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October 30 2011
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
11/11/2011All InteractiveBethesdaBethesda Game Studios
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is out 11/11/11.
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Taking on a couple of wolves.

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The Wood Elf in a rather chilly location.
2011 has been a fantastic year for gamers, but it seems the gaming landscape is currently dominated by FPS and action titles with few RPG's to really sing your teeth into. That should change late this year though with Bethesda set to launch on of the most anticipated RPG's in recent years, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. With around 5.5 million copies of the previous game sold on consoles and many more on PC there will be a lot of gamers ready to check out the next game in the series. So what's it about then...

The Empire of Tamriel is on the edge. The High King of Skyrim has been murdered. Alliances form as claims to the throne are made. In the midst of this conflict, a far more dangerous, ancient evil is awakened. Dragons, long lost to the passages of the Elder Scrolls, have returned to Tamriel. The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons.

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Skyrim's map is pretty massive.
With design beginning in 2006 and development commencing upon the release of Fallout 3 in 2008 this massive open- world RPG has been a long time in development, but given the size and scale of this RPG that's quite understandable. Skyrim takes place in the land of, well, Skyrim which is a northern province of Tamriel in which all the games have been set. In terms of area this games landmass is similar to that of Oblivion, or around 16 square miles (41 square kilometers). This land includes five main cities, smaller townships and around 150 dungeons. Of course there will be hundreds of characters to interact with and of course many more enemies looking to end your life!

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Fighting with the Frost Troll.
One final aspect of this game that has been a feature of Bethesda Game Studios' previous titles is the DLC. In the past the developers have released a lot of smaller downloadable content of which its value has been questioned from multiple sources. For Skyrim the developers have already mentioned providing larger, expansion-pack, styled DLC instead of the smaller tidbits. Don't expect any $US2.50 horse armour add-ons for this game.

Visually The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim looks very impressive indeed. Running on Bethesda's internally developed Creation Engine with Havok Behavior toolset handling character and creature animations this game bumps up the levels of detail significantly from the studios previous releases. Compared to Oblivion the development team and artists have worked hard to provide more unique locations with more variety in the visuals. As an example the number of artists working on the dungeon alone has been bumped up from one, to eight people.

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Talking to a lady in the tavern.
Other improvements to the game include an improved draw distance, improved lighting, improved flora (Speedtree has been replaced with the companies own in-house developed solution allowing for more customisation including how wind affects the trees!), and dynamic snow.

For RPG fans The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim looks like an essential purchase. Given the history of the series, and the quality of Bethesda Game Studios as a developer, it doesn't seem likely that this game will falter at the last step. Mark 11/11/11 in your calendars as this game is one to block out a lot of time to enter the world.