Skyrim Hearthfire, and Thoughts on Skyrim Remastered

I’ve been mildly laid up the past week; nothing serious but the sort of thing that excuses extensive video game playing. I decided to revisit Skyrim (again), but got a little bored of the original, without any DLC’s. I lucked out and found Skyrim: Hearthfire for only $5, and decided to give it a go. I’m super late to the party, since it came out four years ago, but I’m in love with it. The DLC basically adds on elements that make Skyrim like one of my other favorite franchises: The Sims.

 

Hearthfire doesn’t add too much to the game by way of quests or extra locations for quests. Instead, it adds the option to homestead and build your own large house, adopt children, and adds items and activities like baking. It sounds a bit boring when put like that, but considering the base game includes the option to buy houses in the cities, the addition to build your own mostly customizable home to store things and create items in is fantastic. Each homestead allows for three wings to be added to the home, and each includes three different options. There are three different homesteads to build, so there is 27 options for how to build your home, which is a huge step up from the city houses. You can include an enchanting tower, or an alchemy lab, a storage room or a library, for example. The options are fantastic, and give so many options for storage that I fear I’ll turn into a video game hoarder just to fill them all up. The addition of things like a carriage that can get you to any settlement in Skyrim is also a fantastic bonus, and you can choose to make your home cozy by moving any adopted children (up to 2) and your spouse there if you choose.

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A completed homestead

Personally I’ve had a lot of fun building the homes from scratch and choosing how I’ll furnish each of them. There are limitations to the game, like the fact that the three houses have the same design and differ only in what wings you add to them, but they are all in very different locations with varied weather, views, and random bandits/giants that show up on occasion to wreak havoc. Considering I only spent $5 for these add-ons, I’m incredibly happy with the result. It’s changed the way I’m playing the game, which after revisting the game several times since its release 5 years ago is all I can ask for.

Skyrim Remastered

While passing a GameStop the other day, I saw a huge banner advertising Skyrim: Remastered coming out next month. I was at first confused and excited, and then definitely let down for a few reasons. I love Skyrim, and the idea of a remastered seems simultaneously cool and redundant. Without being remastered, Skyrim is already a gorgeous (albeit bug-filled) game, and while updating the graphics could make it even more breathtakingly so, I’d much rather know that Bethesda is working on a new project.

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Elder Scrolls Online was, unfortunately, more of a letdown that most of us hoped. I know that I maybe tried it for a week and then actually went back to playing Skyrim. Since then I’ve been hoping that soon they’ll release a new game in the Elder Scrolls series, but so far there’s only rumors and speculation. The release of a Skyrim: Remastered makes me pause, wondering what that will mean for the next installment. I appreciate the need and desire to release Skyrim for the newest consoles, but I almost think the better move would have been releasing the next game on just the newest consoles. That move alone would almost make me consider finally upgrading my PS3 to a PS4. Instead, I see news of an updated Skyrim, and realize that I could just spend the money on the other DLCs and be happy with that and my good ol’ PS3. I guess we’ll just have to keep waiting on a new installment, and unfortunately it looks like we could be waiting a while.

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