Video Games with a Lot of Mods

I like a lot of mods for my video games. I can’t win half of the games in my library without them. Okay, I’m not that bad, but who wants to figure out the exact pressure point for a locked door when a mod with show you a color wheel with where you should place your bobby pin? Yep. That’s a Bethesda game or two, and they’ll make this list, but there are so many other modding communities out there. Which games have the most mods?

There are some your uncle Geekly likes more than most, so he decided to make a list of them. Here goes nothing.

Fallout3_FalloutNewVegas

Fallout 3 / Fallout New Vegas

I could’ve put either one of these games or both on this list by themselves. Modders have made tons of mods for each of these games (unique weapons, new content, better graphics, show me where to place my lockpicks), but I put them together because of one ambitious mod: A Tale of Two Wastelands.

As the name implies, A Tale of Two Wastelands stitches the two games together into a single experience. Holy coconuts!

This means you can create a character for one of these games and ride a train from the Capital Wasteland to the Mojave Desert and back again. Imagine playing both games with the same character. You can.

Minecraft

Minecraft

What? Minecraft’s on this list, but players can build anything they can imagine. Why would you need to mod a game like that?

Because it’s awesome.

Sometimes thousands of options for textures aren’t good enough, you need millions. What’s it to you if I loaded Minecraft, and a game of Pokemon broke out on my computer? It’s my prerogative.

And gamers have as many options in this game as grains of sand in my shorts after I visit the beach, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Warcraft 3

Warcraft III

Other games may have passed Warcraft III with sheer number of mods, but the original video game—the OVG if you will—that introduced many gamers to modding is Warcraft III.

Defense of the Ancients (DotA) and perhaps multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) genre wouldn’t exist without someone modifying a map from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne. There’s also a lot more modding that happened with the expansions.

Just about any intellectual property can be found in the Warcraft III modding community: anime, comic books, Lord of the Rings, Mass Effect, and Star Wars to name a few. If you can think of it, there’s a good chance something like what you thought of exists.

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Sid Meier’s Civilization V

The Civilization franchise may have progressed beyond its heyday, but Civilization V’s modding community makes it memorable. I’ve lost count of how many cheats and historically accurate civs and specific scenarios I’ve downloaded. It’s in the hundreds.

And that’s if you don’t count video game character, comic book, and other sci-fi fantasy civilizations. Who wouldn’t like to play as Princess Peach and stomp Mario, Luigi, and Bowser? I’ve played at least a few dozen DC Comics versus Marvel Comics campaigns.

Civilization VI hasn’t been out as long, and some of the mods don’t work as well as Civ V, but I trust there will be tweaks made and more modders moving to the new game. If not, I’m okay with going back in time to Civ V.

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Skyrim

I could’ve added more Bethesda games but decided to stick with two franchises. Skyrim makes the list because of the volume of mods it has. One of 2017’s Skyrim the definitive edition’s biggest claims was that console players could use the thousands of mods available for PC gamers.

Additional content like side quests, companions, and houses are a nice touch, but the greatest mod may never come to fruition. One mod group is attempting to convert Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind to Skyrim’s graphic engine. It’s unlikely this mod will be released before Elder Scrolls VI and fans may not want it then, but a Morrowind add-on would be an incredible addition to an already stellar lineup of content.

There are so many games with so many mods. If you can think of one, reprogram me into a fire-breathing dragon. Or you can leave a comment. If you’d like to read more of our content, you can modify your email by subscribing.

My Favorite Element: Nier Automata

Uncle Geekly finished one of 2017’s best role-playing games Nier: Automata. Come to think of it 2017 was a great year for Japanese Role-Playing Games with Persona 5 also becoming available worldwide six months after its initial release. But we’re going to discuss Nier: Automata in this writeup and how it takes a novel approach to storytelling that I haven’t seen too many video games attempt.

