The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Articles RSS Feed | The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Last Chance: Green Man Gaming's Spring Sale Enters Final Weekend Fri, 26 Apr 2019 12:44:00 -0400 GS_Staff

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Greenman Gaming's Spring Sale is about to wrap up. However, there's still a chance to grab some great deals on some stellar PC games.

From now until April 30, almost everything on Green Man's storefront is discounted in some way, shape, or form — even pre-orders on games like Rage 2, ESO: ElseweyrAge of Wonders: PlanetfallA Plague Tale: Innocence, Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood.

Unfortunately, Borderlands 3 isn't on that list, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Below, we've put together a list of some of the sale's better games, ranging from third-person shooters to fighting games, RPGs, action-adventure games, and strategy games. We've also provided direct links to each game in case you're interested in picking them up. 

Fighting Games

Mortal Kombat 11
Soul Calibur VI
Dragon Ball Fighter Z
Jump Force
Dead or Alive 6
One Finger Death Punch 2
My Hero One's Justice


Borderlands: The Handsome Collection 
Wolfenstein: Young Blood
Rage 2
Tom Clancy's The Division 2
God's Trigger

Action Games

Grand Theft Auto V
Devil May Cry 5
Gode Eater 3
Resident Evil 2
Hitman 2
Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Middle Earth: Shadow of War


Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2
Ni No Kuni 2
The Elder Scrolls Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls Online Elsweyr
Tales of Berseria 
Tales of Vesperia 
Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Strategy/Sim Games

Cities: Skylines
Civilization 6
Kerbal Space Program


That only scratches the surface of Greenman Gaming's Spring Sale. To see everything available, be sure to head over to the storefront between now and April 30. 

11 More NSFW Nude Mods From Your Favorite Games Thu, 07 Feb 2019 23:23:43 -0500 Ty Arthur


From survival sim Kenshi to AAA fantasy RPGs like Monster: Hunter World, these are our favorite nude mods for all the games that aren't Skyrim or Fallout.


What did you think of our picks, and have you found any other killer NSFW mods we should try out that didn't make the list? Sound off in the comments below.


Monster Hunter World - Naked Characters


If there's one game that really took the gaming scene by storm last year, it had to have been Monster Hunter: World. Everyone and their cousin was trying to figure out the best strategy for hunting Kirin, Deviljho, and Anjanath.


And yes, of course there are modders out there who decided that naked characters needed to be taking down those giant creatures. There's no shortage of options here for male and female characters, with or without "jiggle physics."


The Witcher 3 - Extra Nudity


With The Witcher 3, you almost don't even need mods, since there's already plenty of nudity and even full on sex scenes. That being said, of course modders found ways to increase the nude quotient and make things more explicit.


If you just want more prominently displayed female genitals, grab the first mod. If you want Geralt to walk through a wonderland of constantly naked women in every town and village, grab the second one.


Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire - Nude Dancers


Classic real-time-with-pause cRPG Pillars of Eternity 2 already had some light nudity in the bathhouse scenes, but there were some scenes that noticeably lacked that sort of adult content.


This small mod just tweaks some character models to make the dancers less clothed at the Wild Mare Tavern in the Queen's Berth section of Neketaka. If you need your fantasy romps to include some exotic strippers, this is the mod for you.


Titan Quest Anniversary Edition - Nude Female


A whopping 10 ears after its initial release, Titan Quest got a major update, even as the developers work on the next DLC for newer ARPG, Grim Dawn.


With plenty of players diving back in to try out the new mastery and extra content, it's the perfect time to give the game a go sans any clothes.


This mod does exactly what it sounds like: making the female main character battle monsters in the buff (and yes, you stay naked regardless of what armor is equipped).


Street Fighter V - Sexy Outfits


There are a surprising lack of nude mods for this iteration in the legendary fighting series, both due to issues in modding the game itself as well as the weirdly deformed nature of the character models in SFV.


For the best content, you want to ditch the usual mod download sites and instead go straight to the Patreon accounts of various Deviant Art content creators.


Unfortunately, that means some of these are locked behind a paywall. Your only other major option is just to check out straight porn images or videos inspired by Street Fighter V.


The Sims 4 - Nude EVERYTHING


Oh boy, I was very much not ready for the wild ride of a rabbit hole I went down looking up Sims 4 sex mods, and I'm starting to question my life choices and browsing habits at this point in time.


You can find pretty much everything here, from sexy underwear, to vaginas for dudes, to huge collections of models that bring specific porn stars to your virtual town.


I'll let the more adventurous search on their own from there, because that just barely scratches the surface of what's available. I've seen things you guys. I'VE SEEN THINGS.


Stardew Valley - Nude Portraits And Skins


When you think of nude mods, typically games like Fallout or Skyrim come to mind. Stardew Valley probably didn't even register in your brain, but trust us, if a thing exists, it has been made into a porn version on the internet somewhere.


There are an absolute avalanche of nude portraits for various shopkeepers and nude skins for most characters across the game to be downloaded at your leisure.


Want something a little different? There's even a futa skin mod for the main character. The size is a little wonky (I guess your futa farmer is a body builder on the side?), but otherwise, it's an amusing little addition to the game.


Soul Caliber VI - Naked Fighters


If you've ever wanted to watch a 3D naked waifu beat the ever loving snot out of an enemy, here's your chance in Soul Caliber VI.


While you can nudify either males or females, these mods sadly only work for custom characters, and they are only visible to you, not to your opponent. Perhaps this is for the best.


For those with a futa fetish, yes, you can mix and match them to get lady upper parts and dude lower jibbly bits.


Yakuza 0 - Nude Card Swap


Dirty collectible cards have been a staple of gaming for a surprisingly long time. From those often terrifying images to collect after your love conquests in the very first Witcher game, to finding nudie mags during shoot outs in the Mafia series, there's no shortage of lewd imagery in existing games.


If you simply want to add more nudity to the times between engaging in highly criminal activities, this little mod for Yakuza 0 swaps out the phone cards with naughtier (and often fully nude) versions of the existing models.


Kenshi - Nude Models


Conan Exils may have made the practice famous, but it definitely doesn't have the market of floppy genitals in the harsh wasteland of a fantasy survival sim cornered.


Kenshi has plenty of nude mods to choose from, of both the male and female variety. Just know ahead of time that the male one is a little off-putting and disturbing, as the modder didn't actually craft a penis texture.


What you get instead is basically a Ken doll with a totally smooth downstairs area, and it will haunt your dreams forever.


Resident Evil 2 (2019) Nude Mods


That didn't take long! Yep, we've already got a handful of nude mods arriving for the Resident Evil 2 remake, specifically to get topless and bottomless versions of both Claire and Ada.


Not that the Claire mod isn't *technically* fully nude, since she is wearing heels, and that's apparently a point of contention for some folks commenting over at Nexus Mods. Personally, I think we'll all live.


Yep, it's that time again. That magical time when I spend hours on porn sites to "research" the best adult mods for all of your favorite games.


In the past, we've covered titles like Mass Effect, the various Fallout games, and Saints Row, and, this time, we're going to hit a bigger slice of the gaming universe, featuring a larger cross section of genres.


From fighting games to RPGs to sims, we've found ways to add nudity to just about every kind of game out there.


Important Note: Many of these links go to very, very, very NSFW websites with fully nudity and penetration openly featured. Click at your own risk.


Be sure to also keep in mind that Nexus Mods hides nude content by default. In order to open those links, you need to have a Nexus Mods account logged in, and you have to manually turn off the NSFW censor feature in your settings.


To note, we'll be skipping games with dozens of available sex mods, like Fallout 4 and Skyrim, entirely. However, for those that are just getting started trying out NSFW mods, here's a handy list of links:

What Happened to Linear Games? And Are They Due a Resurgence? Thu, 17 May 2018 14:43:47 -0400 Miles T

The gaming world as we know it today is a very different phenomenon than what it used to be. Today, a large proportion of video games are large-scale, open-world giants with a huge amount of content and massive time sinks for our limited daily hours. A lot of games releasing can average roughly around 30-40 hours of playtime minimum to witness and complete the majority of the their content, and some can frequently eclipse 80-100 hours. While this may seem initially fantastic -- and for many people, it really is -- for others like myself, it’s starting to take a real toll on my enjoyment and satisfaction from playing, despite offering exceptional value for the price.

Most games now are behemoths, requiring a huge amount of commitment of both our time and our energy. Frequently requiring us to dedicate our restricted number of leisure hours, they can be a daunting demand in comparison to a few years ago, a period when games could be enjoyed more leisurely and with less required of us to embrace them. I wanted to explore this shift in how current-gen games have a vastly different design compared to previously, and see if we may be due a resurgence for shorter, more compact and more compelling experiences than we are being exposed to presently.  

The Established Norm

The years between 2007-2013 saw the linear, roughly 8-12 hour video game reach its established peak. Coming fresh off of the heels of the goliath which was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the PS3 and Xbox 360 era saw the release of an incredible roster of tight, compact, and relatively short video game experiences. In the span of these six years, we were delivered remarkable adventures in the shape of the BioShock franchise, various Call of Duty campaigns, the Killzone series, God of War 3, the Uncharted series, and even underappreciated gems, such as Vanquish and Spec Ops: The Line, to name but a few.

The end of this time period also saw some of these franchises arguably reach their narrative climax. Take the universally glowing reputation that World at War’s campaign received, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves being considered one of the best games of its generation, BioShock: Infinite with its unforgettable twist ending. Excluding their multiplayer and co-op components for a moment, these games delivered a linear structure of single-player action that I don’t personally feel has been matched since. I still distinctly remember *that* reveal moment at the end of Spec-Ops, so integral to its core concept it was woven into the fabric of its run-time. We as a community still get goosebumps from the simple phrase of “Would you kindly?” and how it dramatically altered our perception of video game autonomy. Even looking towards the hype around Halo 3 to "Finish the Fight" or the moment Dom sacrificed himself in Gears of War 3these were emotive moments that resonate even more strongly because we weren’t bombarded with fluff; we were given handcrafted moments to fondly remember.  

My point is, these games reached the height of their success because of the work and love that was invested into their single-player campaigns. They were relatively short, but they were packed to the rafters with quality and care. Many of these games held as many intimate moments of reflection as they did blockbuster, screen-bursting action sequences. The pacing of the moment-to-moment story was perfected, the development of heroes or villains was rich, the enjoyment of their sequences was unmatched. Then, built on the shoulders of these excellent games came one of the pinnacles of the linear, story-driven experience: The Last of Us.

Each of these games was more than worth the price of admission at the time, usually around $50-$60. They created emotional connections, characters we cared about, and story endings we yearned to see but were disappointed to witness end. Metal Gear Solid 4 was a game that defined the previous generation of consoles for me; it's one of my favorite video games of all time, and at one point, I had finished it on the hardest difficulty in under 4 hours, having replayed it almost 14 times.

So what changed in the intervening period between 2013-2017? Open-world and large-scale video games had definitely existed before then, and arguably, there were even more substandard games then there are now. Some games breaking the 100+ hour mark for completion wasn’t particularly novel, either. However, I believe these were the years that defined the shift from focused, single-player experiences with limited time requirement to the expansion of games in size, costs, and in some cases, even quality.

The Rise of Open World

The release of Fallout 3, which was to be followed by the seismic The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, put into motion the early changing of the metaphorical guard from the aforementioned linear video game into the new, altogether larger, open-world paradigm of video game design. With developers such as Ubisoft and EA seeing the power of the new generation of consoles, bigger and shinier became the new order of the day. Open-world games appeared to flood into the market from 2014 onwards.

Watch_Dogs 1 & 2, The Division, The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Syndicate and Rogue, Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 4, Dying Light, Mad Max, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, No Man’s Sky. The list could reach unfathomable lengths. Established open-world franchises flourished as gamers flocked to pick up the next release, clamoring to get the most content for our hard-earned cash. Even traditional series, such as Metal Gear Solid and Ghost Recon weren’t immune to the lure of the open-world design, with The Phantom Pain and Wildlands pursuing this endeavor with differing success. The scale and sheer level of adoration of huge video game landscapes can also be reflected in the game of the year contenders of the last few years: Horizon Zero Dawn, Fallout 4, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, The Witcher 3: Wild HuntThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Phantom Pain, Final Fantasy XV, and Batman: Arkham Knight were all frequently discussed and deemed worthy of the accolade.

This dramatic change in the way developers approached delivering video games to their audience has been negotiated from a few different perspectives. For example, a larger, more expansive and open map allows for more gameplay opportunities and mission variety. It’s far easier to pack smaller and larger tasks into an overarching map than have to create each one individually within a particular level or restrictive segment. Additionally, the rise in developing, creating, and producing games has been increasing as the popularity of the industry has skyrocketed. Games are now multi-million dollar investments, which means publishers were looking for methods to increase their revenue pool from each product. Open-world games therefore made more sense going forward, as they are much easier to monetize and create paid short-cuts for. The final point I’m going to explore is the notion that linear games and single-player experiences simply became unpopular, no longer the golden child of the industry.

