Is Skyrim A Souls Game? A Tale of Two Gaming Titans

It was a chilly evening, the kind where you’d rather be wrapped in a blanket with a controller in hand, diving into a virtual world. I had just booted up “Dark Souls” for the first time, lured by tales of its legendary difficulty. An hour in, and I was already questioning my life choices. “Why isn’t this more like ‘Skyrim’?” I groaned, missing the familiar landscapes of Tamriel. Over a late-night Discord chat, I found out I wasn’t the only one grappling with this gaming conundrum. It got me thinking, and I realized many of us have pondered:

  • Is “Skyrim” a “Souls” game, and what sets them apart in the vast RPG universe?
  • What are the pros and cons of “Skyrim” not being as brutally challenging as a “Souls” game?
  • And, diving deeper, why do some gamers, like myself, find solace in one over the other?

If you’ve ever been caught in the crossfire of a “Skyrim vs. Souls” debate or just wondered why these two titans of gaming elicit such strong feelings, you’re in for a treat. This guide is like the ultimate strategy guide, but instead of boss fights, we’re tackling gaming’s big questions. So, grab your favorite in-game snack, and let’s dive into this together. ?

Ready player one? Scroll down and let’s level up our understanding!

Is Skyrim A Souls-Like Game?

Ah, the age-old debate of whether “Skyrim” is a “Souls” game! Let’s dive into this, shall we?

First and foremost, “Skyrim” and the “Souls” series (like “Dark Souls,” “Demon’s Souls,” and “Bloodborne”) are both beloved and iconic in the world of action RPGs. However, no, Skyrim is not a souls game. They offer distinct experiences, and while there might be some superficial similarities, they are fundamentally different in many ways.

Setting and Atmosphere

  • Skyrim: The game is set in the province of Skyrim, a vast, open world filled with snowy mountains, lush forests, and ancient ruins. The atmosphere is that of a high-fantasy setting, with dragons, magic, and various races coexisting.
  • Souls Games: These games are known for their dark, oppressive, and often melancholic atmospheres. The worlds are interconnected, with a focus on decay, despair, and the passage of time. There’s a sense of mystery and ambiguity in the lore, which is often told indirectly.

Gameplay and Mechanics

  • Skyrim: “Skyrim” is more of a traditional RPG. You have a lot of freedom in character customization, skill trees, and playstyle choices. The combat is more straightforward, and while it can be challenging, it’s generally more forgiving.
  • Souls Games: The “Souls” series is notorious for its challenging combat. Every enemy can be deadly, and players need to learn patterns, timings, and when to strike. There’s less hand-holding, and players are expected to learn from their mistakes. The games also have a unique mechanic where players drop their “souls” (or equivalent currency) upon death and have one chance to retrieve them.


  • Skyrim: The narrative in “Skyrim” is more direct. There’s a main questline, various side quests, and a lot of dialogue. The world is rich with lore, and players can dive deep into the history of Tamriel through books and conversations.
  • Souls Games: Storytelling in the “Souls” series is more cryptic. Much of the lore is hidden in item descriptions, environmental cues, and brief dialogues. Players often have to piece together the story themselves, leading to various interpretations and theories.

Community and Modding

  • Skyrim: One of the standout features of “Skyrim” is its modding community. Players have created a plethora of mods, ranging from graphical enhancements to entirely new quests and characters. This has added immense replayability to the game.
  • Souls Games: While there are mods for “Souls” games, they aren’t as extensive or central to the experience as in “Skyrim.”

In conclusion, while “Skyrim” and the “Souls” series might share the action RPG label and have some thematic overlaps, they offer distinct experiences. “Skyrim” is more of an open-world, high-fantasy adventure, while the “Souls” games are challenging, dark, and often enigmatic journeys. So, is “Skyrim” a “Souls” game? Not really. But both are masterpieces in their own right, offering unique adventures for players to embark upon. And hey, there’s no harm in loving both, right?

