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On this week's Mod Roundup, a better way to conduct conversations in Fallout 4, followers that level with you in Skyrim, a complete—and we do mean complete—overhaul of The Witcher 3, and a big update for a Game of Thrones mod for Mount & Blade: Warband.
Here are the most promising mods we've seen this week.
Fallout 4's conversation UI leaves a lot to be desired. For example, instead of a list of full responses, you only get a brief idea of the tone of what you might say. It can lead to some misunderstandings. And, since this is your character, it makes sense that you'd know what you were actually going to say before you say it. This mod reverts the system to one more similar to Fallout 3 and New Vegas. Find it here.
As you climb the ladder of power in Skyrim, you followers join you... up to a point. Most followers have a level cap of 20, and you may have noticed that when you reach level 40 or 50 your lackeys are comparatively weak against your enemies (to the point that they're getting their lights knocked out immediately). This mod, available on the Steam workshop, means they'll level right alongside you. The Skyrim's the limit.
Modders are hard at work on changes—major ones—to The Witcher 3. The School of the Roach mod just entered open beta, and it comes with a huge list of changes, starting with increases to the game's difficulty. It also aims to improve combat, rework the economy, provide a more realistic encumbrance system, and make changes to the leveling system. Alchemy, armor, weapons, skills, menus... it sounds like nothing is being overlooked. Read more about it, and help test the beta, right here.
This mod for Mount & Blade: Warband, which transforms the game into Westeros from Game of Thrones, first arrived in 2013, but it's still being improved and added to. It's just entered it's 8th beta version and with it arrives a whole host of changes, additions, and improvements. The list of changes is too long to tackle here, but you can read more about it, and download it, it at Mod DB.
Alec’s already run his own review of Fallout 4 [official site], based on 50 predominantly campaign-inclined hours in post-nuclear New England, but now Bethesda’s latest is out John and Adam have been taking a more leisurely look at it too. Have they found convincing life in the wasteland? Do they agree that writing and characterisation is much improved? Or that the relentless focus on combat keeps it just short of rad status? Is the Witcher 3 still 2015’s RPG king after this? And why do they think a game which is prompting rather a lot of griping about bugs and graphics and meatheadedness has scored so many 9s and 10s from other critics? Time to set the post-world to rights…>
There are no plot spoilers below, bar a passing reference to what happens in the introductory 15 minutes.
In this week's Mod Roundup, the Game of Thrones mod for Crusader Kings 2 gets its v1.0 release and a GTA 5 mod lets you buy additional houses and rent hotel rooms in Los Santos. You can also explore the fantastic environments of Alien: Isolation—without that damn determined alien chasing you around—and begin a new life in Skyrim as a skooma addict or traveling merchant.
Here are the most promising mods we've seen this week.
One of the best full-conversion mods of all time is even better. The Game of Thrones mod for Crusader Kings 2, which transforms Europe into George R. R. Martin's Westeros, has released version 1.0. It's been a while since I've played it, but there are lots of improvements in the latest version that make me want to dive back in. You can download it here.
Obviously, this isn't meant to be a true alternative way to play the horror game, but instead a way to explore Sevastopol and take in all the incredible details of the environment at your leisure and without fear of being horribly impaled by the dreaded Xenomorph's tail. Chances are, you missed something while you were busy creeping, hiding, and dying the first time through. Details and download here.
There's a great mod for Skyrim called Alternate Start, that lets you skip the opening sequence at Helgen and begin a new game as a homeowner, a guild member, someone living at an inn, a bandit living in the wilds, and so on. In other words, it gives you the chance to play as a simple citizen of the world instead of the fabled Dragonborn. New Beginnings expands on that, letting you start the game as a lowly skooma addict, a beggar, a traveling merchant, a prisoner in the jail of your choice, a vampire who was recently laid to rest, and others. You can find it here.
We know Michael, Franklin, and Trevor each have their own home in GTA 5, but why stop there? Let your millionaires buy a whole bunch of houses around Los Santos to serve as alternate save points and hideouts. This mod also allows you to rent rooms at hotels and create other savepoints around town. You'll find it here.
This week's Mod Roundup is mostly about guns! One mod lets you shoot guns out of people's hands in GTA 5, while another lets you decorate your guns in Fallout: New Vegas. You can also acquire suppressors that don't break every five freakin' seconds in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Finally, in a mod that has nothing to do with guns but has something to do with grenades, you can craft magic bombs in a Skyrim mod that completely overhauls cooking and alchemy. Enjoy!
Howdy, gunslingers and sharpshooters! This GTA 5 script lets you take careful aim and shoot the gun right out of someone's hands, be they armed pedestrians or angry cops. Check out the video above, and find the script right here at 5 Mods.
Ever wonder why Snake's R&D department can give him robotic arms and warp gate technology but can't cook up a suppressor that doesn't break after a few shots? This mod makes suppressors more durable without making them completely unbreakable. You'll find it at Nexus Mods.
The elements of cooking and alchemy have been reworked in this Skyrim mod, adding new effects, renaming them based on potency (which will sort them from weakest to strongest), and even giving you the ability to cook and throw crafted grenades and bombs. There are also 100 new ingredients in the world, and 50 new insects and fish you can harvest for your concoctions. You can grab it here at Nexus Mods.
