again for the same game after buying the remaster, i’d rather apply the VR to my current disk version.

    • Why would they not sell it to you? It’s going to be £50. It’s already up for physical pre-order. Fallout 4 VR is already up for digital pre-order on Steam for £40. You’re going to re-buy it or you aren’t going to be playing it. I’m really glad I saw all of these issues coming and didn’t invest. If this flops, everyone is stuck with VR gear they can’t use in future games.

    • Retailers always jump the gun new games.

      When Star Wars VR Mission was announced, they put it up for sale at £50 and it ended up being a free add-on to Battlefront.

    • It’s on the PSN store for that much too.

  • I’m interested in playing the game in vr and would buy it but I’m scared of spiders! I hope they put a mode in it to remove them

  • No stabbing? What kind of immersion is this?

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