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PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Skywind trailer shows coasts, creatures and clutter">Skywind

When we last caught up with Skywind, it was for its second official development diary. But as interesting as the internal workings of this Skyrim mod team are, I'm more interested in the results a full recreation of Morrowind in Bethesda's latest engine. You can see how far the team have come in this new trailer, which not only provides long and sweeping shots of its alien locations, but also gives a look at the creatures and clutter that will populate the renewed world.

Skywind currently isn't available to the public, but, as announced at the end of the trailer, a "public developer alpha release" will be coming soon. What's a public developer alpha release? Good question, and one that the mod's makers aren't answering saying only that "it will be revealed in time".

For more on Skywind, check out last months Daedric ruin-focused "Remnants" trailer, embedded below.

PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 8">steam sale day 8

The Steam Summer Sale is always dangerous, threatening to take money from your wallet and hundreds of hour of your life away with tantalizing games. But today's best deals feel especially life-threatening, because there are some masterful strategy games on sale. Civilization 5, Rome 2: Total War, and Europa Universalis IV are all heavily discounted, and any one of these games could keep you occupied for months of economic planning, political trickery or open warfare. The deal of the day, though, is Dishonored, a top contender for 2012 game of the year.

Don t forget to check out GOG s summer deals, too.

Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.

5 - Assassin s Creed IV: Black Flag

50% off: $19.99 / 19.99- Steam store page

If you couldn t captain a pirate ship, cannon a schooner to pieces, then leap onto its deck to sword-n-pistol away half the crew, we might have a lower opinion of Black Flag. It s not that landlubbers will get nothing from it: on the islands you ll find a healthy mix of Ubisoft game design staples some good, some tailing missions with a Far Cry 3 level of stuff to do. You can air assassinate an ocelot, which is certainly worthy of praise, but the sailing makes it. Black Flag is one of our favorite Assassin s Creeds because it ditches lots of legacy AC stuff and says: Hey, how about you just be a pirate now?

4 - Europa Universalis IV

75% off: $9.99 / 8.74- Steam store page

Grand strategy is complciated. Paradox Development set out to make it slightly less so, by refining EU4 s interface and presenting every important bit of information a ruler could need in clear, concise alerts. As we said in our review, it worked, and while EU4 is by no means an easy game, it s way easier for new grand commanders to learn. This is a game that you can spend 300 hours with and still discover new surprises. Paradox has the base game on deep discount here, as well as seven different pieces of DLC on sale though Wealth of Nations, its newest expansion pack, is not.

3 - Rome 2: Total War

66% off: $20.37 / 18.69- Steam store page

The Creative Assembly's latest 4X strategy epic is discounted to $20 from its $60 high perch, and that's a great price for a game as vast as the Roman Empire. When Rome 2 launched last September it had some significant issues with performance and enemy AI. Creative Assembly may have gone too big and launched too quickly, but the developer owned up to Rome 2's problems and has released 12 major patches since launch. The campaign map runs more smoothly and battlefield AI isn't completely worthless. And when the game works, it has the Civ effect of pulling you in for just one more turn, until you've spent all night managing your economy and beating off barbarian hordes with a small force of veteran Hastati. Steam Workshop support also means there are tons of mods available to customize the battle experience.

2 - Civilization 5

75% off: $7.49 / 4.99- Steam store page

Some of us were firmly in the Civilization IV is better, and you re wrong if you think otherwise camp when Civ V released, but the debate has become less polarizing it s more about what you prefer than which is better. Between the great Gods & Kings and Brave New World expansions and the magic of Steam Workshop support, Civ V has proven worthy of the series prestige. You might consider the Complete Edition for 67% off again, Gods & Kings and Brave New World add a lot but there are also loads of great free mods. And if you already have Civ V, both of the expansions are 75% off.

