Eurogamer


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will hark back to Morrowind and the "wonder of discovery" - something Bethesda wittingly "sacrificed" for Oblivion.


"It should feel alien," creative director Todd Howard said of Morrowind to OXM, "kind of 'stranger in a strange' land - with familiar looking elements only rooting you early in the game.


"The whole tone ends up being one of 'I'm an outsider, I'm uncomfortable'.


"With Oblivion, we're dealing with the capital province, and we wanted to get back to the more classic Arena and Daggerfall feel of a fantasy world that felt more refined and welcoming, a place that you instantly understood.


"But in that," he added, "we sacrificed some of what made Morrowind special: the wonder of discovery. With Skyrim, we're trying to bring some of that back and walk the line between Morrowind and Oblivion. Where it's at first familiar looking, but has its own unique culture and spin on it."


The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, released 2002, looted 8/10 on Eurogamer. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - a simultaneous March 2006 release on PC, 360 (later PS3) - scored 10/10.


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will release in November on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Big things are expected. What we know so far? Skyrim has dual-wielding, perks, finishers, no classes, fancy menus and a brand new (evolved, really) Creation Engine.

Video: Skyrim.

Eurogamer


John Romero, legendary designer of seminal first-person shooters Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake, is turning his attention to a new type of gamer – Facebook gamers.


"We have satisfied hardcore gamers for decades," the id Software co-founder told Venture Beat.


"Now it's time for the rest of the world. Our opportunity is to teach the rest of the world how to play games."


Romero hopes to achieve his goal through the California-based developer Loot Drop. Its small team plan to publish games for multiple social game publishers.


Loot Drop has funding from social game publisher RockYou, which will publish Romero's first game soon.


But Romero's already tasted sweet success in the social game space with Facebook game Ravenwood Fair, which a whopping 10 million people play every month.


Romero's new role as the designer of the next big social experience is a far cry from the one that made his name.


Romero co-founded id Software with John Carmack, Adrian Carmack and Tom Hall, and designed some of the most influential games of all time.


Romero left to start Ion Storm and created the controversial Daikatana. In 1997 he appeared on an advert for the game that said: "John Romero's About To Make You His Bitch....Suck it down." That didn't go down well, and some 10 years later Romero apologised to fans for it.


After Ion Storm closed in 2001, Romero formed mobile game developer Monkeystone Games. After leaving that company, he joined Midway Games in 2003. He left two years later, starting MMO developer Slipgate Ironworks, which became the core studio of Gazillion. That didn't work out as planned, either.


Now the 43-year-old has a very different outlook on the creation of videogames, and believes in experiences fuelled by virtual item purchases. "The game industry is dropping down on top of social," Romero said. "We don't have a view of strip mining the players for cash. When a player gives you money, you want them to feel good about giving you that money."


Romero will launch four Loot Drop games this year, to be published and marketed by other companies.

Eurogamer


Bethesda Game Studios is hard at work on the fifth game in the Elder Scrolls series, according to a new report.


It's a direct sequel to 2006's stonking great fantasy role-playing game Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Eurogamer Denmark said.


We've asked the author of the story, Eurogamer Denmark Editor-in-chief Kristian West, to translate into English for us (apparently Google doesn't do it justice). Here's what he said:


"This source not only confirmed that the game is in current production, but also spoke briefly about the content - with fantasy-sounding phrases like Dragon Lord, something with The Blades - and that voice acting for the characters in the game is currently happening in the weeks to follow.


"The same source confirmed, with official game documents in hand, that this will be the chronological sequel to what happened in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which is the latest game in the now 16-years-old Elder Scrolls saga and by itself one of the better RPGs for PC and consoles.


"The sequel to Oblivion is coming, we can hereby confirm without hesitation. It's been a while since 2006, hasn't it?"


Rumour of an Elder Scrolls sequel has been rife since Oblivion's launch.


In August Bethesda Game Studios told Eurogamer the majority of its 90 or so staff are beavering away on the new game - thought to be a new Elder Scrolls title - which has been in development for two years.


Executive producer Todd Howard said in an interview with Eurogamer at QuakeCon that the studio's current title will be announced soon, but he couldn't say exactly when. "I have a sense but we're not ready even to talk about [the timing of the announcement], because it might change. I don't want to disappoint people.


"One thing I can say is that from when you first hear about it to when it's out will be the shortest it's been for us. It's pretty far along. When we show it, we want to show a lot, because there's a lot of game there to play right now.


"You know, if [global VP of PR and marketing] Pete Hines came in and said, 'I want you to show it,' I'd be like, 'Okay, I'm ready to show it.' But we've just decided for now not to yet."


Howard wouldn't be drawn on many details about the game, but said the technology was derived from the engine that powered Fallout 3, albeit with significant modifications.


"Fallout 3 technically does a lot more than Oblivion. The new stuff is an even bigger jump from that," he said.


"I can say it is on the existing platforms, which we're really happy with. You almost feel like you have a new console when you see the game."

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