Massive Skyrim mod adds whole new locations to the game

Several years in the making, the 'Holds: The City Overhaul' mod rebuilds several settlements from scratch and adds a few more.

Lest you forget, plenty of people are still playing Skyrim. First published in 2011, the fifth entry in Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series was notable at the time of its release for offering a sprawling, lush fantasy world and (on PC at least) full mod support. Five years on, that mod scene is still going strong, if the recently released "Holds: The City Overhaul" is any indication.

This huge fan-created add-on, the product of almost three and a half years of work, completely rebuilds key areas of Skyrim, including Falkreath, Winterhold and Dawnstar. This is more than a cosmetic update: the maps now have new layouts, more structures and inhabitants, and richer overall environments. It also adds a few new locations, which have been tucked away in remote areas of the map "to not ruin the expansive wilderness theme of the game."

"This is not a botanical garden mod, nor is it a beautification mod," says "Holds" author Galandil. "The aim of all of this is to create a more memorable and diverse experience, making the cities actually feel like cities hopefully without ruining the natural and realistic design of the vanilla game."

Below, you can find two videos showcasing the mod, the first providing a walkthrough of its revised locations and the second offering side-by-sides with the modded and original versions of some of the major areas. Reddit user Thallassa over on the /r/skyrimmods subreddit also has a two part review of its features, including its compatibility with other popular mods (a useful thing to check, before diving in yourself).

(h/t Eurogamer.)

Kris Ligman is the News Editor for ZAM, and is genuinely afraid of rediscovering what mods they had installed from the last time they played Skyrim. On Twitter: @KrisLigman.