1 - Dishonored

75% off: $4.99 / 2.49- Steam store page

It s hard to find a better realized world than Dunwall. It s grimy, filled with rats and refuse, plague-ridden and disgusting. That Arkane Studios made a world this dirty so fun to explore is quite the achievement. Every taffer on the corner has a story to tell, and few of them have happy endings. Sneaking through this world (or marching through it, murdering everyone in your way) is really best experienced on the PC, where you ll have full control of its graphical features and every inch of the rotten city is gorgeously rendered. Sadly, none of Dishonored s DLC is on sale, but you ll get a pretty good taste of Dunwall by the end of the base game.

Other great deals today

Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further later in the sale.

Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD Edition (40% off) $11.99 / 8.99

Steamworld Dig (75% off) $2.49 / 1.74

Left4Dead 2 (75% off) $4.99 / 3.74

Banished (50% off) $9.99 / 7.49

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (Flash sale) (75% off) $4.99 / 4.99

Trine Complete (85% off) $3.74 / 2.69
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Skyrim looks better than ever in this new RealVision ENB showcase video">Skyrim

Every few months, I get ambitious; abandoning my modest selection of must-have Skyrim mods, and embarking on a grand plan to build it into something impossibly beautiful. Inevitably, it all goes wrong. The lighting isn't quite right, the distant mountains look a bit off, or whole sections of water have just vanished. But its videos like this a showcase of what can be achieved with RealVision ENB that make me want to try all over again.

ENBSeries mods can be difficult to install properly, but, if you'd like to give it a go, there's a great step-by-step guide on the RealVision ENB forum page. And if you really want to get the game looking like it does in the video, be sure to go through the recommended and optional mod lists, too.

See some of the previous showcase videos below, and for more Skyrim mods, check out our guide.

Thanks, VG247.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 6">steamsaleday6

It s another good day to be a PC gamer (isn t every day, though, really?) with a new set of Steam Summer Sale deals to pad your library for the long hot days of hiding inside ahead. If nothing has caught your eye yet, there s still another weekend to go, but we re pretty happy with today s selection they re not all brand new, but between the heartfelt Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and the vast wasteland of Fallout New Vegas, there's a few hundred hours of amazing and diverse gaming at a deep discount.

Don t forget to check out GOG s summer deals, too.

Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.

5 - Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

80% off: $2.99 / 2.19 - Steam store page

There are a lot of great stories in games, but few are as affecting as the one here, a story about two brothers traveling a dangerous world to save their father. The characters you meet are painted in broad strokes, but each one has an endearing quality the scene with the ogres is just delightful. It s not just a great story, though: the puzzles in Brothers, and how you solve them by controlling both siblings at the same time, are a joy to solve, even if they re not particularly difficult. It s not a long game, but it s a great four-hour journey for the money.

4 - The Blackwell Bundle

90% off: $1.99 / 1.49 Steam store page Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

This is an absurdly good price for the first four Blackwell games a series of noir adventures about a psychic detective and her decidedly dead partner. What makes the series worth experiencing is its refusal to fall back on traditional adventure puzzles. Progress is rarely about what you've picked up, but rather what you know. Information is a tool to be used, and investigation reveals new leads and ways to overcome your problems. Beyond that, there's a dramatic story played out between likeable characters; a story that slowly escalates in impact up to the (non-bundled and less discounted) fifth and final game. You can grab Blackwell Epiphany for 40% off.

3 - Torchlight II

75% off: $4.99 / 3.74 - Steam store page

Let s celebrate choice: Diablo III has improved a lot since launch (the Auction House closes today, by the way), but here s one of our other favorite action RPGs, and you can currently buy eight copies of it for the price of one Diablo III. We don t know why you would do that, but hey, Steam gifts are a lovely way to show a friend you care.

2 - Metro Last Light Complete

66% off: $6.79 / 6.79 - Steam store page

Metro: Last Light is still one of the best-looking games on PC, and it s our go-to game any time we want to see how well a PC runs. But it s also a great shooter, with a few stealth sections that work better than you d expect. It s also surprisingly sad: it s not often that a first-person shooter will move you as much as post-apocalyptic Moscow does. This Complete edition also adds all of the released DLC for the game, including the single-player focused Chronicles pack.

