[Reviewed on Xbox One]
I had always thought of myself as a casual gamer, until recent years. So, upon The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's original release, I did indeed pick up the game, but didn't give the title the chance it deserved. In fact, I quit the game completely after around 90-minutes, because killing a chicken saw an entire village turn on me and slaughter me as if I had burned their houses and huts to the ground. I figured poultry was fair game no matter where it was - I was very wrong. The game then sat collecting dust on my shelf until I sold it along with my Xbox 360 and upgraded to the Xbox One.
Now, I sit with the very same game five years after attempting to play it for the first time and can finally say I've given it my all. And what a treat it has been. It's easy to see after just a few hours of playing why Skyrim has ranked as one of the best RPG games to ever be released. But what you really want to know is what has changed.
With character models and combat animations, you may be left a little disappointed. Bethesda hasn't put their time into rehauling and enhancing these as much as some would have liked, but where their efforts may falter here, they make up for it in a number of other ways.
For example, the lighting and shading, along with depth of field options means that this is going to be the most intense and realistic Skyrim experience you could have. Walking through the forests and building your own journey in a variety of different ways, you'll no doubt feel nostalgic if you've played in the past, but may get lost in the beauty of the wilderness.
So what else is new here? Well, the three DLC add-ons released with the original - Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn - have now been installed along with the main game, and there are over 200 mods available on the Xbox version of the game. I've been told some of these same mods have been restricted by Sony however, so if you're playing on PlayStation 4, don't be surprised if your Xbox gaming friend has a mod you cannot access.
Whilst Skyrim Special Edition at first may not look too different to the game you remember and does unfortunately show some signs of aging, looking at videos which put the original side-by-side with the newly released version shows exactly how much has been changed, and it's truly satisfying to see.
When it comes down to it, this is still amongst the best RPGs available on the market today, so if you're looking for an adventure that you can mould and play with perhaps the most freedom a videogame has ever given a player, Skyrim is still the go-to title.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is available now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.