Tuesday, October 11, 2011


My Fellow "Elder Scrolls" Gamers,

The fifth installment in one of the grandest series ever constructed will be here in just a month! 11.11.11 is the day our gaming schedules will change forever. While very much a niche game, those of us in it love it with an utmost passion. Over the past weeks and months we have been teased with plenty of "Skyrim"-related goodies. I thought I'd take the time this morning and put them all in one place for you! Enjoy.

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Much like Bilbo Baggins, I love maps! I admire when developers include a map with their open world game. Bethesda and Rockstar seem to always do this. Check out the recently revealed map for "Skyrim" above! I imagine by the end of the year we will all become very familiar with it. Here is Kotaku's comments on the map, here is Game Informer's comments.

Reports are that it is roughly the same size as Cyrodiil, the beautiful land we roamed in "Oblivion." Looking at this map above will confirm that it is a little smaller, but more dense and compact. In any case, there is going to be a lot to explore!

In case you haven't heard. You need to pre-order the game to get the map this time. Yeah, it's a ploy, but those of us who are serious about the game are pre-ordering anyway so no big deal.

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Just yesterday the manual (which people are saying looks like the final retail version) was leaked, almost entirely as seen in dozen of pictures here. Here is Game Informer's comments on the manual, here is Kotaku's comments.

Looking through these screenshots I learned some very noteworthy things. For one, you can cook in "Skyrim." Heretofore it seemed the "Gothic" series was the only medieval-fantasy RPG that would let me refine my culinary skills as well as my bow skills. No longer the case! I imagine this will much like it was implemented in "Fallout: New Vegas," a neat feature that made all the edible items you acquired even more valuable. Also (and my heart leapt for joy at this one) it looks like the awful tumbler lockpicking mini-game from "Oblivion" has been done away with! Instead they are implementing a system similar to "Fallout 3" where you feel the lock open. It is far less frustration and more aesthetically pleasing.

What things do you learn from the manual?

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Say what you will about the Xbox 360 Achievements (and the PS3 "trophy" equivalent - is that right?), but I still cannot deny the tinge of pride I feel with each and every one earned. Here is a full list of the Achievements that await unlocking in "Skyrim," though many are names of quests and currently won't mean much to us. Still the "Hard Worker" Achievement confirms that you can "Chop wood, mine ore, and cook food" in "Skyrim"! Yay! Chores! But honestly, they feel a lot more meaningful and rewarding in detail open-world games than the crap they have you do in "Farmville" and its siblings. Game Informer comments on the list.

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"Oblivion" surprised and wooed us with an impressively robust character creator. "Skyrim" looks to be the same, check out some of the myriad options at this IGN gallery.

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Back in July IGN gave us "Five Reasons 'Skyrim' is Going to Make You its Bitch." (Hint: Two of the reasons are pretty cool tidbits about dragons!)

Also from July is a great interview with Todd Howard of Bethesda (the design director for the game) about his scope and vision for "Skyrim" found at Gamasutra.

The Bethesda Blog takes us inside "The Art of 'Skyrim'."

The Bethesda Blog informs us on some of the voice-talent behind the characters, including one of my favorite actors, Christopher Plummer.

Joel Johnson of Kotaku details his hour of gameplay with "Skyrim" here.

And, in case you missed it, here is my lengthy article of impression after watching the 20+ minutes of gameplay that were released last month.

Finally... Crab Armor DLC?! Kotaku has the whimsical wish.

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Well, there you have plenty of information to keep you excited for when the game finally arrives. It probably is not enough to whet your appetite entirely, but thankfully you only have to wait one month!

Live on. Game on.

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