Announcement - Valve
In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, take 50% off Morrowind and Oblivion all week long on Steam*!

An epic, open-ended single-player RPG, Morrowind allows you to create and play any kind of character imaginable. You can choose to follow the main storyline and find the source of the evil blight that plagues the land, or set off on your own to explore strange locations and develop your character based on their actions throughout the game.

*Offer ends Monday, May 7th at 10AM Pacific Time

PC Gamer
Skyrim Alchemy
This article was originally published in PC Gamer UK 236.

Skyrim's alchemy system asks players to combine ingredients based on their statistic-altering properties. Once you've found out what ingredients do, you can make them into potions. The best way to find these properties is by jamming them into your gob, masticating for a while, and scribbling the results down in your poisoning journal.

My Skyrim character - a beardy Breton - was stood on an ice floe to the north of Winterhold when I decided to taste a few of the more exotic ingredients I'd picked on my travels. Imagine 90s semi-celebrity wine-taster Jilly Goolden, except six and a half foot tall, covered in hair and blood, and backed up by a monstrous ice-beast.

I chewed on some garlic to start. Not bad, but a bit pungent. I moved onto honeycomb. This was better, I was getting sweet notes of summer, sugar, and FORTIFY BLOCK. A handful of snowberries were slightly tart, but bursting with both flavour and a general feeling of FIRE RESIST. Histcarp gave a lovely fresh fish taste and the ability to breathe underwater, sashimi-ed with a side of aim-enhancing juniper. I munched on River Betties and Cyrodiilic Spadetails, wheat and whitecap mushrooms, each one delicious and stat-nourishing. I started to get careless, cramming anything and everything alchemical into my gullet.

Daedra heart. Bit chewy, but it's got to be full of iron. Iron's good for you, right? The statistics bore me out: daedra hearts 'RESTORE HEALTH'. Sure, they also cause 'FEAR', but what's a few minutes of panic compared to OH GOD WAS THAT A BEAR?

I kept clicking. Hawk beak. Always goes down smooth. Sabre cat tooth. Swallowed with only minor blood loss. A handful of pearls. Just call me Johnny Oysters. Spider egg. Wait, I don't want them hatching inside me. Vampire dust. I should stop now. A set of fully grown elk antlers. I'm going to need a running start.

Human flesh.

I clicked once, and immediately froze. My character did the same, staring silently out to the frozen sea. Somewhere in my imagination, a gob of man-muscle was worming its way down my character's oesophagus. Bits of person were caught between his teeth. I had stood in front of him, guiding foodstuffs into his mouth like a demented parent. Open wide for the bee thorax! Here comes the ectoplasm aeroplane! Eat this human flesh! My careless clicking had made my man a cannibal.

I continued to stand stock still, expecting to be overcome by a wave of revulsion. Instead, I got minuscule decreases in my red health bar, increases in my blue magicka bar, and a heightened desire to creep around in peoples' houses. I checked the forbidden meat's effects. Damage health, restore magicka, fortify sneak, and - wait a second - paralysis. Paralysis is one of Skyrim's most useful abilities. Once applied, you can smash away at enemies as they roll around on the floor like toppled statues. Few of the game's alchemical items bestow this property, and this meat was only the second guaranteed source I'd found.

I'd had my first taste of human flesh. Up at the top of the world, I resolved to get more. I needed it, after all, for my experiments.

More: Now Playing
PC Gamer
The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim - Woolly mammoths
Yesterday, Bethesda PR guru Pete Hines teased an imminent Skyrim DLC reveal. That could come as early as next week but, as CVG point out, fans have already been doing some investigating. Players on the Skyrim forums have pulled out a series of strings hidden within a recent Skyrim patch that makes allusions to a crossbow, a snow elf prince and new vampire feeding animations.

These files were apparently part of a subfolder labelled "DLC01," which does rather suggest that these will be part of the first Skyrim update, though Bethesda have yet to announce their plans. I do quite like the idea of a crossbow, what do you reckon?

Skyrim Patch Files Hint at an Incoming Snow Elf Prince and Crossbows Hints of what's coming next for Skyrim may be buried in the latest patch for Bethesda's hit action/RPG.

In the lore of The Elder Scrolls V, the Snow Elves have been driven underground by the Nords. But the in-game legends about the mystical race make it sound like they're former badasses who've been laid low and are ripe for revenge.

Enthusiast site RipTen brings word of a BethSoft forum user's discovery of files related to the animation of a Snow Elf character and a crossbow weapon:


Bethesda's already on record as saying that DLC for Skyrim will be rolling out in the style of expansion packs and these files certainly make it seem like that plan will be going into effect.

Skyrim DLC Hinted At in Latest Game Files, Includes Snow Elves & Crossbows [RipTen]

PC Gamer
The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim
A quick heads up from Bethesda PR and marketing vice president Pete Hines suggests that we might be getting our first sniff of the official DLC pack for Skyrim soon. He's currently "working on getting a little more info out" for next week, but it's not a sure thing. "We'll see," he says.

