With Skyrim just months away Todd Howard has released some quality HD footage of the world of Skyrim. The footage, which is about 20 minutes long, sees Todd take use through the wilderness, into mountains and ruins fighting wolves, bandits, trolls, giants, undead warriors and of course Dragons!
While most of this footage has already been shown or talked about before but this is the first time that that Skyrim game play footage has been shown in HD, without the rambles of journalists and fans over the top of it meaning that we can fully appreciate the soundtrack created by Jeremy Soule.
To those who haven’t seen the videos I have embedded them here at the bottom of this blog along with HD screenshots provided by dAb at the official forums.
A detailed world:
We’ve known from day one that the world of Skyrim would be a wondrous place to explore filled with detail beyond belief. The dedication that Bethesda went to in order to give us Oblivion meant that at the announcement of Skyrim we knew that this detail would be taken to the next level.
|Forest in Oblivion|
It came as no surprise then that as the first screens of Skyrim came filtering down the amount of attention to detail was mind blowing. The hours alone spent creating the models, textures and bumpmaps for each individual item, creature and NPC must have been enduring, let alone placing it all in game!
|Its all about the detail|
The latest HD videos show that the world of Skyrim truly is detailed and diverse as we had hoped , and if that isn’t enough to get excited about then the best thing to note is that while Oblivion was considered a master piece, Skyrim will take the throne. Gone is the annoying bloom of the Oblivion environment which made everything shine with a strange blurry brightness. Instead what we get is a masterpiece as artists from all over unite to give us a game worthy of the current generation of console and technology.
|Oblivion - Bloom,shiny and blurred grass!|
|Detailed, crisp and sharpe|
Blending it altogether is what makes it seem even more realistic and Bethesda seems to have managed this. Promising a more diverse landscape than Oblivion did, Bethesda hail back to Morrowind which had environments spanning from swamps and Grazelands to the dusty Ashlands and the fiery Red Mountain.
This diversity is seen once more in Skyrim and with a stronger blending method. In Morrowind on side of a hill was Grazeland the other was Ashland. In Skyrim it’s not so clear cut; a mountain patch that is rich with life slowly becomes tundra and then suddenly a frozen void – a more realistic environment it would seem
|Mountain Path that leads....|
|....and eventually frozen waste|
The itch to explore
With its impressive game world its only acceptable if Bethesda put as much effort into the diversity and detail into the 150 dungeons they have palced around the world; for the aim of the game is to explore and if the locations are dull then the exploration is boring and Skyrim would become just another bog standard RPG doomed to follow the likes of Two Worlds one nad two. However this is not the case!
Skyrims diverse environments, detailed landscapes and smoth transitions are applied to the dungeons as well. In one dungeon alone we go from an old Nord Temple ruin to a cave system back into a small mountain path that leads into a tomb and ends with a grand chamber – each one offering a small glimpse into the world that Skyrim has to offer.
Little touches such as spider webs that coat the floor and passive bats which flutter in panic as you enter their space all help to create an atmosphere of epic proportions that leaves you wanting more, edging and encouraging you to go on for better or for worse. All of this just from a video! Imagine what it will be like to sit there with the controls in your hand, drinks and snacks to the side as you prepare to dive into an unknown cave wondering what secrets it holds? The last time I felt like that was with Morrowind. Alas I didn’t get that feeling with Oblivion as for the dungeons became predictable – with Morrowind while they were stagnated you still had a more diverse range of tombs and caves to explore.
|To the bat cave!|
All of this detail, all of this diversity and only months to go before we can get our hands on it! But before I go (don’t forget the videos and screenshots are at the end of this article) I just want to point out some of the creatures shown in the demo footage and so that you can see how that diversity and detail transfers over to the living and undead creatures that roam Skyrim:
So the question remains: Are you excited for Skyrim?
Gameplay Footage and HD Screens:
Click the images to make them larger:
For more HD screens please visit dAb's Thread: Screenshots from the HD demo video's