developer: Bethesda Softworks
publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Game mode: single player
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Hearthfire is the second DLC, after Dawnguard, for the fifth installment of the brilliant RPG series by Bethesda Softworks for PC, X360 and PS3. It doesn’t introduce any new quests and storylines and focuses solely on building a house and taking care of the protagonist’s family life.
The expansion allows us to build our own house (or several) in the game world without using any additional editors. The process is quite complicated and involves multiple stages. First, we have to buy a plot of land in the land of Skyrim. Then, we design the building on a drafting table. Building the house of our dreams also requires gathering a considerable amount of materials and processing them into construction elements such as nails, locks, hinges, and so on. If the thought of laborious resource gathering dampens our enthusiasm, the developers implemented the possibility of hiring a steward that will handle buying necessary materials. He can also ensure transportation in the form of a mount or a carriage. Those who want to enjoy music in their own space can even employ a personal bard.
From the list of the rooms, we can select those that we want in our house. Their number depends on the creativity and determination of the players — we can settle for a simple, single-room shack, but we might as well build a mansion with all the luxuries in the world. The available spaces include bedrooms, corridors, kitchens, libraries, greenhouses, alchemy laboratories, and even a mage tower. The rooms can be decorated with various furnishings, furnaces, armor and weapon stands, shrines, showcases, trophies, and other accessories. If our Dovahkiin likes to cultivate flowers while on the break from slaying dragons, we can plant an adorable garden in the backyard. Moreover, we can breed fish, bees, or cattle so that our family becomes self-sufficient.
Speaking of family, it is worth mentioning the possibility of adopting children that the expansion introduces. Kids can be presented with gifts, played with, and given some orders. Sometimes the family bliss will be interrupted by an invasions of ratlike crawlers or a giant, forcing Dovahkiin to take up his dusty sword.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Core i5 2.6 GHz, 2 GB RAM (4 GB RAM - Vista/7), graphic card 896 MB (GeForce GTX 260 or better), 6 GB HDD, Windows XP/Vista/7, Internet connection