To say Nier: Automata is off kilter would be an understatement. I enjoy that every weapon has its own unique backstory that players can dip their toes into. Weapon Stories are a recurring element in the Nier and Drakengard series as are multiple plays of the game revealing new potential endings. Nier: Automata takes the latter element and makes it work—alternate endings don’t always pan out that well in Nier and the Drakengard series—by showing the game through the eyes of its two protagonists.

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Nier: Automata is broken into two parts and two main characters: 2B and 9S. There are moments through the first playthrough where 9S disappears for long periods of time. He explains most of his absences but showing what 9S goes through offers a lot to the overall experience. As soon as I saw that I’d play as 9S during a second playthrough I shuddered. There are moments that I’d rather not experience first-hand, but at the same time, I played on because I wanted to see them out of morbid curiosity.

Not every story can be enhanced by a second telling by another character, but Nier: Automata makes a great choice in showing 2B’s and 9S’s story. It’s obvious that they’re co-protagonists and it would’ve been a falsehood to not show 9S’s journey.

What are your favorite elements of Nier: Automata? Are there any other video games that do a great job of showing two protagonists’ stories. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Going for a Platinum Trophy or All the Trophies

Your uncle Geekly trophy hunts from time to time, but most of my PS4 trophies must meet certain criteria for me to pursue it. For those of you who don’t know, a PS4 platinum trophy is usually handed out when the player earns every other trophy (or accomplishment if you’re an X-Box player) the game has to offer. Not all games offer a platinum trophy—I’m looking at you, Apex Legends—and for those games I’ll collect all the trophies I can. Also, there are plenty of games that hand out a platinum after an hour or two or in the case of My Name is Mayo thirty minutes, but countless PS4 platinum trophies require work. Lots and lots of hours of grinding.

Like I said, I do trophy hunt at times, so you may see the My Name is Mayo platinum buried in my profile. I’m not proud of it. I sold out to gain a few Playstation levels and make my stats look good. But most of platinum trophies are legit. I promise.

If you’re wondering what My Name is Mayo is, it’s a game where one clicks on a jar of mayonnaise wearing provocative clothing. The jar even dons a leopard print bikini. Again, this isn’t the high point of my gaming trophies, but other game trophies are better. Honest. The following is a list for the more difficult games in which I choose to earn a platinum.

Persona5

I Have to Like the Game

Okay, this is a duh moment, but if I’m going to invest over a hundred hours to get every trophy a video game needs for a platinum trophy or get all the trophies the game has in its catalogue, I’d better like it. Heck. I better love the game. Skyrim? Sure. Persona 5? Of course. Final Fantasy XV? Yes—I liked it enough to earn the platinum, but it could’ve been better. Fallout 4? Why did I get that one? Nubla? It’s a very good puzzle game with an easy to get platinum, so this may have been another trophy hunter moment—but I don’t care. Where was I? Yes. I must like the game to even think about earning the game’s platinum. Earning a platinum trophy shows your love of the game to the world.

GoldeneyeN64

No Online Multiplayer Trophies Needed

I like playing online video games every once and while, but I’m not any good at them and I won’t be able to unlock any online trophies—or at least most of them. As soon as I see that a game that can be played solo has an online component to its platinum trophy, I know I’m not getting the ultimate prize.

I liked the Magic: The Gathering video games from the PS3 but knew I would never get every trophy because I saw that I had to win X number of online matches and place in the top ten during an event. That’s not for me. I unlocked every other ridiculous trophy for those games except for the online ones, and the old Magic games aren’t even the most difficult of the bunch. Anything ultra-competitive like Fortnite, Overwatch, or Apex Legends will yield gold for me at best.

Speaking of gold, I stunk at the N64’s Goldeneye. I like the game. It deserves all the accolades it receives, but you know I’m no good at multiplayer games if I can’t win Goldeneye multiplayer while playing as Oddjob. Sure, Kyle, you can cheat by picking Oddjob. He starts with armor and a weapon (his hat) when no one else begins the game with either and must scrounge the map for both. I still lost consistently.