If you'd like to make your favorite Fallout gun unique, now you can. Paint it, it decorate it, and customize it using items like books and holotapes found in the Wasteland. Then grab a paint gun and visit a workbench. Your weapon will not only look nicer, it'll be easier to use, with increased damage and better chance to crit. It's here at Nexus Mods.
Instead of focusing on a single mod, as usually happens in this column, I thought I'd try a roundup of the most promising mods I spotted this week. Below, you'll find a Witcher-esque notice board modded into Skyrim, a parachute ejection system for GTA 5 (inspired by Just Cause), new bounty missions for Fallout: New Vegas, a new way to build at night in Cities: Skylines, and an long-awaited visual overhaul for the original Deus Ex.
Inspired by games like The Witcher, this Skyrim mod adds a notice board outside every major town in Skyrim. On it you'll find new radiant missions and one-shot quests to complete, including bounties, rescue missions, monster hunts, and different types of fetch quests. Via Nexus Mods.
Seven years in the making, this mod overhauls the environments and soundtrack of the original Deus Ex. It includes reworked geometry and architecture, increased visual complexity, and a brand new score. You can find out more on the mod's official site, and download it on Moddb.
This mod will bring a little Just Cause action into your GTA 5 game. While driving, you can eject from your speeding car—via parachute. You car will then explode, naturally. Also, you don't have to be content with drifting to the ground because your chute has jets. Of course it does! You can also hop onto your car's roof while it's speeding, just like Rico. Via 5Mods.
Trying to build at night in the new After Dark expansion can be a pain, and if you don't feel like toggling off the nighttime mode from the menu here's a nice alternative. The mod makes your mouse pointer glow like a flashlight so you can actually see what you're doing. You can even customize the color and how intense the light is. Via Steam Workshop.
This is the third and apparently last of the Bounties mod series (you can find the first two here and here) for FNV. It comes packed with even more missions to track down and eliminate the dirtiest denizens of the desert. Via Nexus Mods.
Everyone loves a good murder mystery. Time travel is a crowd-pleaser. And mods that don't just tweak a game but add hours and hours of new content? I'm talking about The Forgotten City, a Skyrim mod that's been in the works for several years but is now available, and features those tantalizing elements plus an original score and over a thousand lines of custom dialogue. You can watch the launch trailer above.
The mod, created by Nick James Pearce, takes place in a sprawling underground city, one you'll need to explore to uncover its secrets. What's more, you'll need to explore it along multiple timelines as you travel through a time-warping portal in order to investigate a murder. Interrogate the city's inhabitants, learn their secrets, fight enemies, solve puzzles, and make choices that will have consequences on the story.
Sprawling, ambitious mods like The Forgotten City can sometimes run into trouble when modders either don't provide custom voice work, or try to do it themselves. In this case, however, there's a cast of over a dozen actors from all around the world contributing their voices, so pull that arrow out of your knee and get adventuring. You're in good hands when it comes to the score as well, and you can listen to the original soundtrack, by composer Trent Moriarty, here on Soundcloud.
Unfortunately, this is a rare Mod of the Week where I haven't personally played the mod I'm pushing on you. I'm currently plagued with PC hardware problems (it's been narrowed down to either to faulty memory or a dying hard drive). Still, we took an early look back in July and were impressed, and it definitely looks like one to try.
The mod is designed for characters of level five or above, though the modder recommends you bring a high level character, as some of the story "responds to your character's individual history." He also recommends you don't bring a follower with you, as this is a solo adventure.
You can get The Forgotten City here at Nexus Mods. If you've been playing it already, let me know what you think in the comments. (Though please try to avoid spoilers!)
Expansion packs were once a core part of playing PC games, but they can often feel less essential in a world of constant updates and microtransactions. Original game Alec, expansions Adam and Graham, and brief DLC Alice gathered to discuss their favourite game expansions and why they still think the model works.
Back in July, the right honourable Philip Savage told you about The Forgotten City, an ambitious Skyrim mod that tells a murder mystery in an ancient subterranean city. It fits with existing Elder Scrolls lore, which is nice, it boasts an original orchestral soundtrack, 18 voice actors and over 1200 lines, and features a non-linear story set across multiple timelines—and, oh yeah, this hugely exciting mod is out now.
Moral dilemmas, puzzles, and multiple endings are also things to expect, over the course of The Modern Storyteller's 6-8-hour-long adventure. Get it from ModDB here, or Nexus Mods here, or the Steam Workshop here, and be sure to watch the launch trailer above.
Given a choice, I almost always play as a mage. Swords? Pah. Divine magic? Save it for Sunday School. Give me control over the elements, the power to reshape the very building blocks of the universe according to my every whim, and if at all possible, a cool hat. It’s an easy fantasy to indulge in almost any RPG out there.
I just wish it was a more satisfying one.
You shouldn’t really eye up the dessert menu before your main course has arrived, but sometimes the need to know that profiteroles are definitely available gets the better of one. And so it is that ears are already pricking about Fallout 4 [official site]’s post-launch stuff things, including word of downloadable content and a vague window for its mod support.