HORSE MAJEURE

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At the same time it was dab­bling in pro­ce­dural ter­rain, Bethesda was also cut­ting its teeth on new-fan­gled DLC. The re­sult – sets of horse ar­mour – was ridiculed to the de­gree that it spawned its own meme. But Obliv­ion also pro­duced some of the best DLC to date. The Shiver­ing Isles was a coun­ter­point to the gen­tle vis­tas of Cy­rodiil, a mad world of spiked fungi and a lu­natic prince. Just as find­ing an odd­ity in Cy­rodiil’s wilder­ness was a joy, play­ers who had spent hun­dreds of hours wan­der­ing the coun­try were as­tounded to find them­selves pre­sented with an acid trip of an ex­pan­sion pack. This was a re­sponse to the crit­i­cism that Cy­rodiil was not alien enough, while vin­di­cat­ing the game’s power to cre­ate a sense of won­der via con­trast.

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