Uncharted4

No Hard Mode Required

There are people in the world who like to be challenged with video games. It’s great if you’re one of them. I’m not—most of the time. I may play a hard mode if a game offers one, but it’s a turnoff for me earning a platinum trophy if I must beat the game on the game’s most difficult setting to unlock it. Did I play PS4’s Spider-Man? Yes. I even played it on the unlockable ultimate difficulty setting, but I don’t like being told to play a certain way in order to earn a platinum trophy.

The Uncharted series is one of my favorites, but as soon as I see that I must finish the game on the most difficult setting, I know I’m not getting the game’s best trophy. Life is hard enough. Why must I play Nightmare Mode or Are You Kidding Me Mode or Ludicrous Mode or Geekly Must Die Mode? I’ll try the more difficult modes, but don’t expect me to do anything.

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No Speed Playthroughs

If you’re one of those people who can finish Super Mario Brothers in 2 minutes flat, good for you. You’re awesome and your reflexes are second to none. I’m not one of these people. But my lack of speed playthroughs goes beyond this. I don’t believe Final Fantasy VII has a speed playthrough trophy, but I’ve seen games of its ilk (other JRPGs and western RPGs) offering one for beating the game in under 20-25 hours. If I beat Final Fantasy VII or any game of that type that fast, I feel cheated.

I like to take my time. Give me a world and characters I can lose myself in and I’ll do just that.

A Maximum of 3 Playthroughs

If I can’t get all the trophies in three playthroughs, I’m out. Usually, I don’t like playing a game a third time. Persona 5 took me almost three playthroughs because I missed a minor something during my second play and I considered abandoning the game’s platinum since it would take me a third. After several grunts and groans, I fired up the game for another play and cursed at myself during the next twenty or so hours. I like earning the platinum in a single play whenever possible.

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2 Shiny Platinum Trophies for Every Embarrassment

Yes. I own some embarrassing platinums in my PS4 case, but your uncle Geekly strives for 2 platinums I don’t mind displaying for each one I hide behind the rest. I mentioned My Name is Mayo earlier, but I include Telltale Games platinum trophies in this group as well. All one must do to get most Telltale Game platinums is finish the game. That’s too easy. I’ll do it, but your trophy goes in the back row. I want trophies I don’t mind polishing in the front.

After taking a moment of silence for Telltale Games closing their doors late last year—I liked their games despite how easy it was to get their platinum trophies—let us know what criteria you look for when going for a game’s platinum in the comments. Do you even care if you ever earn a platinum? Which platinum trophies do you own?

Video Game Players Only Want Multiplayer Games

I’m not sure if this has come up or not in the past several years Uncle Geekly’s been doing this blog, but your uncle dislikes absolutes, so I’m being facetious with this writeup’s title. Okay. Maybe video games and what players want isn’t serious enough of a topic to warrant me calling it facetious, but it’s an important topic for geeks.

Anyway. Any absolute like this title is inherently flawed. One can’t make a blanket statement about a large group of people or things, because there are many exceptions to the norm. The title derives from video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) insisting that video game fans only want multiplayer experiences, but they’re doing so by saying that players don’t want games with a linear story, and if one looks at their recent track record, EA seldom publishes single-player games with linear stories.

Electronic Arts has been making games for decades. They’ve seen the video game climate change over the course of those years, and the comment EA makes every time they cancel a Star Wars game with a linear story or character driven game in the past decade or so is that players don’t want a single-player experience.

EA’s Patrick Soderlund illustrates the company’s attitude by stating in his blog “Our Visceral Studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe. In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come. We needed to pivot the design.”

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Let’s look beyond the fact that some Visceral Studio employees lost their jobs—Soderlund also stated that EA would shift as many Visceral Studio employees over to other projects as they could, which means that they didn’t do that for all their employees—and get to what Soderlund, speaking for EA, is saying. On the surface, it may sound to players as if EA wants to make games that resonate with players and grant players years of replay value but consider the source. Soderlund is a video game executive. He’s talking about monetization and making games that run like a service.

