The jam-packed release schedule of games at the moment may have fans of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim already moving on to the next title, but you don't have to look far to find someone still up to their iron horns in the game's vast quest system. To help the die-hard Dovahkiin scour every inch of Tamriel's northernmost province, Bethesda has finally given their blessing for the first official Skyrim map app for the iPhone and iPad.
There are plenty of Skyrim apps already, and more than a few groups of fans have already compiled a map of every notable location in Skyrim, but there is no substitute for the real thing. The Skyrim Official World Interactive Map is available now through the iTunes marketplace for both the iPhone and iPad, and comes with a variety of features and content befitting the size of its respective game's world.
To be deemed worthy of the size and complexity of Skyrim's massively dense and populated environment - already being showered with praise and technical accolades - the official app has got to pack quite a punch. Not only will the app be providing maps and screenshots of the game's 9 major cities (from the team behind the Prima Strategy Guide), but it will be doing that free of charge.
For those willing to spend money on in-app purchases, the features only escalate. Take a look at the official details:
- Official world map of Skyrim and all 9 hold capital cities for free
- In-app purchases of over 160 interior maps, over 350 primary locations, 200 secondary locations and over 1,000 points of interest
- Toggle points of interest on or off and zoom in on the map as far as 3200%
- Add your own custom points of interest by dropping a pin anywhere on the map
- Fully integrated search function
- Screenshots of all 9 hold capital cities as well as primary and secondary locations
- Easily keep track of what you’ve discovered along the way
While many of these features can be implemented to a lesser extent using the in-game Map and Quest menus, anyone who has tried to trim down their open missions knows that the systems are far from perfect. The ability to search open quests and locations alone may be enough to warrant a closer look.
Some might think the idea of consulting another electronic device while playing a game is a bit extreme, but it's not too far removed from the pads of paper and pencils that Skyrim fans are already acquainted with. And with the quality of the team behind the app already proven, it's hard to argue that the app isn't worth its price tag of $0.
In fact, the app might be considered a prime example of how an iPad or other tablet device could be used to add to a console or PC gaming experience. Since the games industry seems to be headed in that direction - and has yet to perfectly link the iOS with a console experience - our hopes are high. The staggering success of the Skyrim Creation Kit should prove that Bethesda's RPG still has plenty of gas left in the tank, so the app's release may not be as after-the-fact as some might think.
Obviously fans will wish a more comprehensive map had been made available earlier, but we maintain that stumbling across unique locations and monuments is half the reward. If Bethesda's plans for future DLC are open to speculation, then even with this map chronicling every inch of the province, there's a possibility of discovering new locations at some point.
What do you think of this kind of integration between platforms? Are you satisfied that you've uncovered Skyrim's secrets, or will this be something you'll be downloading to see what you've missed?
The Skyrim Official World Interactive Map is available for download from iTunes here.
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