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Posted 3:15pm

Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls Saga Enters Its Fifth Round

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Role-playing games have underpinned the history of computer games, even more so perhaps than the first-person shooters that reign today. Long before the first gamers fired at their virtual enemies with a mouse-click, lone disciples of the genre had already been wandering through text-based dungeons, which then formed the basis for increasingly complex game worlds. Complexity is the key word here: the success of every RPG rests in how accurately worlds from the infinite imagination can be reproduced in a video game.

Bethesda has proved time and time again that they are easily up to the task with their Elder Scrolls series, and during an hour-long gaming session we were again convinced that the latest installment, Skyrim, would deliver high-end RPG entertainment.

Who let the dragons out?

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I won’t give too much of the story away; the main plot was actually disabled for our demo so we were only allowed a glimpse into a side-quest. However, it was still clear that the mystical world is again infested with dragons, so we had to launch into some pretty humungous battles.

But in spite of this uncertainty, we encountered many tried and trusted features. We could create our hero from a mix of all the famous Elder Scrolls races (there are a few rumours about other races that we were unable to see) and started our journey without any more ado. From the outset, we’re captivated by an inviting, bright woodland environment where a few harmless animals occasionally skip past and a stream rounds off the perfect rural idyll. We set off in a happy mood, in the first-person perspective, and the third-person view is of course available. (Many sections of the game, i.e. riding a horse, can only be played in third-person).

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Real manual labour

Why buy an expensive designer product when a cheaper product can deliver the same functionality? You could hire a few specialist and professional level designers for the main quest, but if the game is to contain dungeons sprawling with side-quests, it could be tempting to simply throw together some preset building blocks to create 100 different dungeons.

But Bethesda resisted the temptation in Skyrim, because each side-quest has been meticulously designed by the right designer. And that makes a huge difference for the game experience. It is the incredible magic from the hands of the game designers that makes the level construction feel so right. You feel that the level is simply more fun; an impression that was confirmed after our little trip through a cave populated by thieves and priests.

Creation engine: revolution at its core

For Skyrim, Bethesda have taken the Gamebryo engine seen in such titles such as Oblivion and Fallout: New Vegas, and have expanded on it for the Creation engine. The development of the new basic structure was chosen specifically for Skyrim, and players will notice it in many large and small improvements. So for example, the level of detail and the resulting distance visibility is greatly enhanced. A somewhat minor detail is the animated snowfall, which can be counted flake by flake as it falls on objects in the game world.

These are nice details, but for true RPG players the visual aspects are never as crucial as the content, and this is where Bethesda scores the most plus points. There is a larger number of intelligent NPCs in the virtual cities, which, besides creating a much more vivid game world, also ensures that the game and dialog flow seamlessly, so a smith no longer has to stop work at his sharpening stone when you address him.

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Additional features of the creation engine:

A new mission system ensures that the quests match your actions; e.g. if you accidentally kill your original quest giver (these things happen…), a replacement is soon found for him. However, this could be problematic, because you have slaughtered your original contact.

Randomly generated missions are tailored to the previous game events to make sure you aren’t always visiting the same dungeon.

The intelligence of the NPCs is so advanced that enemies can detect the glint of a drawn weapon.

Bethesda’s next big hit

Bethesda has ticked all the boxes to give us a wonderful gaming experience. While we were only able to see a small demonstration of the visuals and the time-honored combat system during our presentation, the real hit potential of the game lies primarily in the capabilities of the new engine. The game depth it provides and the meticulous attention to detail that Bethesda has invested in this project will keep many role-playing game fans busy for seemingly endless hours.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be released on 11th November, 2011.

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Comments

37 Comments 0 Author replies
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Are those screens from the PC version? Look too good for console!

Looking good! Aren’t some of these screen shots from “Dishonored”?

Weasel-Dave 3 October, 2011 @ 3:24 pm   3

Sounds good, I loved oblivion and we definitely need more RPGs on ps3. Square Enix have dropped the ball and we need someone to pick it up!

BLEACH-Fan 3 October, 2011 @ 3:25 pm   4

When can we see PS3 footage? :/

Yes, some of these screen shots are from “Dishonored”.

Really looking fw to Skyrim!

I´m waiting for the PS3 screens and in game movies. I cancled my preorder just because of the Xbox love that is given by Bethesda for this game.

Dishonored or a steampunck rase in Skyrim. This preview is emptie of new information.

Dante_Zero 3 October, 2011 @ 3:53 pm   8

couldn’t play this on ps3 at eurogamer recently and quite frankly with the dlc being a timed exclusive for another manufactures console its just seems daft to put a post about how great the game will be on a blog where the future owners of the game on their choice of system are going to get the lesser version.
Bethesda should really think about this going forward cause they now have massive franchises on multiconsole yet prefer one over the other which i can live with if they didn’t promote it via the lesser versions comunity outlets. Just feels like it’s rubbing it in abit or being slapped with a wet kipper.