Ten reasons why it’s a good thing that Skyrim is not a Souls game

While both “Skyrim” and the “Souls” series are fantastic in their own right, there are benefits to them being distinct experiences. Here are 10 reasons why it’s good that “Skyrim” isn’t a “Souls” game:

  1. Diversity in the RPG Genre: Having different types of RPGs ensures that there’s something for everyone. If every game mimicked the “Souls” formula, the genre would become monotonous. Variety is the spice of life!
  2. Accessibility: “Skyrim” is more accessible to a broader audience. Not everyone is looking for the punishing difficulty of a “Souls” game. “Skyrim” allows for casual gamers and hardcore gamers alike to find enjoyment.
  3. Narrative Depth: “Skyrim” offers a more direct and expansive narrative. Players can engage in numerous side quests, join guilds, and even get married. This level of narrative depth and choice isn’t the focus of “Souls” games.
  4. Open World Exploration: The vast open world of Skyrim, filled with various biomes, cities, and hidden treasures, offers a different kind of exploration experience than the interconnected but more linear worlds of the “Souls” series.
  5. Character Customization: In “Skyrim,” players have a wide range of options to customize their character’s appearance, skills, and playstyle. While “Souls” games have customization, it’s not as in-depth or central to the experience.
  6. Modding Community: One of “Skyrim’s” most significant advantages is its vibrant modding community. Players have created everything from new lands to entirely new storylines. This level of community engagement is unique to games like “Skyrim.”
  7. Lore and World Building: The Elder Scrolls series, of which “Skyrim” is a part, has a rich history spanning several games. This extensive lore provides a depth to the world that is different from the cryptic storytelling of “Souls” games.
  8. Different Combat Feel: The combat in “Skyrim” is more straightforward and allows for various approaches, from stealth archery to magic-wielding. This contrasts with the precise and often punishing combat of “Souls” games.
  9. Replayability for Different Reasons: While both games offer replayability, “Skyrim” does so through its vast world, numerous quests, and character choices. In contrast, “Souls” games often encourage replays to master the game’s mechanics or explore different build strategies.
  10. Distinct Fan Communities: Both “Skyrim” and the “Souls” series have passionate fan bases. By being different games, they foster unique communities that generate diverse fan art, theories, and discussions.

In essence, the differences between “Skyrim” and the “Souls” series enrich the gaming landscape. Each game offers its own set of experiences, challenges, and joys, ensuring that players have a wide range of adventures to choose from.

Ten reasons why it’s unfortunate that Skyrim isn’t a Souls game.

While it’s essential to remember that both “Skyrim” and the “Souls” series are beloved for their unique qualities, we can entertain the idea of what might have been gained if “Skyrim” had borrowed more from the “Souls” formula. Here are 10 reasons why it might be considered unfrotunate that “Skyrim” isn’t a “Souls” game:

  1. Combat Depth: The “Souls” games are renowned for their intricate and challenging combat mechanics. If “Skyrim” had adopted this, it might have offered a more engaging and rewarding combat experience for players seeking a challenge.
  2. Environmental Storytelling: The “Souls” series excels at telling stories through the environment, item descriptions, and subtle cues. “Skyrim” could have benefited from this indirect approach, adding layers of mystery and interpretation.
  3. Consequences for Death: In “Souls” games, death has significant consequences, often leading players to strategize and approach situations with caution. Implementing such a system in “Skyrim” could have added tension and stakes to every encounter.
  4. Tighter Level Design: While “Skyrim” boasts a vast open world, the “Souls” games are praised for their interconnected and meticulously designed levels. This could have added a different dimension to exploration in “Skyrim.”
  5. Unique Multiplayer Interactions: The “Souls” series has a unique multiplayer system, where players can leave hints (or deceptions) and join others’ games for cooperative or competitive play. Such a feature in “Skyrim” could have enriched the player experience.
  6. Atmospheric Immersion: The dark, brooding atmosphere of the “Souls” games is one of their hallmarks. If “Skyrim” had a touch of this, it might have created a more immersive and emotionally resonant world.
  7. Challenge and Mastery: The satisfaction of overcoming a particularly tough boss or area in “Souls” games is unparalleled. Incorporating such challenges in “Skyrim” could have given players a greater sense of achievement.
  8. Less Hand-Holding: “Souls” games are known for their lack of explicit direction, forcing players to figure things out on their own. This could have made “Skyrim” a more rewarding experience for those who enjoy piecing things together without much guidance.
  9. Diverse Enemy Design: The “Souls” series showcases a wide variety of unique and challenging enemies. Integrating such diverse foes into “Skyrim” could have added more variety and unpredictability to encounters.
  10. Mechanical Depth: Beyond combat, “Souls” games have intricate systems, from weapon upgrades to character builds. If “Skyrim” had incorporated some of these mechanics, it might have offered players more depth in character progression and customization.

