If you need to start cutting off limbs and beheading people, like, ASAP, War in the North is the place to splatter yourself with orc blood and viscera. The blood is thick and black, splatters generously on your weapons and armor, and arms and legs get severed with stunning regularity. It’s like a tiny achievement each and every time you do it, and it never gets old.

In Skyrim you can save up for a perk that eventually lets you lop off heads. The price in perk points seems a bit steep for an action somewhat inherent to combat, though. For all its weapons and armor and magic, Skyrim isn’t a game dedicated to combat, and it shows. The health bar is a little more conspicuous than in previous Elder Scrolls games, but seeing it drain feels like a gentle reminder about your general well-being rather than an indicator of your imminent death.