1 - Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition

66% off: $6.79 / 5.09 - Steam store page

Wandering the wasteland is one of the best parts of any Fallout game, and New Vegas collected edition here gives you a lot of wasteland to cover. The base game feel more like an open, living world than Bethesda s version of a post-apocalyptic D.C., but the collection of add-ons five in all makes that world even denser. Factor in the thriving mod community on Steam Workshop and you could be living in that wasteland for a long time.

Other great deals today

Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further later in the sale.

Nidhogg (66% off) $5.09 / 3.73

Gone Home (75% off) $4.99 / 3.74

Spec Ops: The Line (67% off) $9.89 / 6.59

Syberia Bundle (90% off) $1.49 / 1.09
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 3">Steam Sale day 3

It's day 3 of the Steam Summer Sale, and though your wallet might be pleading with you to stop throwing money at your monitor, the bargains keep on coming - and some prime deals await you today. There's a couple of very good deals in the dailies right now, so if you've been waiting for a steep reduction on a certain dragony shouting game, this is your moment to swoop. In case you'd forgotten, GOG.com is having its own sizzling summer sale as well, so be sure to check that out too.

Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.

5 - Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

75% off: $4.99 / 3.74 - Steam store page | Note: May be reduced further in a Flash or Daily sale

This isn't a pick from the Dailies or the Flash sales, so there's a chance Bloodlines will receive a steeper discount on top of its already whopping 75% one, but even at its current price this is a steal. Bloodlines is the best vampire game you'll find, and the best Vampire game too - White Wolf's seamy supernatural world has been done justice here, and then some, by the sadly departed Troika, who brought the world the similarly terrific Arcanum. The writing is fantastic, and often darkly hilarious, and there's a fully fledged haunted house for good measure. Be sure to play it with the unofficial patch, however, as it's a buggy, unfinished mess otherwise.

4 - Dragon Age: Origins - Ultimate Edition

75% off: $7.49 / 4.99 - Steam store page

The original Dragon Age has likely been available for cheaper than this at some point during its storied history, but this is an exceptionally good price for the base game and all of its DLC. Bioware's classic RPG managed to recreate most of the best parts of their Baldur's Gate series, shifting the action to a 3D engine and an entirely new universe, and inserting cringeworthy sex scenes so you could have a good laugh amid all the grimdark moral choices and monster-slaying. With Dragon Age: Inquisition out soon, and looking very good indeed, now's the perfect time for a series replay to get yourself reacquainted - or for a first play if you've not had the pleasure yet.

3 - Papers, Please

70% off: $2.99 / 2.09 - Steam store page | Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

Lucas Pope's grim checkpoint simulator is not a game you can win, exactly, but it might be one that you - and your family - can survive if you're lucky, and if you're willing to bend your morality just a bit (or, well, a lot). Stay on the straight and narrow as an immigration officer in the game's fictional, pseudo-Soviet state and you likely won't make enough to survive. It's surely only a matter of time, then, until you begin to bend the rules, to accept bribes from shady characters in order to cover for your costly mistakes. After all, you're not going to let your kids starve, are you? If you've not played this award-winning game yet, this is almost certainly the cheapest it's ever been. Read our review for more.

2 - The Stanley Parable

60% off: $5.99 / 3.99 - Steam store page

We'll refrain from writing this in our omniscient narrator voice and get straight to it: The Stanley Parable is one of the most inventive, funniest, and smartest games we've played. "Effortlessly inventive, frequently surprising and consistently hilarious" are some words that feature in our review. If you've not had the pleasure of Galactic Cafe's endlessly surprising adventure - or the original mod - yet, it's a game about player choice, a game with a fantastic narrator, and a game about being a game, and those are all good reasons to give it a go at such a low price.

