With a new post-processing shader framework, open-source Morrowind engine replacer OpenMW is about to look even slicker

A statue of Azura at her shrine
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Open-source Morrowind engine replacer OpenMW has just hit version 0.48.0. The latest update adds a post-processing shader framework, which means modders will be able to make the 21-year-old RPG look even better, as well as adding a new Lua scripting API. "Both of these features greatly expand what the engine can deliver in terms of visual fidelity and game logic", the OpenMW team says in the release announcement.

A whole bunch of engine bugs have also been quietly put on a boat and shipped away to be forgotten. Among the notable patch notes: "Birthsign abilities increase base stat values". Good news for those who choose to be born under the sign of The Lady for that sweet buff to Personality and Endurance, or The Steed for those 25 extra points of Speed.

Among the other changes, "AI will not attempt to attack before finishing aiming", "Screenshot capturing no longer freezes the game while it's in progress", and "The player's allies no longer react to the crimes the player commits". That's right, Caius Cosades, you keep your mouth shut.

Though the Morrowind modding scene isn't producing a flood of creations like the Skyrim scene currently is, it does keep chugging along. Recently PxR: Cliff Racers Begone arrived, apparently achieving what other mods have promised but never completely delivered, getting rid of 100% of the pesky squawkers. Good riddance.

While these updates to OpenMW make it seem like an even more tempting option, it's still missing one thing: support for the Morrowind Script Extender. Though not essential, the script extender does allow mods to add features that would otherwise be beyond the antique game. When OpenMW adds support for it, there'll be no reason to continue playing with the original engine.

You can download OpenMW 0.48.0 from GitHub, where you'll just need to scroll down past all those patch notes.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.