It’s been five years since the RPG classic Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was released on XBOX 360, PS3 and PC. Since then there have been a few brave challengers such as Fable 2 & 3, Dragon Age: Origins and Fallout to name a few, yet none could touch the scope Oblivion has presented to the gaming world. It was rumoured that a sequel had always been in the works as Bethesda released the popular Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.
It was then, with much excitement, that a teaser trailer suddenly appeared on YouTube for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in December last year. The trailer didn’t give much away, except that it would be set in the province of Skyrim, north of the province of Cyrodiil which was the realm played in Oblivion. The teaser mentions the ‘Dragonborn’, which can be assumed will be the protagonist who in this instance the gamer will play (not like Martin in Oblivion, who was the chosen hero).
Since the trailer, selected streams of images, from concept art to official screenshots, have been appearing online. Two of which prove the existence of dragons in the game, labelled ‘the nuclear weapons of a fantasy game’. The shots also show some examples of the people in the game where it can be noted that the graphics have been vastly improved and the people look far less ugly than the predecessor game. Needless to say the teasing screenshots are demonstrating that the game will be even more beautiful than Oblivion.
In a short video documentary, Matt Carofano – the Art Director – stressed how they have created a ‘dramatic reality’ meaning there are ‘dramatic views wherever you go’. Not only that, but much emphasis was put on how the ‘character design was the biggest feature we wanted to improve’, and judging from the selected screenshots and concept art, it’s looking hopeful. The races will be more unique and gamers will be able ‘to tell the difference between all the races’, with ‘a lot more customisation’ than previously seen in any of the Elder Scrolls games. No doubt a huge amount of detail, perhaps never seen before, is going into this game, especially with the promise of 120 dungeons where ‘no two areas will be alike’.
Fans of the Elder Scrolls series will know that Skyrim has always been on the map of provinces in Tamriel, but something that’s interesting in Oblivion is the mention of Skyrim a book the gamer can read called ‘Children of the Sky’ which talks about the land of Skyrim and even the ‘Dragonborn’, which appears to be part of the main quest in Skyrim. Even if you’ve never played an Elder Scrolls game, no doubt this will have perked your interest.
Another video, recently available from XBOX Live, features an interview with Todd Howard, the Project Director. He gives away small notes about the ‘completely new’ game engine and how the characters move and fight is considerably different making the gamer ‘feel more in control of the character’.
With Jeremy Soule confirmed to return as the composer, no doubt the music will echo the beauty this game is going to possess. Hopefully another trailer may be released in the next few months as well as more screenshots and behind-the-scenes. November is certainly going to seem a long way off…
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is due to be released worldwide on the 11th November 2011.