What will the Games of Tomorrow look like? Will they be virtual reality dreams designed in collaboration with J.J. Abrams? Maybe. As RPS points out, adventurous ideas were plentiful at this year's D.I.C.E. Summit. Skyrim director Todd Howard, however, told the site that good ol' fashioned graphical improvements shouldn't be undervalued.
63 days after its original console release, Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC has finally appeared on Steam. With luck, you've been able to avoid too many spoilers from your thumbstick-using friends.
For those of you just joining us, the $20/£14 add-on reintroduces Solstheim (the island setting for the Morrowind expansion, Bloodmoon), and adds rideable dragons, a new Daedric realm, and a new main antagonist to contend with.
I'd almost forgotten about Dragonborn, Skyrim's most recent piece of DLC that lets you ride dragons and return to Morrowind's wintry satellite Solstheim. That's what annoying Xbox-exclusivity periods will get you. However, with the Bethesblog's exciting news that Dragonborn is set to 'touch down' (that's 'touch down' like a flying dragon) at the start of February, I have suddenly remembered that it's a thing. Dragonborn will appear on Steam February 5th, then, giving you just enough time to order a seat from your local saddle fitter. (Just be sure to specify that it's for an animal slightly larger than a horse.)
Running a website called Dead End Thrills (about pictures of grafix), I spend a lot of time playing with visual mods. When PCG asked me to list my favourites from 2012, I agreed thinking I could do it in the style of the prize round from Bullseye. "You'll be up all night 'cause it don't look like shite." "Act well-heeled with this depth-of-field." But that wouldn't work overseas, they said, and stopped being funny after two examples.
Here's a straightforward top ten, then, in no particular order.
I've been playing Baldur's Gate again recently, and it's reignited my appreciation for RPGs that can properly kick your ass. There's nothing quite like the quickload abusing challenge of trying to take down a lone polar bear without it wiping out half your party, deranged Beserker and all.
That desire for brutal, unforgiving encounters seems to be at the heart of Requiem: The Oldschool Roleplaying Overhaul, which tweaks nearly every aspect of Skyrim to make it that much more punishing.
I don't think anyone is surprised that Skyrim's next DLC, Dragonborn, will be releasing on 360 considerably ahead of PC. Which is to say, tomorrow. At least we've been given a general ballpark this time: the quote is "early next year" for the PC release, which could mean as soon as January or as late as maybe March. Assuming a 30-day exclusivity contract with Xbox and a similar delay to what we saw with previous DLC, we're probably looking at the first or second week of January.
When Skyrim released we said, "Yeah, it looks pretty, but just wait until the modders get to it." A Reddit post this morning reminded us to check and, yep, they got to it. A blogger going by Unreal has been posting Dead End Thrills-like screenshots from a Skyrim world augmented by up to 100 mods at a time, and oh man, Bob Ross would have approved, rest his soul.
If, like me, you're the kind of person that likes to cross-reference every bit of minutia in promotional materials for upcoming installments of your favorite game franchises, this Skyrim: Dragonborn trailer analysis might be relevant to your interests. YouTuber samyoulonline drops some Tamrielic science, presenting some pretty believable theories about what locations, antagonists, and items might be involved in the next installment of Bethesda's Nordic fantasy epic.
Skyrim's new Dragonborn DLC has winged its way onto our YouTube channel, bringing a horde of new creatures to shout at, set on fire and stab. Well, I say "new" - some are old Oblivion favourites - like goblins, which now hurtle into the battle on the back of boars. There's also something horrible which appears to vomit oil, and a thing that looks like an evil floating artichoke. Cool. But best, and most inevitably, of all: you can ride dragons! All of this in the aid of thwarting some ancient evil, who, it's implied, is one of your Dovahkiin predecessors.
As with previous DLC, the only date announced is for the release on Xbox - December 4 - but we can probably expect it to arrive on PC shortly thereafter, just as Hearthfire did. Hit the jump for the full video.
