We've jokingly told people that – come 11/11/11 – Skyrim is going to devour the remainder of our mortal years. We're afraid, though, that we may have meant it without, you know, meaning to. See, in addition to the harrowing prospect of “unlimited dragons,” Bethesda's latest biggie-sized slice of role-playing nirvana is coming packed with a never-ending supply of procedurally generated quests.
I don't know if you've heard, but Minecraft is pretty great. Now, maybe (read: probably) I'm crazy, but building towers that scrape – nay, grievously paper cut – the sky and versions of Mt. Rushmore with the faces of Rush band members actually isn't my favorite part of the game. Truth be told, that award goes to the simple act of cracking open a fresh world and seeing the sights. Minecraft's random generator is a subtle master of “Ooooo, what's that over there?” and each unique world is a joy to explore. Towering, snowcapped mountains, glorious seaside vistas, winding cave mazes that feel thousands of years old (as opposed to seconds) – each one's a Costco bulk bag of block-shaped eye candy.
Meanwhile, when most gamers hear “randomization,” they probably think “Diablo loot,” or – if you've been around the block/are a clinically diagnosed masochist – “roguelikes.” That, I think, needs to change.
Y2K didn't wreak the kind of havoc many people were worried about leading up to the new millennium (or simply the year 2000, if you want to get all technical about it), but we're not out of the woods yet, folks. This month alone has seen the release of Battlefield 3 and Batman: Arkham City, and in just over two weeks (November 11, 2011), The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will wipe out any remaining semblance of productivity that still exists in the workforce. That is, if your PC is ready.
The Elder Scrolls series is among our favorites, but it's definitely not perfect. Exhibit A: combat. It's sort of like beating up a cardboard box, only to come to the terrifying realization that you were the cardboard box all along. Fortunately, this new Skyrim trailer – still mint-in-box from Bethesda's Comic-Con showing – has us hopeful that Bethesda's finally taking fight lessons from something other than one of those bouncy inflatable toy clowns. Which sounds great, but means that going toe-to-oh-holy-lord-what-is-that with giant spiders will probably be more terrifying than an army of real clowns. Still though, you can knee wolves now. Right in the face. A fair trade-off, we'd say. And dragon fights. Oh man, dragon fights. Check out the full trailer after the break.
E3 started properly just yesterday, and the first game I saw was probably the one I’m most looking forward to: Skyrim. The presentation Bethesda is showing behind closed doors is similar to the seven-minute video they released yesterday, and to the one we wrote about in PC Gamer last month.
What we hadn’t seen in action before, though, was horsies. Riding horsies.