Last year game director Todd Howard said that Skyrim DLC would be "more substantial" with an "expansion pack feel." Oblivion's Shivering Isle expansion offered players a weird, wild new world to get stuck into. That was released a year after the core game, though, so the first Skyrim pack isn't likely quite that meaty. What would you like to see from the first chunk of Skyrim DLC?

2) I am working on getting a little more info out on Skyrim/DLC. Maybe next week? We'll see. Also trying to confirm Kinect release date.— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) April 26, 2012

If you can't wait, the Steam Workshop is still overflowing with Skyrim mods, which should tide us over nicely until details of the first DLC pack emerge. Check out our Skyrim mod collections for our favourites.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Nathan Grayson)

Aaagh, my beautiful, beautiful clavicle!Good news! After a period of relative silence following Brink’s splash-that-wasn’t, Splash Damage is back with another game about men shooting other men. However, not-so-good news: iOS, greedy devourer of worlds that it is, swallowed the poor thing whole. And while the Enemy Territory developer also has a free-to-play PC exclusive in the works for later this year, Rad Soldiers – as the iOS-bound strategy is known – looks like asynchronous XCOM wearing TF2′s pants. In other words: delightful. I wants it, precious. I wants it. Fortunately, Splash Damage told us that all hope isn’t lost.


PC Gamer
Bethesda greasy beardy man
Something's up at Bethesda. A terse tweet from the Bethblog account appeared yesterday with one word, "tomorrow," and a link to the above picture of a man in much need of a bath, and a shave. But what does beardy man signify? It's a high fidelity shot, which looks like it could be a frame from a CG trailer.

Could it be an announcement of the first chunk of official Skyrim DLC? Maybe we'll get to see more of Dishonored. The man's dishevelled appearance and dim surroundings suggest that he may be a prisoner of some sort. Corvo, the master assassin you play as in Dishonored, starts off imprisoned, charged with the murder of the Empress he was supposed to protect. What do you reckon?

Update: It is a Dishonored trailer. Hooray!

PC Gamer

The Xbox version of Skyrim will be getting a free update that'll add Kinect voice support in the coming weeks. It'll let console players scream dragon shouts at the screen, bellow commands at followers and open up levelling screens with a quick word. It all looks quite neat, as long as you live alone, but why wait for the opportunity to yell dragontongue phrases into an expensive console camera when you can do the same thing for free right now with a standard microphone? The ThuuMic mod will let you do just that.

The mod's still a work in progress, but it'll already let you activate dragon shouts using your voice alone. You'll also be able to control followers and, eventually, call over your horses by name. Personally, I'd request support for a "CARRY MY BURDEN" command when dumping spare weaponry on Lydia, or perhaps a "SILENCE" command that shuts up NPCs mid-sentence.

The mod hasn't made it over to the Steam Workshop yet, and it'll take a bit of extra time to get it up and running. You'll need to install Script Dragon before downloading the mod itself. There's lots of info on how to get the mod working correctly on ThuuMic's Skyrim Nexus page. For more Skyrim mods, check out our collections of the best Skyrim mods.
PC Gamer
Skyrim Fus Ro Dah shop
Bethesda owners, Zenimax, has filed several trademarks for the famous dragon shout, according to Fusible, giving their lawyers the leeway to deliver a stern Fus NO Dah to any profiteers hoping to use it to brand their new range of miscellaneous merch.

Three of the trademark applications are for games-related uses of Fus Ro Dah, which is expected. The other trademarks, though, list "bags, namely, backpacks, duffel bags, knapsacks, book bags, athletic bags, and cosmetic bags, sold empty." Does that mean we're okay to sell a Fus Ro Dah bag if we stick a bowling ball in it first?

Another trademark protects Fus Ro Dah "toys and action figures; playing cards, dice, and board games; bobble-head dolls; sporting equipment." Ah, so we're good to sell the Fus Ro Dah bag as long as we don't fill it with a Fus Ro Dah bowling ball. That's clear now. This scuppers my plans for a range of Fus Ro Dah hockey sticks, however.

"Clothing, namely, T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, fleece pullovers; headwear, namely, hats" will also fall under the trademark if the application is successful. That's quite a precise list of products. It's likely a move to block would-be competitors sneakily trading on the Skyrim brand, but it also prepares the land for some Bethesda sanctioned products in future. A range of Fus Ro Dah T-shirts would probably do quite well, don't you think?

Bethesda haven't commented on the trademark, or the possibility of future Fus Ro Dah products. Bethesda tell Game Informer that they're "just protecting our brand."
PC Gamer
Viking Spawn Shield
We love mods at PC Gamer. Earlier on today, Tom posted about the two Steam Workshop collections we've assembled for anyone who wants to quickly and easily enhance their Skyrim experience. All good stuff, but now it's time to model some armour, and showcase some of the best, most detailed sets currently available for download.

