The Elder Scrolls has proven that it's a franchise to pay attention to if you have any interest in RPGs whatsoever. Fans have every right to expect the same from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but the truth is nobody knows exactly what the game will look like. How will the dragons look, behave, attack? How will the protagonist appear, move, and interact with other elements in the world? We've seen plenty of concept images and screens of the game's environment and characters, but until we see footage of Bethesda's game in action we're left with more questions than answers.
Luckily, a countdown on Bethesda's website is ticking away the remaining seconds until the developer releases the first actual in-game video of Skyrim, at 10:00 EST tomorrow morning.
[Update: The first Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim gameplay trailer has released!]
We could speculate about what we can expect from the footage, but it isn't just the look of the game that will tell us about the changes that the developer has made from Oblivion and Morrowind's formula. The game's brand new Creation Engine will no doubt produce some stunning visuals but if we're honest, we're more interested in the details.
The developers have promised unparalleled levels of realism in nature with the new game engines, including water, snow, and wind that all interact with the environments in real time. That sounds like a great improvement, but how much will small touches like those help to plant us firmly in the game's reality?
The game's NPC's are now more realistic in their behaviors than they ever have been, and will help to shape a player's unique quests throughout the entire game. Again, that sounds like a fantastic addition of depth to one of the more traditionally artificial aspects of RPGs, but if the characters aren't fully-realized creations, having to deal with them in a large extent could be more problematic than revolutionary.
One of the more looming questions - which will be a must for the gameplay footage - is how the changes Bethesda's made to the combat will change the feel of attacking and defending. With the removal of player classes, there is the opportunity to become even more specialized with a particular weapon. That could mean more potent attacks and flourishes in combat, and if we're lucky, we may even get to see one of the game's new finishing moves.
Everything the developers have discussed so far - the dragon's design, the ability to control battles with magic shouts, even the new Apple-inspired menu system - will be seen in a new light once fans know exactly what they're referring to. Not that we're questioning their vision, but we might have a few doubts.
You can head over to the countdown site to watch the minutes tick away, or download a new Skyrim wallpaper to help keep you patient. Check the site out tomorrow morning, or return here, since we'll be bringing you all the details as soon as they're available.
The still-unseen Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is set to be released on November 11 for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Source: Bethesda (via PC Gamer)