Filling the Quantity With Actual Quality

While many of the previously mentioned game of the year contenders have been outstanding in their own right, with some of them even being a part of my contenders for best games of all time, this shift in design has also brought with it a multitude of issues. The first and most notable problem for me has been the gluttonous implementation of filler content: huge, expansive maps covered in needless icons, utterly pointless and unsatisfying collectibles, side content relying on depressingly boring fetch quests or menial tasks. Grinding has become part of the regular game experience now, filling XP bars to unlock inorganic skill trees. While not as prominent in something like Breath of the Wild or The Witcher, filler content has decimated the enjoyment of potentially excellent games like Watch_Dogs or Wildlands, with some of the worst offenders being Assassin’s Creed Unity and Rogue (really, 200 animus fragments?!). Unnecessary padding had been prevalent in many games beforehand, but the alarming increase in the frequency of it being used had certainly been noticeable.

It would be a fair accusation to say that much of the side material developed for these gargantuan games is largely blubber, the majority proving to be cheaply and sloppily executed. Sadly, this created the significant problem of games having artificially inflated run-times, where the meat and satisfactory course of the main game remain relatively short but are buffered by all the unnecessary busywork. The main story then started to suffer as result -- it’s hard to take the end of the world or the hero’s quest to save a realm seriously when you can run around for 3 hours collecting feathers or completing odd jobs for random NPCs. Who could forget the infamous fetch quest from Dying Light that tasked players with the heroic and immediately urgent task of ... gathering coffee beans.

Personally, I found this busywork started to break my immersion in the world and my empathy with the core cast. For example, when returning to the main quest line in AC: Origins, I could sometimes have forgotten which major figures I was undertaking my Medjay work for by the time I’d finished clearing out those 10 extra side quests I’d unlocked. All of this was relatively forgivable at first; the odd, boring side experience in Fallout 3 or The Witcher could sometimes emphasize just how fantastic much of the content was. But in games like Shadow of War or Wildlands, they’re forced into the main path of progression and diminish what would otherwise have been a compelling experience. This is where I feel the loss of linear experiences hindered some of these more recent games, detracting from the quality of their core gameplay loop and integral story.  

An Open World, an Open Wallet

Filler content didn’t prove to just be a bane towards our time, however; it also became the means through which many of these open-ended and large-scale games began to monetize their designs, alongside multiplayer components. Some means through which games inflated their length was to utilize XP bars, experience points, and branching skill trees that could fill multiple screens. These were far less prominent in the years prior to 2013 -- especially in single-player campaigns for the FPS and third-person action-adventure genres.

The increase in their use allowed the development of microtransactions to speed up player’s progression -- XP boosts, in-game currency double earnings, purchasing top-tier weapons through pre-order deals, or in-game stores all started to become frequent. Normal. Expected. The casual player with extra disposable income had the means at their fingertips (or credit card) to buy their way through the unfulfilling side content. No game in the last few years better exemplified this than Shadow of War, whose final act for many players was a tedious chore to play through, suspiciously designed to cater to those who were willing to unlock their bank account for a quicker ride through. It undercut its core gameplay and diminished people’s satisfaction with what would otherwise have been a brilliant experience.

While it may have made sense from a business perspective for companies to pursue this form of design, it created sandboxes devoid of interesting, quality moments. So many forgettable quests, lost opportunities, and miserable grinding just to reach the next section we actually wanted to see. As a trend, microtransactions are showing little sign of truly slowing down their march, so open-world time-sinks are likely to continue to be the flavor of the day so that some developers can continue to hoover up their profits.

So Linear, So Mainstream

Another reason for why we witnessed an influx in overly indulgent game design around this period was the interesting change in players' expectations and desires from their standard video game experience. Around the time of Skyrim’s release, people became dissatisfied with 8-10 hour, highly structured and restrictive games. Call of Duty single-player offerings became criticized for being too scripted, repeating obvious and done-to-death set pieces, offering bombastic action that had lost its luster because of a lack of agency and choice. Gamers became disillusioned with corridor shooters, funneled action games and bottleneck entertainment that offered little variety. Generally, the linear video game became stale, lacking the fresh ideas that revolutionized the gaming industry and catapulted them to be king of the hill.  

People wanted vast landscapes, freedom of choice in gameplay, and a more casual-friendly sense of easy progression through a video game’s content. It became mainstream to pour vitriol on yet another "Halo clone" or "wannabe Call of Duty," to the extent that many players no longer wished to pursue traditional games. With this in mind, it was the perfect opportunity for teams to create a new “norm” -- and so began the shift in focus.

Freedom of choice and autonomy to play the way we wanted became powerful selling statements on the backs of boxes. Series like Far Cry and singular games like No Man’s Sky offered us a previously unimaginable level of immersion and belief in our own ability to control our fate. It was the perfect foil for the tightly woven and restrictive games that had dominated before them. Pouncing on this newly discovered popularity, open-world games surged to the top of charts and received rave reviews.

Nowadays, we can see that much of this notion of autonomy became something of an illusion. Sure you can take any means of transport to attack an outpost in Wildlands, but why would you when the ground vehicles handle horribly and a helicopter gets you there 10x faster? Of course you can ignore all of these monotonous side quests, but what if I lose out on all the best items in the game? Absolutely, I could choose to scout out a location before laying siege in Mad Max, but what’s the point when it all plays out the same way as it would by steamrolling straight in? This conflict in the game's marketing versus its actual offering created experiences with a void of real engagement. You have choice, but it's an artificial, largely meaningless choice, initially promising but over an extended time, devolving into routine.

Are We Due an Influx of Smaller, Linear Games Again?

Moving into 2018, we’ve already seen a couple of hugely ambitious, time-consuming games be released: Monster Hunter: World and Far Cry 5. What we have also seen, though, has been a weariness towards massive games, with some signs that the linear, more compact model may be finding its audience again.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was a phenomenal game that took 6-7 hours to complete, one of my contenders for the best game of 2017. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy demonstrated there is still demand, ideas, and quality for the more streamlined experience (excluding chapter 4) that had been opened up somewhat in Uncharted 4. Episodic and story-exclusive games have risen from nearly non-existent to being a prominent genre in the current market, thanks to the appeal and intrinsic quality from titles like Life Is Strange, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, What Remains of Edith Finch, and many more. We’ve also seen a slight scaling back from traditional open worlds into more refined, open-area focused design, a la the new God of War or NieR: Automata. Resident Evil 7 proved a huge return to form for Capcom, dropping the bloated campaigns of RE6 for a much more deep, nuanced, and terrifying survival-horror experience. Quality and meaning are beginning to find their way back into the medium, and developers are being encouraged to make games that don’t just drain our time but make those spent hours rewarding and satisfying again.

Given the massive shift that occurred in the years between 2013 and 2018, it’s unlikely we’re suddenly going to see a monumental change to the ratio of open-world versus linear games. The extraordinary rise in the level of microtransactions, the ease of creating expansive landscapes with reused assets, and the demand for more casual and approachable progression systems means we will still be forced to endure some games that treat our time as frivolous and expendable.

Finding That Middle Ground

There’s genuine hope for the future and the horizon we have before us, however. Bethesda is supporting brilliant franchises in The Evil Within and Wolfenstein. Later this month will see the release of Detroit: Become Human. We’ve had remakes of classic shorter games like Crash Bandicoot and Shadow of the Colossus, with Spyro due for the spruced-up treatment this year. Call of Duty returned to its narrative roots after the more open-ended Infinite Warfare with WWII. There appears to be demand for the return to the older form of video game, and I think that’s fantastic.

Sometimes, it’s nice to be able to sit down, play a game over a weekend, polish it off, and move on, fondly remembering the brief and exciting time you had with it before progressing on to the next in the long backlog of games. Never overstaying their welcome, they allow developers to craft a well-paced, enthralling game that never insists on making you do things that simply aren’t fun. There’s absolutely a place for massive, extraordinary games that ask you to plow over 50 hours into them -- just see Persona 5 as an example. But sometimes it’s great to have a game which doesn’t require you to put dozens of hours into it to get the full experience.

With Red Dead Redemption 2 around the corner and more AAA games looking to deliver that bang for our money, I hope the industry can find its equilibrium. Too many of either form of video game, or too much emphasis upon one genre, causes over-saturation and a diminishing sense of enjoyment. The gaming world needs variety; it needs linear, story-focused and single-player experiences just as much as it needs another Grand Theft Auto or Far Cry.

It may not necessarily be where the money or the hype is, but it may just be where an audience including myself finds ourselves getting enveloped in memorable narratives all over again. Now, would you kindly grab that controller and get playing?

How to Wait in Skyrim VR on Oculus, Vive, and PSVR Fri, 06 Apr 2018 17:34:38 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Although Skyrim VR turns the vanilla game's immersion up to 11, letting you throw fireballs, fight off Draugr, and steal cheese wheels in an almost-tangible Elder Scrolls landscape, there are limits to what we players will do to achieve that. No one wants to wait half a dozen real-world hours for Riften's guards to fall asleep at their posts. 

That's where Skyrim's "Wait" function comes in handy. And whether you're playing Skyrim VR on the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PSVR, you may have found waiting isn't as immediately intuitive as you might have thought. 

Using each platform's motion controls, all it takes is the press of a single button to wait in Skyrim VR

  • On Oculus Rift: Press and hold down the Y button
  • On HTC Vive: Hold the Left Menu button
  • On PSVR: Press the Start button

If you're trying to figure out how to wait in vanilla Skyrim, you can do so by pressing "T" on PC, the "Back" button on Xbox One, the Touchpad on PS4, and the "--" button on the Nintendo Switch. 

Simple as that. Now you can wait faster and easier than ever before -- both in and out of virtual reality. 

We have loads of Skyrim guides here on GameSkinny, from categorized mod lists to some effective builds.

Modding Skyrim to Make It More Like Dark Souls Sat, 10 Mar 2018 14:28:29 -0500 Kengaskhan


The Grim and Somber ENBs


Skyrim version can be downloaded here.


Dark Souls and Skyrim are all about atmosphere, and they both nail it -- in their own respective ways. But if you want to bring Skyrim's atmosphere closer to Dark Souls', you can do to Skyrim what every fantasy and sci-fi film director has done to their own works: add post-processing effects!


... or, have someone else do it for you!


The Grim and Somber ENBs are a collection of ENB post-processing presets meant to give Skyrim a darker mood. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it looks to install -- just follow the instructions and you’ll be good to go!


If none of the Grim and Somber ENB presets are to your taste (or you’re playing Skyrim Special Edition), just be aware that there are tons of ENB presets available at Nexus Mods -- you can find them all here (or here if you’re playing Skyrim Special Edition.)




Given the depth of Skyrim's modding scene, I'm sure there are plenty of mods that could fit on this list. Let me know of any that I may have missed!


If you're looking for more Skyrim-related content, you can find it all here!




Skyrim version can be downloaded here.


Skyrim doesn’t have the same omnidirectional camera movement that the Souls games have -- if you have your weapon drawn and you turn your camera, your character turns in that direction too. This makes a lock-on system less of a necessity, but like tumbling, the lock-on system is a pretty big part of Souls combat.


As far as customization goes, this mod is pretty straightforward, but if you find that the default lock-on texture isn’t to your liking, there’s a Dark Souls-themed texture replacer you can check out.


Unfortunately, there is no version of this mod currently available for Skyrim Special Edition. However, the Simple Face to Face Conversion mod has a Simple Lock-On Alpha listed under miscellaneous files that you might want to give a try.


SkyrimSouls -- Unpaused Game Menu


With “SkyrimSouls” in its title, there can be no mistake about which audience this mod was intended for -- though of course, players looking for a more immersive Skyrim experience will appreciate the mod’s function all the same.


SkyrimSouls -- Unpaused Game Menu does exactly what it says: it stops in-game menus from pausing the game. This means that you won’t be able to open your inventory to pause combat, chug five healing potions, swap out your armor, eat a wheel of cheese, and then resume combat. The mod is also highly configurable, and you’ll be able to pick and choose which menus you want exempt from the modified menu behavior (for example, you may not want the game to continue running while the system menu is open).


(If you really want to crack down on the potion chugging, you may want to check out Potions Animated, which forces the player character through a drinking animation whenever they consume a potion.)




With VIGILANT, your character becomes a Vigilant of Stendarr tasked with keeping the holds of Skyrim safe from the encroaching darkness. However, things get a little more complicated when a Daedric Prince takes an interest in the Dragonborn.


VIGILANT is divided into four parts (all included in the mod), taking you on a journey that will bring you to some truly Souls-esque set pieces to fight some equally Souls-esque enemies. VIGILANT also doubles as a weapon & armor mod, and you’ll be able to pick up some setting-appropriate equipment (there’s actually even some Bloodborne stuff in there) as you progress through the story.


Also note that while the base mod is not voice acted, the Skyrim Voice Alliance produced an English voice acting add-on for the mod -- you can get it here!


Wildcat -- Combat of Skyrim


One of the Souls series’ hallmark features is the lethality of combat, and it’s not just the player who’s fragile; most of the enemies your size will fall after three or four hits as well.


There are quite a few highly configurable combat overhauls available for Skyrim that make combat deadlier for all parties involved, but Wildcat in particular is fairly lightweight and adds a few extra mechanics that many Souls veterans will find familiar.

  • Stamina costs for all attacks, not just power attacks
  • \n
  • Faster stamina (and magicka) regeneration
  • \n
  • Staggering is more common (though I’d probably disable the injury system)
  • \n
  • Increased damage dealt to characters in the middle of an attack
  • \n

However, if you've already got a combat overhaul that you like, that should do the job just fine.