Do you think that I’m making a little bit of a leap there? Maybe, but EA has a long history of making great single-player, linear story games (Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Deep Space). They even have a long history of producing great linear story Star Wars games that are single-player like Knights of the Old Republic and the Jedi Knight series, so EA has plenty of research to suggest the contrary to what Soderlund said. Players do want linear story, character-driven games, especially ones set in the Star Wars universe.

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EA’s 2018 release A Way Out reinforces that players want single-player, linear story, character-driven games. A Way Out sold as many copies (200,000 for about $1 million) in one week as EA thought it would sell in the entire fiscal year. The truth is that EA wants players to only want multiplayer games. A single-player linear story game needs to have a finite ending to be satisfying. If that’s the case, players won’t purchase skins or weapons for a character when they’ve already beaten the game, unless they plan to play the game a second time.

I get it on some level. AAA games cost a lot of money to make, so publishers want to watch their bottom line and produce games that can bring in consistent money over a long period of time, games like the ones Soderlund mentioned in his blog “experiences that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come.” But let’s cut EA a break—sort of—and say that they don’t understand that there is more than one video game audience.

ApexLegends

If EA knew there was more than one video game audience, they may not have released Apex Legends at the beginning of February 2019 when Anthem was scheduled for release later the same month. They’re both solely online games that will attract a similar audience. Video game companies can’t predict what another studio will do, but they can space out similar releases from their own stable of games. That’s why video game companies need single-player games as much as they do multiplayer games.

Some players like multiplayer games, almost exclusively; others prefer single-player games. I dig both game types, but I lean toward single-player experiences. Variety is paramount. EA can, and should, offer great multiplayer and single-player games. I’d hate to see the publisher behind classics like Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic never make another single-player, linear story, character-driven game. It’s single-player games like the ones EA has produced in the past that lead some to accept video games as art, or at the very least, examples of incredible storytelling.

Do you agree or disagree that gamers still want single-player experiences with linear stories? Do you think EA and other companies like it are off-base with their assessment of the video game market? Let us know in the comments.

3 Lists of 3 Skyrim Mods

Hello, folks, Uncle Geekly here. Skyrim Special Edition has been out for a few years and that means that console players have the same joy of Skyrim mods as those of us who play on PC. Your uncle Geekly has played Skyrim Special Edition a lot on both PC and console, so I’ve found some mods that I like to play with whenever I fire up this almost eight-year-old game.

Sounds like a good time for a Skyrim Mod 3 Lists of 3. There are a few mods that come standard in Skyrim Special Edition like realistic weather effects and improved graphics–I’ll have to remember which ones I don’t have to load for Special Ed—and I’ll try not to include any of those. The other hard part will be determining how to split up each mod type. Let’s see if Geekly’s up for the challenge.

Role Playing

OrdinatorMod

Ordinator and Apocalypse Magic

It’s our first mod in the first section of this write up, and I’m cheating by combining two mods. For shame!

It’s my list; I do what I want.

Ordinator and Apocalypse Magic come courtesy of the same modder Enai Siaion, and they’re available in a download bundle, so I’m putting them together because I seldom play Skyrim without both and I see them as two branches of the same limb. Ordinator increases the perk pool by over 400, while Apocalypse Magic adds 155 spells across all magic families.

With 400+ new perks gamers can customize their play style to a point where no two Skyrim builds are the same. One of my favorite builds is a dream master where I unlock as many Illusion perks in that branch of the magic tree as I can, but there’s more than the “dream master” branch within Illusion. There are so many paths to take that gamers can find their character’s story within the story and craft their own journey. Why is my hero drawn to dreams instead of creating pandemonium?

And that’s just one magic school. The magic schools have as many branches and the other perk trees specialize gameplay. Now it matters which one-handed weapon a player chooses. One may gain bonuses and special attacks for maces and not axes.

