Citing issues from broken mods to too many rereleases of the game, Steam players have been giving negative reviews to Skyrim’s Anniversary Edition.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition update was released on November 11, 2021, exactly 10 years to the day since the original release of the game, and the Steam user reviews for the new edition, both recent and all-time, still show as mixed. Despite containing a fair amount of additional content and all of Skyrim’s DLC packs, the release has not been especially well-received, which is at odds with the acclaim the game has garnered since its original release in 2011. In fact, the Special Edition of the game still sits at “Very Positive” ratings out of over 100,000 reviews.
Skyrim Anniversary Edition was Bethesda’s latest rerelease of the game, bringing many enhancements such as improved graphics and faster loading times for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. It also granted players free access to all of the mods on the Skyrim Creation Club, a service that allowed the purchase of select items, features, and content for the game. This included new missions, weapons, and game mechanics, such as a survival mode and the ability to go fishing.
The reviews of the update on Steam are mixed, suggesting that, while some players are enjoying their latest ventures into Tamriel, others are unhappy with the new release. Many of the positive reviews express enjoyment of the new content, but the negative reviews describe issues with mods breaking as a result of the release and accuse developer Bethesda of going for a cheap cash grab. A Skyrim developer warned that mods would be broken by the update, and this is one of the most-criticized aspects of the release.
Negative Reviews Are Not About The Game’s Quality
Skyrim has been released 7 times in the last 10 years, including the Legendary Edition, Special Edition, and a VR release. The constant revival of the game has become a meme amongst gamers, but the release of the Anniversary Edition has become somewhat of a breaking point. The reviews of the update show that players feel the game offers little meaningful content and aren’t happy about it. With no signs of the release of Elder Scrolls 6, another rerelease of Skyrim has created frustration in the player base. It is understandable that players have started to grow sick of the same game, especially when considering Skyrim has now been out for as long as Morrowind was when Skyrim was originally released (Morrowind being the third in the series, with Skyrim being the fourth).
The main concern of the reviews is that mods have been severely impacted by the release of the update. It affected the load order of players’ mods, and would crash the game and make it unplayable once installed. Even after a clean install, modded saves sometimes could not be loaded again, erasing countless hours of progress. However, this has been wrongly attributed to the Anniversary Edition update. New mods are available for Skyrm Anniversary Edition, and some old mods do still work. The fact of the matter is that the Skyrim Special Edition was also updated from version 1.5.97 to 1.6 on the day of the Anniversary Edition‘s release, and this also broke any mods using a .dll file type. Players may believe that it was the paid update that made their game unplayable, but this was not actually the case.
The backlash to the Skyrim Anniversary Edition is not limited to broken mods and too many releases, but reviewers also derided the huge 15GB update size and poor UI. The positive reviews cautiously describe how the value of the purchase would depend on each player, and the negative reviews revolve more around personal playability issues. What all can agree on, however, is that the gameplay is still as great as it always has been, and perhaps at its best, with the Skyrim Anniversary Edition update, even if the reviews seem largely negative.
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