It’s wednesday and the Skyrim Mod Forge is back, bringing you some of the best mods produced by the modding community dedicated to improving The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
It’s already the second week of January, and while we’re all still waiting to see if Bethesda will keep it’s promise of releasing the Creation Kit (that will increase the modding potential of the game exponentially) this month, the community is still using whatever it can to improve the game over the original. There already are nearly 6300 mods available for download, and that’s just counting the ones that I could personally find.
The purpose of this column is to help those that may be a little disoriented with the size and scope of what the Skyrim modding community offers. You’ll find here on DualShockers every Wednesday.
But, as every week, it’s time to let the mods do the talking, so without further ado, head past the cut for this week’s highlights.
I love swords. I collect them, both in my real life and in games, and Skyrim is no exception. That’s why this incredible mod by JaySuS put a big smile on my face.
It includes 38 new weapons (mostly swords and daggers, but there’s also an axe) that honestly put the original ones to shame in quality and detail. I really can’t praise the craftsmanship gone into modeling and texturing this mod enough. You should really check it out for yourself here. They’re well balanced with the game and don’t replace any stock weapon too, what’s not to love?
Kit Rae Collection V2
If you prefer blades that fit a more fantasy-ish theme this mod by BOB666 will possibly satisfy your needs. It converts to Skyrim a number of weapons initially created for Oblivion by yoyohobo665, reproducing the rather popular Kit Rae swords.
While I’d love to see them with a little less saturation (especially in the gold parts), they’re still well made. You can check them out here.
Real Ice_Dull And Half Dull-Half Ice
Skyrim is a northern province and there’s a lot of ice. The problem is that the default ice could definitely look better. This is exactly what this mod by Yuril fixes, turning the ice in the game into a sight to behold with lovely reflections. You can find it here in several versions. My personal favorite is 2K Real Ice V2_Parallax, but feel free to experiment to find your own.
Realistic Lighting Without Post-Processing
Many people use shader injectors or other post-processing programs in order to give the game a more realistic or otherwise pleasing lighting. The bad news about that are that it impacts performance. The good news are that it isn’t really necessary. This mod by 747823 and Pluto tampers directly with the lighting settings of the game to increase realism and correct some honestly weird design choices made by Bethesda. Days are brighter, nights and interiors are darker (torches finally matter) and everything looks arguably better.
The authors provide several options here, allowing you to use the whole mod or just parts of it and to find the setting more fitting to your taste.
Ashara Romantic Outfit for CBBE
The stock wedding dress in Skyrim is… umh… a rug sack, really. I’m not quite sure what style it tries to imitate, but it fails quite badly.
This mod by Ashara replaces that travesty with a much more fetching dress. The cleavage may be a big large for some (no, not for me), but the model and the textures are just lovely. You can find it here and complement it with your favorite necklace for a look that would surely please old dear Coco.
Nightingale retex – Black Sacrament – craftable ninja armor
Despite the fact that this beautiful armor set by AmethystDeceiver is defined a “Ninja Armor”, I find it perfectly fitting with the Elder Scrolls setting. In addition to that it’s beautiful, highly detailed and I find it even quite sexy. It’s a retexture of the stock Nightingale armor, but doesn’t replace it, which is an added bonus. You can find it here.
Capes for Armors
There’s a rumor floating around stating that Bethesda had several cape models ready for Skyrim, but decided not to implement them because the animations didn’t work well enough.
Personally I have a bit of a gripe about games with a medieval or fantasy setting that don’t include capes, so this mod by Eferas and Phate3 is perfect to fit my taste. It does exactly what it says on the tin, adding a cape to several of the armor models included in the game. The bad news are that the mod only adds the cape to male armor for now, the good news are that female capes will come with a future update.
You can find it here.
Midas Magic – Spells in Skyrim
If you feel that Skyrim doesn’t have enough spells to play with, this mod by Xilver might make your day. It adds more than 40 new spells to the game, most of which are quite well balanced.
Some of the new spells can be also used very creatively, which makes the whole process a whole lot of fun. Midas Avalanche is my favorite by far. You can try it too by downloading it here.
On a side note, the clip above uses one of the cover songs by Malukah. She really has a lovely voice. I especially love her Fairytale and The Age of Aggression. I can’t wait to hear her Age of Oppression, even if my Imperial heart somehow cries at the idea of her beautiful voice applied to such an ominous and dishonorable song. Down with Ulfric, the killer of kings!
Phenderix Magic Evolved – 70 New Spells
This mod by Phenderix is another collection of 70 spells that will radically enlarge your magical repertoire. They seem to be quite a bit overpowered at times, so I use only the ones i find balanced and leave the others in the menu. The slow and stop time ones are really fun to use, among others. If you want to give them a try you can download the mod here.
And that’s it for this episode. I hope you found something useful to improve your game. As usual remember that full and exclusive credit for the mods listed above goes to their talented authors. Do come back next week for more mods at the Skyrim Mod Forge.
Read More Episodes of The Skyrim Mod Forge: Episode Zero – Baby Steps, Episode 1 – Large Address, Steady Growth and Lips, Episode 2 – Mod Managing, Beauty and Dragons, Episode 3 – More Beauty, Divorce and Small Details, Episode 4 – Even More Beauty, Fashion and a Better HUD, Episode 5 – Hair, Flora and Weapons from Morrowind, Episode 6 – Handsome Men, More Hair and Armor From The Witcher 2, Episode 8 – Cats, Shouts, Hideouts and Swords from LOTR, Episode 9 – Armor, Soul Gems and More Swords from LOTR, Episode 10 – Rainbow Colors, Weapons, Armor and Witcher Gear, Episode 11 – Companions, Pretty Faces and More from The Witcher 2, Episode 12 – Houses, Lovely Hairstyles and Riding Like a Boss, Episode 13 – Lovely Hair, Armor from The Witcher 2 and Hundreds of Books.