Tuesday, August 30, 2011

PAX Skyrim Booth Renews My Faith in Humanity

After years of anticipation, the long awaited sequel to Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is just a few months away from release.  Even though Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim won’t be hitting shelves until 11/11/2011, the creative and loving souls over at Bethesda let PAX attendees have a crack at the game early.  After standing in line for almost an hour (the shortest wait line for the game all weekend), I was allowed to play the game for 15 whole minutes.  Read and bask in the details.

Each attendee walked up to a monitor that had a saved game loaded.  We could choose the character classes and move into game play.  Everyone started in a cave and then they were allowed to leave and explore wherever they felt like.  Most people went into either a small local woodland village or a mine.  There was also plenty of general landscape to explore including snowy mountains, dense forest, and a large glistening lake.  All locations had plenty of enemies to fight and characters to talk to. 

Starting with just the looks and general feel of the game, it was beyond amazing.  The textures and environment were crystal clear.  The definition and depth of the surroundings were amazing.  Even when swimming under water, the bottom of the lake was full of rich detail.  The menus also took on a major upgrade.  They are far more easy to navigate and much less overwhelming.  All items in the inventory are displayed individually and quite large so all the intense detail can be seen with ease.  The stats for each weapon, spell, and piece of armor are clearly visible and easy to calculate.  The weapons and spells are dual wield.  Players can carry a two-handed weapon, two one-handed weapons, a weapon and a spell, or two different spells.

I think there might be dragons in Skyrim.  Call it a hunch.
One of the more advertised features is the use of the Creation Engine (developed internally by Bethesda) that helps facilitate random events.  Certain enemies like dragons or physics related elements like weather are completely random.  It was widely discussed around the convention, in panels, and online that even the developers were completely unable to predict certain events in the game while working through the testing phase.

Overall, this game looks amazing.  And the 15 minutes I played completely hooked me.  It was more than worth standing in line for an hour.  The toughest part of the game will be trying to wait two more months to get it.  In the meantime, don't forget to subscribe to the blog and follow us on twitter @achievos !


Linz said...

I feel like all I've done lately is talk about Skyrim, and I probably won't even be able to play it (nausea) although I am pretty sure I'm going to give it my best effort.

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