Hacking and slashing through Skyrim’s many-shaped foes just got a bit juicier, with a mod that overhauls combat in pursuit of a more balanced, realistic representation of melee action. Engarde, by tudoru, offers fresh and complex takes on combat, with completely reconstructed fighting styles depending on weapon choice and a staggering-when-struck effect being just two of the most interesting.
Others, involving stamina, movement speeds, and enemy attacking, create a transformed melee experience, and, best of all, in a compatibility-friendly way.
Plenty of other modders have had a go at freshening up Skyrim’s combat, such as with Mortal Enemies, Attack Commitment, and Ultimate Combat, but Engarde looks to go further by fundamentally transforming three key melee styles: two-handed, dual-wielding, and the ‘sword and board’ approach. For example, Engarde adds a kind of ‘Samurai’ style to two-handed, along with bespoke attack and movement speeds, and special damage effects to reflect the melee style you have chosen. You also get a series of bonuses to enhance each playstyle, such as the ability to chop through multiple enemies at once with the two-handed approach – though only if you resist the urge to run or sprint (patience, Grasshopper…).
Other highlights include allowing you to fine-tune creature and weapon damage, which works with other damage-altering mods if desired. Engarde also introduces a realistic stagger effect, which scales mainly with two factors: what hits you, and how hard. This is calculated with a simple formula that considers the weight of the attacking weapon versus that of its victim. Excitingly, this applies equally to the player, NPCs, and creatures, creating opportunities for both knocking your opponent off their stride and suffering surprising mid-combat stumbles aplenty.
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Further modifications cover more accurate stamina demands during combat, faster running speeds, and a dedicated system for power attacking.
The Engarde mod is the culmination of a year’s development, brought together into one realism-rich package, and compatible with existing mods, which provides a strong element of control for you to adjust melee combat to your liking. You can grab the mod from Nexus Mods now, but to ensure compatibility it’s a little trickier to install than some others; be sure to check out the installation advice on the mod’s page to get it working correctly.