It seems rare that a month goes by without a developer announcing that some contemporary classic is receiving a current-gen HD remake. Just this week, rumors started to swirl that remakes are on the way for the first two Batman Arkham games and we've already seen a long list of ports in the last year ranging from Tomb Raider to Grand Theft Auto 5. Unfortunately for fans of The Elder Scroll universe, the team at Bethesda doesn't seem to be interested in looking back to some of the franchise's earlier adventures. That doesn't mean PC gamers won't find a way to bring one of the old classics to the new generation, though.
One of the major perks of PC gaming is the ability for dedicated communities to create mods that enhance and expand on games. Skyrim is a prime example of user creativity and we've seen just about everything added to the game, including Thomas the Tank Engine. The team at The Elder Scrolls Renewal Project is thinking even bigger, and recreating The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in Skyrim's engine. How extensive is the recreation? The above trailer highlights some of the latest assets that are in place.
The ambitious project has a serious team behind the scenes including composers, voice actors, developers, artists, designers, and lots of coders. The team was excited to release the 0.9.6 progress update trailer, but wants to remind future users that there is still lots of work to be done before the mod is finished:
"Hey everyone. Many people are getting excited that this is so close to a 1.0.0 release. This happens with each update video. Please be aware that this project basically started at 9.0.0, so think of this as the 0.6 release. If you look back, 0.9.5 came out all the way back in October. We are working hard as usual, and we don’t want to crush anyone, but I hope this puts things in perspective. These updates are not an accurate measurement of the progress on the project. When a release is nearing, or a beta, we will have more information for you. Thank you."
The team doesn't offer any specific release window for a finished product, but considering the time between 0.9.6 and previous updates, it wouldn't be surprising if this was still over a few years away. A ton of work has already been done recreating dialogue, music, and landscapes, but now the modders need to work on streamlining levels to ease the transition into the new engine.
When the mod first started getting attention over a year ago, the team offered early access via a public download. Unfortunately, supporting the alpha version of the mod ended up dramatically slowing development down, so the team has since removed access to the mod. It's a little disappointing to many gamers that we have to wait (likely for quite a while), but focusing the team's limited resources on development rather than support seems like a smart move.
The 0.9.5 update came in October, so it is possible that we won't receive another major update on the game's progress for at least a few months. If you'd like to keep a closer eye on what the team is up to, visit TES Renewal Project's website.
Do you plan to revisit Morrowind when the mod is finally finished and released for use with PC versions of Skyrim? Let us know in the comments.
Source: TES Renewal Project