Apocalypse Magic Mod

Apocalypse Magic further differentiates the magic families. I don’t know how many times I used to begin Skyrim with every intention to play a pure magic user only to have the game devolve into a spellsword—emphasis on the sword—but Apocalypse Magic adds so many play options and cleans up many issues with Skyrim’s magic system that a pure magic user is an option, and a fun one at that. I can be a Thalmor who only cares to explore the reaches of the magic school Alteration.

I picked Alteration in this example because the added spells for this school in this mod are amazing. I can control the weather. I can sap armor from my attackers and give it to me and my companions. I can entomb one character and free them when I want. Yep. I am a Thalmor wanting to learn everything I can for a few schools of magic.

Imperious Race Mod

Imperious Races

Let’s face it. Race specific abilities have gone downhill in recent Elder Scrolls games. Fortunately, Imperious Races aims to make each Tamriel race unique.

Wow! I just realized that this is another mod by Enai Siaion. If you’ve liked what you’ve read so far, you may want to check out some of their other mods. I could make a list of just Enai Siaion’s mods, but I’d like to share the love—after Imperious Races of course.

Imperious Races adds race specific quests, bonuses, and powers. The quests play into the game’s lore. For example, Bosmer (Wood Elves) go on a great hunt to unlock their bonuses and power, while Altmer (High Elves) pluck the wings off butterflies—there’s a whole transformation or rebirth belief for High Elves that I won’t get into here, but butterflies play a key role. Each race has their own specific requirements or quest that adds another layer to character creation and world/lore immersion.

The race bonuses kick Elder Scrolls back to an age where it mattered to which race your character belonged. Altmer are naturally gifted mages, Redguard are fantastic warriors, and so on.

The race powers can, at times, play well with Elder Scroll lore as in Dunmer (Dark Elves) calling on their ancestors or Bosmer converting wild animals into allies, and other times these race powers create wrinkles for the different races. Anyone who’s played Skyrim knows that Nords can be xenophobic—to put it kindly—or downright racist. Their “Purge” ability allows them to choose a race at levels 10, 20, and 30 and deal bonus damage to members of that race. I don’t usually play human characters in Elder Scrolls games, but I’d consider playing an elf-hating Nord.

Again, this plays into character building as there may be a reason why my Nord is an elf-hater. There are so many new roleplaying options with each race.

LiveAnotherLifeMod

Live Another Life

Finally, we come to a mod by a different creator Arthmoor. Live Another Life does exactly what the title states: players can change their past as a wrongfully accused prisoner awaiting execution and skip the lengthy intro sequence at Helgen. With this mod players can start the game as a landowner or a marooned sailor or a highway robbery victim. Heck, players can begin the game already a member of one of the guilds or as a bandit.

Most of these new beginnings come with small bonuses and/or disadvantages (bandits begin the game with a bounty), but the true bonus of Live Another Life comes in the form of roleplaying. Players can literally rewrite their past. Live Another Life, like other mods in this section, add character and player choice to Skyrim.

One note: Live Another Life may have some minor compatibility issues that the previous two mods, or three mods, don’t.

Added Story and/or Content

ProjectAHO Mod

Project AHO

Most, if not all, the mods in this section will center around new areas to explore and/or new stories to experience. Let’s begin this section with a relatively new mod (released in late March 2018) by Haem Projects, Project AHO.

The content for this mod pans out to a medium-sized DLC, so a little less than Dragonborn or Dawnguard, but significantly more than Hearthfire. Players are treated to a hidden, Telvanni settlement Sadrith Kegran that’s built from the ruins of a Dwarven city. The player characters start as indentured servants and must uncover the area’s secrets as well as determine the fate of this closed off society. I won’t spoil the story here, but there are many ways for players to resolve Sadrith Kegran’s conflicts, based on character build and personality.

Project AHO comes close to full-fledged Skyrim DLC. Over 20 fully voiced NPCs have unique problems and quirks, each character acts out a daily routine, the quests and locations work and stay lore-friendly, and the DLC even has its own music by German composer Forhir. There are even reactions from these new characters that derive from the player’s choices in the main game and DLC. Project AHO does a great job of showing how some Dark Elves have carved out their own corner of Morrowind.

