Hands and mountains. Those are the two things that immediately caught our attention when we first laid eyes upon The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – the craggy, jagged peaks that dominate this open world’s realistic topography, and the main character’s own two hands. But that’s okay, because hands and mountains are the perfect symbols for the improvements Skyrim makes over the last Elder Scrolls game, the massive, magnificent Oblivion. We’ve got two hours of details to walk you through, but here’s the summary: Set 200 years after Oblivion, Skyrim’s world is more rugged and visceral, yet also more majestic and beautiful. Its citizens are more realistic. And both combat and your character’s evolution are deeper, but vastly streamlined.
Oh – and also, there are dragons and you eat their souls...
Thank the gods we weren’t killing rats. The first thing we encountered during our hands-on with the can’t-be-more-hyped The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was a pair of wolves. Not quite a dragon, but hey, the game has to build up to something, right? We got nearly an hour to play the game, and we weren’t guided: we simply created a character and were free to do whatever we wanted...
It’s true: we’ve already reported on a demo of The Elder
Scrolls V: Skyrim once before.
And the demo we played most recently technically wasn’t any different from the
one we’ve already written about. The neat thing about Skyrim, however, is that
it’s being presented to journalists in a unique way: rather than a standard
hand-holding, forced-march demo, we’ve simply been set loose on a more or less
complete version of the game, and given an hour to get as far as possible. And
while Matt Keast did his best to have a complete, dungeon-themed adventure in
our last preview, that’s not how or why I play Elder Scrolls games. Not for the
first few hours, anyway.
For me, the beauty of Oblivion, Morrowind and the rest is
that you can wander randomly in any direction and find endless interesting
things to do before ever settling down and concerning yourself with the
mundanities of plot. And given an hour of free rein, you can bet your ass I’m
not going to waste any time crawling into dungeons or listening to long-winded
exposition. If Skyrim is a real Elder
Scrolls game, I should be able to have plenty of fun just dicking around – and,
happily, it didn’t disappoint...
Everyone who plays The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim will have a different experience based on how they want to play. Some players will cruise through the story missions without going off the beaten path; others will complete everything there is to complete; while many will simply mess around, exploring and enjoying the brilliant world Bethesda has created. For those willing to wander there are a lot of interesting things to see and find, and that's how we approached a recent session with the game. What sort of things will they discover? Well, after sitting
down with the game for a few hours, we’ve assembled a list of some of the
things we did, so that you might be able to get a good idea of what you can do
when the game releases next month…
Stardock messed up with the last Elemental game. It messed up bad. But now, it's ready to put those mistakes behind it, moving forward with Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, a new entry in the Elemental series that looks to make up for past problems with interesting gameplay and some unique concepts...
Graceful. It's the one word that appears time and again throughout our hastily scribbled notes about Elveon, and even when the words next to it say something about gouging out a dude's liver with the blunt end of a spear, it's still there. And it appears time and again because even a year away from completion, this combat-driven PC and Xbox 360 RPG stands out as something special; as something worth
The three elaborately armored Parthan warriors circled us menacingly. Known for allowing crippled enemies to make a final, desperate revenge blow, we knew just one of these three scar-covered monsters would be a terrifying opponent.
Slowly and deliberately they close in. But just as in real life, it is difficult for multiple opponents to attack a single target at once without interfering with each other - especially with their heavy long swords. Sensing our only opportunity, we spin our
One of Empire Earth III's weapons really sucks. That would be an uncharacteristically harsh judgment to make of a game thats just making its first faltering steps into the public spotlight, except I mean it in a good way.
We're talking about the firearm mounted on an ED-209-esque robot that creates a pinhole singularity in the battlefield. Watch tanks tremble, trying to escape the pull before getting flipped off their tracks and tumbling towards the event horizon. It's even more impressive
The third time may be the charm for the Empire Earth series. Developer Mad Doc is cutting the fat to make Empire Earth III a lean and mean RTS machine. The series' premise remains the same. Your battles will span the history and future of warfare as you progress through epochs of primitive cavemen to futuristic assault mechs. But instead of throwing a massive amount of new units and epochs at Empire Earth II and calling it day, Mad Doc has instead taken a close look at how they can refine and
For all you gaming addicts looking for a fix, check out these treats:
Opoona - Wii
A very unusual little game for the Wii that combines community and relationship-building elements with a traditional RPG - a bit like, say, Animal Crossing but with a proper adventure to work through. Even better is the way it uses the Wiis Remote and Nunchuck, allowing you to move with the analog stick and battle by swinging the remote.
Crazi Taxi: Fare Wars - PSP
We reckon this is just about old enough now