TK Dodge


What would Dark Souls be without dodge rolling? Well, the game would still be beatable for some people, but for the majority of players, it just wouldn’t be the same. Nexus Mods user tktk1 has produced quite a number of highly rated mods for the website (and I recommend checking them out), and amongst the most popular is TK Dodge, which adds a configurable dodge roll to the game.


You’ll be able to change the dodge’s input method (e.g., double-tapping a movement key to dodge vs. using a dedicated dodge hotkey), adjust the stamina cost and the invincibility frame duration of the dodge, and even choose between two different dodge animations!


Skyrim is a pretty popular game -- so popular, in fact, that Bethesda can't seem to stop themselves from re-releasing it on as many platforms as it'll fit on!


However, even a game as well regarded as Skyrim has its flaws, as evidenced by the numerous overhauls and tweaks available through mods for the game. Now, you could try to enhance your Skyrim playthrough by downloading a couple of random mods that happen to catch your eye, but you might be better off tailoring your game to build a more cohesive experience.


For example, why not try modding Skyrim to emulate the gameplay of another third-person, medieval fantasy action-RPG that's actually renowned for its combat?


Here are six mods that'll bring your Skyrim run a little closer to Dark Souls.

5 of the Best Elder Scrolls Games Tue, 20 Feb 2018 13:19:35 -0500 Nilufer Gadgieva

Some of the greatest memories I made as a kid revolved around the Elder Scrolls series -- the music, the characters, the gameplay, the combat -- all of it was majestic and addictive, and my father often had to pull the plug to get me off the console on a school night. I had been a consistent player of the series (along with other RPGs) for a long time, but I, unfortunately, took an arrow to the knee. 

A three-hour Skyrim OST later, I was convinced that I needed to run the games through again. Upon a few Google searches, turns out I wasn't alone in my undying love for the series.

Bethesda knows how to deliver to its fanbase, and boy has it delivered. Year after year, the games seemed to get better and better in every sense of the word (even if some aspects of the older games can never be outweighed by the newer and shinier releases). Read on for my top five games in the Elder Scrolls series.

5. Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online gets a pass only because it's a first for the series. To launch a massive MMORPG on the foundation of the Elder Scrolls is quite a task, and it was done well. The objectives are well structured, the music is breathtaking, the guilds are a great break from all the hubbub of the main game, and the scenery is mind-blowing. However, this defies the point of the single-player experience to me. What had made a game from the Elder Scrolls series so special was its addictive solo play, and ESO kind of kills that off whether you like it or not. But as the characters, story, and combat settings are familiar, the game grows on you with time.

4. Oblivion

The success of Morrowind had given Bethesda a little ego -- a small, new map, sloppy combat, and foreign settings threw fans off at first. Characters were also definitely not as graphically attractive as those of the sequel and the prequel.  It still deserves a place on this list because it had a brilliant historical story that stands out in the series. Oblivion also introduced fast travel to the infrastructure and formulated objective logs for the quests.

3. Daggerfall

Daggerfall was once the biggest open-world game in history, at a ridiculous 62,000 square miles of (mostly) barren land. You would find yourself wandering eerily in the middle of nowhere without an explanation. Moreover, this is where the adventure with the Elder Scrolls series began for most of us. Pixels aside, the game was structured in line with a serious open-world attitude, building a life for your character and exploring dungeons and cities as you go. 

2. Morrowind

While this is going against the current, note that I'm not undermining the beauty of Morrowind (or its magnificent soundtrack). It was unique in the sense that both the story and the graphics were fantastic and unexpectedly blended to create a first-person epic unlike any other that Elder Scrolls has released. The bizarre setting of the island, surrounded by Dunmer (dark elves) and challenging objectives made for a memorable play -- which probably explains the demand for a remaster. I could play it a thousand times and never tire. Morrowind marks the beginning of an era that would enchant us for years to come.

1. Skyrim

Not everyone would agree, but doubtlessly Skyrim was the game of the decade that gave Bethesda -- and the Elder Scrolls series -- serious celebrity status. It was enjoyable for casual and core gamers alike, and especially for lovers of RPGs, sci-fi, fantasy, and most of all, dragons. Dragons were a new theme in the series, and they became a fan favorite for most. What Skyrim lacked in story it made up for in marvelous graphics, intricate detail, diverse combat, and endless questing that keeps you playing into the depths of the night. That said, Skyrim was also the first to literally get modded to death. Hence, it is the best-selling Elder Scrolls game to date, without a competitor as of yet. Not at all surprised.

Merely going vanilla throughout the series at least once has its benefits -- you really get to appreciate the genuine infrastructure of the game and admire it for what it really is.

While rumor has it that Bethesda is walking on water with Elder Scrolls 6 somewhere in the distant future, it has fans, myself included, inevitably anxious and excited for what is to come. 

Do you feel the same way about the evolution of the series? Do you disagree with the rankings (inevitably, as Morrowind fans will argue)? Let us know in the comments below.


Kingdom Come: Deliverance Will Be More Like Skyrim Than You Think Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:28:38 -0500 Ty Arthur

After consistently making the "most anticipated RPG" lists several years in a row now during an extended development cycle, we're finally inching closer to the Kingdom Come: Deliverance release date.

Although the setting and imagery may look familiar, developer Warhorse Studios is billing Kingdom Come as a very different kind of open-world RPG, devoid of the whole "save the world" story line -- or even any dragons and magic at all!

Yep, there's no wizard college to enroll at, no dragon souls to devour, and no cabal of evil vampires to overcome this time around. Instead, this non-traditional RPG is focused on medieval combat realism as your nobody peasant protagonist explores the kingdom of Bohemia.

That description may bring to mind Mount And Blade far more than The Elder Scrolls, but while you won't be eating 87 raw potatoes during combat to heal up between sword swings, there are more similarities here between Kingdom Come and Skyrim than you might expect.

Kingdom Come Open-World Map Exploration

Easily the strongest comparison between the two games comes in the wide-open map, where exploration is encouraged. In both games, you can abandon the main quest to go do your own thing across a massive world.

Kingdom Come's map is a solid 16 square kilometers, with around a thousand points of interest to discover from end to end. As with Skyrim, there's total freedom to do whatever you want and go where you please, although there may be more consequences to stumbling around blindly this time around while you have other business to attend.

Warhorse has a major hurdle to overcome on this front. Even with a wizard's guild, flying dragons, and deadly giants, Skyrim's sense of open exploration was tempered by the fact that all that open space frequently didn't have interesting or memorable encounters.

Cull out all the fantasy elements, and you've got to work doubly hard to give players a reason to find all of those 1,000 locations across Bohemia.

 There will be a lot of cloud to uncover on this map!

Kingdom Come: Deliverance Game Mechanics

During all that open-world exploration, main character Henry will leave behind his father's smithy to engage in a whole lot of first-person combat with a classless leveling system.

Sounding familiar at all? There are also some echoes of that Elder Scrolls franchise staple where character skills improve as you use them, from swinging a sword to learning a new language.

Although there's no magic or enchanted items to be found, many of the same types of systems that Skyrim players are used to will be present, like learning alchemy at a monk's abbey to create potions and poultices.

Be sure to also prepare yourself for what is sure to be the biggest similarity between the two games: bugs. Lots and lots and lots of bugs.

Sadly, it's just part and parcel to the open-world experience these days (Skyrim is still seriously buggy seven years and five re-releases later). We've seen 'em popping up big time in all the early Let's Play Kingdom Come videos, and it's a good bet there will still be plenty of bugs left at launch before the first patches arrive.

 Ahem ... digestive potion? We may have gone too far into the realism side here. 

Kingdom Come: Deliverance Mods

While it still isn't quite clear just how much Warhorse is going to officially support mods, you should expect to see quite a few arriving not long after launch.

Like Skyrim and the Mount & Blade series, Kingdom Come is more than ripe for some major modding action, as Bohemia certainly isn't the only setting where this style of gameplay will work well.

I'll be legitimately surprised if there aren't Warhammer, Game Of Thrones, and Star Wars mods for KC:D within the first six months.

 Orcs and skaven are absolutely destined to appear in this game one day.

Guards, Guards!

For all its praise, Skyrim had plenty of flaws, and one of the big complaints was how the world reacted to your character. Specifically, how the guards and shopkeepers reacted to your character when dealing with the UI and the many easy ways to accidentally piss people off.

Who out there didn't end up inadvertently fighting off the town guard after being ambushed by vampires or brigands and having the nerve to defend yourself? Did you accidentally grab an owned item when you meant to grab something else sitting right next to it? Cool, that whole town is trying to kill you now, and they don't seem to care that you are trying to save the world.

From what we've seen of the beta gameplay, Kingdom Come: Deliverance doesn't seem to be straying too far from that particular pitfall of open-world games. Accidentally hitting the wrong person or grabbing the wrong item can be an all-too-frequent occurrence.

There are some changes to how the guards are called, however, with the typically omniscient town soldiers no longer able to telepathically discern that you stole something. People have to actually see you take the object, and it takes time for them to run and get the guards, so that's a plus.

NPCs are also slated to react differently to you based on your standing and even what you wear, so you might get away with things if you are dressed like an aristocrat and the locals like you.

 I'm more concerned about accidentally stealing from this guard when trying to talk to him than fighting off a bandit (thanks to ESO for the screenshot).

Diverging RPG Paths

Of course, there are plenty of other ways Kingdom Come will diverge from Bethesda's staple of the RPG scene, starting with character creation. For instance, you play as one specific character with a set backstory, rather than scrolling through the endless race and facial feature options that kick off Skyrim

There will be slight differences between the platforms as well, with HDR support running at 1440p on the Xbox One X offering up enhanced particle effects, but only 1080p possible on the PS4 Pro (while PC players laugh at both those crowds).

Regardless of platform, so far all signs point to better storytelling narrative and more interesting ways to handle situations based on what skills you develop with Kingdom Come, and there will be less hand holding going on.

While the size of the open-world map may bring to mind Skyrim, there's no GPS system, mini-map, or arrow icons over the NPC locations in KC:D. 

We can expect a different experience from both single combat and large-scale battles as well, although based on the footage so far, it seems no less clunky than Skyrim's combat. Armor also plays a much bigger role here, changing how you move, what you can see, and drastically altering how much you hurt an opponent based on where you hit them.

Perhaps most interesting of all is that NPCs don't stand around waiting for you to do things -- if you ignore a situation to go take care of a side quest, you can come back to discover the locals took care of the problem themselves, and they won't be pleased that you ignored their issue to gallivant across the countryside on your own business.

Right now the comparison seems to be that KC:D will be to Skyrim as Arma is to Call Of Duty. While there there may be some rough-around-the-edges issues to overlook from this smaller developer, we're still expecting an experience that will satisfy the hardcore RPG fans when the Kingdom Come: Deliverance release date of February 13th, 2018, arrives.

Let us know if you share our cautious optimism, and whether you think Kingdom Come: Deliverance will topple Skyrim or fail to dethrone the open-world RPG king!

6 Skyrim Total Conversion Mods that Radically Change the Game Tue, 09 Jan 2018 11:29:50 -0500 Ty Arthur


Obviously, total conversion mods are an ambitious and time-consuming undertaking, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that there are only a few that are feature-complete already.


What did you think of our six best Skyrim total conversion picks here, and are there any others we missed that should get added?


Beyond these finished mods, there are plenty more in development, like Skyblivion (exactly like it sounds, porting all of the quests and locations from Oblivion into Skyrim) or the Nordic-inspired Hoddminir total conversion project. Others, like the horror-focused Virus mod, are currently under review and no longer up for download, but hopefully they will return soon.


Still need more mods to change up your Skyrim experience? We've got plenty others well worth downloading, so you should take a look at these:


Skyrim Redone


Download Skyrim Redone Here


Although it doesn't transport your character to an entirely new area or flood the game with new quests and voice acting, Skyrim Redone is still so extensive an overhaul of the base game that it practically qualifies as a total conversion.


Essentially everything about the mechanics of the game is revamped or totally changed with this mod, from completely redone racial modifiers to vastly expanded skills, radically altered combat, and a host of other tweaks to encounter scaling and much, much more.


The guide to what all exactly is changed with the mod is more than a hundred pages long, so that ought to tell you just how extensively Skyrim is altered here.


Beyond Reach


Download Beyond Reach Here


Although this mod isn't quite done yet, it is much farther along than other mods of its scale and can currently be downloaded and played. You essentially get an unofficial DLC here, with a vast new area in the east of High Rock and a bunch of additional quests based heavily around exploration.


New factions, voice acting, armor, weapons, and spells all await you in this gray land ravaged by pox and despair. Be on the lookout for this one to get even bigger and better in the coming months.




Download Falksaar Here


More lore-friendly than Enderal while still taking some liberties with the Elder Scrolls storyline, Falksaar adds in an extra 20-30 hours of gameplay, with completely new areas, dozens of quests, and fully voiced characters to discover.


A whole lot of work went into this one, with an entirely new soundtrack created just for Falksaar, along with a bunch of new items, spells, and even shouts arriving along with the new area.


If you need ever-more areas to explore and dungeons to delve into, Falksaar has got more than enough to keep you occupied for hours while waiting on other total conversions to get finished.




Download Vigilant Here


Bringing a whole lot of Darks Souls or Bloodborne influence into The Elder Scrolls, this mod adds in four new chapters, complete with new areas that play with the concept of the Vigilants of Stendarr standing against the forces of Oblivion.