BeyondSkyrimBrumaMod

Beyond Skyrim: Bruma

I couldn’t leave out Beyond Skyrim: Bruma from this section. If Project AHO is a medium-sized DLC, Beyond Skyrim: Bruma is living large, about the size of Dragonborn or Dawnguard.

Players can travel to Cyrodiil’s northernmost county Bruma that borders Skyrim. Similar features to Project AHO await as NPCs have their own voice actors with dialogue options, quirks and routines, and the player character can meddle in the affairs of Bruminians (or is it Brumans?). If you’re an Elder Scrolls fan and you miss Cyrodiil or want to know what happened to Bruma’s residents after the events of Oblivion, give Beyond Skyrim: Bruma a try.

Beyond Skyrim may not be as prolific a modder as the others I’ve mentioned so far, but they do great work and have some plans for future Skyrim content. With Elder Scrolls VI years away from release Elder Scroll fans won’t say no to future mods of this caliber.

ToolsOfKagrenacMod

The Tools of Kagrenac

While Beyond Skyrim: Burma went large, The Tools of Kagrenac is a much smaller mod (perhaps even smaller than the Hearthfire DLC), but it’s a rewarding experience that’s done as well as any other in this section. The titular Dwemer Lord Kagrenac crafted three enchanted artifacts: Keening, Sunder, and Wraithguard. If those names sound familiar to Elder Scroll fans, they should. All three played a key role in the events of Morrowind.

So, The Tools of Kagrenac is lore-friendly—perhaps the most lore-friendly of all the mods in this write up so far—and it even suggests a cause for the Dwemers’ disappearance. In short, it’s a must play.

Beautiful Little Extras

ImmersiveWorldEncountersMod

Immersive World Encounters

We’ll start this section with a mod that’s almost a necessity. Immersive World Encounters makes all those random encounters players experience in vanilla Skyrim worthwhile.

The following scenario may sound familiar to Skyrim veterans. You run into a random thief, he hands you something to hold onto for them (something they stole), and then you make a choice to turn him in or throw his pursuers off his trail. But what if that character had more of a past or the encounter changes depending on who they are or there are multiple outcomes depending on what the characters chooses?

Immersive World Encounters adds a lot of that to Skyrim. It functions like “Wild Wasteland”, but the encounters are more unpredictable than wacky. Just because you’ve picked the same option before during one of these encounters, doesn’t mean you’ll get the same result. I’ve encountered an injured bear in the road and had the option to help it. The first time I helped a bear, I ticked off a hunter who then attacked me because I robbed him of his kill. The second time I helped a bear, it ran off and attacked another person; I had to kill the bear because it was headed toward a town. Maybe I should stop helping bears.

Regardless, kudos to Sette Lisette for this great mod.

LucienFullyVoicedFollowerMod

Lucien: Fully Voiced Follower

I don’t usually care for follower mods and I’m not the biggest fan of Imperials, but Lucien must be one of the best follower mods, and he happens to be an Imperial. He owns so many unique strands of fully voiced dialogue that he has an opinion on just about everything in Skyrim. The fact that Lucien is an Imperial is important too. He provides the player with an Imperial’s viewpoint.

Even better, Lucien has a dynamic personality system where he adapts to the player character’s choices; just because he’s your follower doesn’t mean that he agrees with everything you do. Players can alter how he fights, so he can complement the main character and Lucien’s training system can be adjusted as well. He has his own quest and storyline and can interact with other follower mods like Inigo, Hoth, and Auri. I almost want to play with these additional followers just to hear them banter with Lucien.

A small point, but one that makes me smile, is that Lucien has a small pool of in game books that he can read aloud to the main character, so long as the book is in the player’s inventory. I don’t know how long it took Joseph Russell to create Lucien, but this follower is well done. Wow!

