Friday, June 17, 2011

The Elder Scrolls and Skyrim preview

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim caused a stir at this year's E3,


With many attendees naming Bethesda's fantasy epic as Best in Show, with very good reason, writes Tom Hoggins

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim is the northern most country in the world of Tamriel
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
You can dual-wield equipment and spells, combining them to take down attacking beasts
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Creepy-crawlies: The fauna of Skyrim can be terrifying
If there was a prize for "most gigantic advert" at E3, despite staunch competition from Battlefield 3 and Assassin's Creed Revelations, then Skyrim would have edged it. Just on the periphery of the LA Live complex, no less than three towering buildings were decked head to toe in a growling, Nordic beefcake. His belt buckle measuring roughly twice the size of my entire house.
It wasn't the only thing that fixed Skyrim so permanently to attendees' lips. Anyone who witnessed the more low-key behind closed doors presentation were quick to name the fifth Elder Scrolls game Best in Show. With good reason.
It's a question of both scale and density. In a presentation lasting roughly twenty minutes, Skyrim's Todd Howard showed a tiny slice of the fantasy RPG. It was time well spent, packing in an extraordinary amount of detail while giving you just a glimpse of how overwhelmingly huge the Nordic lands of Skyrim are.
Skyrim is the northernmost country in the fantasy land of Tamriel, Bethesda's very own Middle Earth. Nine 'holds' (or counties) surround the towering mountain known as "The Throat of the World". As Howard looks up to the snow capped escarpments from hundreds of miles away, he remarks that, one day, you will climb the 7000 steps to the peak in order to meet the Greybeards and learn the language of dragons. It's a spine-tingling thought. Many open world games boast you can go anywhere you see, but this is different somehow. Why? Because Skyrim is so unquestionably, unapologetically epic. And The Throat of the World is a towering symbol of that.

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