Each chapter builds on the last, pulling you in and constantly increasing in quality and length. A little over halfway through, the Vigilant mod basically goes full throttle into horror, providing a very different experience than your standard Skyrim playthrough.


Yes, there are also devastatingly hard bosses like you'd expect from a Dark Souls-styled mod, so get ready to rethink your character build after dying the first few (dozen?) times!


Beyond Skyrim: Bruma


Download Beyond Skyrim: Bruma Here


The massive Beyond Skyrim project seeks to add all the lands of Tamriel into the Skyrim experience. Instead of only being able to explore within the borders of the game's namesake nation, this gigantic work-in-progress will eventually add in Morrowind, Elswyr, Atmora, Iliac Bay, and many other locations across the continent.


That's sort of an Elder Scrolls fanatic's dream come true, although it still remains a dream for now. At the moment, most of these mods are still very much in-progress affairs, but Bruma is now fully available for download, letting your Skyrim character explore locations like Frostcrag Spire, Cloud Ruler Temple, and Frostfire Glade.


The city of Bruma itself features a huge cast of additional characters with their own quests and voice acting, drastically expanding out the base game. What you get now is already pretty amazing, but when the entire set of mods is done, Beyond Skyrim is going to be jaw-dropping.


Enderal: The Shards Of Order


Download Enderal Here


If there's one Skyrim mod that best stands as an example of what is possible to achieve with a total overhaul, it would easily be Enderal. The mod presents an entirely new world with its own characters, lore, races, and history completely separate from The Elder Scrolls universe, even featuring all-new voice acting.


Enderal takes place in the land of Vyn and serves as the sequel to the previous Oblivion total overhaul mod, Nehrim. Much like with the base Skyrim, you could easily sink 80 or more hours into Enderal, exploring every nook and cranny and finding all the various quests and characters.


If you like the idea of an open-world RPG like Skyrim but aren't keen on the dumbed-down RPG elements or the story-lite approach, Enderal is frankly a better experience than the base game, with a more compelling story.


With all the focus on re-releases, MMOs, and card games in The Elder Scrolls universe lately, it seems like a long wait is ahead before we get a true single-player sequel to Skyrim.


Honestly, there's no need to really ever leave the frozen Skyrim expanse, though, as hundreds of thousands of mods out there can keep you coming back for years to come.


The biggest of these radically change the game to such a degree that they qualify as total conversions -- a mythical status of mods that has given the gaming community such gems as DotACounter-Strike, Day Z, and Garry's Mod in the past.


Currently, most of the Skyrim total conversion mod projects aren't actually finished, or even in a state worth downloading yet. There are a handful that you can lose yourself in right now, however, giving your favorite Skyrim character whole new worlds to explore.


Sadly, you won't be finding any of these on PS4, and most won't be available to Xbox One due to console mod restrictions. Sorry folks, but total conversions are frequently PC-only territory. Now fire up that Nexus Mod Manager and get on downloading these awesome conversions!

The State of Skyrim Mods Tue, 19 Dec 2017 19:44:25 -0500 Sarah Elliman

Ever since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’s release in 2011, there has been a massive modding community continually adding content to the game over time. We have probably all delighted in turning the dragons into Thomas the Tank Engine or My Little Ponies, but does the modding community go too far sometimes? Have the insane number of mods completely eclipsed the original game and with Bethesda taking such an active role in their production, what does that mean for the company?

No. I believe that the mods are what make Skyrim what it is today, for the players and the company. Over the years, mods have added so much to the game, and as a result, many people still play it to this day. A lot of the mods for Skyrim add unique content that allow the world of Skyrim to develop and remain interesting.

Quality Enhancements or My Little Pony?

The reason the modding community is so fantastic for Skyrim is because of the quality of the mods that it has produced. These modders have poured their lives and souls into these mods to create a more immersive world that is easier to traverse. The modding community has added everything from more spells, better maps, and a greater range of armor and weapons to make the experience more interesting. Skyrim's mods are especially useful if you have played the game before, since going back and altering your experience greatly adds to the replayability of the game.

With mods, you don’t have to be constrained to the original formula of the game; you truly can have it your way with the help of mods. RPGs are meant to give you the freedom to create your own story and path, so mods are a perfect fit for the genre and help to enhance this goal. Sure, you have the option to be silly with it and turn all the spiders into Spiderman, but if that’s how you want to play the game, go for it! The silliness on the one hand, compared to the enhancements and extra content that modding also brings to Skyrim is what makes it amazing.

Have Mods Pushed Skyrim Into a Dark, Forgotten Corner?

Of course, there are a ton of mods available to download for Skyrim, so it could easily be argued that this eclipses the experience the developers originally intended. On the contrary, though, I believe it enhances every aspect within Skyrim, and that is because the people who make these mods love the game. They take what they would have liked from the game and spend their time crafting these things to add into it. Mods like more diverse dragons, better AI, and alternative openings add to the overall experience of the game. Additionally, that these mods take aspects from the original game and tweak it to fit the desires of the players is what allowed such a devoted following to develop.

The mods don’t completely overhaul the game, and a lot of the time only add small aspects or changes to the original content. The alternative opening mod is one of my favorites, as you feel as though you have customized absolutely everything about your character's origin. When you put so much time into a character over the course of the game, it's fantastic to be able to craft certain important aspects of their life from the beginning.

Projects like Beyond Skyrim are incredible, and if you haven’t checked out their project then it is well worth a look. The aim of Beyond Skyrim is to create all the areas within Tamriel, and this adds such openness and diversity to the game that wasn’t there before. It will take time to create everything, of course, but just imagine going back into Skyrim and being able to explore areas that have only ever been mentioned. Bruma is the only place to be added so far to the world of Tamriel, but it is a step in the right direction. Simply from Nexus Mods alone, it has had over 9,000 endorsements, nearly 2 million views, and nearly 500,000 downloads. The desire for quality content is at it's highest, so it's only natural that the best content will continue to be made. 

These mods don’t eclipse the game; they bring it back into the light--and into the public eye. It makes people want to play Skyrim again and create an entirely new story, adding details and story elements to the game that highlight the already amazing world and story that had been created by Bethesda.

How Does Bethesda Profit?

Speaking of Bethesda, you do have to wonder whether the ability to access mods freely is good or bad for the company. This is a much more nuanced topic, with slight variations between the PC versions and the current generation of consoles.

First, we'll tackle the free mods you can download for PC. Although Bethesda doesn’t gain anything from this, it did push them into their Creation Club, which is available for PS4 XBOX One and PC.

The free mods are undeniably an issue for Bethesda if we are looking at it purely from a money-making view. They gain nothing directly from people creating and downloading mods in a monetary sense. So you could perhaps state that the access to free mods is a bad thing, at least when it comes to the company. They have to make money to create more games, but we know Skyrim is a resounding success anyway. Even in 2015, Bethesda had sold 22.7 million units of Skyrim, taking into account the re-master and the figures. 

Therefore, we know it isn't about the money. Of course, companies like to continue to make more, but Skyrim has done well. Thus, it must be assumed that Bethesda does not need the money that could be made off of mods, which shows that the free mods don't harm the company and their ability to make and support the games they have in their repertoire. In fact, having a more open approach when it comes to mods perhaps does more good than bad. Many people play Skyrim strictly for the mods on PC, so it continues to bring in people and ensure they, and others, continue to play the game again and again. 

The Creation Club allows modders and content creators to get paid for their mods and for them to go through an entire development process. Ensuring that the mods are up to standard and that the content being created is of a high priority. It also allowed mods to become available for consoles, instead of just being limited to PC, allowing the community and freedom of modding to move from the computer into other areas as well. Considering that you must pay for the mods through Creation Club, it is fantastic for Bethesda in terms of profit. They continue to have people play the game and spend money on it, while bringing something to Skyrim on console that people have always dreamed of.

However, Creation Club was not without controversy, and technically you could blame mods that were already available for PC. A lot of players were outraged about having to pay for mods that had originally been free, but Bethesda is openly supporting modders in the community, and companies must make money. There would not be another Fallout or Elder Scrolls game without the capital behind Bethesda. Sometimes you must take the good along with the bad.

But why is this good for Bethesda? Well other than the slight controversy over the paid mods, people are still playing and downloading mods for the game. In addition, the recent remaster  bought more people onto the Skyrim scene than ever before, along with hardcore fans willing to pay to play on their new console. Mods draw people into Skyrim, and Bethesda has realized the community is massive. By allowing these mods and encouraging them, they are also encouraging new and veteran players to buy and continue playing the game.


Mods are where the heart of Skyrim is, and I can’t count the amount of times people have spoken to me about mods, whether it’s because they couldn’t get them on their XBOX 360 version or because they downloaded so many on their PC. Mods have enhanced Skyrim and will continue to do so. Considering that projects like Beyond Skyrim are only just getting started, there will eventually be so many more options to explore in the world of Tamriel, far more than Bethesda could have envisioned to begin with. The openness and access to mods make the game lovable, ensuring that players continue to return to the game again and again.

What are your favourite mods from Skyrim? Do you think the mods have gone too far? Let us know in the comments below.


Video Game Canon: Is There Such a Thing? Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:58:15 -0500 Allison M Reilly

When you hear the word canon, you probably think about what lore from a particular book, story, movie, or video game actually contributes to the larger narrative. For example, in the Super Mario universe, Mario and Luigi are brothers. They’re not lovers. They’re not father and son. They’re brothers. Although there’s room in the canon to conjecture on some things, like what Luigi does when Mario goes on all his adventures, Mario and Luigi’s familial ties have much less room for interpretation. And this familial tie helps inform our thoughts on the characters. For instance, we know they are brothers so that excludes the possibility that they are lovers. 

But the canon of truth is not the only type of canon. In a literary sense, "canon" is defined as, "a sanctioned or accepted group or body of related works." This is usually used to describe books that define a genre, a time period, an author, etc. If you want to be well-versed in early American literature, for example, then there is a set of books you must read in order to begin to be considered "well-versed." The canon for Shakespeare isn't difficult to imagine.

The canon of “good” is much more than whether or not a title is quality or popular. It encompasses whether or not a video game is crucial to the development or the understanding of a genre, which I’ll explain further in a bit. It includes the game’s impact on video game history and/or development. It considers whether or not a video game is one all gamers should play or is defining the video game medium as a whole.

But, is there such a thing as video game canon? If so, then what games are part of that canon? Does it need to be broken down by its publisher, system, generation, and/or genre? Sure, there are lists like the 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die and the Top 100 SNES Games of All Time. But thinking of great video games and arguing why they are great is only half of the picture. A video game can be excellent, but is that enough to make it canon?

Looking to RPGs for Guidance

I'm pulling out RPGs because, earlier this year, Game Informer released its list of the Top 100 RPGs of All Time. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim took the top spot, to the ire and confusion of many. There's no denying that Skyrim is amazing. But the best of all time? And more importantly, is it video game canon? Is Skyrim representative of RPGs? If you had to introduce someone to 5 or 10 video games so that they understood what the RPG genre is about, then would you include Skyrim on that list?

To answer the last question, probably not. If I had to pick an Elder Scrolls game, then I'd likely choose Morrowind for its wide variety of weapons, armor, and spells to illustrate role-playing in a world teeming with choices.

I would include Chrono Trigger due to the large number of endings, where the player has to play different roles and make different choices to see all of the endings.

The Pokemon series showcases role-playing in a fixed setting very well. You're a Pokemon trainer and you train Pokemon. The player can't deviate from that role, however, the role-playing is in the team you set up versus the character you create or the story you follow.

Early titles like Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior (now known as Dragon Quest) helped translate the stat-driven affair that is Dungeons and Dragons into a palatable experience you could boot up on your home console.

And the Mass Effect trilogy, despite its lackluster ending, displays the ability to tell a large story that involves choices while remaining focused on a central narrative.

This is where things get tough. We already have at least 5 games-- assuming you count the Mass Effect trilogy as one game-- and that's while having largely left PC based RPGs untouched (Ever heard of this game called Wow?). Oh, and which Elder Scrolls game do you choose? Which Pokemon? Should we use Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior? And which Final Fantasy, or other RPG, first truly displayed the storytelling potential of the genre? What place do hybrid games, like action and strategy RPGs, have in the canon, or should they have their own canon?

There are no easy answers to any of these questions. In fact, we could fill up many forum boards just trying to answer the few above questions. But the good news is that's okay because...

Video Game Canon is Brand New

I think video game canon and all its sub-categories is still very much in its infancy. Not only are video games a young medium compared to books and movies, but video games have also undergone a ton of technological change during its relatively short tenure. The video games of 2017 do not look anything like the video games of 1977, and the consoles and computers they run on certainly don't look the same either. The changes do make creating and settling upon video game canon difficult since there's argument for a Sega Genesis canon or a Gameboy Advance canon.

The definition of video game canon may also change as the technology changes because it gets harder over time to play older games on the original technology. For example, Asteroids came out in 1979 in a giant arcade console. Although you can play Asteroids now through an emulator or through a retro game bundle on Steam, playing the game on a computer is not the same as playing it on the giant arcade machine. Moreover, there are many games that have been lost to time thanks to their original cartridges deteriorating. And while emulators are incredibly helpful for keeping older games available for new generations, they not only fail to capture the original context of the game, but all games have not been emulated.