HolidaysSkyrimMod

Holidays

As the name suggests, Holidays adds Tamriel holidays to Skyrim. If the player character walks into a town on the holiday in question, the villagers will be celebrating the appropriate holiday in a manner according to Elder Scroll lore.

I feel like I’ve said this a lot during these three lists, but Holidays is another mod I can’t see playing Skyrim without. Isoku has a done an excellent job of getting these celebrations right. Small details like Saturalia decorations won’t appear on Whiterun’s Gildergreen unless it’s fully grown and healthy, and Winterhold not celebrating any holidays due to the state of their town are nice touches.

There are so many other mods I could’ve included like Andromeda or Wild World or Open Civil War that nine—or technically ten—Skyrim mods don’t do the subject justice. There’s a reason Skyrim is a relevant game eight years after its release; it owes its prominence to some phenomenal modders. What are some of your favorite Skyrim mods? Let us know in the comments.

My Favorite Gaming Element for Apex Legends

Your uncle Geekly has tried out the latest battle royal craze Apex Legends and I like it despite loathing the genre. I’m more of a solo experience video gamer. Give me a story and characters I can invest in and I’m happy; multiplayer games don’t usually do a lot for me. Battle royal games and the chaos they bring do even less for me, but I’m surprised by Apex Legends’ focus on teamwork.

Everything about Apex Legends screams that the players must work as a team. When players jump into the map, they do so as a team and that shows the emphasis on team play at each game’s beginning. I’ve heard on some message boards that Fortnite players dislike being forced to jump as a team, but Fortnite is every player for themselves. Sure, there is a squad (or team) option for the game, but it pales in comparison to the every person for themselves game mode. Apex Legends’ squad play outshines Fortnite’s most likely because players jump as a team.

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The communication system, or ping system, works like a charm. The Gears of War series may have instituted a ping system, but Apex Legends gets it right. Players don’t need to use mics if they don’t have them. Heck. Even if they do have them, they may prefer to use the ping system. If you see a shield or gun a teammate can use, ping it so the item shows up on their map. If you see an enemy on the next ridge, ping the location so it shows up on your teammates’ map and you can converge on the enemy. Players can even ping one location for their teammates and another for themselves—you go here, I’ll go here—and a team can formulate a pincer attack in near real time.

Can Apex Legends be played by oneself? Yes, but not well. I’ve had teammates drop out because of server issues—of which there have been a lot since the game’s launch—and ended up in a solo team. I’ve made it to the final three squads in several of these instances, but when the game gets tight, more firepower is needed, firepower that won’t exist if a player is by themselves. The closest I ever got to winning a game as predominately a solo squad was second place with one other combatant standing. That’s not saying that Uncle Geekly’s good at Apex Legends, in fact, I strive for mediocrity, but my point is that one can’t win the game that easily going solo.

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More than any other battle royal game—on the market today—Apex Legends focuses on a team dynamic and if I’m going to play a multiplayer game, I prefer a team atmosphere. I could carry this team mentality further and discuss Overwatch at length and how the character selection screen breeds discontent while Apex Legends has a more relaxed feel, but let’s say that the concept of team shines through most of Apex Legends and that’s where players will find the fun. If you prefer team based multi-player games, you may enjoy Apex Legends.

Do you agree that Apex Legends is a good team battle royal game? Do you have a character that you prefer to player more than another? Let us know in the comments.

3 Lists of 3 Video Game Characters

Some video game characters get all the love. Some don’t get enough. Your uncle Geekly wants to even things out a bit with this week’s three list of three. I could also use some costume ideas so don’t be surprised if you see me dressed in a primary color jump suit—or two.

Underrated Video Game Characters

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Zelda

Yes. A famous video game series shares her name, but how many people have you seen point to the guy dressed in a green elf costume and say Zelda? That’s Link. Link gets all the attention, but he’s also the more static of the two characters.

Zelda has been portrayed in so many ways. She even gets in on the action as her alter egos Sheik and Tetra every once and while. She’s been the leader of sages and even a goddess. Link rocks the same kind of outfit game after game, but gamers don’t know what they’re going to get with Zelda. She may even be a ghost.

