Skyrim’s “Hearthfire” Bridges the Gap between PC and Console Gamers


This summer I stocked up during Steam’s Summer Sale. I made sure that I had a variety of games in my library for when my new gaming computer arrived. One title that I made sure I had was Skyrim. Even though I already own Skyrim for the Xbox 360 I was interested in the modding capabilities that the PC version had to offer.

I decided to make the switch to PC gaming for a couple of reasons. First, I was unsure which console I wanted to go with in the next generation. I’ve been a long time Xbox fan, but the longer I wait the more I see Playstation doing. And it’s about to convince me to drop all of my Xbox stuff and reinvest in Sony. Instead of making that difficult decision, I went with a gaming computer. But there was one other strong motivator, pushing me towards getting a PC, and that was the modding.

When it comes down to it the modding capabilities are one of the only things that set the PC version of Skyrim apart from the Xbox one. It’s the same for so many other games. Sure, if you have an extremely expensive computer set-up than your graphics are going to knock their console counterparts out of the water. But for the average computer the graphics are about the same.

In Hearthfire players will be able to design their own homes. I say homes and not houses because so far it looks like you can do much more than simple townhome layouts. Screenshots released by Bethesda show that players will be able to make more complicated structures like wizard’s towers and castles. They’ve stated that you can adopt children, start a family, and hire NPCs to guard and provide services at your home.

The whole idea of this expansion pack is why I wanted to get a PC and start modding in the first place. I’ve never been happy with the homes that were for sale throughout the Elder Scrolls games. I’ve always wanted to make my own. And so the first thing I did after learning Bethesda’s Creation Kit was built my own house. It started off small, and as I learned I started building mansions and then castles for my character.

If Hearthfire ends up being as good of a DLC as everyone is making it out to be then this could be a huge step towards getting modding on consoles. Designing your own house, even if it is an in-game mechanic is the first step towards having players design their own weapons, armor, NPCs and quests in-game. It’s also an important DLC because it’s giving more creativity to players. Hearthfire isn’t going to be like Oblivion’s homestead DLCs, you’re going to have the creative freedom to make a house that fits your player. Enhancing the personal experience… isn’t that what modding is all about?