Bethesda Softworks

Published on August 29th, 2012 | by Derek Strickland, Contributor

Skyrim DLC Hearthfire Coming to Xbox LIVE September 4th

By now everyone in the gaming sphere has heard about (and most likely played) Skyrim, Bethesda’s monumental fifth iteration in the Elder Scrolls series. Recently, Bethsoft has revealed the second DLC pack, Hearthfire, wherein gamers can create their own flourishing Nordic community in the heart of the frozen continent, complete with home customization, item/objective interaction and even the ability to adopt local orphans.

Choose from three prime real estate locations from the marshes of Hjaalmarch to the verdant and lush forests of Falkreath or the lonely isolated frozen tundra of the Pale. With this players aren’t just given a key to “Player 1’s House”; they can choose which location best represents their character and personal liking. Create a simple and quaint cottage or construct a compound fit for a lord complete with an armory, alchemy laboratory, stable, garden and more!

Construct a house fit for a Jarl to keep all your favorite epic items, or just fill it with sweetrolls!

Each of the houses created have that distinct Nordic style, with dragons hewn into the tops of support beams and glyphs carved throughout. Attain a deed from the Jarl (reminiscent of the stronghold creation within Morrowind) and watch the progress as your estate is constructed before your eyes.

Also, gamers can now harvest certain raw materials–stone, clay and hewed logs–and transform them into useable material with a variety of new interactive tools such as the drafting table and carpenter’s workbench. Use ingots to fashion nails and hinges and other miscellaneous items needed to construct your in-game dream home, giving a wider use for utilities throughout the game.

• Choose Your Land – Choose from property in the salt marshes of Hjaalmarch, the forests of Falkreath, or the vast tundra of The Pale. For the more ambitious landowner, purchase multiple plots and start building a real estate empire.

• Customize Your Home –Expand your home with a variety of room combinations including an armory, alchemy tower, kitchen, trophy room and more. Grow plants in your new greenhouse, cultivate slaughterfish in the fish hatchery, house your Arcane Enchanter in the enchanting tower, or display your latest conquest in the trophy room. Add additional features like stables, mills, smelters, gardens and more.
• New Objectives and Interactions – Guard your home from unwanted visitors like marauding kidnappers, armed bandits, and skeever infestations. Turn almost any follower into your personal steward to improve and protect your home. Or if you require more help, hire a personal bard or carriage driver to ease the burdens of home ownership.

 • Adoption – Transform your house into a home with Hearthfire’s all-new adoption system. Adopt children and discover new ways to interact with your family. Play games with the kids, allow them to have pets and gain new bonuses from having a family.

No home is complete without Armor Racks, Weapon Racks, and hunting trophies!

Hearthfire may seem a bit iffy to PC gamers who have a veritable library of mods added to Skyrim, but for console owners, the DLC adds a whole new level of personality to the game. Many gamers enjoy small things in RPGs, and it’s not always about slaying dragons or conquering the main quest. Hearthfire should breathe new life into the game’s already impressive interactivity, and allow players a stake in the actual creation and maintenance of their personal virtual homes–which can be endearing and enjoyable for many players.
Hearthfire is slated for release on Sept. 4, 2012 for the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. For more information please visit Bethesda’s official webpage.

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I'm an aspiring games journalist who writes articles focused on everything from Indie Games to next-gen titles. [Twitter] @Mr_Deeke [E-Mail] derek.s(at)gamingtruth(dot)com

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