Ness

Ness

Many gamers would consider EarthBound (1994) or Mother 2 in Japan as one of the best RPGs to come out for the SNES, but many more of them don’t remember who the main character of the game was. Ness is a 13-year-old boy with psychic powers.

Sure, there are other characters gained along the way in EarthBound, but Ness is the players first and strongest, and a lot of the game’s character comes from Ness.

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Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik

Most gamers know of Mario’s Bowzer, but Sonic’s Dr. Eggman goes unheralded. It’s a shame. He may come off as a mad scientist clone, and he is for the most part, but Eggman wants to conquer the world, so he can install his ultimate utopia, the Eggman Empire.

A lot of other mad scientist types have had a similar motivation of wanting to rule the world because they’re the best person for the job—Doctor Doom comes to mind—but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good motivation. What’s Bowzer trying to do most of the time besides kidnapping a princess?

Overrated Video Game Characters

MasterChiefHalo

Master Chief

First off, Master Chief isn’t a Master Chief in the navy. That’s an enlisted rank (a very high enlisted rank), not an officer’s.

Second, you can take Master Chief out of Halo and no one would miss him. He may as well be Jeff Johnson or John Jeffson. My apologies to any Jeff Johnsons or John Jeffsons who may be reading this.

Halo’s multiplayer mode is what most gamers play this game for. They aren’t looking for story, and Master Chief isn’t much of a character.

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Gordon Freeman

The whole point of Half-Life 2’s protagonist is that he’s a blank slate, but if he’s a blank slate, only defined by the suit he wears, he isn’t much of a character. He’s kind of like Master Chief in that sense. Cool suit. Great abilities. What’s your name again?

Iron Man detractors claim that Tony Stark wouldn’t be anything without his suit, but he’d still be rich, a genius, and have plenty of personality. Gordon Freeman is none of those things.

Kratos

Kratos

2018’s God of War notwithstanding, Kratos was a bloody He-Man for the modern era. Gamers knew he’d lost his family—which was explained more in the most recent God of War—and that’s most of what they knew about him. Kratos was an excuse for a muscle-bound, over-sexed man to tear apart some Greek gods.

He received the post-hero treatment in 2018’s God of War and while it was a refreshing take on the character, it could’ve carried more weight if there was more to the character prior to that offering.

Video Game Sidekicks

GarrusMassEffect

Garrus

Yeah, this turian may take offense with being called a sidekick, but he deserves to be on this list. He’s the only squad member available to Shepard in each Mass Effect game, he survives a rocket to the face, and he and Shepard have a special bond.

Get your head out of the gutter. Hmm. They could have a “special bond” if you play the game a certain way, come to think of it. Anyway, one of the most satisfying moments in the Mass Effect series is watching the two pal around and watching their relationship grow.

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Luigi

He’s always number two to Mario’s top banana, but Luigi doesn’t complain, not even when Nintendo named him Luigi Mario. I guess that would make his brother Mario Mario. Man, that’s a terrible name.

Give him a vacuum to suck up ghosts and he can be a main character. A gamer may want to play as him in Super Mario Bros. 2, and I never minded letting my younger brother take the controller during the original Super Mario Bros., not telling him where any of the shortcuts or secrets were, and then use them after he lost a man. Ah, memories.

Sparx_SpyroTheDragon

Sparx

I had to put Sparx from Spryo the Dragon on here because so many of my family members love that game, and Sparx doesn’t get much love. I also don’t like it when games force a player to run over every little gem or coin or ring. All you’ve gotta do is get close to a gem, and Sparx picks it up for you.

Sparx also represents one of the cleverest ways to denote health in a video game. He changes color, gets dim, as you take damage and disappears when Spyro has one hit point left.

Yep. I’m sure I missed the boat on a lot of these characters. Please direct your complaints to our intern Jeff Johnson—or is it John Jeffson—or let me know which video game characters you’d choose by leaving a comment.