Skyrim visuals are incoming

The greatest single-player fantasy role-playing video game series, The Elder Scrolls, is getting a new chapter soon, and we’re on the verge of getting our first glimpses of what the new game will look like.

Tomorrow at Noon GMT, Bethesda will be releasing the first in-game visuals for Skyrim, the fifth chapter of the Elder Scrolls epic, on their website. 

So far, all of the promotional material has been extra-game footage and characters stills. But now there is a count-down to the release of the new visuals on this page, from which they are also distributing a new Wallpaper graphic.

From the title, we know that Skyrim will be set in the cold northern regions of Tamriel, from whence the Nordic people hail.

From the video, we get only the most basic tenants of the new plot: Dragons have returned to Tamriel, and only one hero, the Novakin Dragonborn, will be able to stand against them.

So, it seems that, as in past games, players will take on the role of a ‘chosen one’ in the history of one of Tamriel’s provinces.

It likely also means that, as before, the protagonist’s story will begin as a prisoner being held for an undefined crime, and the tale will begin with either an escape or release from a dungeon or cell of some kind. 

Even the press has very little information right now, so everything is just speculation right now.

Mostly what we will be learning from the visuals released at Noon will be something of what the game will look and feel like. That it will be beautiful is no question. 

Each Elder Scrolls game has been one of the most beautiful games of its era, and I doubt we would be let down on this, the fifth chapter.

Hopefully we will get to see lots of scenery from the various parts of Skyrim, and get some glances into how robust the facial creation and manipulation engines are this time around.

What I’m going to be looking for, however, is a peek at the interface. The only aspect of the last two Elder Scrolls games which has disappointed me has been the dumbing down of the interface due to simultaneous release on console systems.

I know it’s important for their sales to develop a console edition, but to make PC player deal with the gigantic text and over simplified menu system is a letdown, and almost makes the PC players, upon whom the franchise was founded, feel like they are a secondary concern to the console market.

Not that something like that would stop me from playing, of course. It would take a lot more than that to make me give up on Elder Scrolls (Then again, I thought that once about the Final Fantasy series, but after XIII, I don’t think I’ll be playing any more).

What I hope for most of all is the reintroduction of randomly generated dungeons, like we saw in Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. That might make me play the game five times through, instead of only twice.