1 - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

75% off: $4.99 / 2.49 - Steam store page

2.49 is silly money for Bethesda's grand, chilly open world RPG (you can also grab it with all the DLC for not much more). As well as being a great game in its own right - see our glowing review for further proof of this - it's a magnificent springboard for all sorts of crazy and not-so-crazy mods, including this heroic attempt to remake Morrowind in Skyrim. There's a staggering amount of value here, from the expansive, open roleplaying of the main game to all manner of free improvements, additions, and madness offered up by the community.

Other great deals today

Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further.

La-Mulana (75% off) $3.74 / 2.74

Shadowrun: Dragonfall (40% off) $8.99 / 6.59

Payday: The Heist (90% off) $1.49 / 1.09

Gone Home (75% off) $4.99 / 3.74

One Way Heroics (75% off) $0.87 / 0.57

One Finger Death Punch (50% off) $2.49 / 1.99

Awesomenauts (75% off) $2.49 / 1.74
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Mod of the Week: Holidays, for Skyrim">Wet and Cold: Holidays for Skyrim

I'd just installed a Skyrim mod and was standing in Whiterun, noticing that nothing seemed to be happening. Broken mod, I assumed, or more likely I installed it incorrectly. Then I noticed a few NPCs drifting into the outdoor market area. Then a few more. A couple started playing instruments, some began to dance, others stood around chatting. I noticed some decorations were up, and a couple tables of sweets had appeared. As night fell, it became a full-on party with throngs of townsfolk, followed by fireworks. It was one of several celebrations added by the Wet and Cold: Holidays Mod, one of the most enjoyable mods I've ever tried.

NPCs: they're abused, mistreated, killed, stolen from, and worst of all, completely ignored. They trudge endlessly along their preset paths, unable to deviate from their daily routines unless there's a dragon attack or some heroic adventurer runs up to them and starts a conversation (and then leaves in the middle of it). In a world full of magic, drama, religion, and folklore, nearly none of which they get to participate in, the NPCs finally have a little something for themselves: holidays.

This one is for you, Whiterun... the rockin'-est city in the whole damn world!

The Wet and Cold: Holidays mod (note: the holidays themselves are not necessarily wet and cold, that's just the name of a precursor mod that adds effects for the player character getting wet and/or cold), adds a whole bunch of holidays that NPCs can and will celebrate, in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons. This isn't just a mod that commands them to go to a specific spot in town and dance for a while. There's actually some lore attached.

Tonight -- at last -- I become the taker of sweet rolls.

For instance, the New Life Festival, taking place on the 1st of Morning Star. It's a day of new beginning, and what better way to begin a new year that bunking off work? Shops are closed all day. On the other hand, during the Merchant's Festival, shops are not only open but everything is half-price, and the stores are crowded with townsfolk looking for a bargain. I took the opportunity to buy myself that chef's hat at Radiant Raiment I've had my eye on. Note: the Mage's Guild does not participate in this one. Of course.

Chef's hat. On m'head. Good holiday buy.

On Harvest's End, workers from local farms come into the city to eat and drink, and you'll find the inns and taverns crowded with revelers all day. In the evening, the crowds will spill into the streets to party, and local children will play a game where they chase a goat. (Well, honestly, I didn't see the kids in Solitude chasing the goat, so I did it myself.) On Tales and Tallows, you'll spy some carved pumpkins outside shops and homes, and people will retire early, leaving the streets vacant and spooky at nightfall. Legend has it, the dead walk the streets that night. Is it true?

I am so gonna smash one of those in their driveway.

There's the Warrior's Festival, where local brawlers and swordsmen will visit blacksmiths, and young lads may purchase their first daggers and go positively apeshit with them (I witnessed this). Both Sun's Rest and The Old Life Festival culminate with a fireworks display, provided by the College of Winterhold, beginning after 10pm in all major cities. There's also a Witches Festival, on the 13th of Frostfall, where warlocks and conjurers meet -- well outside of cities, for obvious reasons -- to summon up all manner of magical beasties and presumably, you know, try to hook up with each other. Well, come on. Witches have the same needs as everyone else.

