The mystery surrounding The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been momentarily broken, thanks to Bethesda's release of a brand new batch of screens and concept art. While some have already begun to predict victory or failure in the game's future, fans of The Elder Scrolls can now get a better idea of what Bethesda is cooking up both stylistically and graphically.
For those who have been following our coverage of the game so far, many of these images should appear familiar. The amount and quality of detail in these images - released on Bethesda's Flickr account - is impressive, which is to be expected given the game's brand new Creation Engine.
What may come as a surprise to some is just how far along the developers seem to be. Sure, they still have until November to launch the game, but Skyrim was only officially announced a few months ago.
It's all well and good to hear the game's director explain the reasoning behind removing player classes, but the game environments themselves are just as important as the way players navigate them, so these glimpses couldn't have come any sooner.
The pictures offer a closer look at the game's fire-breathing monstrosities, some Nordic settings, one of the game's 'Word Walls' that will allow players to learn even more dragon shouts, and a few enemy renderings. Take a look for yourself:
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Whether these particular character designs prove that the game will be bringing a new level of refinement and technology is up for interpretation, but the fact that Bethesda has already gotten the game's characters and creatures looking this good bodes well for the game overall.
Bethesda has stated that the goal with Skyrim is to make a game even more fully realized than fans are used to, both in terms of characters and combat. An unprecedented and realistic depth is even being brought to the complex quest system the game will be using to bring NPCs to life.
The dragons certainly sound promising, and seeing them in the rocky environments of Skyrim is a perfect fit. With the brand new combat system, these screens will come as somewhat of a relief to fans that no matter how different the fighting instances may be, the player's opponents will be somewhat familiar.
We hope that this latest release of game screens is something that the developer will be giving us more of as we get closer to the game's launch, but we won't start holding our breath until we see the game in action. When it's finally revealed, you can be sure we'll share it with you.
Players everywhere will be able to step into the world glimpsed above when The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is released for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 on November 11, 2011.