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‘Skyrim’ Mod Review: ‘Falskaar’ Adds Huge New Land With Fully Voiced Quests And 30 Hours Of Gameplay, Puts Bethesda DLC’s To Shame [REPORT]

OPINION

By AJ on August 20, 2013 4:59 PM EDT 0

Credit: Falskaar via Skyrim Nexus
Credit: Falskaar via Skyrim Nexus

A huge new Skyrim mod called "Falskaar" was updated August 16 after being released earlier this month. The Skyrim mod created by 19-year old Alexander J. Velicky adds a vast new land, in a world space that is separated from the rest of Skyrim. It contains a land the size of about three Skyrim holds, it has 26 quests including 9 main story and 17 side quests (all voiced!). It boasts new books, recipes, weapons and armor. It should add between 20 to 30 hours worth of gameplay depending on the speed that you play.

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"Falskaar" is currently the top mod of the past two weeks and boasts over 6,000 endorsements, almost 170,000 unique downloads, and almost 1.5 million views. The Falskaar mod is free to download and is available exclusively on Skyrim Nexus HERE.

Features
- An entirely new land independant of Tamriel, roughly the size of 2-3 Skyrim holds.
- 20-30+ hours of gameplay.
- 26 quests, including a 9 quest long main story, and 17 side quests! (Along with some unmarked content)
- New items including new books, recipes, weapons and armors. (A mix of brand new, and retextured)
- Two new spells and a new shout.
- A bard with several unique new songs.
- A soundtrack containing 14 brand new tracks composed by Adamm Khuevrr just for Falskaar, adding more than 40 minutes of new music!
- A fully voiced experience, featuring almost 30 semi-professional and professional voice actors and actresses.

"Falskaar" has been billed as an "unofficial DLC" so I downloaded Falskaar for my level 36 heavy armor, two handed Orc warrior. Naturally I'm no longer playing vanilla Skyrim and I have a long list of mods that alter everything from perks, textures, NPC's and climate. I'm a mod aficionado and I was able to enable "Falskaar" without my computer setting my house on fire. In terms of computability, no complaints, the separate world space clearly helps avoid some of the dreaded CTD's. The two reported areas of conflict are outside of the north-east path of Riften where Echo Deep Mine has been added. Another area is Dawnstar Bay which is occupied by Wulf's ship.

 I was also able to find a Climates of Tamriel compatibility patch for "Falskaar" HERE which helped avoid any issues.

Credit: Falskaar via Skyrim Nexus
Credit: Falskaar via Skyrim Nexus

(Spoiler alert!)

For the last 600 years Falskaar has been inhabited by the Nords, though most of its history from before then is unknown.

For the first time since the party's arrival in Falskaar almost 600 years ago, a portal activates deep within the ruins of Mzubthand, and the player steps through, arriving in Falskaar. They are denoted 'The Traveler', based on an old prophecy.

"They who arrive through the shimmering wall, mark the start of the worst."

 

Having saved Serana in Dawnguard, built my Hearthfire houses and killed Miraak in Dragonborn I was overall left disappointed with the quality of Bethesda's DLC's. Dragonborn was the best one by far, but Dawnguard and Heartfire hardly warranted their prices and scarcely added any new content. My love of Dragonborn may also have been partially motivated by Morrowind nostalgia. Of course, that's not to say other Bethesda DLC's have been any better, everyone can remember the infamous "Horse Armor" DLC for Oblivion (made up for by Shivering Isles in my opinion). "Falskaar" is similar to Dragonborn in size and scope. It takes place removed from Skyrim on a separate landmass and has content that rivals any of the DLC's. 

I was pleased with "Falskaar". Starting the mod is easy enough, you first enter Falskaar by going through the Riften cave. There are some bandits at first, then you eventually encounter a Dwmer construct protecting a portal. Entering the portal takes you to Falskaar. The land looks fairly similar to Skyrim, same forests, rivers, trees and dungeons. The cities and villages look similar also. The plot line is simple and moves along well. Perhaps that is a good thing because the voice acting isn't bad, but you can tell that it is not professionals recording the voice, particularly the females who don't sound like Nord women. Still, the fact that thousands of lines worth of dialogue got voice acting is impressive by itself.

Credit: Falskaar via Skyrim Nexus
Credit: Falskaar via Skyrim Nexus

The main story line of "Falskaar" also resembles the Skyrim civil war in many ways, it has the usual two warring factions, crowns and mystic objects. The fact that it meshes with Skyrim seemingly well should be a good thing, though when I look for mods I'm generally trying to find new content, not content very similar to vanilla. For instance "Moonpath to Elsweyr" for instance changes the setting entirely, taking us to the Khajit homeland where we encounter deserts, jungles, tigers, airships and Sloads. It's a refreshing mod because of how different it is.

Don't get me wrong, "Falskaar" is good, certainly worth downloading, it's just that because it is so similar to Skyrim it suffers from some of the same problems that Skyrim does. Places that are cities or major towns consist of ten guys standing around two or three houses. Exploring has some rewards but the things off the beaten path aren't that different from the mammoths or giants you would see in vanilla Skyrim. "Falskaar" is big but it feels empty and there are areas that feel like they could have content. Of course Skyrim also feels that way, so overall "Falskaar" isn't lore-breaking despite not being completely lore friendly.

Credit: Falskaar via Skyrim Nexus
Credit: Falskaar via Skyrim Nexus

"Falskaar" is good, if you want new enemies, new quests and a new plotline, then I recommend downloading it. It's worth it. However keep in mind that "Falskaar" is a Skyrim mod and you can tell it is a mod and no a DLC.

Final word: I recommend it if you want more content, but don't expect dramatically different or original content than what you might find in vanilla Skyrim.

How did you like the Skyrim mod "Falskaar?"

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