Oooooooh. Ahhhhhhhh.

There are more somber and religious holidays as well, where you'll find townsfolk in the temples, hoping for prayers and magical cures for their ailments or resurrections for their dead. The Festival of Lights takes place in Dawnguard on the 16th of Morning Star to guide the souls lost at sea back to land. (The candles I saw placed all along the shore weren't exactly the blinding beacon I was expecting, but it may have been the hostile, snowy weather that night.)

A lot of people need healing, so get there early, maybe bring a snack.

Don't worry too much about checking the calendar, either. Decorations for holidays will typically appear a few days before the actual event, and a courier will track you down from time to time with flyers advertising the upcoming holiday. And, frankly, it's just fun to visit a city and be nicely surprised every now and then. "Oh, is today Jester's Day already? No wonder everyone's dressed like idiots. It totally slipped my mind!" My advice: install this mod, forget about it, and just run into the occasional celebrating flashmob. There's a full list of holidays, their backgrounds, and where they're celebrated here.

And here I was thinking you'd all forgotten!

Don't care about NPCs? Still need to feel like the entire world revolves around you, Dragonborn? Never fear, there are several holidays to reinforce the fact that you're a total playa and dragon slaya. There's the Day of the Dragonborn, commemorating your defeat of Alduin (provided you did) and a day marking the ending of Skyrim's Civil War, where you either liberated or reunified the land (if you have). If you're embarrassed by that sort of attention, don't worry. There's absolutely no celebration planned for your birthday. (But you'll still receive a little gift and birthday card.)

Installation: You need a few things, like the latest version of the Skyrim Script Extender, to fully enjoy the mod's decorations and NPC adornments. You'll also need the original Wet and Cold mod, and naturally, the Holidays mod itself. Here it is on the Steam Workshop as well.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to On The Level: Skyrim, The Elder Scrolls V">0_head

Every week Andy celebrates a great map, level, or location from a classic PC game in On The Level. This week it s the snowy land of Skyrim from the fifth Elder Scrolls game.

Journey from one corner of Skyrim to another and you ll encounter a range of varied and atmospheric landscapes. Each hold has its own look and feel, which makes the map feel a lot bigger than it actually is. You get a sense that this is a vast country, rather than a small section of a larger world. Each area has its own history, cultures, and climate, resting in the shadow of the colossal Throat of the World the tallest mountain in Skyrim, whose icy peak stretches far above the clouds.

To the south-east there s The Rift, an autumnal land instantly recognisable by its golden trees. Its proximity to the temperate capital of Tamriel, Cyrodiil, makes it one of the more hospitable places in Skyrim. But it s far from idyllic. The hold s biggest city, Riften, is a hive of scum and villainy, and home to the nefarious Thieves Guild. Other places of note include a honey farm, Goldenglow Estate, which rests on an island in the centre of Lake Honrich. Nowhere is safe in Skyrim you ll have brigands and bears to watch out for in The Rift but at least there s no snow.

Head north and you ll reach the volcanic plains of Eastmarch. Adventurers can often be found bathing in its natural hot springs, resting their weary bones. Geysers spit sulphuric water into the air, and it would be the perfect holiday destination if it wasn t for the skeletons, sabre cats, and occasional circling dragon. Continuing north, Eastmarch gets much colder. The area around its capital, Windhelm, is constantly covered in snow and battered by choking blizzards. This is the oldest city in Skyrim home of Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak and its ancient, inscribed walls speak volumes about its storied past.

West now to Winterhold, which sits on the banks of the freezing Sea of Ghosts. This was once the capital of Skyrim, but fell on hard times after the Great Collapse a geological catastrophe that washed much of the city away, leaving only the College of Winterhold mysteriously intact. As a result, a lot of residents of Winterhold blame the college, a school for mages, for the event. The coast of the Sea of Ghosts is home to horkers and other animals, making it a perfect place to hunt for meat, tusks, and fur.