The Department of English at Rice University can help you get your Fus Ro Degree! (pause for groans) with their new course, "Scandinavian Fantasy Worlds: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim," spotted by Eurogamer. This seems to be part of a trend in offering courses based on pop culture franchises, for obvious, enrollment-based reasons.
I've lost count of the number of times I've looked down at my Skyrim Shetland pony and wondered, with a long sigh, "Why are you not on fire." The obvious answer is that my clothes would disintegrate and the horse would eventually die, but perhaps the sheer spectacle would be worth it. Skyrim mod Blaze of Eventide fulfills that dearest wish, replacing boring horse hair and fetlocks with a coat of everlasting flame.
Adventuring ain't for everyone. Why bother smashing dragons to bits with a mace possessed by a malevolent Daedric Prince when you can farm turnips from a frigid field? Now the Skyrim Hearthfire DLC has launched on Steam, the domestically-inclined Dovahkiin can do that and more with a massively expanded range of home-making mechanics.
Every day this week, we’ll be visiting a version of Skyrim unlike any you’ve ever seen before – a world thrown into anarchy and chaos by Sheogorath, God of Madness, and the assistance of over 200 blindly-installed mods. In our final part... civil war, huh? What is it good for? Social change!
Catch up on the adventure:Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4
Every day this week, we’ll be visiting a version of Skyrim unlike any you’ve ever seen before – a world thrown into anarchy and chaos by Sheogorath, God of Madness, and the assistance of over 200 blindly-installed mods. In our fourth part, it's time to put aside the altered and search for the new. What unseen wonders does Skyrim now hide for our brave
heroes adventurers to discover?
Catch up on the adventure:Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Every day this week, we'll be visiting a version of Skyrim unlike any you've ever seen before - a world thrown into anarchy and chaos by Sheogorath, God of Madness, and the assistance of over 200 blindly-installed mods. In our third part, Skyrim's nastiest town has no idea what kind of carnage is about to be unleashed, and Compass finds inspiration in insanity from a most unusual source.
Catch up on the adventure:Day 1, Day 2
Every day this week, we'll be visiting a version of Skyrim unlike any you've ever seen before - a world thrown into anarchy and chaos by Sheogorath, God of Madness, and the assistance of over 200 blindly-installed mods. In our second part, we use magic portals to go clothes shopping in a world with a one-track mind, take a scenic trip through the woods, and Lydia... well, she's not happy.
Catch up on the adventure:Day 1
Every day this week, we'll be visiting a version of Skyrim unlike any you've ever seen before - a world thrown into anarchy and chaos by Sheogorath, God of Madness, and the assistance of over 200 blindly-installed mods. In our first part, get ready for epic dinosaur battles, Whiterun's new theme park, fandom striking in the strangest places, and an awkward meeting with an old friend.
Picking up the "Host Three PCG Podcasts" achievement, T.J. once again leads a party of daring journalist-adventurers into the deep and dank dungeons of the week's PC gaming goings-on. We talk the unforgettable moments of PAX (both the good, and the ones we wish were slightly more forgettable), the closure of City of Heroes, whether or not Steam should be catering to your sexy time fix, and how T.J. would like to punch story writer Sean Vanaman repeatedly in the abdomen so he can see how it feels to be on the receiving end of The Walking Dead Episode 3.
Last week, Warner Bros. sent a cease-and-desist letter to the development team of the Middle-Earth Roleplaying Project (MERP), a detailed Skyrim mega-mod portraying the Lord of the Rings experience with quests, iconic characters, locations, and visuals lifted from the books and films. Ambition, like a tenacious hobbit, won't diminish easily, as MERP's team set up a petition earlier this week asking fans and followers to convince Warner Bros. to rescind the order.
Tyler, Evan, and T.J. form a crack team of talk to discuss DayZ's stand-alone future, Skyrim's Dawnguard vamp-spansion, Steam's upcoming inclusion of non-game software, our upcoming PAX panel, and the future of storytelling in games. All of that, plus more news, Truthiness or Falsity, and a puzzling conclusion in...
PC Gamer US Podcast 325: Quest for Story