Video Game Canon Will Constantly Change

Overall, it's not enough for a game to be popular or to be fun and memorable years and years after release. But the other "things" a game would need hasn't really been defined. The titles included in video game canon will be a fascinating discussion in the years to come. As more and more games are developed, more and more games also become a part of history and pop culture. The definition of being "well-versed" in video games will emerge as that history and discussion happen.

Now it's time for you to join the conversation. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with Skyrim's place in video game RPG canon? What games do you think constitute video game canon as a whole? Let us know in the comments.

15 Top Handcrafted Gifts for Gamers Under $36! Wed, 08 Nov 2017 12:00:52 -0500 Sarah Elliman

A lot of us gamers love to collect items that mean something to us and the games that we play. The best gift I ever received was a Dragon Age hoodie! Well perhaps not THE best, but it was pretty awesome. We have picked out 15 handcrafted gifts that are perfect for gamers. As a bonus, all of these gifts are less than $36! Whether you’re buying for a gamer or you want to purchase a little something for yourself, take a look at what we found.

1. Skyrim Minimalist Poster ($2)

This particular gift can range from $2 upwards, depending on the size and whether you want the gift on a canvas. With this poster, you get an amazing piece of Skyrim art with a badass dragon on it. The sizes range from A6 to A1 and are available on both poster paper and canvas. Depending on your style and space there are plenty of options out there for you. 

2. Overwatch Keyboard Stickers ($3.80)

If you want to purchase a gamer a gift the recipient will always have in sight, then these stickers are perfect. They are available for a range of Overwatch characters, such as Mercy, D.Va, McCree, Hanzo, Genji, Symmetra, Mei, Reaper, Ana, Pharah and Sombra. These keyboard stickers are available in a variety of colors that match the characters, and they aren’t mapped to certain keys. This means,  you have the option to put the stickers wherever you want!

3. Undertale Asriel Wooden Figurine ($10)

Undertale has become a massively popular game, more than anyone could have ever expected. This wooden figurine is fantastically made and is small enough to fit on your desk. There are two gestures for the Asriel figurine and it is beautiful. The colors and the expressions are so accurate, it looks like it came straight out of the game.

4. Assassin’s Creed Locket ($10)

If having gaming merchandise in your home isn’t enough, why not buy something you can take with you? This is a charming antique-esque locket with the assassin symbol emblazoned on the front. It can be a fantastic conversation piece with people, and you can carry your favorite game with you wherever you go. It comes with the chain and opens, so you can use it as a regular locket as well. You’ll be able to put a photo of your partner, family or friends in a sweet gaming orientated locket. The same seller also produces Zelda lockets as well, so if this one isn’t to your taste there are others available for the same price.

5. Sans Beanie ($12)

Another Undertale item makes its way onto the list, but can you blame me? When you see a Sans beanie it is hard to resist. The default is San’s serious face, but you can also request a different face in the notes for this beanie. This is an especially cool item if you’re buying it for Christmas as the recipient will be able to keep their head and ears warm, while having a Sans on their head. The seller of this item also has other Undertale character beanies such as Papyrus, Flowey and Asriel. You’ll be able to have your favourite Undertale character with you wherever you go. Or if Undertale isn’t your style there are Pokemon beanies available as well!

6. Solas Vhenan Pendant ($15)

Another item you can take with you everywhere is this wonderfully crafted, Dragon Age inspired pendant. It is a wonderfully formed brass piece with a lot of detail put into the design. You can also buy Sera, Kadan, Anders and Fenris pendants from the seller in their Dragon Age range. They also offer Overwatch inspired pendants as well, so you can take your favorite games with you wherever you go.

7. Blue Glow in the Dark D&D Dice ($16)

There is an absolutely fantastic range of D&D dice on Etsy, but these were my personal favorite. The gradient between colors within the dice is beautiful and merge together so well. The color is soft and the numbers on the dice are clear and well-engraved. You can choose the secondary color, either white or yellow, although yellow will cost you a dollar more. This seller has a wonderful range of dice from rose gold to chrome and healer dice as well. However, when you have glow in the dark dice what more could you want?

8. Wooden Gaming in Progress Sign ($17.15)

One of the only items that isn’t specifically related to an individual game, but it's still another fantastic addition to your home. This gift is wonderful for anyone who is a massive gamer as it comes in a variety of colors for both the background and the text. It is a large sign and would work fantastically outside of someone’s room. So perhaps if you have a teenager who is into games, this would be a great gift to  to give them. 

9. Fallout Nuka Cola LED Light ($17.56)

It’s late at night, you’re still on a massive gaming binge, but it’s been progressively getting darker and darker until your eyes can’t stand it anymore. You turn around and switch on your Fallout lamp: how cool is that? You can turn your house into a gaming haven with this bright addition to your home. 

10. Yen’s Pendant ($17.82)

The last gift on our list that you’ll be able to wear is inspired from Yennefer’s pendant in The Wicther 3. This is a fantastic item for anyone who wants to cosplay, or simply wear it out and about. The item isn’t in your face about being a piece of gaming merchandise and might even tie together that gothic outfit you’re dying to wear. This is a high-quality piece that is perfect for cosplay or for everyday use, anybody who is a fan of Yennefer and The Witcher will absolutely love this gift.

11. 5 Zelda Stained Glass Window Decal’s ($19.99)

This is an incredible gift for anyone who is looking to spruce up a room with some gaming decorations. These decals are inspired from the Windwaker games and are absolutely stunning--you would think they came from a church if Zelda was a religion. The five decals have different designs and colors, so you don’t have to worry about having multiple of one decal. They come in two sizes, either the 8”x4” which is priced at $19.99 or the 7”x13” priced at $39.95.

12. Skyrim Rolling Pin ($19.99)

Do you have a friend who both loves cooking and video games? Well this is the perfect present for them, whether you’re making cookies and want some Skyrim images in them or just want an awesome rolling pin. There are a variety of different images on the rolling pin, so you can get really creative with this item.
The item is made from wood and is 100% safe to use with food. 

13. Handmade Final Fantasy Phone Cases ($20.58)

These Final Fantasy inspired phone cases cover iPhones from the 7 to 4 and Galaxy 7 to 4. The cases are really well made, and the designs are incredibly cute. A personal favorite is the Chocobo design, but you can also get Moogle designs and Cactuar designs for your device as well. Let everyone know your love for Final Fantasy with one of these phone cases, or show someone you love that you know what they like. 

14. Geralt Pillow ($23.90)

When I next get my paycheck this is going to be one of the first things on my list. These pillows are incredibly adorable and who doesn’t want to snuggle with Geralt on the couch? Both the front and back are fully printed, and he even has his swords on his back. Also, this pillow is one of the only times you'll get to see Geralt smile.
There are a variety of other pillows available that are made after popular shows, movies and games. From Spock to Leia and even a Daryl Dixon pillow. Starting to think I’ll need two instead of just getting the Geralt one.

15. Custom Ghost Life-Size Replica ($36)

Last, but not least is this incredibly badass replica of Destiny’s Ghost, which lights up and comes in a variety of colors. You get a stand well. There are a wide range of colors for the LED light, from amber to red and even a colour changing LED.
The item is $36 if you want a mystery colour for your replica, however if you want the colour exactly the way you want it, it’ll cost you $40.50. There are 20 colours available which includes glowing green, so whatever you want is available with this item.


That was our list of handcrafted video game gifts that should definitely make your Christmas list. There is so much out there--being a gamer has never been so good. There is so much out there to explore, but you can start with our list here. Remember all items will go up and down in price, so always keep an eye out for bargains.

What  do you think about the gifts we've picked out? Have you got any favorites? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Games to Look Forward to in November 2017 Mon, 06 Nov 2017 17:33:11 -0500 Kieran Desmond

After a stellar October for video games, including the much anticipated October 27th video game buffet of Wolfenstein 2, Assassin's Creed: Origins, and instant classic, Super Mario Odyssey, the games industry is in no way ramping down as we head into November.

There's such a variety of awesome games coming up in November and there really is something for everyone. So check out this run through of which games are coming out, to help you make the big decision -- what to spend your hard-earned cash on.

Call of Duty: WWII - November 3

PS4, Xbox One, PC 

Call of Duty's reinvention of itself/return to its gritty, boots on the ground roots is definitely going to help it be the biggest seller this month -- if not the entire year. Peeling back from their more futuristic themes has certainly paid off the franchise, with Infinite Warfare just last year becoming the most disliked video game trailer of all time.

Serving up its tried and true multiplayer focused gameplay, set in the grim World War II setting, and featuring far less parkour elements this time around, fans of the franchise will not be disappointed with Call of Duty: WWII. And with Sledgehammer Games back behind the wheel in this iteration, I think we're in for a treat when it comes to the single-player campaign.

.hack//G.U Last Recode - November 3


A fully restored and remastered collection of the PlayStation 2 ARPG, .hack//G.U. trilogy, released in celebration of the beloved franchise's 15th anniversary. As well as the original three titles, Rebirth, Reminisce, and Redemption; in Last Recode, CyberConnect2 are including an all new and exclusive fourth chapter, Reconnection, continuing Haseo's adventure from where Redemption left off. 

If you were into these games back when they released, then it's a no-brainer to check out this definitive version. If you're unfamiliar with the series, the premise is essentially that you're controlling a character who is playing an MMO called The World. Think Sword Art Online, but without the part about being trapped in the game by a psychopathic game developer. 

Steven Universe: Save the Light! - November 3

Xbox One

A direct sequel to mobile game Steven Universe: Attack the Light, Save the Light expands upon everything the first game did in almost every way. Save the Light is a beautiful recreation of the popular Cartoon Network show and really nails the tone, which is really the main draw.

Assuming that you're a well versed Steven Universe fan, which Save the Light most certainly does, I'd suggest picking this one up.

Xbox One X Console Launch - November 7

It's not a game, but this is definitely something to look forward to. "The Most Powerful Console Ever Made" is finally hitting store shelves to compete with Sony's PS4 Pro. Boasting "true 4K" gaming, a sleeker design, and a six-teraflop AMD Radeon GPU, the Xbox One X lives up to it's claim, shadowing the PS4 Pro's performance capabilities.

It's a hefty investment at $499, but if having the best performance and visuals is what you care about, then it'll be worth the price of admission.

Nioh - November 7


Good news for PC gamers -- the PS4 console exclusive, NIOH, is making its way to PC. Set during the fictionalized Sengoku period of Japan, you play as William, battling evil yokai (spirits) who are growing in power due to the chaos of civil war. If you're into Dark Souls-likes, don't miss out on this unique take on the genre.

Sonic Forces - November 7

PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

Sonic Forces has a lot to live up after the fantastic Sonic Mania which released earlier this year. Featuring character customization and three different stage types (modern, classic, and avatar), it's shaping up to be a sort of all-in-one version of Sonic, taking inspiration from past mechanics and adding some new things too. 

Taking a crack at another 3D Sonic game that I guess someone, somewhere is asking for, the pressure is on for Sega to deliver something that none of us are expecting -- a good 3D Sonic game. Sonic Team are trying to do something different with the once hugely popular series, so it'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

Horizon: Zero Dawn - The Frozen Wilds - November 7


Guerilla Games' robot dinosaur hunting game is getting its first DLC expansion this month in the form of The Frozen Wilds. This DLC pack adds an estimated 15 hours of extra content, which includes a new area for Aloy to explore in the far north of the map, new mid-game story content, a new tribe, and some new robot beasties to hunt.

Possibly the best new addition, however, and just in time for the holiday season, you can now make snow angels in Photo Mode. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. 

Super Lucky’s Tale - November 7

Xbox One, PC

A cutesy 3D platformer exclusive to the Xbox One, Super Lucky's Tale has you guiding the adorable fox, Lucky, through a series of levels to collect four-leaf clovers while solving a variety of puzzles.

The release date, overall premise, and even the inclusion of the word "Super" in its title, suggests that Super Lucky's Tale is meant as Microsoft's answer to Super Mario Odyssey. But I suspect that it's going to take more than a lucky fox to topple Nintendo's moustached mascot.

Mario Party: The Top 100 - November 10


Drawing from a whopping 21 Mario Party installments, the folks over at Nintendo have painstakingly crammed 100 of the best Mario Party mini-games, into one fun-filled experience in Mario Party: The Top 100.

It's a shame this didn't make it onto the Switch, as it would be the perfect party game to play with a group of friends. I'd wager that we're not far off from getting a fully fledged Mario Party game on the Switch for this very reason.

Doom - November 10

Nintendo Switch

If you thought that the Nintendo Switch was just for little kiddy games, think again. Released in 2016 to critical acclaim, the fast paced, first-person gore-fest is a must play for any fan of the genre.

With a great single-player mode full of awesome level design, cool guns, and a kick-ass soundtrack, Doom is a difficult one to say no to.

Need For Speed: Payback - November 10

PS4, Xbox One, PC

Need for Speed: Payback is the latest entry into the arcade-style street racing game. Heavily story focused this time around, you play as former street racer Tyler Morgan, who after being betrayed and exiled, is looking for guessed it -- payback. Build up a crew, collect cars, and take down "The House", the cartel in control of the city.

Payback sounds like the most RPG-ified Need for Speed yet, with cars belonging to one of 5 classes, having the most amount of customization ever in a NfS game, and finding and collecting abandoned vehicles. If you're bored of real-life simulation racing games then Need for Speed: Payback should be a good one to try out.

