A horned helmet made of banded steel might not be quite the same as a pith helmet, but for Skyrim players it doesn't matter what you wear to go exploring, as long as you find cool places. You've seen the first part of our rundown of Skyrim's most entertaining locations, and now we present the rest...
Many of Skyrim’s locations are built around a single quest or a looping structure that ensures that even exuberant exploration can’t get you lost, which is why it’s so nice to discover Labyrinthian, a gigantic snowy redoubt populated by Trolls, one that contains two standard dungeons, an interesting maze-like area and a puzzling statue that will reward anyone who’s diligent about offing Dragon Priests. There’s as much to do in Labyrinthian as there is in some of the smaller cities.
Anywhere that gives you a bed and a storage crate tends to be home, a place to rest between adventures, not a place to have adventures, but the College of Winterhold happily breaks that rule. Potter around the edge of the central courtyard and you’ll find a trapdoor into the Midden, a warren of caves and tunnels in the rock beneath the college, where you’ll encounter demonic forges, disembodied students and the remnants of a massacre prompted by an innocuous armoured gauntlet. Hogwarts this ain’t.
3. Chillwind Depths
Screeching Falmer, piles of loot, a chilling tale of kidnap and murder…so far so commonplace for a Skyrim cave, but the fun of Chillwind Depths comes from its partially flooded nature. Sometimes you’re walking, sometimes you’re wading, and sometimes you’re desperately swimming for the next air pocket in the hope that maybe you won’t bubble out your last breath in a mushroom dotted cave hundreds of feet underground.
We at Megabits have never been huge fans of The Lord of The Rings, failing to get beyond the second book and second movie before fleeing from the tedium. Nonetheless, we’re not foolish enough to deny that the popularity of fantasy settings for RPGs owes an enormous debt to J R R Tolkien, which we were pleased to see it acknowledged by a pair of books in Tolvald’s Cave that contain lines from the Mines of Moria section of Tolien’s influential if slightly dull fantasy epic.
Really, how could it be anywhere else? While many of the game’s environments are made of similar rock, with similar trees and similar caves, you have to love the little places that are a bit different. You expect those little gems of diversion in an open RPG. What you don’t expect is Blackreach. This gigantic subterranean cavern contains lakes, Dwemer temples and fortresses, all dotted around the black silty rocks and covered with strange vegetation, lit by the light of luminescent mushrooms and strange, silent jellyfish creatures. This isn’t a little splash of difference designed to stand out briefly, this is vast and unlike any other location in the game.