Starting today, PC gamers can engage in mounted combat in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Patch 1.6 for the open-world adventure is now available for download through Steam.

The mounted combat feature enables players to perform either melee or ranged combat attacks while riding a horse. You can pummel bandits and dragons alike without getting your feet dirty or losing any valuable travel time. Sadly, though, you can't trample anyone. I imagine horses can't sneak very well, either, so my rogue/archer character will have to keep killing people the "old-fashioned" way.

Is it a game-changing feature? No. However, being forced to hop off a horse in the middle of combat was awkward so I'm glad to have that smoothed out. Furthermore, this gives the modding community another toy. Perhaps they'll figure out some inventive ways to integrate it into quests. I'd imagine mounted combat will be of use in Skyrim's upcoming Dawnguard DLC as well.

The patch also provides the usual collection of fixes. The ranged kill cams and werewolf kills should both be displayed properly now. Other unspecified crashes and save file issues were also addressed. The full patch notes are as follows:
  • General stability and memory optimizations
  • General AI pathfinding optimizations and bug fixes
  • Optimizations and crash fixes for data leaks
  • Fixed rare crash with lighting
  • Fixed crashes related to loading and saving games
  • Fixed crash with summoned creatures/NPCs
  • Fixed rare issue where saves would be corrupted
  • Improved logic for when ranged kill cams are played
  • Fixed issue with ranged kill cams while killing a dragon
  • Fixed rare issue with certain ranged kill cams not playing properly
  • Fixed issue with nirnroot lighting not properly cleaning up
  • Fixed issue where bow damage was being calculated incorrectly
  • Fixed rare problem with werewolf kill moves would not finish animating properly
  • In “The Break of Dawn” fixed rare issue where Meridia’s Beacon would disappear from player’s inventory
  • Fixed occasional issue where followers would disappear after player pays off a bounty after committing a crime
  • Fixed issue where certain creatures and NPCs would fail to respawn properly
  • Fixed rare issue with dialogue subtitles not displaying properly
  • Fixed issue with water appearing blurry when loading a saved game after creating a save underwater
Patch 1.6 went live on the Xbox 360 late last week and included fixes for Kinect support. Bethesda hasn't mentioned a release date for the PS3 version of this patch yet. Generally Skyrim updates make it to all platforms within a week, though, so PS3 gamers shouldn't have to wait long.

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