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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.
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.
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.
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.
Skyrim Script Extender [official site], or SKSE to its sexy friends, is one of the most useful tools for making Skyrim do all the things you want it to with all those mods you use. Yes, even those ones you keep in the folder marked My Faxes, on the other> drive. It’s now available on Steam as a free addon that will install to your Skyrim folder and, according to the description, automatically run whenever you load up the game.
Skyblivion! Graham contends that Skywind has the best name of old Elder Scrolls games being remade in Skyrim, but the Oblivion remake feels more fun on the tongue to me. Skyblivion! Remaking a land that took a whole professional studio to build the first time around is no mean feat, but the modders behind Skywind and Skyblivion [official site] are still working away.
Recent videos show many, many minutes of progress on Skyblivion, trotting around the province of Cyrodiil, leaping into Oblivion gates, and pottering about the Shivering Isles. It looks a lot like Oblivion but in Skyrim, which is sort of the goal of the whole thing. Skyblivion!