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Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the release of one of the greatest roleplaying games ever made. Set in a world so vast that you could combine almost every open world game released since and cram them all into one of its regions, and allowing the freedom to buy real estate within that world, it remains one of the grandest games of its type.
A final version of Enderal: The Shards of Order [official site] has been completed and can be downloaded for free now. While ‘Enderal’ sounds like it could be something made by a United States pharmaceutical company, it is actually a massive total conversion mod for Skyrim, not just adding new weapons or turning it into a survival game, but creating a whole new RPG using the raw materials of its parent. A German version was recently released but now you can get it in English. Disgusting, verminous English.
Mark Johnson is the developer of Ultima Ratio Regum, an ANSI 4X roguelike in which the use of procedural generation extends beyond the creation of landscapes and dungeons to also dynamically create cultures, practices, social norms, rituals, beliefs, concepts, and myths. This is the first in a four part series examining what generating this kind of social detail can bring to games.>
Skyrim doesn’t feel old enough to have a shiny new edition with enhanced bells and whistles, but that’s exactly what’s coming on October 28th. It’ll be released on current-gen consoles as well as PC, and if you own either the Legendary Edition of the original, or the base game plus all DLC bought separately, you’ll receive a free upgrade to the new hotness. You can see it below.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [official site] turns five this year [that can’t be corre- oh my god, we are so old -ed.], but that’s not stopped its dedicated community from expanding its dragon-bashing, Thu’um-shouting, knee-shattering boundaries with mods, updates and overhauls. The latest pick of the ever-multiplying crop is Galandil’s Holds The City – an ambitious overhaul that adds new settlements, architecture and characters to Skyrim’s towns and cities in a bid to increase its population and weave new tales into its existing lore. Come see a trailer after the drop.
I used to like total conversions not only for those few which were released, but for watching the development process in action. Untextured weapon models get a bad rap, but I like watching a plan come together or even partially together.
Skywind, then. It’s an attempt to re-build Morrowind within Skyrim’s engine, with re-build environments, textures, models and more. The latest update video shows just how far the project has come, while aiming to recruit more members to help finish it.
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>
If you’re playing a fantasy game, you will inevitably find that some wiseguy has stuffed a cave or forest full of giant spiders. Two thoughts on the devs doing this:
1) Did you even try using your imaginations, you flipping amateurs?2) WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?
For arachnophobes, mods exist to remove spiders from many games. I’m a big ‘fraidy baby but mostly keep my cool about megaspiders, enough to not use mods myself. I suppose I’m fishing for stories about how you, reader dear, are a bigger ‘fraidy baby.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind [official site] was released in 2002. It’s testament to how highly regarded the now 13-year-old game is that folks are still determined to keep it alive. OpenMW is one such effort: an open source “engine re-implementation” of Morrowind. It’s still some ways from being finished, but the released build has just received an extensive update.
Oh boy, am I conflicted. Fallout 4 s main plotline requires that I do this thing> and as far as things> go, it s a pretty major thing> and a major thing> that you d expect someone with the maternal instinct of my character Halle to crack on with straight away. The trouble is, rather than doing this major thing>, for at least an hour now, she, and when I say she , I mean I , have been poking around Sanctuary, scrapping anything that glows yellow so I can salvage enough materials to build a house big enough for me and my Minutemen companions. I had largely avoided Bethesda s drip-feed of Fallout 4 pre-publicity but when I somehow found out that the game had settlement building, I think I might have involuntarily passed a little wind in joyous anticipation.
That’s because I ve felt a similar rosy inner glow while hanging around other hubs and houses in many other games I ve played. I think it s easy to underestimate the value of having a home base option, especially in open world games where there is a free-roaming element, but it’s a part of why I love certain games.
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.