Travel south and the snow gives way to a harsh tundra dotted with scrub and gnarled trees. This is The Pale, an unforgiving expanse of land where farmers struggle to make a living from the frozen earth. The capital is Whiterun, a beautiful city dominated by the imposing palace of Dragonsreach. This once served as a prison for the dragon Numinex, whose skull now hangs above the Jarl Balgruuf s throne. This is where most new Skyrim players find themselves wandering after escaping Helgen. It s also home to Riverwood, a small village sitting at the foot of the Throat of the World.

Further south lies Falkreath, which is warmer than The Pale, but constantly veiled in fog and rain. As a result of this wet climate, it s covered in thick, verdant pine forests and nestled in the middle of one is the town of Falkreath, which shares its name with its hold. The most notable landmark in the hold is Lake Ilinalta, in which you can find the crumbling remains of a supposedly haunted Imperial outpost. Falkreath sits on the border of Hammerfell, the desert home of the redguards, and you can even find a gate that leads there but, for obvious reasons, you can t actually go through it.

North-west of Falkreath is The Reach, whose capital is built on the remains of an ancient dwemer city the ancient race, sometimes called dwarves , that mysteriously vanished and left behind incredible technology. Its buildings are carved into the mountains, and huge waterfalls cascade from its highest points. The Reach is a mountainous area that s rich in ore, although miners lives are made difficult by the Forsworn, a savage native tribe who want to reclaim the land as their own.

And finally, heading north, we find Haafingar. This is the smallest hold in Skyrim, but home to its capital city, Solitude, which at the start of the game, at least is held by the Imperials. The only road into the hold crosses Dragon Bridge, which serves as an Imperial outpost. Solitude sits on a natural stone arch, and has only one easily accessible entrance, making it highly defensible. Beneath the arch is the Karth River, which is home to the bustling ports of the East Empire Trading Company.

It s testament to the quality of the world-building in Skyrim that I was able to remember all this by heart. Of course, it also helps that I ve also spent hundreds of hours there. I rarely play the game these days as in completing quests and delving into dungeons but I do like to return occasionally just to pick a direction and walk. Amazingly, I m still discovering new things to this day.

You can watch the Skyrim edition of Andy s Other Places series below.

PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to 4K Screenshot Showcase: Dishonored">4k screenshot showcase dishonored

Every week, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.

You wouldn't think a plague-ridden industrial city would look appealing, but get away from the rats and smoke stacks and Dunwall is home to some real beauty, from the Hound Pits Pub to Lady Boyle's party. Check 'em out in Ben's 4K screenshots.

Download the full-sized image here.

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PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Skyblivion trailer shows Oblivion’s opening locations recreated in Skyrim">Skyblivion

Morrowind revival project Skywind looks like a valuable resurrection of Bethesda's 2002 RPG. So much so, that the community responsible for it are also porting another classic Elder Scrolls into the Skyrim engine. The name "Skyblivion" may look like what would happen if you sneezed too hard and smashed your head on a keyboard, but it signals the start of Oblivion's transfer into the newer TES. It's been in the works for a while, but a new trailer has surfaced, showing the progress the team have made.

"Skyblivion is very early in development and as you might have noticed textures and models are pretty much untouched at this point," the trailer's description admits. As with Skywind, the team are looking for help in the creation of this mod. "In order to do this project right we will need help from the community with either the development or simply spreading the word so that we can get people interested in helping out with this project."

If you'd like to get involved, visit the TESRenewal forum. If, like me, you prefer passive anticipation, you can see more of the project below.

PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Mod of the Week: For the Enclave, for Fallout New Vegas">For the Enclave

In the Fallout universe, The Enclave -- deservedly -- have a bit of a bad reputation. On the other hand, they have cool armor and they're always landing vertibirds all over the place like total badasses, and while that doesn't make me like them, it at least makes me think they're kinda cool. That's why For The Enclave, which recently released its final version, is the Fallout New Vegas mod for anyone who's always wanted to join the Enclave.