Football Manager 2018 - November 10


Live the dream and take a team from League 2 all the way up to become Premiership champs, or push out the manager of Manchester United and use their insane budget to create your dream team. There's so much you can do with this mindbogglingly deep management sim.

Popular as ever, the latest Football Manager debuts a new graphics engine, boasting improved lighting and better stadium and player models than ever. 

The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs - November 10


Nearly three years after The Sims 4 came to PC, it's finally getting a much requested pets DLC. As the title of the DLC suggests, the Cats & Dogs update allows you to create your own cat or dog, choosing between different breeds, fur colors and patterns, and outfits to dress them up in. 

Your new pet will develop it's own personality as you interact with them and you'll even be able to open your own veterinarian business. Another cute addition the bizarre world of The Sims.

Batman: The Telltale Series - Season 1 - November 14

Nintendo Switch

First Minecraft: Story Mode and now Batman: The Telltale Series. It looks like Telltale Games are going all in on their support for the Switch.

Take control of Bruce Wayne, as you deal with juggling his public persona as head of Wayne Enterprises, along with his Caped Crusader alter-ego. Decisions will be thrown at you that will affect both of Batman's identities, and it's up to the player to decide when its best to keep up appearances by playing nice with shady villains as Bruce, or how far Batman should go in service of justice.

L.A. Noire - November 14

Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One

The Rockstar developed 40's detective game that faded into obscurity is getting another chance in the spotlight. L.A. Noire was well received back in 2011, with particular praise for it's facial animations gameplay that helped you determine a suspect's true intentions. Using a combination of evidence and your own judgement based on how you perceived a suspects expressions, you attempt to solve a few gritty crimes.

The Switch version will feature motion controls and HD rumble support, whilst the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X versions will run at 4K for enhanced visual experience.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 - November 14

PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

According to TT Games, the sequel to Lego Marvel Super Heroes promises to be bigger in every way. Featuring new (and more obscure) playable characters, a bigger open-world to play around in, and a longer story, it's clear that TT intend to honor that promise.

The villain this time around is Kang the Conqueror who will be bringing different times and realities together, which rallies Marvel's greatest heroes to save all Lego reality as we know it. 

RiME - November 14

Nintendo Switch

Once upon a time, RiME was set to be published by and exclusive to Sony. Thankfully for us Switch owners, Tequila Works reacquired the rights to their game and it was picked up by Grey Box. Now after it's May console release, this beautifully-styled adventure-puzzle game is coming to Switch.

Regularly drawing flattering comparisons to Wind Waker and Ico, RiME stands out as more than just an homage to these genre giants. With a wonderful story full of little discoveries and emotional beats, RiME is a joy to play through and is recommended to all Switch owners looking for something a bit different.

Rocket League - November 14

Nintendo Switch

Finally! Football Cars: The Video Game is coming to Switch. Rocket League is one of those games that's great for killing 5 minutes, because that's usually how long it takes to open up and get through a match. Combined with the whole concept of the Nintendo Switch, I think Rocket League will retain it's world-wide popularity for a long time to come. 

Also, think of the sweet Nintendo themed cars and accessories that will inevitably come to the game! 

Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon - November 17


Featuring new Ultra Beasts, altered island trials, and some new story elements, Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon look like familiar re-releases of the most recent Pokemon adventure. At least that's what we thought before November.

Now it's been revealed that Team Rocket will be making a come back in the form of a new organization called Team Rainbow Rocket, with no other than Giovanni himself at the helm. It also looks like other lead villains from previous games, such as Archie of Team Aqua and Lysandre of Team Flare, have been incorporated into the biggest criminal organization in Pokemon history.

Perhaps the biggest surprise, however, is that Legendary Pokemon from previous games will be obtainable through Ultra Wormholes, each having their own Ultra form which changes a Pokemon's stats and appearance in some really cool ways. A perfect send off for the main Pokemon series on 3DS.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 - November 17

PS4, Xbox One, PC

After a financially successful but heavily criticized first attempt, DICE's second bout with the Battlefront series looks to have addressed many of the main concerns had by fans. 

Introducing a 6-8 hour long campaign mode, more offline multiplayer modes, and more weapon and class variety, Star Wars Battlefront 2 could well be the droid you're looking for. 

Including heroes, vehicles, and planets spanning the prequel, sequel, and original trilogies fans, won't be short on content for good while. But when the time comes that you've had your fill, DICE will be releasing free DLC expansions including new planets, vehicles, and heroes. It sure is an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - November 17

Nintendo Switch

Nearly six years to the day since its initial release, Skyrim is making its debut on yet another new platform. Featuring motion controls and some exclusive Zelda-inspired gear, Skyrim for Switch is the best and only way to slay dragons on-the-go. 

The Sims 4 - November 17

PS4, Xbox One

After being available on PC for 3 years, Maxis has delivered the ultimate life simulation game to consoles. The vanilla console version features some content that was missing from the PC version at launch such as pools, ghosts, toddlers, and dishwashers. So don't worry, you can still trap your Sims in a pool and have their ghosts torment their remaining family members. Because that's what you do in The Sims, right?


Resident Evil: Revelations Collection - November 28

Nintendo Switch

Including both RE: Revelations 1 and 2 this Nintendo Switch re-release comes with a few extra features -- mostly in the form of tabletop-mode motion controls.

By holding ZL on the left Joy-Con, you aim your gun by moving the right Joy-Con around. You can also quickly reload you weapon by simulating putting a magazine into a gun with the left Joy-Con and use your knife attack by slashing horizontally with the right Joy-Con.

The Revelations Collection also supports local mulitplayer across two Switch consoles.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp - Late November

iOS, Android

The highly anticipated Animal Crossing mobile game isn't what a lot of us expected, but I for one am glad. Nintendo changing things up and subverting expectations is one of the reasons they've managed to successfully re-invent their roster so many times over the years.

Now with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, fans will be able to run a camp site from your phone -- along with all the usual Animal Crossing activities. That includes fishing, finding shells, befriending lovable guests of the site, and of course, paying off debt. I haven't seen any sign of Tom Nook yet, but the slightly suspicious looking Giovanni seems like he may be the slime ball giving players grief this time around. 

It's available in Australia right now, but the rest of us will unfortunately have to wait, though there are ways to play Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp early


And that's every game worth mentioning that's coming out in November. Man, it is good to be a gamer right now. Like I said, there's so many awesome games coming out this month that it's going to be tough to choose how to spend my limited free time.

How are you going to spend yours? Let me know in the comments section below!

Can Video Games Affect Our Lives? Tue, 24 Oct 2017 15:18:32 -0400 Sarah Elliman

We have all heard the controversial arguments around video games and whether they have good or bad effects on our lives. Personally I believe there is more evidence that suggests video games have a positive effect, and the personal stories I have heard confirm this. I won't deny that some cases, a very minute number, may have turned to violence because of their influence, but I believe they do more good than harm.


The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is a tragic reminder of the harm and devastation people can bring on one another. Killing 20 children and six adults were killed in December 2012, and it is considered to be one of the worst mass shootings in America to date. Adam Lanza (the shooter) was said to have played a lot of violently video games. An official "investigation report links 12 video games...which had violent content," and many people believe that this content led to the shooting. 

It was a truly devestating event, but there was more at play than just video games. The mental health of the shooter and the access to guns became a massive debate at the time as well. It was said that it was:

"...a meticulously-planned attack and (he) kept photocopies of newspaper articles on shootings of children dating back to 1891."

- Ed Pilkington 

Perhaps you cannot deny the influence that video games had on this horrific event, but they cannot be blamed entirely. Furthermore, there are millions of players of violent video games who don't harm the people around them. 

The science to video games can be tricky and hard to define. Are certain gamers less empathetic naturally and their outlet reflects their views? Naturally violent people may veer towards aggression inducing games, whereas someone drawn to a narrative driven story will be less drawn to real world violence.

There is evidence to suggest that video games can increase your attention span and memory, but it is worth noting:

"...psychologists claim that video game players who favor more violent “shoot-em-ups” games are more likely to be aggressive,"

and also less empathetic in areas such as sexual harassment.

This debate draws on numerous pieces of evidence to confirm varying theories. I, however would like to share some personal stories I have discovered.


Scientific evidence for the potency of gaming is fantastic, but we’re all people after all. Hearing the stories of others reminds us how important video games are in our lives, and if they’ve created a positive experience, surely that is fantastic evidence in itself.

Firstly, I would like to start with my own experience. Video games have been a perfect outlet for me for many years and I have formed a lot of friendships from this mutual hobby. Most importantly, video games allowed me to discover what I wanted to do with life. The craving mainly started last year with the release of Uncharted: A Thief's End.


I have always been an avid fan of Uncharted and it was both exciting and sad to see the end of Nate’s story line. However, it was the sense of adventure that hit me the hardest. I had been stuck in a vicious cycle of hopping from job to job, hoping to find some meaning somewhere. I felt incredibly trapped and the only way I could escape was through Uncharted.

It took me some time, but I realized that what I really wanted to do was go travelling. I wanted to be Nathan Drake, in my own and slightly less dangerous way. So, I left an incredible dull, soul-destroying sales job and set out. I even bought a Nathan Drake journal to take with me to record my own journey. I have never been happier and I owe everything that I’ve done since to Uncharted. Without its influence I don’t think I would have realized my desire for travelling, at least not until it was too late.


Even more life changing was the experience of an ex-convict that I had the privilege of talking to. They asked not to be named but wanted to talk about their experience. While in prison, this ex-convict didn’t have a lot of hope--feeling as though there was no escape looking at the same walls all day and seeing some of the horrific things that occur in prison. However, there was something there that helped him to keep going.

That something was Skyrim. Being able to play Skyrim was ‘an escape from the horror’s of the world I was in,’ it offered an opportunity for redemption. "Skyrim was a world away from where I was. I got to be who I wanted to be," it is incredible how one game can have such an effect on someone’s life. Powering the drive in a person to make the best of their life and have the strength to change it as well.


Video games can affect us in a variety of ways. They can change our lives even if that wasn’t the intention. They can inspire and provoke thought the same way that a book or a piece of poetry can. They resonate with our lives and make us evaluate what we want. Surely that creates a positive environment and changes people for the better.

What are your opinions on the matter? Have you had a similar story? Leave a comment below and tell us your story.

The 10 Horror Mods That Will Have You Screaming Through Halloween Sun, 01 Oct 2017 09:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur


Hopefully, you've got enough mods on hand now to transform any game in your Steam library into its scariest version!


Of course, there's a whole lot more available out there than just the 10 listed here, with plenty more creepy add-ons for all your favorite games available through services like Nexus Mods or the Steam Workshop. If you can't get enough mods to try out this autumn season, check out last year's roundup of horror mods here!


What did you think our of Halloween modding picks, and what other scary expansions and overhauls should we try out? Be sure to leave us a comment below.


Minecraft: P.T. Silent Hills Map


Download the P.T. Silent Hills Map Mod Here


Five months of painstaking work went into creating this map, and man does it ever show! Some insane Minecraft fanatic recreated the legendary Silent Hills P.T. playable demo to inject some serious horror into the block building, open world phenomena.


The pounding on the doors. The radio text. Absolutely everything from the (sadly) canceled Silent Hills demo has been lovingly recreated in pixelated form here. We might not ever get the full game, but this mashup experience is a nice consolation prize.


If you're looking for other scary Minecraft experiences or just want to spice up your gameplay, make sure to head over to our Minecraft mods page


Goat Simulator: Slender Survival


Download the Slender Survival Mod Here


Somehow, Slenderman has even managed to sink his fingers into the already-insane world of Goat Simulator, everybody's favorite dumb, time waster of a buggy tech demo.


This mod puts you in a dark survival mode, with a Slendergoat chasing close behind. Couple it with the Goat Simulator first-person mod and you're basically playing Slender: The Arrival, just with a moronic goat who has no bones and can fly.


Garry's Mod: FNAF And Beyond!


Considering the whole point of Garry's Mod is to change and add in new things, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that there is a horde of horror-themed Steam Workshop add-ons for the game.


Seriously, just hit the Workshop and randomly search for the name of any horror movie or game you can think of and something is almost certain to pop up.


Some of the best mods available include Five Nights At Freddy's, SOMA, Amnesia, and even Alien: Isolation, where modders have worked hard to make the models behave much like they do in their original games. Get ready to be terrified of a fast running Foxy all over again!


Arma III: Baphomet


Download the Baphomet Mod Here


We recently took a look at the best all-time mods for the hyper-difficult military shooter Arma III, and Baphomet proudly stands among them -- whether it's Halloween or any other time of year.


Melding together the tactical shooter genre with a storyline akin to Hellgate: London, Baphomet has your squad battling demons and zombies in a fiery hellscape as the denizens of the pit have spilled onto Earth. It's legitimately creepy and a whole new way to experience the Arma franchise.


Want to see what else is up in Arma III modding? Check out the full list of Arma III mods over here.


Crysis: The Worry Of Newport


Download The Worry of Newport Mod Here


This one deserves major kudos for drastically changing the Crysis base game, shifting it from a sci-fi action shooter to an atmospheric Lovecraftian horror game that's slow moving and all about investigation rather than running and gunning.


The Worry Of Newport mod is much more focused on narrative and horror overtones than fast-paced gameplay, so if you dig the idea of playing through a book (or enjoy games like Myst and the 7th Guest, just scarier), this is definitely one to try out.