Skyrim’s initial wardrobe of armors is fine - splendid, even - but after a dozen hours looting the same sets began to get monotonous. Praise Talos then, because modders are on hand to deck you out in a wider range of garments. There’s an emphasis on “lore-friendly” sets; gear that's fitting with the icy setting of Skyrim and not, say, the world of an JRPG (though there’s plenty of those outfits, too). We've hand-picked eight of them. No Space Marines here.

Don’t be worried about any of these unbalancing your game. Most require the very best smithing perks to make, which you can only access after a solid weekend’s playthrough. Their stats have also been matched to the Bethesda-crafted armors too, so they have the same credibility as Nightingale or the Blades’ sets.

Some of these mods come from the Steam Workshop, while the rest are downloaded via the Skyrim Nexus. For the Steam Workshop tools, all you have to do is log in and click the "Subscribe" button. Next time you boot up Skyrim, there'll be a short wait while the launcher downloads the relevant files. Skyrim Nexus' equivalent service is the Nexus Mod Manager: a free download that links up to the website. Find the mods you want on the Nexus, download them, then install them via the client. Simple.
Warchief Armor

Our pick of the bunch is the Warchief option, a fur and metal combo with a saber cat helm. Touted by its creator as a “fusion of Orcish brutality and Nordic resilience”, this set is packed with small touches, and flexes its considerable muscle at high resolution. It’s available in both light and heavy variants, with no difference in appearance between the two. Skulls, pouches and hanging teeth all feature, and the sets can only be crafted if you are in possession of some elusive materials.
Hedge Knight

If the Warchief set smells like Warcraft, then there’s a very precise scent to the Hedge Knight one too: Game of Thrones. While it doesn’t bear any explicit reference to George RR Martin’s conniving, scheming saga (there are shields that do, though), it definitely looks like you could use “Winter Is Coming” as a Shout while you play. Your character will appreciate being kept nice and snug under a long cloak, but they might abhor wearing the rather unfashionable helmet. Perfect for stamping through cities on your way to a fiery meeting the Jarl.
Vagabond Armor

The Vagabond set is slightly more presentable than the armor Skyrim’s kamikaze bandits don, but it still cuts a coldly threatening figure. Its gloves look more like bear claws, while coned spikes protrude out of the shin-pads. Unfortunately, this armor is currently no good for female Dragonborn, and the helmet isn’t wholly compatible with Argonians and Khajiit. A shame, because it looks great.
Redguard Knight Armor

With the Redguard Armor, you can finally look as cool as the Alik'r, the Redguard soldiers who wander around Skyrim searching for traitors and Thalmor sympathisers. This is a heavier variant to the one found in the vanilla game, with a chainmail jacket and a tough helmet underneath its cloth coating. Again, detail drives this mod: hoth has outfitted the set with a belt-pouch, runed cufflinks, and a natty cloak. There’s even a craftable scimitar!
Ponty’s Chainmail Armor

Here’s a relatively light but still trustworthy option: chainmail. There wasn’t much of it at all in the unmodded release of Skyrim, but for those who prefer their armor to be made out of small metal rings rather than slabs and chunks of iron and steel, then Ponty's Chainmail Armor might be for you. It’s still early days for the mod, and Ponty the creator is intending to add in female versions, as well as coifs and mittens for both genders. As with all other Workshop mods, these will be downloaded to your game automatically, so sit tight.
Viking Spawn Shield

Technically, this weighty wooden shield could never be found in Tamriel, as it actually belongs to the world of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. We include it in this list, though, because without knowing that you’d be none the wiser: it’s a barrier any Stormcloak would be proud to hide behind (KIDS! This is not an example of civil war bias!). Rounded, and jagged at the edges, this shield makes cracking open heads extra satisfying. It’s all a touch ironic, really, since McFarlane worked on Skyrim’s EA-published rival, Kingdoms of Amalur.
Scout Armor

Bringing a bit of refinement to Skyrim’s world of furs and bear heads is DoODABoOM, who has used the official Blades armor as a base for a dark brown outfit that’ll make your avatar look very dapper even as s/he massacres the living contents of their 212nd cave. DoOB has even embedded a pattern on the chestpiece, adding an extra layer of prestige to your appearance, even if you have no idea what the significance is.
Horse Armors

Have you ever read from the Scroll of Frenzy in Skyrim? It sends your target into a blind teeth-gnashing rage. In their apoplectic state, the afflicted views friends as enemies, and wishes only to throttle the necks of every last soul around them. I think that spell might be based on what happens when you mention ‘Horse Armor’ to an Elder Scrolls aficionado. Ha ha.

Anyway, Skyrim's Horse Armors mod (user-made and free!) enables you to strap protection to your horse of choice. The unique steeds - Shadowmere and Frost - are even bestowed with their own armored liveries, which look suitably heavenly or hellish.

No doubt you'll want to show off your Dovahkiin now that they're kitted up in such trend-setting threads. If you're clueless on how to take the best screenshots, give our console tweaks guide a quick read.

What are your favourite Skyrim mods so far?

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