Posts Tagged ‘Skyrim’

The RPG Scrollbars: Pants On Parade

Since the dawn of RPGs, two things have remained constant: heroes require armour, and players will always want to find out what happens if they strip it all off and run around. Some would call it a secret test of a game’s devotion to world simulation – that if characters react, it says good things about the developers’ devotion to detail. Others just think it’s really funny. (To be clear, it’s very rarely even close to sexy.)

This week then, a random sample will answer the question the world has been waiting to realise it should have asked – objectively speaking, which RPG is the best? Specifically, if they all forgot their PE kits and had to go quest in their pants.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Spiders In The Dark

Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope!

Something has been giving me trouble ever since I started playing RPGs back in the 1980s. You can probably guess what. I mean, it’s in the title. I’ve talked before about what a blighted pox arachnophobia is for a gamer, but no genre is more guaranteed to trigger it more gratuitously or more callously. Hell, how many RPGs have started by having us face off against a giant spider in a tutorial cave, as if that’s not at least ten times more horrible than the dragon waiting at the end of the campaign? Just off the top of my head, Arx Fatalis, Lands of Lore 3, Vindictus, Skyrim.

Brrr. It’s almost enough to justify letting these fantasy worlds burn.

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Skyrim Survival Diary: Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

There are lots of survival games, but there are also lots of games which could be survival games with the right mods installed. Over the course of Survival Week we’ll highlight a few of those games and i)write a diary of our experience playing with it ii) explain how to do it yourself.

I found Meeko sitting by the side of the road. He is one of Skyrim’s shaggy, grey wolfhounds that look as old as they do stupid. He saw me, turned around and ran into the thicket. I followed him through the trees, where he led me to a run-down shack. I looked inside and there, lying still and grey on the shed’s single rickety bed, was Meeko’s owner. He was dead. The mongrel looked to me, blinked in the cold and seemed to whine. All right then, I thought, you can follow me. It was a decision I never came to regret. Later on, Meeko killed a lot of people for me.

But more importantly, Meeko kept me warm in Skyrim’s deadly mountain passes. One of the mods I have installed is Frostfall, which gives the player a few extra things to worry about. Exposure can leave you freezing to death, while being wet means you succumb to the cold even faster. You have to keep yourself warm at fires and fill up on hot soups to keep your ‘exposure meter’ from dropping too low. Once, I tried to swim across a small, icy river and before I could get a fire going on the opposite shore I passed out from hypothermia. I woke up in a familiar inn, penniless, frostbitten and with this note in my pocket.

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How To Make Skyrim A Survival Game

There are lots of survival games, but there are also lots of games which could be survival games with the right mods installed. Over the course of Survival Week we’ll highlight a few of those games and i) write a diary of our experience playing with it ii) explain how to do it yourself.

You may have already read my Skyrim survival diary and if not, why not? It sees me struggling to ward off frostbite with wine and adopting the game’s most lovable dog just to keep my feet warm. If you want to plod through the winter wastelands of Tamriel with the same ‘survival mode’ in mind yourself, these are the mods you’ll want to add. Most of them come from a single source, the Nexus modding community. Before you grab them, it is best to have their Nexus Mod Manager installed, as well as something called SKSE. (You will also have to register to join the Nexus community to download these files). Getting all this architecture in place is a minor frustration compared to the improvements you’ll see in the end. It will be worth it when you find yourself freezing to death under a rocky outcrop with no wood to start a fire.

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Skywind Trailer Shows New Areas, Promises Of More Soon

When I last wrote about Skywind, it was to cover the game’s ‘Slough’ trailer, which showed Morrowind’s Bitter Coast brought to life within the Skyrim engine. In the comments, what followed was an interesting conversation about the etymological root of the word “Slough”, and its geographical uses in the UK and in America.

Anyway, the latest Skywind trailer shows off the West Gash region.

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Skywind’s Slough Trailer Shows Bitter Coast, Not Slough

Skywind‘s latest trailer is titled ‘Slough’, but it does not, as every British reader just hoped, mark the inclusion of Berkshire’s much maligned city in the game. Instead it’s the first look at the remake of Morrowind‘s Bitter Coast inside the Skyrim engine, and it’s as pretty as every other chunk we’ve seen of the ambitious mod project so far.

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Tomorrowind? – Skywind Public Test ‘Coming Soon’

BUT NOT SOON ENOUGH, etc. Skywind, the total rebuild of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in Skyrim’s engine, continues to play sweet melodies on my heart strings. They’re nostalgic tunes that lull me like the most charming of snake charmers. There’s a new trailer out, and I can practically feel the Balmoran cliff racers pecking at my back, making me invent new deities just so I can use their names as curse words (There is a god named Fuckthulhu now. You’re welcome). Ahhh, happy memories. Watch below, and revel in the good news that a public test is right around the corner.

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Interview: Northern Shadow’s Plan To Rebuild RPGs

Northern Shadow has the potential to be utterly immense. The plan? Fuse a Skyrim-like open-world RPG with a Banished-like city builder. Explore, build, interact with an AI-driven sandbox, go on quests, construct cities as you please – all of it. Oh, and it’s being developed by only two people. I’d say it sounds entirely impossible if not for the fact that the fantasy I’m-not-even-sure-what-you-call-this-er’s first trailer looked rather spiffy. I wanted to know more about the game’s inner workings, though, so I got in touch with developer Arda Güneş to find out how big the world will be, whether the game will be a true sandbox ala Mount and Blade, how city building and adventuring will fit together, how combat will work, what this summer’s Early Access release will contain, and tons more. It’s all below.

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Modular Scrolls: Skyblivion Is Oblivion Remade In Skyrim

Patch notes: replaced trees and grass with marginally better trees and grass.

Speaking personally, I find The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion to be the weakest game of its storied lineage, but that doesn’t mean I think it was bad by any means. The prospect of exploring its world of idyllic countrysides, tastefully mudcrab-dappled waters, and screaming fire eyeball portals to hell remains an attractive one, and I’ll be especially keen to do so if Skyblivion sees the light of day. Like TESRenewal compatriot Skywind, Skyblivion is an attempt to remake Oblivion in Skyrim’s engine. Want to see how it’s coming along? Check out the trailer below.

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S.EXE: Hot Mods (NSFW)

This week I have been inspired in my work for this column by the magnificent website Critique My Dick Pic, which attempts to rate the erotic quality of dick pics with 100% no size shaming. I enjoy that website because for some reason dicks, especially erect dicks, are conspicuously absent from our media, including videogames, and I think a good dick pic can certainly be arousing to look at.

Probably most interesting about the site is that the curator, moscaddie, suggests that for maximum sexiness the person possessing said dick holds it or at least caresses it a little for the picture, which gives the dick a less… well, melancholy feel like it’s the loneliest snake in the world (she calls these ‘log’ pictures). Perhaps it gives the picture a sense of movement or purpose. Surely with the help of the best animators in the world, games would be the best place to give a dick a little something to do. Or at least get them to cast a cute shadow over exotic environmental art. Read the rest of this entry »