Recession gaming: Get 50 hours of extra play time from games you already own

Extend the challenge in Far Cry 3, Skyrim, Black Ops 2, Assassin's Creed III and more

After the raft of new releases in the run up to Christmas, January can feel pretty quiet on the gaming front. And in these Dickensian times, forking out for new titles isn't getting easier.

Luckily you've got us: we've added hours onto the biggest games of last year by bringing you whole new scenarios and cheeky new metagames. So dust off Far Cry 3 and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - we're going back in.



Challenge: Take down every outpost without firing a single shot

With sniper rifles, machine guns, RPGs and more at your disposal, it's easy to 'go loud' when facing a group of enemies and quickly turn the tropical island into a blazing warzone. However, for more of a satisfying challenge you can channel the spirit of John Rambo circa First Blood and try taking down outposts without firing a single bullet.

Armed with just the recurve bow and machete, your objective is to terminate all enemies from the outpost without being detected and raising the alarm. You'll need to stake the camp out first to locate your targets, then plan your approach using arrows and melee takedowns whilst sneaking through the undergrowth to silently eliminate them all.

A successful raid will be indicated by a 1500XP award once the outpost is liberated, but if you're spotted at any point your cover has been blown and you should fast travel to another location then return for another attempt. If you've already taken over all outposts there are still locations you can use where enemies spawn, such as the pirate's cove at X: 365 Y: 700, or you can start a new save file to get all the outposts back.



Challenge: Kill all three Boyle sisters without raising the alarm

For one of the best-known missions in Dishonored, you need to infiltrate a swanky masquerade ball hosted by the Boyle sisters and identify which is your target before assassinating them. For a trickier twist on this, try to eliminate any of the sisters stealthily and escape from Boyle Mansion without alerting anyone.

To help with this challenge, each of the sisters has a different personality that affects their behaviour and responses when you speak to them. To reveal this information you need to gain access to their individual rooms on the upper floor and read the diaries found there.

Armed with this knowledge you can then tailor your conversations with each sister to lure them to a more secluded area before taking them out. With all three disposed of and no alarms raised you can simply stroll away from the mansion, and the game will still count this as a successful mission due to the process of elimination.



Challenge: Role play as a simple man, chef, giant hunter or become a collector

With a huge open-ended RPG like Skyrim there's almost limitless scope for roleplaying, so pick your own set of rules and create a new game from it. As we showed with our Rags to Riches series, being a simple man and living off the land while trying to earn some honest gold can still lead to all sorts of adventures.

You may decide to become a renowned chef, travelling the land to gather various meats and vegetables then using recipes to cook them up and sell the created foods to innkeepers. Or how about becoming a famous Giant hunter, systematically tracking down all of their camps and defeating them to protect the local populace.

You could even set yourself a more obscure goal of collecting a certain type of item, as all objects remain persistent throughout the world. Why not try filling your home with piles of shiny silverware, or creating the largest collection of cheese wheels Tamriel has ever seen - the possibilities are endless.

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