Friday, June 10, 2011

First Impressions Friday (1): Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

First Impressions is a meme hosted  at Within Pages where we take a look at all things, mostly booky, and reflect on our initial thoughts. Non-bloggers, non-book bloggers, and everyone alike can participate on any topic you'd like. Feel free to drop your links or thoughts in the comments!

This past week, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3, was held in Los Angeles. The top executives, developers, and designers from the major electronics and video game companies met to discuss the future of the industry. Many of the concepts that are unveiled at E3 are released within the next year. One of the major portion of the expo is the release of game trailers for upcoming titles. This year, we saw trailers for new Assassins Creed, Modern Warfare and Bioshock games, just to name a very few. Also unveiled at E3 was the next generation in video game consoles. Nintendo unveiled the Wii-U and Playstation showed off their addition to the motion gaming world, the Move.

Image courtesy of G4

The Elder Scrolls is a role playing video game series from Bethesda Game Studios. The fifth incarnation of the game, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be released on November 11, 2011. The game takes place 200 years after the action of Oblivion in a land called Skyrim in Tamriel. Bethesda has developed an entirely new graphics engine for Skyrim and you can see how much hard work they have put into the game. At E3, Todd Howard from Bethesda sat down with the guys and gal from G4TV and showed off the brand new game engine with new gameplay and detail. The video below showcases 14 minutes of gameplay from Skyrim, but if you attended E3, you actually got a 30 minute demo.

Image courtesy of G4
The level of detail in the game seems to be just amazing. From plants at the ground level to the tallest of mountains in the world of Skyrim, the level of detail doesn't change. There is a new AI system called Radiant Story which heightens the experience for the player. It's a role playing game, but you can even play in third person. Like in real life, your character in Skyrim starts out pretty neutral in all skills, but you can hone your skills in various weapons and classes by learning new things. You do not start yourself in a certain track like other games. You can increase your skill in multiple classes, but focus on one as your primary.

Image courtesy of G4
You can gain perks when you level up which help you to define your character. These perks become written in the stars and your perk tree (like a talent tree) is your own personal constellation, which looks very cool. Skyrim is a world based on Norse mythology. In essence, you're playing a viking-esque character and there are animals like ice mammoths. As a World of Warcraft player, I can equate the world a bit to Northrend. Dragons roam the land at random and you draw your own power from killing dragons and obtaining their souls. You collect their souls to charge your spells.

I'm very intrigued by this game. I think that the world looks beautiful and I want to know more about the story. You can gain professions like blacksmithing in the world and you can interact with NPCs that are participating in the economy. If you can see something in Skyrim, then you can explore it. This is very exciting to me and I cannot wait to play this game. 

Skyrim will be released on November 11, 2011 for PC, XBOX 360 and Playstation 3. I'm not sure at this time if you'll be able to play the game on Kinect or not, but I will update this as soon as I find that information out. 

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