Skyrim: Freddy Krueger


Download the Freddy Krueger Mod Here


The illustrious Skyrim modding community has added in characters from so many other franchises that I doubt I could even find them all in a full day of searching -- let alone download and install even a fraction of them.


But that means that horror- and Halloween-themed characters most definitely have not been left out, with the Headless Horseman and many other figures from myth and legend added to this open world fantasy game.


However, one of the most bizarre (and kind of amazing) has got to be Freddy Krueger. I mean, someone clearly put a lot of work into this mod, even if it doesn't fit the game at all. It has nothing to do with Skyrim and is beyond lore breaking, but it's also pretty awesome. Go ahead and kill Freddy, loot his dream chest, and become the clawed nightmare yourself!


And if you're looking for more ways to spice up your Skyrim experience, make sure to check out our Skyrim mods page


Skyrim: The Evil Mansion


Download The Evil Mansion Mod Here


Every time I think I've seen the pinnacle of what the modding community can accomplish, I'm consistently proven wrong by something even bigger and better than what's come before.


This latest jaw-droppingly awesome mod for a Bethesda game recreates the first Resident Evil inside Skyrim. Yep, all of it -- even the dogs jumping through the window in the hallway.


Although changes have had to be made to fit within the Skyrim framework, even some of the puzzles and traps have been recreated. Seriously, just get to downloading this one already.


Skyrim: Epic Halloween Overhaul


Download the Epic Halloween Overhaul Mod Here


If you only get one Halloween-themed Skyrim mod this year, this is unquestionably the one to get. It's got everything all in one bundle: new quests, new locations, and new skins. To top it all off, there are even pumpkin and Halloween light decorations placed everywhere to complete the vibe. 


Sadly, this mod isn't compatible with Skyrim: Special Edition, and it takes a little elbow grease to get working in the vanilla game because it's actually three different mod install files instead of one. But the results are well worth the work.


On the plus side, more content and updates are added every year, with the 2017 additions being worked on as we speak.


Fallout New Vegas: Obscurum Pandemic


Download the Obscurum Pandemic Mod Here


One-half survival simulator in the vein of PUBG or Battle Royale and one-half post-apocalyptic horror game, Obscurum Pandemic is a total overhaul of Fallout: New Vegas in the truest sense of the term.


This is an entirely different experience than what you normally get playing as the courier. The character creation and leveling processes have been radically altered, all the vanilla NPCs are gone, new warring factions are added, and monsters galore have now invaded the New Vegas wasteland.


This mod will make you wish you'd never left the Vault. 


Fallout 4: Pilgrim -- Dread The Commonwealth


Download This Scary Fallout 4 Mod Here


The only appropriate response to this overhaul mod is a simple Keanu-Reeves-inspired, "Woah." Pilgrim -- Dread the Commonwealth drastically changes Fallout 4's tone by changing up the game's color filters and weather, creating a dreary and gritty atmosphere inspired by horror flick The Witch.


But that's not all. Everything gets a creepy remake here, from the terrain to faithful hound companion Dogmeat (who, for now, is just a bit scarier version of his current self. However, in a future update, he will be replaced entirely with the Satanic goat Black Phillip).


For the best scary Fallout 4 experience, combine Pilgrim with the smallest setting on the Pip Boy Flashlight mod and install the Commonwealth Connifers Redux mod for a more forested feel in line with the movie.


Pilgrim is just one of dozens of Fallout 4 horror recreations! Want even more? Check out our full list of Fallout 4 horror mods here.


The glory of autumn has finally arrived, which for my family means an unrelenting onslaught of 31 solid days of horror! That's right, we only watch scary flicks, read horror novels, and play creepy renditions of video games for all 31 days of October.


Sometimes that's a tall order on the gaming front considering the relative dearth of horror games in the gaming world, but those who are willing to try diving into the mod community will find that nearly any game you can think of will have some kind of Halloween recreation or scary mod attached to it.


From truly scary total overhauls that add in completely new storylines to silly pumpkin skins simply added for aesthetics, there's something for everyone when it comes to Halloween mods. 


Over the next 10 slides we'll show you some of the best Halloween and horror themed mods currently available for the likes of Fallout 4, New Vegas, Skyrim, Arma III, Crysis, Garry's Mod, Goat Simulator, and even Minecraft!

Hands-On Demo Impressions: All Bethesda Games on Nintendo Switch and VR Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:01:36 -0400 Joey Marrazzo


If you are an owner of a Nintendo Switch,  HTC Vive, or PlayStation VR, then Bethesda will be your home this holiday season with its surplus of games coming out. 


While some of the games they showcased for demos aren't as polished as you'd want them to be, they all had their own element of fun that really makes it all worth it. Check out all of the games featured here when they come out before the end of the year. 


Which of these games are you most looking forward to? Let me know down in the comments!

Doom VFR (PlayStation VR & HTC Vive)

This demo was a ton of fun -- and easily the best VR game that was available to test. DOOM's graphics are really good for a VR game. And although the controls take a little bit to get used to, the game plays just like the console version that was released last year. 


When Doom comes to PSVR and HTC Vive, it will be about a 5-hour experience. The Bethesda representative I chatted with didn't mention any DLC, but this demon-addled shooter is definitely worth checking out if you own either one of the VR headsets it's been optimized for.


Doom VFR releases for both PSVR and HTC Vive on December 1.

Skyrim VR (PlayStation VR &  HTC Vive)

Entering the world of Skyrim on the PSVR was insane. Being able to take down enemies with a sword in one hand and burning enemies with fire in the other was incredibly cool while totally immersed in the world. 


The controls are simple once you get the hang of them. The VR version of Skyrim isn't as fluid as its non-VR counterparts, since the game's VR movement is based on teleports rather than walking. That said, swinging a sword and extending your hand to burn things was a lot of fun. And although using the bow and arrow did take some getting used to, I was able to get a few good shots in before my demo was finished.




The graphics aren't the greatest, though. Skyrim VR looked very blocky -- not at all what you'd expect from one of the gorgeous games released in the last decade. Of course it's understandable that graphics will take a hit in a VR port, this was more like a few uppercuts and a solid punch to the jaw. 


Is Skyrim VR worth picking up? If you like Skyrim and have PlayStation VR, sure. If you just want a new game to play on PSVR and don't feel that strongly about Skyrim, wait for it to go on sale or use the Amazon Prime discount to get it for a little less. I really wanted to be blown away by this game, but the graphics really impacted the experience. 


Skyrim for PlayStation VR will be released on November 17.

Fallout 4 (HTC Vive)

This was one of the better VR experiences I was able to try out. The graphics for the Fallout VR port aren't on par with the graphics you'll find on console or PC, but they aren't as bad as the graphics in Skyrim VR. 


Much like its fantasy counterpart, Fallout 4 VR has you teleport to move around. Using weapons in the game feels smooth and natural, making for an overall satisfying combat experience. I would definitely recommend picking this on up if you have been wanting to get into Fallout 4 or love it enough to play it again on your VR rig.


All DLC will be included when Fallout 4 for the HTC Vive is released on December 12 of this year.

Skyrim (Nintendo Switch)

When the Switch was first revealed to us last year, there was footage of Skyrim running on the console. But a port of Skyrim was never confirmed until E3 this year, when its November 17 release date was revealed. 


One of the questions that's come up frequently is: What version of Skyrim is it? The vanilla game, or the special edition that came out for Xbox One and PlayStation 4?




After speaking to the Bethesda representative, I learned that this version of Skyrim is more like the Game of the Year edition. It does include all DLC that has been released in the past but does not have the remastering that made the game look incredible for current generation consoles.


Although I imagine this choice was based on the graphical capabilities of the Switch, the fact that this isn't the remastered version of Skyrim does show when you're playing on the portable console and hurts the experience a little bit. The graphics aren't all that great -- probably comparable to the Xbox 360 graphics moreso than those on current-gen consoles. 


But despite the graphics not being up to par, the game does run really well. It's smooth and has all the quests, exploration, and looting that you'd find in every other version of the game. 


If you enjoyed Skyrim on the other consoles and want to be able to play it everywhere you go, you'll probably enjoy the Switch version. But if you've never played the game before and want to try it out, I'd recommend picking it up for PC or a current-gen, since the Switch just doesn't do this game's beautiful graphics enough justice. 

Doom (Nintendo Switch)

When this title was announced at the most recent Nintendo Direct, I was shocked that it was being ported -- and nervous about how this game would play on the portable console.


But after getting to see it for myself, I can assure you: DOOM plays really well on the Nintendo Switch. 


The graphics are comparable to the console version, but might look a little fuzzy to those who have played the game already. I played my demo using the Pro Controller, and it felt really nice. If you played the game on console or on PC using a controller, the controls are exactly the same -- so you won't feel lost when you play it on the go.




I made several attempts to get the release date out of the Bethesda representative, but she did not budge. I did, however, get confirmation that the game will include DOOM's full campaign and arcade mode. The multiplayer modes and every map released so far will be available as a download, and not on the Switch cartridge.  


DOOM will release for the Switch around the 2017 holiday season.




Bethesda has a number of big titles releasing this holiday season -- from Fallout 4 in VR to DOOM on the Nintendo Switch. Fans of the company's RPG and shooter games have a lot to look forward to as the end of the year draws closer. 


This week, I was lucky enough to get my hands on some of these upcoming games to try them out before they hit store shelves. After spending time with DOOM and Skyrim on the Switch, and the VR ports for DOOMSkyrim, and Fallout 4, here are my thoughts about what's on offer from Bethesda this year.


If you want to skip to a specific demo, you can use the links below:

7 Screenshots You Won't Believe Were Taken In-Game Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:48:25 -0400 Selandrile


Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice by Medium


If it weren't for the macabre subject matter, this could easily be passed off as a legitimate photograph. And it's just about par for the course when it comes to the graphical prowess of Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. 


The game was created using advanced motion-capture techniques, so there's an incredible amount of realism in its graphics -- from its perfectly rendered details to its uncanny facial expressions. 


The Ninja Theory team really outdid themselves here, especially when you experience this game on 4K systems. Though a bit morbid at times, Hellblade is so visually enrapturing that it's hard to look away. 






Image courtesy of Medium.




What are the most awe-inspiring screenshots that you've seen in a video game? Share them with us in the comments below!


Horizon Zero Dawn


Nothing evokes a sense of wonder and childlike captivation like a world inhabited by robotic creatures that roam gorgeous environments. In a carefully struck balance of primalism and futurism, some players might find that these landscapes have a hint of realism and familiarity to them. This is because Horizon Zero Dawn has striking geographic similarities to real-world Colorado and Utah. If not for the fantastical creatures roaming the world, it would be easy to believe that this was a real-life photo. 


And this certainly isn't the only one. Horizon Zero Dawn's stunning environments has encouraged players to create lots of beautiful screenshots in its Photo Mode.


Image courtesy of Reboot Reload.


Uncharted: The Lost Legacy


Behold the City of Belur, tucked away in a lush cavern with sunlight glimmering on its decorative spires, exuding an air of secrecy. This image is the epitome of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy -- it's so beautiful and mystifying that it was one of the main poster images for the game. 


Once again, you might think that this is promotional art. But you'd be mistaken. It's possible to take this exact screenshot yourself as one of the many photo-op collectibles found in the game. 


Image courtesy of PlayStation


Witcher 3


This breathtaking panorama is of Kaer Morhen from the Witcher 3 -- an unmistakable valley view with the school of the wolf nestled away in the mountainside.


Normally, you'd only see this kind of landscape in concept art or misleading promotional images. But that isn't the case here -- it's an in-game screenshot that was released as a tantalizing peek into the world of Witcher 3 before it launched back in 2015.


Image courtesy of DualShockers.


GTA V (GTA V Redux Mod)


Given its high level of realism and perfect composition, it would be easy to doubt that this snapshot is from a video game. But once again, thanks to a great modder, this GTA V screenshot is a true stunner. 


With the Redux modGTA gets a complete makeover. It's more than just a graphical overhaul -- it also includes several other features and adjustments to create an even more immersive experience. If you love GTA and want to see how beautiful the city streets can really be, pick up this mod and go take a few screenshots of your own. 


TES V: Skyrim (RealVision Mod)


Unless you are incredibly familiar with Skyrim mods and have put several hundred hours into the game, then you would probably not recognize the setting in this photo -- let alone believe that it was taken in a game that's from 2011. But thanks to the amazing modding community, Skyrim has been revitalized and nearly anything you can imagine can be added in to enhance your experience. 


The mod that made this photo possible is called RealVision, and it was created by Boris Vorontsov. Sitting among the top-rated mods on Skyrim Nexus, this graphical overhaul changes nearly everything about the game's visual settings to give it a more realistic aesthetic without sacrificing any of the fantasy appeal.


Final Fantasy XV


Morning sunlight filtering through these ancient ruins makes for a breathtaking view. At first glance, this image appears to belong to a historical documentary, but its' actually an in-game image from Final Fantasy XV. Even so, this is not something you normally catch a glimpse of without precision timing. In FFXV, there is a large world to explore and an astounding amount of gorgeous scenery -- all just waiting to be discovered.  


