I have ridden horses before. They’re swift, terrifying creatures, and while I attempted to maintain a dignified posture befitting of my stature as Someone Who’s Technically From Texas, it was pretty obvious that I was mostly hanging on for dear life. Apparently, though, in addition to the ability to fell dragons with the gentlest of whispers, the Dragonborn will soon be capable of fighting from the back of a horse>. Like, without careening off its back in a blur of blood, bones, and white hot terror. That, I believe, is the mark of a true hero.
I’ve always been a fan of the gag where a TV show or what have you spends ages building to something, only to air an absurdly quick segment and then roll the credits at blink-and-you’ll-miss-them-and-now-my-TV’s-a-time-space-vortex speed. I see what they’re doing there, even when I can’t physically see> what they doing there. With Skyrim’s Dawnguard DLC, though, I think Bethesda just created the game announcement equivalent. After weeks of rumor-mongering, hinting, and teasing, the developer announced… an announcement. We now have a name, that dashingly glowy-eyed face, and an assurance that it’s “coming this summer to Xbox 360″ (which means one month after that for everyone else) and we can look forward to “more details at E3.”
My other posts sort of circle-strafe around the crazier ideas that modders have had with Skyrim. Instead we very calmly patched a few holes, and then we respectfully accepted their help to rework the world a bit. It’s taken me a while to have the courage to look at those majestic mountains, curls of cloud hanging off like cotton on the breeze, and say to myself: we need some My Little Pony weapons. I am sorry, Bethesda. Some of the things here are silly, but I can’t help myself. You’ve made such a serious world that, well, there needs to be some fun. Now it’s not going to be a pile of garish nonsense, although one or two will be a bit odd. I’m really just looking at mods that make the world or playing in it a bit more interesting and fun. This collection in a little bit different: fun is not a theme that’s easily quantified, and as such they’re somewhat all over the place and a bit more personalised. (more…)
However hard games try to create worlds, they remain artifice. They are stage sets. Painted boxes. And when you step outside them, you get to see how unreal that game world actually is. This, from time to time, can be a wonderful thing. Let’s raise a glass to the strange lands that lie outside the game you were meant to see, that glitchy empire of the game outside the game.>
I know the setting of Skyrim is a broken world, tearing itself in apart in a civil war while giant death beasts roam the sky, but I’m waiting for a romantic comedy machinima set in Whiterun. There’s so much ‘war this and death that’ that it could use a little levity. The Siege Of Markarth is well made death this and war that, to be fair. 8 minutes of killing, but it also tells a story – I was captivated, as the assassin… hmmm, nope. You’ll have to watch to find out. I’m not going to be that guy and ruin it for you. (more…)
Okay, that’s a little bit dramatic, but “making cities a bit more accessible to thieves” is missing the flair that the Dovakhiin deserves, and while I won’t be moving mountains in this second Skyrim mod round-up, I will be shifting cities about a bit. This second shout of mods isn’t really about fixing things or adding to the world: it’s about building on what’s there, making the world nicer. I wouldn’t suggest you use all the mods listed here at the same time, as there’s bound to be come major incompatibilities when you start shifting major urban areas around, but it’s a useful, catch-all guide to bettering the existing game. If the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it soon will be.> (more…)
Brave beta-neers of Skyrim, wanderers on the frontier of electronic code, a reward awaits those Dovahkiin’s willing to take a journey to the newly laid lands that the god Bethesda has minted in the dark, hidden lands of “Steam > Settings > Beta Participation > Skyrim Beta”. There awaits violence of a most brutal sort, and leering eyes on the Grim Reaper’s work. Dare ye stare into the Youtube oracle to glimpse the horror? > (more…)
Initially reports suggested the turf war between Minecraft-makers the Mojangs and Skyrim-makers the Bethesdas over the former’s forthcoming online card game Scrolls had been settled broadly reasonably. However, Bethesda’s own statement on the matter yesterday revealed that it isn’t as simple as Mojang getting to make Scrolls unhindered and Bethesda ending up with the trademark for a common English word>.
Here’s a new kicker: “The terms of the settlement bar Mojang from using the Scrolls mark for any sequel to the current card game, or any other video game.” (more…)
Skyrim might not be broken, but it is a bit cracked. There’s never been an open-world that didn’t crumble at the edges of a simulation, and Bethesda’s Nord land is detailed with a fine filigree through its stony butt. Patches will help, and Bethesda have done a lot of good work to keep the game ticking along, but with all those dragons stomping around, sometimes backwards, the mud has been loosened. Thanks to Steam Workshop, the act of modding Skyrim is phenomenally easy: all you need to do is select a mod in the system’s list and it’ll be integrated into the game. There’s also a few from the venerable Skyrim Nexus as well. While we wait for both Bethesda or these guys to pack the mud back in place, there are a few tweaks you can make to the base game, gleaned from the Workshop’s finest fiddlers. They won’t be as fancy as adding monocles and top hats to mudcrabs – I’ll be getting to those in a later article – but they will strengthen Skyrim’s core and fix a few glaring errors and inconsistencies. (more…)
Over Christmas I drew up a list of little things about games that have always intrigued, interested, or appealed to me. I’ve been adding to it over the past couple of weeks, and I’ll be writing about these little nuances of gaming in the coming months. These are just idle musings, but I hope you’ll find them to be food for thought. Today’s is about the odd joy in seeing AI entities getting into a fight.> (more…)