Are you one of the handful of gamers yet to try one of the greatest games in recent years? Well it’s good news! Skyrim Special Edition is free to try on both Xbox One and PC (via Steam) this weekend.
For those unfamiliar with Skyrim, Bethesda originally released it back in 2011 and players take on the role of the Dovahkiin, which translates to Dragonborn, and must save the northernmost province of Tamriel, Skyrim, from the reawakening dragon threat.
That’s the original trailer from the game’s initial reveal. Since then there have been three additional content packs, a high resolution texture pack and a major engine upgrade that added many of the bells and whistles developed for Fallout 4. All of the extra goodness is included in the Skyrim Special Edition. It’s still not on the cutting edge of visual excellence, but when Bethesda say they make open world games they really mean it.
Technically, you’re supposed to escape Imperial custody at the start of the game, as a dragon lays waste to the village you were in, then inform the local authorities there’s a dragon on the loose. And then go find a thing for the court wizard, investigate a dragon attack, discover your destiny…
You don’t have to, though. Once you escape the initial tutorial you can run in the other direction, stealing from villagers, exploring dungeons, joining the Thieves Guild, taking part in the civil war, or a dozen other activities besides. Because the Special Edition comes with the Hearthfire expansion, you could build your own house. Or fight the vampires in Dawnguard, or join them!
If you manage to finish the game in the free weekend, you could start exploring the thousands of mods available. Achievements will be disabled once you install mods, but some of them add so much to the game it’s well worth it. Start with something simple, like a mod that makes unread books glow (Download Unread Books Glow for PC or XBOX) and move on to something a bit more game altering, like Open Cities. A mod that removes the load screens before entering the major cities, watch out for vampires and dragons! (Download Open Cities Skyrim for PC or XBOX)
Let us know in the comments if you pick it up, or need any more mod recommendations!