Brodiesan 3 October, 2011 @ 4:01 pm   9

Dishonored screenshots in an article about Skyrim. Just another day at SCEE Towers, right?

Hey, we all make mistakes, but, come on … you guys are making them DAILY.

Solid_Snake1987 3 October, 2011 @ 4:01 pm   10

Is it November 11th yet? How about now? Now? Why is it taking so long?!?

Stonesthrow 3 October, 2011 @ 4:25 pm   11

I sold Elder scrolls fast because the technical quality was beneath my standards, but this looks like something I can’t miss out on..

Carnivius_Prime 3 October, 2011 @ 4:36 pm   12

Pass. Oblivion and Fallout 3 rank as my most hated games of this generation of gaming. Tedious beyond belief and really poor technically too. At least this one looks a bit better but still just doesn’t look remotely entertaining in the least.

DAVIE222 3 October, 2011 @ 4:36 pm   13

FINALLY THE BLOG DECIDES TO TALK ABOUT SKYRIM!

P.S: oblivion is the greatest game of all time.

AaronSOLDIER 3 October, 2011 @ 4:39 pm   14

Please release Morrowind HD for PS3!

DAYDANNY666 3 October, 2011 @ 5:48 pm   15

IM happy with the ps3 without even having to put a disk in it there are loads of things to do

Skookie30 3 October, 2011 @ 6:03 pm   16

i never like Westen RPG i thought about what JRPG means it took me out of reality in a fantasy world.

but with western RPG it too close to reality guns, GTA etc don‘t get me wrong GTA is a great game i didn’t like fallout 3 because it was glithy as hell.

my friend says FONV is the same had alot of patches for it.

i‘m sure ppl will LOVE IT but not me sorry.

it looks like no further blog post today what a disappointed that no news about PS2 classics so far it about SCEA.

BYE!!!

monoliet 3 October, 2011 @ 6:21 pm   17

my nr 1 rpg 2011
multigames need no main platform love ( i hate ms. huge fore ith ) .
only sory sony did not make deal on excl. dlc

Skookie30 3 October, 2011 @ 6:37 pm   18

Okay i had another look it not got guns so that good but it still like a western RPG to me although it got dinosaurs in it mammoths.

i will consider it. :/

bye Again.

ShadowGandalf 3 October, 2011 @ 6:39 pm   19

I’m so excited for Skyrim it can’t be translated into words… it just comes out as high pigched squeaks of glee and anticipation… lol. seriously though, i’ve been looking forward to The Elder Scrolls V since before it was announced… and now its just over a month away… heeeee. (Uncharted 3 first though, Nov 2nd)

ShadowGandalf 3 October, 2011 @ 6:41 pm   20

whoops… pigched? i meant pitched… (isnt there an ‘edit post’ option?)

What are the dimensions of the box and more importantly the dragon.

chrisandsheva 3 October, 2011 @ 7:25 pm   22

hello, i hoping that some kind person on here could answer a question or two for me, basically i like the rpg concept, i suppose it has ended up in most every game made, to a certain degree,..but i can’t stand the ‘classic’ style of rpg, the ones like (imo) dragon age, i bought that in it’s release week purely because of the tv adverts which made it look brilliant, which i’ve been told it is, yet,is it 18 months,?. now later i still cannot be bothered to ‘fight’ my way out the castle, and theirin lies my problem, the ‘battle’ mechanics are such a massive letdown, i love games where you can draw your blade and engage in a realistic massacre ,ie darksiders (most anticipated sequel Ever i hope) ninja g and more over the top ones like god of war etc, now i wouldn’t expect to find that type of fighting in a rpg but i do want something better than i see in dragon age (origins) i even tried da2 demo, which though better, still didn’t feel right,…i have recently played and enjoyed dungion siege3 and of course mass effect2,..a friend allready told me oblivion wasn’t going to be for me, but will skyrim,?. or does anyone have any suggestions etc,..thnx in advance.

This will be my next pre-ordered game

Bovrillor 3 October, 2011 @ 9:21 pm   24

Here’s hoping for a PS3 version that isn’t sub-par. Multiplatform games have a terrible relationship with the PS3, and there’s no excuse beyond developer laziness. Combined with the timed release BS we have every right to feel overlooked.

Don’t fail us PS3 owners, Bethesda.

Yes, I could buy it on PC and have superior graphics, mods etc… but as I get older I find myself less inclined to do so. There’s something appealing about not having to ‘tinker’ with games to get the optimal experience – standardised formats have their merits!

