Skyrim SE Survival Mode: Should you try it?
It would be an absolute lie to say that fans are thrilled to see another incarnation of paid mods from Bethesda.
Back in 2015, the Skyrim and Fallout franchise developer toyed with the idea of mod authors being permitted to charge real life currency for digital goods in the form of modified assets. The backlash from fans was enormous, which resulted in the whole thing being scrapped – well, almost anyway.
Enter the Bethesda Creation Club: The paid mods that aren’t paid mods or something like that. Buried within the plethora of news about it, press releases, and other stuff on the subject, it’s hard to determine exactly what the Creation Club is.
This week, Bethesda announced a new game mode for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim called “Survival Mode”, which takes existing survival gameplay concepts from other mods like Frostfall, and Realistic Needs & Diseases, and streamlined them into an official gameplay add-on that is currently available for free this week only. That statement alone when swished down with a bitter gulp of the paid mods fiasco is enough for anyone to turn their nose up at it in disgust, but the point of this post is to answer the question that burns the tips of your tongue?
Is Bethesda’s Survival Mode for Skyrim SE worth giving a go?
The short answer: Yes.
Last night, I decided to check out Bethesda’s rendition of survival gameplay and it’s pretty enjoyable.
At its core, Bethesda’s Survival Mode is easy to pick up and play. There’s no configuration options through a dedicated mod menu, no convoluted installation process as you’d expect from mods that don’t have an installer wizard run through Nexus Mod Manager and the like, meaning you just install, launch the game, and grab your fur coat to try and survive the winter.
Throughout your regular gameplay, you’ll not regenerate health automatically, your carry weight is significantly reduced (down to 150 points), you’ll need to eat regularly with proper cooked meals unless you want to get sick, sleep regularly else you’ll suffer negative bonuses to stamina and magicka
Survival mode will begin after the tutorial dungeon in Helgen. You exit the cave with Hadvar or Ralof, and a prompt will show you the introduction to the game mode. As you do various things for the first time, you’ll receive additional tutorial messages that explain what’s happening and what you need to do.
For example, your stomach will grumble when you’re hungry, and you’ll be told you need to eat to stop the penalties to your character stats. Eating raw meat will give you a chance of getting food poisoning, so eating cooked meals is definitely the preferred option. It makes the cooking mechanics in the game useful and relevant.
You’ll also get notifications about certain status changes like character warmth, hunger, fatigue, and more so you know what’s going on. Hopefully you’ll be able to use some real life experience into counteracting these status, otherwise you’re pretty much screwed.
Ignoring the whole Creation Club thing, and focusing on what Survival Mode is – it’s an official implementation of a much-loved gameplay addition for those who like the extra challenge – and it is FREE right now on PC and you keep it once you’ve acquired it, so what exactly have you got to lose by not grabbing it?
To snag Survival Mode for PC, you’ll need to opt in to the latest Skyrim beta on Steam by viewing Skyrim SE’s properties, clicking betas and opting in. Console players will need to wait for early October before they can get a chance to play this.