(Photo taken by me on PS4 Pro)


Most gamers will agree that some video games can be art. Sometimes, you'll come across a level, area, or landscape that makes you stop in your tracks to take it all in. And sometimes, you'll see a screenshot from a video game that is simply stunning -- visually impressive and graphically advanced, these rare images (and the games that spawned them) can truly be a sight to behold. 


Whether it's mods that improve the look of the game, or simply a well-crafted world that's been rendered in incredibly detail, sometimes games will simply leave you in awe with how beautiful they can be. From consoles to PC, there are a number of games out there that are the pinnacles of visual technology. And these 7 screenshots prove it -- you'll hardly be able to believe that they were taken in-game. 

Bethesda Will Not Be Making That Game of Thrones Video Game Tue, 29 Aug 2017 02:02:36 -0400 Kieran Desmond


As many suspected, this story turned out to be a hoax. In the aftermath of the excitement and scepticism of fans, Target reached out to Forbes saying:

"This is not a real product - we're sorry for any confusion."

There was also a listing for "Rockstar: Game of Thrones" which would have been just as exciting, but unfortunately is also a fake listing.

The original article continues below.


It's been reported that Bethesda Game Studios may be working on a new video game adaptation of the Game of Thrones television show.

Spotted by NeoGAF, a page was put up on US retailer Target's website for "Bethesda: Game of Thrones". The page in question has since been taken down -- and neither Bethesda, Target, nor television rights holder HBO has commented on it. 

This isn't the first time the Skyrim and Fallout developer has been linked to a Game of Thrones video game. Back in 2011, studio director Todd Howard revealed the studio had been approached to create a video game based on the books, but ultimately passed up on the opportunity. Preferring to create their own world instead of adapting someone else's, the Bethesda team went on to create The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- one of the most successful RPG's of all time. 

Is it possible that the studio has circled back around to bring its RPG prowess to the fantastical world of Westeros? We can't say for sure until we hear it straight from the dragon's mouth, so we'll have to wait and see. 

For more updates on Bethesda's potential Game of Thrones video game, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

7 Best Armor Mods for Skyrim on Xbox One Wed, 23 Aug 2017 12:01:42 -0400 adelgirl


Darth Vader


This mod will add a set of armor that looks just like Darth Vader's getup in Star Wars. It also includes a craftable light saber that can be created without any perks or materials. The helmet has three pieces, and the mask includes a breathing sound as well. 


This mod is for males only. 


Get this mod on




That wraps up our list of the best armor mods for Skyrim on Xbox One! If there are any other good mods that you think should be included on this list, let us know down in the comments! And be sure to check out the rest of our Skyrim mods to further enhance your adventuring experience:


Horses Wear Armor


Unlike the other mods, this mod is not for the player -- but for their mounts. 


This mod adds various armors for the horses in Skyrim. It will not work with any horse retexture mods, though, so be aware of that before you download. Depending on which armor you choose, it's strong enough that your horse could become near-invulnerable with extremely high health.


Get this mod on


Ashara Newermind's Elven Archer Armor Revisited


This mod will add new versions of Newermin's elven armor. These newer versions include different color options, compatibility with weapon sheath mods, and a change of the weapon distance to the player so the weapon would not float. 


This armor can be crafted at any forge, but is only available for females. 


Get this mod on


Royal Daedric Armor and Weapons


This mod will add many new Daedric style armor and weapons to the game. These can only be crafted at the Skyforge in Whiterun. In order to create them at the forge, the player will need the Daedric armor perk.


The armor can work on both men and women.


Get this mod on


Rough Leather Armor


This mod will add new leather armor to the game -- including body armor, boots, gloves, and hoods. This armor can be crafted if the player has the advanced armor perk. If the player does not have the advanced armor perk, they can still purchase the armor from Balimund from Riften.


Get this mod on


Zerofrost Mythical Armor 1: Nightingale Prime Remastered


This mod will add a new set of armor that you can get once you become a part of the inner circle of the Thieves' Guild, The Nightingales. This armor will work for both male and female characters. 


To get this armor you can either obtain it from a chest near the entrance of the Nightingale Hall, or you can craft it. However, in order to craft it you will need a piece of the original Nightingale armor.


Get this mod on


Ring of Advanced Carry Weight


This mod gives you access to two rings -- one that adds 1,000 points of carry weight to your character, and another that adds 1,000,000. These rings will make it so your character is able to carry more weight in their inventory. 


This mod should be usable with almost any mod except for those that change the inventory of Belethor in Whiterun, since you have to buy the item from him.


Get this mod on


There's a ton of stuff to do in Skyrim's base game, and players have all the freedom they could ask for to play the game the way they want to. But when you add mods into the mix, the possibilities really do become endless. 


Mods add all kinds of things to the game -- more weapons, graphical updates, extra quests, new areas, and more. Among the more helpful of these mods are armor mods, which add new armor sets or change existing armor. Whether it's new rings to boost your magical power or a never-before-seen armor sets made from strange materials, these mods have a lot to offer players. 


If you're an Xbox One player, uncovering good armor mods can be a little bit more difficult than it is for PC players. So we've rounded up the best armor mods that are available in the Skyrim mod marketplace for Xbox One.

The 10 Best Game Of Thrones Mods For Skyrim Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:10:24 -0400 Ty Arthur


Pro Tip: if the Freys invite you for a wedding feast in a new quest after installing any of these mods, you should probably decline the offer.


As easily one of the most-modded games of all time, injecting some A Song Of Ice And Fire into Skyrim is just the tip of the modding iceberg. Have more fun changing the game in unexpected ways with these Skyrim mods:


What did you think of our Game Of Thrones picks, and which mods did we miss that should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments section!


Dothraki Arakh


Get It Here Or Download the Alternate Version


Want to play through Skyrim as a Dothraki horse warrior who is really, really out of his element if the frozen peaks of the north? This mod gets you a little bit closer with the traditional Dothraki Arakh Blade seen in the first season of the show (and again later when Daenarys finally takes control of the hordes).


Weapons Mini-Pack


Get It Here


Although this mod includes several different weapons, the real reason to get it is for Ice. While the other weapons are fine, they don't particularly look like their GoT counterparts. But Ice nails the ludicrously oversized nature of Eddard's signature weapon before being melted down by the evil Tywin Lannister.


Sounds Of Westeros


Get It Here


This one really immerses you in the feel of the TV show, offering up an additional element to accompany all those visual mods and new followers from A Song Of Ice and Fire. All 29 songs from the first season soundtrack are injected into the game, replacing the original music in a variety of locations and scenarios.


There's a big catch here though, the mod obviously doesn't include the music itself, as that's copyrighted and the legit mod sites would ban that sort of thing right away.


In order to make the mod work, you have to actually own the soundtrack to Season One, which you can easily buy online via various digital music outlets.


Lannister Guards


Get It Here


The city of Solitude already has a bit of a King's Landing feel, so it makes sense to further that by throwing a ton of Lannister guards in there. This mod replaces the normal guard outfits with the Lannister red and gold armor seen so often in the show. It's a small change, but somehow still manages to make Skyrim feel significantly more like Game Of Thrones.


Direwolf Mount


Get It Here


Winter is coming, and that's why you need a massive direwolf mount to plow through the snowdrifts! He's the size of the game's regular horse, but has a much sharper bite...


Much like the direwolves given to the Stark children, however, he's his own wolf and doesn't care much for orders. While this mount will fight and let you ride him, if you dismount he'll head back wherever he wants to go and not follow you across the whole Skyrim landscape.


House Crest Shields


Get It Here


From Arryn all the way through Tully, this mod painstakingly re-creates every single Game Of Thrones house crest on the game's various shields. Now you can stalk through the snow wearing a Stark crest or pacify the north wearing the regalia of house Bolton!


Winter Is Coming - Cloaks


Get It Here


You can't be a proper man of the Night's Watch without a wolf skin cloak, now can you? Although not perfectly matching the aesthetics of the show, this one comes pretty close with a variety of new craftable cloaks added to match the feel of The Wall and all those freezing areas even further north.


Armor Compilation


Get It Here


The costumes in the TV version of the series are incredibly distinctive -- and even if you couldn't see their faces, you'd immediately know who The Hound, Ser Loras, Brienne of Tarth, and any member of the Kings Guard were just based on what they wear.


Bringing that element of the show into Skyrim, this mod adds 20 different armor variations into the game -- from the Night's Watch black leather to the armor worn by (would-be) King Renly and The Mountain.


Update: If you've run into issues with the armor compilation mod, there seems to be a new version that fixes some of the textures. Download it here


Game of Thrones Presets


Now you've got the show-worthy followers to look at, but what if you want the main character in Skyrim to be from the series as well? That's where these presets come in, automatically crafting your starting character to look like specific A Song Of Ice and Fire characters.


Take careful note of the descriptions before using these presets however, as many of them were achieved using other mods. You'll need to have those mods installed first, or you won't get a character who actually looks like Daenerys, Margaery, etc.


Game Of Thrones Followers


There are a whole bunch of these new companions available based on book/TV show characters, and frankly a lot of them are awful. Most of them look nothing like the actors they are trying to emulate.


I've skipped all of those and only included the ones that obvious effort went into, and they look like the real deal. Ser Davos, Tormund, and Eddard in particular are pretty spot-on to their TV version counterparts.


Check each mod's description for the location where you'll find each of the individual new Game Of Thrones followers while adventuring across Skryim!


Editor's note: Updated 4/14/19


The final season of the biggest television event in history has officially begun. And after years of waiting, Game of Thrones is almost over.


That makes it a perfect time to make the strongholds of Skyrim feel a little more like Winterfell with some killer mods! Here we look at 10 of the best current mods available to give Skyrim a proper Game Of Thrones feel, from adding in followers based off the show to new armor and weapons and even a direwolf mount.


Easily the biggest and most ambitious Song Of Ice And Fire universe mod that arrived for Skyrim was the "Game Of Thrones Adaptation," which you'll note is conspicuously absent. That's because the original version is no longer available while the modder puts together a new, updated edition that has been in the works for a good long time now. Fingers crossed it gets finished soon!


Oh, and if you're looking for all the incestuous opportunities offered up by Game Of Thrones mods, you're at the wrong list. Let your inner freak out with our Skyrim fetish mods list instead.


If you aren't caught up with the show, proceed at your own risk, as spoilers abound!

Does Map Size Really Matter In An Open World Game? Wed, 12 Jul 2017 18:50:20 -0400 Stephen Brown

Open world games seem to be everywhere. More and more developers are latching their new and already established franchises onto this style of gameplay, for better or worse. The reasoning is clear since the open world format proves beneficial from a design standpoint and is also hugely popular among gamers (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Fallout 4), so this leads to better sales and more money.

However, as each new open world game is released, developers boast about how "vast" and "dense" their particular game is. The question therefore is: "Is an open world's size really important?"

Since so many games nowadays adopt the structure and design of an open world, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish themselves as better than the competition. It seems that because of this, developers believe that by further increasing the size of the open world, the game is all the better for it.

Part of a developer's job in creating a game is to try and make it as good as possible to sell. As consumers we get drawn to bigger numbers. We make excuses that a larger game world means more content, therefore equating it to better value for our money. What we really should be doing is actually examining the quality of the content on offer. It's a dangerous predicament as it can potentially encourage developers and publishers to focus on making pointlessly large open worlds instead of other aspects such as level design, story and side content. Unfortunately, the former regularly feels more attractive in the end. On the other hand, if done well in tandem with everything else, the larger open world can indeed work extremely well, an arguably brilliant example being The Witcher 3

CD Projekt Red was able to balance a large and varied open world in both the main game and the Blood and Wine DLC alongside an intricate story, characters and quest design. The Witcher 3 was able to handle the size of the game world with ease and filled it with truly meaningful content that never felt like filler. There was still the odd issue, though, such as the sluggish nature of Geralt's movement in small spaces, however the developers truly worked wonders in raising the bar for the RPG genre and open world games as a whole.

On the flip side, so many other games fall victim to focusing too much on the vastness of their open world that in order for it to not feel empty, developers drown the game in idle and unimaginative 'fetch' quests.

How many glowing feathers scattered across a city do we really need to collect? Is it really necessary for complete and utter strangers to ask me to pick them flowers that grow in a certain cave miles away just for a few pieces of gold? Common games that get this wrong are the Assassin's Creed series, Skyrim and Dragon Age: InquisitionThese games aren't bad -- in fact I still really like them -- however, too often we are given a massive open world that's littered with collectables and fetch quests to provide us with content that adds no real thrill to the experience. I would happily have a smaller map size in favor of quests and other side activities that were engaging and worthwhile, instead something that amounts to numbers and a completion percentage.

I understand that a bigger open world is paramount to a game's success in some instances, such as the Just Cause series, where the world is supposed to be a playground designed around the protagonist causing destruction and explosions. In this regard a large open world works just fine. For many others, though, specifically RPGs, side activities and story are more important than having the largest open world imaginable. However, it is also possible for a big open world and meaningful content to work well together if the developer really puts in the effort so that gamers can fully appreciate the game, like the previously mentioned The Witcher 3.

Don't get me wrong, I love an open world game that lets you get lost in the setting. However, what's the point if the content in the game is side-lined so that the map's size means nothing anyway? Hopefully developers will soon realize that the sheer size of a world isn't what ultimately sells; it's what the player can experience and do within that world that's crucial to its design.

What's your take on open worlds? Are today's games getting it right or wrong? Sound off your thoughts in the comments below!