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…downloading #1

Chances are, you’ve put that Ethernet cable in the back of your Xbox 360, signed into Live and are now sitting on the Marketplace, flicking through the hoards of downloads available at your very fingertips. The most important of which are game updates; not patches, but added content, to take the fun even further and add new depths and dimensions to games that might be floundering a little.

The problem? Well, there’s not much of an indication as to what’s hot and what’s not, so here on Downloading we take a look at the newest content available and tell you, the gamer, whether it’s worth dipping your hands into that virtual pocket full of Microsoft points.

Ready? Let’s go…

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Yours truly reviewed Oblivion a few weeks ago, and already there’s 3 new pay-before-you-play content packs available to download.

Horse Armour

200 points

More than a cosmetic feature, horse armour protects your horse from attacks when riding around in the wilderness. Trouble is, your trusty steed is already one tough cookie, and you won’t be wandering around without fast travelling until you’re powerful enough to rid dungeons of all that inhabit it.

If you’ve got points to burn, this is for you. Otherwise, save up for something else worth while.

1/10

The Wizard’s Tower

150 Points

An absolute gem of a download, this should be your first stop. What you’re getting for your cash is a far easier route for Mages and generally anyone that uses spells. In the deeds you’ll find at the front door, you’ll see that the download has also unlocked another vendor at the Mystic Emporium in the Imperial City. Here, you’ll be able to buy candles to fuel the spell making and enchanting altars inside.

Once fully furnished from the vendor, Frostcrag Spire consists of 4 levels; a vault for storing items and loot, with several chest and guardians; a lounge, with the altars, a library and ample space for, well, whatever you want; living quarters, with a bed, chest and shelving. A table for alchemy fills the room (and also boosts your ability by 15 points when you go near it), and there’s a separate area housing an alchemy garden with literally every ingredient you’d ever need. Outside, on a ledge, you’ll find portals to every Mages guild in the kingdom. At the very top of the spire is a viewing platform, from which you can see the vast Imperial City as well as the surrounding countryside.

This is a place you can call home, as well as a place to max out your stats or re-fuel after quests. If you’d prefer to gain access to the University and do things the hard way, then don’t download this.

9/10

Thieves Den

150 Points

As far as lairs are involved, this is certainly the coolest. For your points, you get a sunken pirate ship, at first inhabited by the skeleton crew that need to be slain in order to gain access. After upgrading, you’ll get access to storage area, a chest that never opens (to practise lock picking, naturally) and, besides all else, a crew. There’s many uses for them, as they are also trade and craftsmen, but the best useage of all is to send them out plundering. The higher your luck skill, the higher your share of the loot.

For characters based around espionage, this is essential stuff, as it also provides you with a steady income. Plus we really like pirates.

10/10

Orrery Quest

Harness the power of the stars and unlock the secrets of the Inner Sanctum. An “orrery” is a planetarium consisting of an apparatus that illustrates the relative positions and motions of bodies in the solar system by rotation and revolution of balls moved by wheelwork.

The Orrery quest allows you to help the Mages’ Guild of Cyrodiil repair the Imperial Orrery, an ancient dwarven machine with mystical properties. Bandits have stolen a shipment of parts destined for the Arcane University; if you can return them, the Orrery will function once more.

This new quest gives you access to the Imperial Orrery in the Arcane University, an incredible mechanical marvel. You’ll also experience new powers available for your character based on the phases of the moons.

8/10

Mehrune’s Quest

Now, before I say anything, let’s make one thing clear; downloading this quest also patches your game, so if you’re loving the weakness to magic exploit, don’t download this quest. You have been warned.

The lost Ayleid City Varsa Baalim has been unearthed by a rogue Telvanni arch-mage, in pursuit of a fearsome Daedric Artifact, Mehrunes Razor, which he believes will give him the power he needs to topple the Imperial reign. What horrors lie in wait beneath the Valus mountains? Can you overcome them to claim Mehrunes Razor as your own?

This fully-featured quest takes you deep into the fringes of the Niben. You can earn the fearsome Mehrunes Razor, with the ability to kill foes instantly. There are 17 new magic items to discover, with 12 new books, notes, and journals to help you unravel the mystery.

Conquer the largest dungeon in all Cyrodiil, and thwart a plot to overthrow Imperial rule in Tamriel. Hidden treasures await!

8/10

We’re always interested to hear what our readers have to say, so if you’ve got an opinion on downloadable game content not featured on Thunderbolt, let us know in the forums.

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in June 2002.

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