Must have Mods: Skyrim
Hello and welcome to this, the first edition of a new series where I share some of my favorite mods for PC games. Being a malcontent PC gamer means I’ll wreck my computer if I can make things prettier. Fortunately, I’m taking a look at three mods that will enhance the audio in Skyrim, so there will be no ruining of hardware today.
One of the most important things a game can do to enhance immersion is feature a rich soundscape. So much of the experience is about what you hear. If I’m strolling through a town I want to hear conversations, animals, kids hollering in the distance, shop owners yelling prices at passers by, etc. The more distinct sounds I hear, the better.
The same goes for dungeons in Skyrim. What amazes me about this first mod is that until I installed and heard it for the first time, I had no idea what the game was missing. Generally in a Skyrim dungeon you hear things that are near you. That could be Skeletons, bandits, whatever. The Sounds of Skyrim: Dungeons adds the screams and moans of whatever enemy inhabits the dungeon. If there’s a thunderstorm outside, you’ll hear it rumble throughout the cave. I feel legitimate fear when I enter cave systems now. The howls, they’re terrifying.
The next mod, Realistic Thunder, enhances the thunder I previously mentioned. Storms feel like they have more punch, a bit more bass. My favorite thing about the mod is hearing the thunder roll in the distance. If I stand still for long enough I swear I can hear it reverberating off of the mountains that surround me. Be weary, the enhanced thunder will mask would be predators. I learned this the hard way as a cunning bear used it to his advantage. I didn’t know my voice could pitch that high.
The final addition is The Wilds. This mod adds numerous wildlife sounds to Skyrim’s great outdoors. I think it shines best when you’re near Riften. Listening to birds chirping or squawking in the distance might seem trivial, but when you’re moving from place to place it envelops you. One of my favorite things to do with this mod is to stand near a brook and listen to the wildlife. At this point the game becomes a form of relaxation therapy. When I’m tired of killing things or questing I find a serene pasture and enjoy the surroundings.
Mods can serve as a great way to pump new life into games, but they’re more than that. For the modding community this means real world hands on experience with the same tools their favorite developers use. I plan on showcasing many more mods in the future for an assortment of games. If you’ve got a favorite mod, leave it in the comments below.