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Falskaar Breathes New Life Into Skyrim

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The title of this article is not meant to imply that Skyrim is dead. Even though Bethesda has stopped development on it, many people, include myself, still go back to the game from time to time. I See how my house is holding up, maybe slay a few dragons, maybe check out a dungeon I missed. No, what I mean with the title is that Falskaar is a massive mod and will have you jumping back into the world of Tamriel for many more hours.

Falskaar is a mod developed for the PC version of Skyrim. It needs no other mods or DLC in order to function. You can get the mod here if you want to start the download. Several things are remarkable about this mod, let's start with the size. It adds approximately 20 hours of gameplay and that's if you only want to do the quests. There are 26 quests in total added, 9 in a main storyline and 17 side quests. Most of these take place in a huge new landmass; Falskaar. The area is approximately 1/3 the side of Skyrim, making it about 1.5x humongous. What blew me away about this mod is all the sound work involved. There is tons of voice acting; over 30 voice actors used to record voice over work for various NPCs. This really helps make the area feel alive, like it really is a part of Skyrim. It's not just voice acting though there's an entire, original, 14-track soundtrack that was composed for this mod. Fourteen original tracks; that's dedication but it's not the most remarkable part about this mod. The most remarkable part is that is was designed, programmed and put together entirely by one 19 year old.

Alexander J. Velicky spent a year working full time to develop this mod. It is his resume to Bethesda, he's looking to be a game designer there. "The best way to show Bethesda Game Studios that I want a job there and should be hired is to create content that meets the standards of their incredible development team," said Velicky when discussing his intentions with the mod. "I did this because I love game design, it's my life." From what I've seen of area he truly has created his own little world, from warring factions, to underwater caves to a farmer looking for his missing cow. If I had to criticize it I would say that the non-quest areas feel empty, the writing is passable but not great, and some of the voice acting is suspect but considering everything else I think I can overlook these minor complaints.

Time will tell if Velicky is eventually hired by Bethesda. For now all of us can appreciate his hard work.

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