FiVe-SeVeN-01 3 October, 2011 @ 11:55 pm   25

I don’t mind waiting a bit longer for them DLC releases. PS3 needs alot more quality RPG-titles like TES and the Fallout series. ”older” gamers (like myself and my mates), find the huge majority of games way too short/easy/childish… Obsidian/Bethesda sees this gap in the market and realise they’ve gotta spend good money to make good money :) Pre-ordered it and counting the days ’till 11-11-11. Any news on Fallout 4?

1 month bwooooooyyyyyyy!!!! Oblivion was on a whole next level when it 1st came out, i remember how as it went dark u could see campfires light in the DISTANCE, pick 1 head towards it, creep up n jump em! you could litrally do anything so im expecting big things myself n im that fed up with shooters its gonna be a welcome change! all the peep’s hatin on it, dont buy it then, go n do something else, why waste ur time posting in the 1st place and more importantly AND WHAT if they have a deal with xbox, the way i remember it, it was an xbox game that got converted to ps3 a year later, im just happy im gona be able to get it on PS3 full stop! And we get loads better exclusives full stop! ps there all skyrim screen shots people, go on the store download the trailer n prepare to eat your words!

monoliet 4 October, 2011 @ 9:23 am   27

25 @ buy dark souls if u find games to short/easy/childish

lol ;)

DAVIE222 4 October, 2011 @ 9:28 am   28

F1NG3RZ-

i completly agree! i put well over 1000 hours into oblivion (no joke) i did evrything in it and went evrywere….it was my adiction for so many years! best game of all time!!!
there was so many amazing things about the game but my fav is that whatever dialog you choose during quests they would change, wich made it epic…best game i have ever played.

SKYRIM TIME!!!!!!!!

i hope u are abel to turn in weterwolf asite of vampire
so in day humen nicht strong beast

2500 hr in oblivion

TrueMurton 4 October, 2011 @ 11:20 am   30

Question. If you’re going to let Bethesda once again advertise their games here shouldn’t they at least supply PS3 screenshots or video and not target renders or worse, 360 screenshots as were used in Official Playstation Magazine?

Given Bethesdas past with the PS3 I don’t expect them to volunteer their ugly non-AA low res screenshots or a gameplay vid showing the sub-20 FPS and reveal their lack of interest in multi-platform optimisation but I would expect SCEE to tell them to take a long walk off a short pier when asked to advertise a game without a true representation of the product in question.

Not angry, just disappointed.

CoolRichy007UK 4 October, 2011 @ 11:58 am   31

that why i int gettin this crap game lol

crap ?
best rpg , only sad 360 get wat it needs by stupid rules of them
why sony not play the game to

= u game later dlc later ore lesser visuals = byby

goldie95 5 October, 2011 @ 9:20 am   33

This game looks immense, gunna pre order it soon!

Fallout 4 was Fallout New Vegas – and if Obsidian has anything to do with it won’t be interested in a Fallout 5

I have pre-ordered Skyrim – but I certainly hope Bethesda have given the ps3 version love this time – Oblivion on the ps3 was inferior to the 360 version (but can it be excused as they couldn’t be bothered to learn the code for the ps3 and just gave a crappy port

maybe before I cancel my pre-order for the ps3 version I should research into whether Bethesda have actually bothered to code for the ps3

seemingly SCEE doesn’t care if it is true that the images used to promote the game are actually from another game

LightningSamus 6 October, 2011 @ 5:19 pm   35

@Izorpo

Fallout: New Vegas isn’t Fallout 4, if you were expecting Fallout 4 then you’re dumb.

There are more than 4 Fallout games.

Fallout
Fallout 2
Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Fallout: Warfare
Fallout 3
Fallout: New Vegas

Plus Obsidian did a great job with NV, i liked it more than Fallout 3, only problem was glitches. Obsidian is made up of Fallout 1 & 2 devs so this wasn’t their first Fallout.

To Fallout fans most like Fallout 2 the most and many Obsidian members created that also NV connects to older Fallout’s unlike Fallout 3.

Wrong again Oblivion on PS3 was actually superior to 360 and runs better, but PS3 didn’t get small add ons is all.

LightningSamus 6 October, 2011 @ 5:28 pm   36

Also wanted to add that why judge so early? You know nothing about PS3 version and will just have to wait fore reviews.

You seem like one of those people who don’t give things a chance.

Pete Hines from Bethesda said PS3 owners have nothing to worry about.
So we just gonna have to take his word for it and wait and see.

Complaing doesn’t help.

AD-27md-212 25 July, 2012 @ 11:06 pm   37

i really loved this game because we can do magic and allot of things i hope that u make a site to download some moods from ps3 it self