While these points highlight potential benefits of “Skyrim” being more like a “Souls” game, it’s essential to appreciate each game for what it is. Both have carved out their niches in the gaming world and have brought joy to countless players in their unique ways.

Opinion Piece: The Joy of Skyrim and the Relief of Escaping the Ruthless Grip of Souls Games

In the vast universe of gaming, there’s a place for every kind of player. Some thrive on the adrenaline rush of overcoming insurmountable challenges, while others seek the comfort of a story-rich world where they can explore at their own pace. As someone who has dabbled in both realms, I’ve come to a personal realization: I am genuinely relieved that “Skyrim” isn’t a “Souls” game.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The “Souls” series, with its intricate combat mechanics and cryptic storytelling, has garnered a dedicated fanbase for a reason. These games are masterfully crafted, pushing players to their limits and demanding precision, strategy, and perseverance. Every victory feels earned, every boss defeated a testament to one’s skill and determination.

However, for many, including myself, the relentless difficulty of “Souls” games can feel less like a challenge and more like a barrier. The constant cycle of death and repetition, the sparse checkpoints, and the often punishing consequences can turn what should be an enjoyable pastime into a source of frustration. It’s not just about the difficulty; it’s about the feeling that the game is needlessly hard, almost as if it’s mocking you at every turn.

Enter “Skyrim.” The Elder Scrolls series, of which “Skyrim” is a part, offers a vastly different experience. The expansive, open world of Tamriel invites players to explore, engage in epic quests, and shape their destiny. The combat, while still offering a level of challenge, is more forgiving. Players can adjust the difficulty settings to suit their preferences, ensuring that the game remains accessible to all.

In “Skyrim,” I found solace. The game allowed me to immerse myself in its rich lore, interact with its diverse cast of characters, and truly feel like a hero. There was no constant dread of an impending, almost guaranteed death around every corner. Instead, there was a sense of wonder, of adventure, and of freedom.

Some might argue that the satisfaction derived from conquering a “Souls” game is unparalleled. And they’re not wrong. But not everyone is seeking that kind of satisfaction. Some of us game to relax, to escape, and to be enthralled by a story. For us, “Skyrim” is a haven.

In conclusion, while the “Souls” series undoubtedly has its merits and will always have its ardent fans, I am profoundly grateful for games like “Skyrim.” They remind us that gaming is a diverse medium, catering to a myriad of tastes and preferences. And for those who, like me, find the ruthless difficulty of “Souls” games a tad too much, “Skyrim” is a gentle reminder that it’s okay to seek comfort in the familiar embrace of a more forgiving world.

Final Words and Summary

As we journeyed through the vast landscapes of gaming, we delved deep into the heart of what makes “Skyrim” and “Souls” games tick. It’s been an epic quest, reminiscent of those late-night gaming marathons where every discovery feels like unearthing a hidden gem. To recap our adventure:

  • Explored the core differences between “Skyrim” and “Souls” games.
  • Discussed the unique appeal of each game’s world and mechanics.
  • Delved into the reasons why “Skyrim” being distinct from “Souls” games can be both a blessing and a missed opportunity.
  • Highlighted the emotional connection gamers feel towards their preferred gaming experiences.
  • Emphasized the importance of diverse gaming experiences catering to different player preferences.
  • Celebrated the richness and depth of both game series, acknowledging their respective places in the gaming pantheon.

As we wrap up this chapter, I urge you to continue exploring and questioning. Dive into the “What Next?” section and keep the gaming flame alive!

What Next?

I always believe in leaving my fellow gamers with something actionable, a quest to embark upon after our discussions. Here are some steps to take your gaming journey further:

  • Revisit “Skyrim” or a “Souls” game: Play with a fresh perspective, appreciating the nuances we discussed.
  • Join a gaming forum or Discord server: Engage in discussions, share your insights, and learn from others.
  • Write a review: Share your thoughts on your favorite gaming platform or blog.
  • Host a gaming night: Invite friends over and introduce them to your preferred game, fostering new discussions.
  • Challenge yourself: If you’re a “Skyrim” fan, give “Souls” another shot, and vice versa. Sometimes, a second look can offer a new experience.

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Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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