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Let's say, theoretically, you're Bethesda (Hi Bethesda, your E3 press conference was nice). How would you convince people to play Skyrim again on the Nintendo Switch, even though the game is six years, old, has been remastered once already, and is also coming to PlayStation VR?
All right, E3 has left us all drained so I'll cheat and give you the answer: Give the Nintendo Switch version of Skyrim motion controls, something Bethesda has already done..
Hey, it's my answer. I didn't say it's the right answer.
The prospect of playing Skyrim with the Switch's Joy-Cons does hold unique appeal, though. I can see how sword-swinging, shield-bashing, and especially arrow-firing via hand-motions might feel richer than simply pushing a button to do the thing. It might help me feel like I'm really going hand-to-hand with Skyrim's most vicious frost trolls and dragons.
Given the general similarities between Skyrim and the Legend of Zelda series, using motion controls in Skyrim for the Switch might make me feel a bit nostalgic, too. When people hear "motion controls" and "Zelda," they immediately say "Oh God, not Skyward Sword," but that's not what I'm referring to, here: I'm talking about Twilight Princess for the Wii, which also utilized motion controls. And I really enjoyed it.
There is a huge difference between the delicate, nuanced swordplay in Skyward Sword and the reckless swinging that makes up most of the combat in Twilight Princess. We can argue for decades about whether Skyward Sword made the right call with its combat system, but the final answer is ultimately subjective: Either you loved the fact a Zelda game made you think about swordplay for once, or you mourned the loss of the thoughtless-but-fun hacking and slashing that defines most Zelda battles.
The combat in Skyrim skews much more closely to the reckless sword-swinging from Twilight Princess than the combat-ballet of Skyward Sword. I won't have to worry about angling my sword just right if I use motion controls in Skyrim for the Switch. I just need to wave my hand to get the job done – or use the Joy-Cons in tandem to nock an arrow and let fly, since I'll inevitably wind up building an Argonian archer yet again. You can feel the weight behind your draw in Twilight Princess, and I still find it very satisfying. I hope Skyrim for the Switch mirrors that sensation.
And once the novelty of re-living the Wii's glory days wears off? No worries. I can just switch back to a traditional control scheme and content myself with the fact I'm playing a portable version of Skyrim and wielding exclusive Hylian equipment.
"But Nadia, if you're so taken by the idea of using motion controls to immerse yourself in Skyrim, why not just get Skyrim VR for the PlayStation 4?"
Because I'd rather not barf all over my coffee table. It's a nice table.
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