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Skyrim mod overhauls game's cities, letting you relive that sense of discovery

How long would you guess that it would take someone to overhaul Skyrim (opens in new tab)'s cities, villages, and holds, transforming them from simple collections of shacks to bustling, multi-storied, unique locales? Working an average of two hours per day, modder Galandil created "HOLDS (opens in new tab)" over the course of three years, and now, you can enjoy the fruits of his labor.

While HOLDS doesn't add new quests or story to the game, it should give you that sense of discovery you had when you first played the game. There's an entirely new fishing village, and the existing towns haven't just been prettied up, they've been completely remade, with new layouts, shops, and NPCs. There are even new books to read, written by Galandil. If you're looking to download the mod, you'll need 4GB of free space - like I said, it's a big project.

Skyrim first launched in 2011. It's kind of amazing that nearly five years later, we're still seeing massive projects made not by professional developers, but by fans who just love the game enough to pour serious dedication into their work. Kudos, Galandil. You're a real-life Dragonborn.

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Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.