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While fast travel is convenient in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, teleporting around loses the wonder of roaming an open world. If only we could have the convenience of automatic travel without atmosphere ruining-loading screens. Friends, with the wonders of modern modding, we can now set a destination for our Dragonborn and watch them automatically walk or ride to your destination in real time. Call it slow travel. Call them self-driving characters. Call it a game to idly watch. Call it… new mod SkyTrek.
The Elder Scrolls 6 is still a (long, long) ways off, but Bethesda have confirmed the only news about it that truly matters: YouTuber and grandmother Shirley Curry will be included in the game. Last year, fans rallied to get her added as an NPC, and the developers have obliged, inviting Curry to their studios have her likeness scanned and saved for use in their development magic. The future is here and it s nice sometimes, actually.
Morrowind, the third and greatest instalment in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series, has been back in the news this week. It was briefly free to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series, and then made a brief return to Steam’s top sellers, thanks to discounts and coverage. Which is lovely: it shows its age in many, many painful ways, but its imagination, ambition and wonderfully weird visual design to this day makes Oblivion and Skyrim seem so terribly ordinary.
Gun it up today, for the very first time, and you’ll think me completely mad to say that, however. It’s basically a world of fog and people who look like they were whittled from fallen branches. But, thanks to 17 years of mods, it now only takes a couple of installations and a tiny amount of work to make it stunning in the ways that most count. If you’re about to play, quickly do these things first.
To celebrate a quarter-century of Elves, Daedra and cat-people with bafflingly complex lore, Bethesda are giving away The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind today (March 25th) only, so snap it up quickly here. You’ll need a Bethesda.net account and their launcher to grab the game, too. A bit of a hassle, but you’re getting a sprawling adventure through a deeply alien corner of Tamriel, filled with giant insects, inscrutable demigods and enough Cliff Racers to drive any adventurer to distraction. If you’ve never played what many consider the best Elder Scrolls game, now’s the time.
There have been some lovely old-school shooters recently, but 3D Realms reason that the only way to get true retro authenticity is to build new games to old standards. Wrath: Aeon Of Ruin bears a strong family resemblance to the original Quake, which makes sense considering it’s being produced by KillPixel, a crew of veteran Quake mappers and modders using the tools they’re familiar with. It’s a team I’m familiar with, having been enjoying their work for years, putting Wrath high on my most wanted list. The game is due this summer, and you can see the debut trailer below.
There are so many elements of this story which elicit slow, confused blinking from me, but honestly, the revelation that an Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim mod has been pulling in $25,000 per month from Patreon was the one which really twisted my melon.
Unfortunately, the rainbow which leads to online multiplayer mod Skyrim Together‘s pot of gold has lost a little of its lustre this week, following an acknowledgement that its developers had pilfered code from another mod.
Obisdian’s Fallout: New Vegas might be the best of the Bethesda-era Fallout games, but it still got dragged through the ugly hedge backwards a dozen times over. There’s no higher resolution, sharpened texture pack or post-process filter in the world that can save this pudding-faced monstrosity from its blobby brown fate.
Time for extreme measures. E.g. getting a neural net to re-texture the entire game with feverish new auto-generated assets, devised by insane software after it was fed a broad selection of real-world paintings. I have never wanted to play a latter-day Fallout game more than this.
Enderal: Forgotten Stories is out now on Steam, making it the first Skyrim mod to launch as a (mostly) standalone game with achievements, cloud save support and even its own mod workshop. Set in its own, somewhat darker and grittier fantasy universe, Enderal is a well-known total conversion mod from SureAI, with this free Steam release being an expanded and polished edition. You’ll need the original version of Skyrim, but otherwise it can be installed as a totally separate game. Sadly, if you only have Skyrim: Special Edition, you’ll need to grab the original version too.