Skyrim vs Portal Knights

Shortly after the Nintendo Switch was launched, the rumors of Skyrim making it’s way to the platform were confirmed. This was one of the many reasons I was eager to get my hands on a Switch. I kept my expectations fairly low, knowing full well that the Switch has technical limitations and Skyrim is just a massive game with incredible landscape. Upon release, I was pleasantly surprised with how smooth Skyrim was on the Switch. Even the load times were pretty in line with other consoles. All in all, Skyrim turned out great and has obviously been a big hit, but then Portal Knights came along nearly a week later…

Don’t get me wrong, Skyrim is a wonderful game, but it just doesn’t seem to fit as well as Portal Knights for the Switch.


For those who love RPGs, but haven’t taken a look at Portal Knights yet, here are 5 reasons to play Portal Knights on Nintendo Switch.

Build – for all you Minecraft fans out there, Portal Knights gives the the leeway to create just about anything you can imagine if you can farm the right resources. While the story arch and quest lines are still necessary, you are able to purchase a plot of land early on in the game where you can build to your hearts content. You can set it as your home and quick travel back to it at any time to lighten your load or work on your next project. The game does a great job of giving you the freedom to choose between continuing the story arch or bringing out your inner master builder.


Customization – Beyond simply customizing what you build, you can also customize your skill set. This is not unique to Portal Knights and you can make a similar argument for Skyrim, but the way you go about farming for resources in Portal Knights makes it feel like more of a game within a game. Minecraft elements are introduced here which is why it is made to feel this way, but you have a better sense of purpose behind what you are doing since the overall enhancements are directly made to your character.

Open World Game Play – Yes… Skyrim has this in spades, but one thing that is different about the open world in Portal Knights is the island progression component. This actually combines platformer attributes with open world RPG mechanics. The quest line progression, exploration, and mob grind are a big part of the game play for both games, but completionists (like myself) have a hard time feeling satisfied in the world of Skyrim. Portal Knights gives you the freedom to explore and interact with NPCs and actually complete an island prior to moving on to the next part of the game. In that same regard, you can and should come back to previously conquered islands to farm for materials or complete island events.

Aesthetics – This one is rather minor, but fans of Nintendo have come to expect more of a cartoony art style and this is an area which Portal Knights just seems to fit more among the fan base. While Skyrim is an absolutely beautiful game, it doesn’t fit the traditional mode of Nintendo. This is not a negative thing whatsoever, it is simply different and it is this difference that will continue to bring new types of gamers to the Switch.

Local Multiplayer – Both Portal Knights and Skyrim offer multiplayer modes via online game play. Portal Knights currently limits you to just playing with friends simply because they don’t want online terrorists (a la Minecraft) to come into your world and destroy everything you have built. This makes sense. But Portal Knights offers something that Skyrim does not: local multiplayer. This is the main reason why Portal Knights is a better fit for the Switch. The co-op split screen functionality of Portal Knights helps to enhance the overall experience of the game. The nature (and foundation) of the hybrid console is the freedom to game on-the-go without missing a beat. The joy con technology allows friends to join in the fun no matter where you are and Skyrim is unable to capitalize on this feature with the Switch.

While Skyrim will appeal to a broader audience and help to sell more Switch units, Portal Knights certainly does a better job of taking advantage of the hybrid console’s core feature: gaming anytime, anywhere.



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