The modders behind For the Enclave know the best thing about the Enclave is their mode of transport, and starts their mod off in the perfect fashion. Rather than just have some schmuck courier run up to you, or simply add a quest marker to your Pip-Boy journal, they bring in a vertibird to locate you in dramatic fashion. A chopper landing just for you on any occasion is always awesome, but a vertibird touching down in front of you in the post-apocalypse? Double-awesome.

Aw yeah. Picking you up in style.

It seems an Enclave general has noticed your badassery and perhaps has gotten a bit tired of being on the receiving end of it. You're invited to an underground bunker, the Enclave's version of a Vault, really. You can travel there on your own time or climb into the chopper that's just landed. Personally, I chose to take the ride. Why the hell wouldn't you? You've got something better to do than ride a chopper?

Hey, a map. Every mod should have one of these.

The Enclave bunker is big and sprawling, with hangers, barracks, a command HQ, an armory, and several levels of corridors, which is why its so nice that the modders took the time to place maps all over the place, mounted on the walls. Let's face it, it's no fun running around in circles, repeatedly opening the same doors and climbing the same stairs as you try to find your way out of a facility, which was a problem even in the vanilla game.

Don't I know you from a box cover or something?

Despite your reputation and the fact that the Enclave went looking to hire you, you still have to start at the bottom of the food chain and work your way up. There's a couple small, fairly routine tasks you'll need to perform before you get into some serious Enclave business, but it won't be long before you're strapping on power armor and doing some heavy lifting for your new crew.

Ghouls. Why did it have to be ghouls.

One early mission will have you investigating a gloomy underground laboratory. It may seem like a spoiler, showing that picture of ghouls, but trust me, you will know there are ghouls around the second you walk into the lab the because you can hear them. Constantly. Screeching. It just takes a while for them to, like, actually show up. Maybe it's just me and the fact that I always found Fallout's ghouls completely unsettling, but this entire mission was creep-tastic.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Wait, I joined 'em! Why do I still have to beat 'em?

It also turns out that things in the Enclave are not super stable, and the militaristic faction has itself split into sub-factions. There's a splinter branch of the Enclave, and they're not super happy that you're pitching in to help. Hopefully you've already got on your new power armor, because this other Enclave is no picnic to deal with.

I'm wearing stealth armor but using a grenade machine gun. I'm sending mixed messages.

Soon you're in all-out war with the splinter Enclave group, and sent on a mission that's part stealth and recon, and part massive military conflict. Best of all, you get a chance to see more vertibirds swoop across the sky, touch down on the earth, discharge a bunch of Enclave troops -- and they've arrived to help you, not kill you. How sweet it is.

Oh man, I'm boned. Er, no, wait! They're on my side! I'm saved!

I don't want to blab about the entire mod, but there's a lengthy and challenging multi-part main quest, and a handful of side quests you can complete for some of the mod's new characters. You'll eventually unlock custom living quarters in the new bunker, and there's also a new companion that becomes available when you've progressed through some of the missions. There will be some new random encounters as well based on certain choices you've made during the main quest.

So can I play Threes! on this thing or what

There are often waits of a few days between new missions in the mod, meaning this is a good mod to mix in with other activities or quests: when the Enclave has a new task for you, you can trust them to come and find you. There's some custom voice work in the mod, though it's mostly kept to a minimum, which is genuinely refreshing. Sometimes mod makers, when creating dialogue, create quite a lot of it, but here the talking is sparse and to the point.

This mod has been in development for a good long while, and earlier versions have been released in the past, but this appears to be the final version and is definitely worth your time.

Installation: You can download the mod right here. Just make sure you've checked both the .esm and .esp file in your data files when you launch the game as both are needed. You'll also need to be at least Level 15 for the quest to activate. There are also some addition files for improving performance and adding new Enclave uniforms, read the "Installation" section on this page to learn more.




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