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Colossal Skyrim mod turns towns into cities

holds the city overhaul Skyrim
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All the cool kids might be out playing Fallout 4, but there are still modders making the most of Skyrim's fully-fledged Creation Kit (opens in new tab). One of the most impressive overhauls I've seen for a while is Galandil's Holds: The City Overhaul (opens in new tab). It transforms the likes of Whiterun and Solitude from villages into hardy northern fortresses populated by more than four peasants. Before and after comparisons start at 1:36.

Skyrim (opens in new tab) arrived at the tail-end of the last generation, and that meant miserable cross-platform constraints. Sure, Falkreath was always going to be smaller than a town like Oblivion's Cheydinhal what with socio-economic conditions in Skyrim (read: it's bleak up north), but does a collection of five log huts really need its own jarl?

First and foremost, Holds adds buildings and fortifications—something worth ruling over. Second, there are new named NPCs with daily routines to populate the new real estate. There are new shops, outfits and secrets to be discovered, in addition to new lore penned by Galandil. Down the road, he hopes to add new dialogue, quests and guilds in addition to features as zany as banking. Some of it is surely ambition run away with itself, but with two hours a day invested in making Holds since 2012, Galandil doesn't lack for motivation.